” If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Oh King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
Not many of us have faced such a choice. And not many of us will have to. We know the end of the Daniel story. Four men in the furnace instead of three and a fire that did not consume them. Papa God tells us not to be surprised by our ‘fiery trials’ or consider them ‘something strange’ as they make us ‘partners with Christ in His suffering’1 Peter 4:12-13 “How do we balance the fact that God loves to answer our prayers with the fact that we know as followers of Christ we will face suffering?” Kristen Schmucker in ” Seek. A 21 day devotional on prayer and fasting”
Looking back over my history with God and the suffering that is embedded into that story with all the other emotions that present themselves daily, I know that God has always answered my cry for help. He has been with me in my furnace and the fire has not consumed me.
SEEK DEVOTIONAL DAY 2
” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
We all know this scripture. It’s pretty scary. And haven’t we been told, repeatedly, that ‘always’ is one of the words you ‘never’ use in relationships dialogues. Apparently Papa God disagrees. This is what love is…always. I was disqualified at patient and well, there you go, nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Facing all my fears and failures once again.
And there is my answer and my hope and my joy. When I search in me I do not find the perfection that is God’s love. When I search Jesus, I do. He is our most excellent way.
This is a response to “Seek: a 21 day devotional on prayer and fasting”…a collection of writings from the heart of Pursuit Community. Have a look at their blog www.pursuitcommunity.com/blog/
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Love, passed down from Father to Son to me.
A free gift if I choose to keep it.
And remain in it.
Just as Jesus chose to remain with His face to the cross and the joy He looked for.
Will I hide from my day when Jesus did not hide from His?
The earth went dark and broke
But God ripped apart the man-made shroud and freed me to be free.
This is another reason I love living In Dorrigo, a small rural community on the east coast of Australia. The majority of the believers in each of the faith communities that follow Jesus are committed to His words “by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:3
This love and co-operation between the churches is a hope that has taken root and is now growing in the hearts of those who love Him. A banner of love that has been raised over this community and we will not take it down.
Sunrise over Dorrigo…as I look to the east I expect His coming …every day with His mercy and hope, correction and joy. There is a day coming that will have no end.
“If one chooses to split the two words as מרנא תא (maranâ thâ), a vocative concept with an imperative verb, then it can be translated as a command to the Lord to come. On the other hand, if one decides that the two words מרן אתא (maran ‘athâ), a possessive “Our Lord” and a perfect/preterite verb “has come,” are actually more warranted, then it would be seen as a credal expression. ”
Jesus has come, He is ever present and He will, in all His glory, come again.
In the mean time….. His people, gathering together in all possible ways, at all possible times, standing on the foundation laid by Christ, are fueled by the fire from our God, Whose heart burns with desire for a world He loves and a Bride He died for.