One of the things I like to do as I read the scriptures is write down just one thing, one quick takeaway from the section. For me, it’s a process that helps me move from simply reading the Word to allowing the Word to read me.
It’s a simple practice that anybody can do, it helps to reinforce what I’ve read, and it gives me an opportunity to engage with what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me.
This is my “quick thought” from today’s reading in Daniel 1-6
“But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” ~Daniel 3:18
Even if God doesn’t save them from death, they will continue to trust him because they know God has saved them for Life. We too can trust him that much!
King Nebuchadnezzar’s furious rage would have been enough to intimidate almost anybody, but Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had something stronger than most others, they had a furious trust in their God!
After defying the King’s decree, these three man are brought before the King to answer for their disrespect and lack of loyalty. This wouldn’t be handled by a lower authority in a quiet way. This was obviously considered a serious offense, and all would know the consequences that come to any who dare oppose the man-made divinity of King Nebuchadnezzar. So as these three Jewish exiles stood before the hostile king, the fear and pressure to deny their God was as high as worldly possible. Yet, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego recognized that Nebuchadnezzar’s authority was subject to the God they furiously trusted whether Nebuchadnezzar realized it or not, and even if the God of all creation and life didn’t save them, they would continue to furiously trust him.
It’s one thing to “love” God, but it’s so much more to ask us to follow and trust him. I love cheesecake, I love watching a well turned double play, and I love a good cup of 41 & Change coffee, but I’m not going to trust any of those things with my life. So when Jesus invites his disciples to “follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men,” he’s not just asking them to love him, he’s inviting them to trust him as they participate in life with him.
It’s a lot to ask, but Jesus proves he’s worthy of this level of trust when he faces greater pressure than Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have ever imagined or Nebuchadnezzar could have ever contrived. In the Garden of Gethsemane the pressure to refuse his ultimate purpose of redeeming all of creation was as high as cosmically possible, and in spite of this unimaginably high pressure he prays: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Even in the face of otherworldly intense pressure, Jesus furiously trusted in the plan of the Good Father to bring Life to the world through his self-sacrificing love. What’s more, he’s still inviting us to participate in this Life with him!
Jesus, is the one who says “I have come to give you full & complete Life,” and he is worthy of our deepest trust!
This is what I heard in today’s reading, what did you hear?
#John10:10 #Mark14:36 #Matthew4:19