God protects Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

furnace

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, about 90 feet high and 9 feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So they all stood before it.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”   Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold.

At this time some astrologers said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “There are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to your decree. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the music again, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.  Therefore I decree that no one may say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego .”  Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Excerpts taken from Daniel 3 (NIV)

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Prayers for the start of school

After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it… After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. ~ Luke 2:43,46,47

preshool bible lesson

Bless the start of the school year
Lord Jesus, bless the start of this new school year. Bless students and teachers. As you sat at the feet of teachers in the temple when you were a 12-year old boy, so may our children sit at the feet of their teachers and grow in wisdom and love. Let your word be a lamp to their feet and a light for their path now and for the rest of their lives. Amen.

Thank you for our teachers
Lord, we thank you for our teachers. You yourself were a teacher. You know what a difficult task it can be. Use our teachers as your mouthpiece. Give them joy in their labors. Help their students to respect and obey them. Help parents to show their appreciation. Give our teachers extra strength, love, and patience as they begin this new school year. Amen.

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Angels

Angels are guardians of God’s people: For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways  Psalm 91:11.  The Bible says that God sends his angels to watch over us. Someone has said that angels may play zone defense rather than man-to-man defense as they protect people from harm.

In Matthew 18:10 : I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven, Jesus speaks of children’s angels, but does not say that each believer has just one guardian angel.

Although angels can take on different forms, including human forms, they are spiritual beings (without flesh and bones) that God created during the six days of creation. Shortly after creation, some angels rebelled against God and became evil angels or demons: God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell ~ 2 Peter 2:4.  The chief of the evil angels is the devil, Satan. Please note that angels are not the spirits of deceased people but are personal beings that God created at the beginning of time.

Angels serve God in various ways.  Our Heavenly Father sends angels to watch over his people.  He has used angels as messengers at key times in history and they continue to play a part in controlling the forces of evil that seek to destroy God’s church.  Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? ~ Hebrews 1:14

God’s angels will also accompany Jesus Christ when he returns at the end of the world: When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. ~ Matthew 25:31.

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God’s Law: Lost and Found

In about 623 BC, right before the Israelite’s exile to Babylon, God’s holy temple was a mess  after many years of evil kings and idol worship.  When a 26-year-old king decides that its time to repair the temple, God’s Book of Law is found.

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his ancestor King David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan, to the temple of the Lord. He said: “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the Lord—the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.”

Josiah

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. Then Shaphan the secretary went to King Josiah and reported to him: “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes in distress. He gave these orders: “Go ask of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found.

A prophetess named Huldah lived in Jerusalem. She said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read, because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made.  But because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place, it will happen after you have died.’”

Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, laws, and rules with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.

The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank, and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for idols and false gods. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley.

The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.”  Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.

Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord. Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

Excerpts and edited verses taken from 2 Kings 22 & 23

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July 25: OPL Director Installation & Quarterly Meeting

Rylee Quandt Installation: The installation of the new Director of Our Precious Lambs at Living Hope will be held during the worship service tomorrow, Sunday, July 25.

Living Hope Meeting:  Living Hope’s quarterly meeting will begin after a social time during a boxed lunch meal.

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The hope of eternal life

hope

…when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 
he saved us, 
not because of righteous things we had done, 
but because of his mercy. 
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal
by the Holy Spirit, 
whom he poured out on us generously 
through Jesus Christ our Savior, 
so that, having been justified by his grace, 
we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.  ~ Titus 3:4b-8

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