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Life or loyalty? (Daniel 3 v 8-18)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

Nebuchadnezzar’s law-enforced religion has been started up. But that must mean trouble for God’s people who want to stay loyal to the true God. And here comes the trouble…

Tell-tale troublemakers
Read Daniel 3:8

• How are the actions of these “astrologers” described?
• Why do you think they do this?

The heat is on
Read Daniel 3:13

• How is Nebuchadnezzar’s reaction described?
• What does he do in response?
• What question does he raise for the three men?

Standing their ground
Read Daniel 3:16

• What is so impressive about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s response?

These three men are put on the spot and told to conform or die. They reply by calmly telling the king that their God is perfectly able to save them if He wishes, but even if He does not, they’ll never serve Nebuchadnezzar’s gods, nor worship
his image of gold. They prefer loyalty to God to a life of compromise.

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TIME OUT
In the second century AD the church was being persecuted. A church leader called Polycarp stood before a Roman official and was called to deny his faith in Jesus. He was threatened with being torn apart by wild beasts or being burned alive if he
would not “curse Christ”.
Polycarp replied: “How can I blaspheme my King, who saved me? You threaten the fire that burns for an hour and is then quenched; but you know not of the fire of judgment to come, and the fire of the eternal punishment; bring what you will.”
That was a man who knew how to stand his ground.
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APPLY
Most of us will not have faced a choice between life on earth or loyalty to God.
But…
• In what current or future situations in your life can you imagine having to lose out to stay loyal?
Take the decision now to love and serve God then.
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PRAY THRU
Pray for Christian brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world for whom life or loyalty is a real choice. Pray they will stay loyal to God, no matter what the consequences.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore57 when you check out to get the current quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

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Originally published February 09, 2012.

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