No Compromise

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.”  (Daniel 3:13-17)

Even with the possibility of losing their lives, the 3 Hebrew boys refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue.  They had made up their minds that they wouldn’t compromise their faith in God.  They were determined that they would stand for God even though everyone else around them was bowing down.

How about you?  Will you stand up when everyone else is bowing down?  Will you remain committed to God even when it means facing persecution or will you compromise?  It may not be easy to do the right thing and it may not always be popular but compromise is never the right choice.  But here’s what I know: when we take a stand for God, God will stand with us.  The 3 Hebrew boys were thrown into the fiery furnace but God was there with them.

Taking a stand for God will cause us to stand out.  It will even bring persecution and suffering.  But when we stand for God, it honors Him and honoring Him is what matters most.  We don’t have to compromise.  With God’s help, we can take a stand and make a difference.

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Live the Life | Ignite Your Faith

Peter. One of Jesus’ “top” disciples. Walked on water, healed the sick, and even raised the dead. Pretty impressive credentials.

And yet Peter was just a “regular guy,” just like you and me. He wasn’t perfect. He knew what it meant to mess up. And he messed up a lot.

But despite his flaws, Peter knew what a Christian should look like. He even gave us a checklist; you can find it in 2 Peter 1:3-11.

Here some ways you can live your faith:

Know God. Peter says God “has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him” (2 Peter 1:3). So, to look like a Christian, we need to know God. And we do this through prayer, reading our Bibles, and hanging out with other believers

Flee temptation. Peter tells us to “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (1:4). Ask God often to protect you from sin, to give you the wisdom and courage to make good choices.

Show your stuff. Peter shows us what a Christian looks like when he tells us to “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (1:5-7). Memorize that list of qualities, then “make every effort” to live them out daily.

Rate yourself. Peter says we should “possess these qualities in increasing measure” (1:8). Rate yourself on each of the qualities, using a scale of 1-10. (No 10s allowed, because 10s don’t leave any room for improvement!) Ask a trusted friend to rate you on each as well.

Form a plan. First, thank God for those 8s and 9s; he’s working in your life! Now ask yourself: “How can I improve in these other areas?” Pray about it. Read Bible passages about those qualities. Think of ways to put these things into action. You might pursue “knowledge” through an in-depth Bible study, or practice “brotherly kindness” by doing volunteer work on Saturday mornings.

Get a friend’s help. Ask someone to hold you accountable, someone who will ask you the hard questions about how you\’re doing. Let’s say you struggle with self-control, especially in the area of gossip. You need a friend who’s willing to tell you when to pipe down. (Lovingly, of course!)

Listen to God. Be sensitive to the “nudging” of the Holy Spirit. God will remind you when you\’ve messed up, and he\’ll let you know when you get it right.

Don’t lose hope. Sure, you’ll make mistakes—just like Peter did. But as you seek to live a godly life, you can cling to this promise from Peter himself:

“For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (1:11).

via Live the Life | Ignite Your Faith.

With All Your Passion

Read
Luke 10:25-28
25A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”
26Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?”
27He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
28Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”

Reflect
Eugene Peterson has written a book called The Message, wherein he has translated the Bible into today’s words and phrases. I think it offers a fresh perspective on some familiar Scripture.
Let’s look at verse 27 from The Message: “He said, ‘That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence–and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.’”
I love that Mr. Peterson used the word “passion!” Love God with all your passion!
What are some things you are passionate about? A sport? A hobby? A friendship? How does the energy you put into these things and the excitement they generate compare with your relationship with God? If God wanted you to give up one of these things so you could spend more time focusing on your faith, what would you do?

Respond
God gave us all passions, talents, and abilities to use and enjoy. But God does get disappointed when we spend all of our time and energy on other things–only squeezing in God in the time that’s left over, if at all.
Making our relationships with God our highest priority would make God much happier, and, ultimately, it would make us much happier, too. Give God your passion. Give God your all.