Wednesday, June 18, 2014

As He is---so are We

Daniel 3:27 (NKJV), And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king's counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

Every story of the Old Testament carries a deeper meaning than what we see on the surface. This is one of the amazing things about Scripture. The Bible interprets itself to give us the meaning of these stories.

One such story is about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. The story is found in Daniel 2. These three young men were devoted to God. When they refused to bow before an image of gold, they were sentenced to be burned in a fiery furnace.

What I found interesting was that Daniel, the fourth young man of the group, was not included with his three companions. When I prayed about it, I realized the reason.

The story is a picture of the born-again Christian. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, were not their real names. The young men were given new names, when they were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar; Hananiah became Shadrach; Mishael, Meshach; and Azariah became Abed-Nego.

The real names of these men carry a more significant meaning. The name Daniel means, "Judged of God", Hananiah means, "God has favored", Mishael means, "Who is what God is", and Azariah means, "God has helped" (1).

The three names, God has favored, Who is what God is, and God has helped, are descriptive of the Christian. The reason why Daniel was not in the furnace is because his name means, "Judged of God". The Christian will not suffer judgement. Instead the fourth person with them was Jesus, the Son of God, sent to save us from the fiery furnace (hell).

This is why the Bible says, "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. - Strong's Numbers, Daniel H1840, Hananiah H2608, Mishael H4332, Azariah H5838

Monday, June 09, 2014

Time to Start Living!

Hosea 6:2 (AMP) After two days He will revive us (quicken us, give us life); on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him.

The apostle Peter quoted Psalm 90 when he said, "Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8 AMP). Since we know that Jesus was crucified about 2014 years ago, we know that two days have passed. We also know we will be lifted to heaven sometime during the third millennium. Our verse at the top gives us an encouraging message.

Many children of God have had to endure terribly difficult challenges and need a time of refreshment. This time of refreshment has come! Be encouraged, start expecting to see breakthroughs. Favor has increased in the body of Christ, along with wisdom and promotion. I am amazed at some of the situations that are changing---right in front of me. Brothers and sisters who haven't smiled in years are starting to smile again. Pain and discouragement have begun to fade away!

There may be debates on when Jesus will return for His children, but the passage at the top does not leave much room for debate. Like having money in the bank, you need to know refreshment is here to take advantage of.

So how do we tap into this refreshment? Hosea revealed it to us in the next verse.

Hosea 6:3 (AMP) says, "Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us as the [heavy] rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth."

The best way to know, recognize, and be acquainted with God, is to commune with Him. Spend time with His Word. Break bread and fellowship with Him. Now is the time to be refreshed. Time to turn sorrow into joy.

Take advantage---be blessed!

* A note to all my faithful subscribers. As you have noticed, my posts have been less frequent and sometimes random. This is to be temporary. I have needed to spend more time studying and writing my next book. I am not sure how long it will take, but I am planning to get back to providing weekly messages of encouragement.