They came out of the fire unscathed and the decree of the king completely changed. may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”, incline your ear to my sayings,” Solomon says. Application: The start of the school year is a good time to rededicate ourselves to the simple call of Jesus as he leaves the disciples in Acts 1. Then, in Proverbs 4, we see the wisdom of a father speaking to his son. Will you join me? Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way” (28-29). The person in the office we find attractive, the neighbor’s car we wish we owned, the biceps we spend so much time procuring, the bank account that is never enough, the Saturday night that goes on too late and pushes out a true Sabbath on Sunday, the procrastination that breeds laziness and greed, the TV show that invites sin into our family rooms, the Facebook post that we know deep down inside is about striking envy in others, the quiet time that just can’t ever happen… these are all the real-life examples of Satan at work in an among us. We need to be firm that Paul says, “take up the whole armor of God.” We don’t pick and choose what we want to wear. When Samuel realizes it’s God who is speaking, his response is obedience, both to Eli and to God: ““Speak, for your servant hears.” God doesn’t have good news for Eli. Is this how we pray? Children may be bubbling with excitement but also with a self consciousness about fitting in and being liked. Romans 6:1-2 asks, “What shall we say then? Our ideas for back to school sermons are rightly bookended with the acknowledgement of the war we’re in. By no means! The next moment would change everything: “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. There is too much at stake and are here, among our neighbors, as God workmanship, created for good works in Christ (Ephesians 2:10). Our sins are crimson and without redemption. Scripture and prayer both tie us to the dependency in God and less so in our own strength. Seek accountability and fellowship. If it’s purely our experience, we are forgetting the lessons and stories of Scripture – the instructions they need to hide within their heart. We can be known as those who keep their temper and not use expletives. Breathe. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.”, What is our story of faith and God’s provision? It’s our duty to be equipped against any scheme of the devil because there is surety they will come. Our relationship with Jesus is not without burden, but it is the only place we can rest. His sons were rotten. The other thing he talks about is how within God’s family everyone has different gifts and strengths. We are instructed to bring all the baggage of all the stuff from all the days that we just didn’t measure up, and reason with the God who was thoughtful and generous enough to give us the choice to follow or fall away. There is no such things and a navel-gazing Christian, not one who is faithful, that is. It means giving up the precious life God gave to us, to him. However, if a father provides a soft voice, the child likely will respond (eventually) with more goodwill. It’s the same with Jesus. (I hope you’ll always remember that.). What do we do next? We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents. We know that our world is falling a part all around us and there are many pressures and anxieties as the school year unfolds. We don’t make up new orders until we hear from our commanding officer. The school year is a time where we can once again find ourselves in the habit of conversation with God – reasoning with him about our day and how we can profit it for his glory and not our own. Josiah came to the throne at age 8 and he was able to do what a series of sinful kings could not. It’s certainly not ours to test the bounds of God’s love by our flagrant disobedience, but as we approach more and more closely to Jesus through prayer and Bible reading, as the things of earth grow strangely dim, we will uncover the exhaustive corruption that takes ahold of us so often. We are lost without a guide. He commands the priests to, “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. It’s boundless and we are God’s workman, created for good works in Christ. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”. It’s good to see this in context. The Holy Spirit is in us and with us as we live out the high calling we’ve received. God had every reason, as he always does, to send wrath and punishment against those who trespassed against his laws. “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God,” says Nebuchadnezzar. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. He says, “I have two lists of names in my prayers, those for whose conversion I pray, and those for whose conversion I give thanks.


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