3/29/20 - God Can, God Will, But If Not... (family devotion included)
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
This devotion and family worship guide is a follow up to the sermon preached March 29 from Daniel 3. To view the sermon, please click here.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrust into a very different world than they imagined. The Babylonians had overpowered their homeland and the result was a parade of the people of Judah being led into exile. New country, new language, new culture...everything was different. Except for one thing: the faithfulness of the One True God!
In all the things that were different for the Hebrew boys, they could rely on the truth that God was forever on His throne and no world empire or conquering earthly king could ever be a threat to the Lord.
Yes, the megalomaniac known as Nebuchadnezzar could build a giant statue and demand everyone bow down and worship. True, he could threaten those who refuse with the fiery furnace. And indeed, he could actually follow through on such a threat -- and he did! But, what no man could ever do, is separate the people of God from the Hand of the Sovereign Lord.
No matter how hot the fiery furnace and no matter how real the threat from Nebuchadnezzar, God always has His hand on the thermostat and His eye on the clock. He knows exactly how much you are dealing with and how long you have been going through it.
Just as God was always with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, so He will forever and always be with you. Our God will never leave us or forsake us.
Suggestions for Family Devotion for Sunday, March 29
1. Listen to "He Will Hold Me Fast"
2. Read Daniel 3:16-18
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.17 If this be so,our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
3. Discuss the following questions:
When your faith is tested and life is hard, do you rely on your faith? How do you know whether or not you are living by faith?
The verses above speak of God's power ("is able to deliver us") and of the trust in God the three Hebrew boys had ("and he will deliver us"). Yet, they conclude, "But if not" they still won't deny the Lord. Can you honestly say that even if God does not do what you hope or expect that you will trust Him anyway?
How can a young child live out a "but if not faith"? How can a teenager prove faithfulness to God no matter what happens? How can adults demonstrate reliance upon Christ even when life is turned upside down?
We can have joy and confidence today, not because circumstances are what we want them to be, but Because God is who we need Him to be. What characteristics of God should we focus on in days of testing and trials?
4. Read Psalm 46:1-11 and pray as you seek God as your refuge and strength
Thank God for the blessings you still have that no virus nor economic downturn can take from you
Thank God for the people in your life who are a source of encouragement during days of trial
Ask the Lord for your faith to be strengthened and your love for worldly things to be lessened
Pray for God's mercy and protection in your life and for a "but if not" faith that will withstand anything that comes your way
5. Listen to "Sovereign Over Us"
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