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Devotion & Defiance

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Intro: Many years ago, the tiny Kingdom of Israel was invaded by the great Babylonian Empire. The entire nation was destroyed, the king was captured, and the best and brightest youth of the nation were carried away to become servants in the Babylonian Empire. Three young men were among them. We know them today as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
These young men were hard working, disciplined, and diligent in all of their efforts.
After some time the King of Babylyon, Nebudchanezzar, built a huge golden idol of himself and ordered all the people to bow down to worship it when the music was played.
When the music began, everyone bowed down, except for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These 3 men refused. They were summoned by the King. He was powerful and proud and angry. He threatened them that the music would be played again and that they if they bowed, they would be forgiven. But if not, they would be cast into a fiery furnace.
This seemed like an awful dilemma.
Obey God and die.
Or disobey God and live.
What would you choose?
Knowing that the most powerful man on earth had just threatened their life, listen to how the 3 Hebrew children responded:
Daniel 3:16–18 NIV84
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Devotion & Defiance

Devotion: being strongly dedicated and loyal to someone

Were the 3 Hebrew children devoted? Yes. To who? To God.

Defiance: willingness to contend or fight against someone

Were the 3 Hebrew children defiant? Yes. To who? To Nebudchanezzar.
The devil has been trying to get believers to bow down to idols and persecution from the beginning.
Illustration: Chairs and Chains
Matthew 6:24 NIV84
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
You will either be devoted to God and defy the World or you will be devoted to the World and Defy God.
You can only face one direction.
John 10:10 NIV84
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Hindus who came to Jesus in Patna.

Love For God Creates A Hatred For Sin

1 John 2:15–17 NIV84
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
What does the Bible mean by World? It means the systems and values of this world that have been influenced by sin and satan and they cause people to disobey God, hate God and rebel against God. It is not talking about the planet. It is not talking about individuals. God calls us to love our neighbor. But it is referring to the systems of this world that have been influenced by Satan and they fight against the purposes of God.

Loving the world causes us to hate God.

Illustration: Leave me alone God.
Loving God causes us to hate the world. Not the people, but the values, the systems, the sin, the exploitation.
The 3 Hebrew Children loved God so much, they preferred to die rather than to sin against him by worshipping the idol.

Love For God Gives Courage To Stand

Their LOVE for God gave the 3 Hebrew children the courage to defy the King’s commands.
Lalu Yadav vs Christian leader who would not compromise
Devotion to God requires defiance of the World.
You cannot love God and the World, because the World is in rebellion against God. The World wants exactly the opposite of what God wants.
This is why secular music is dangerous. It creates longings in us for things that God has condemned.
Your identity was never intended to flow out of your desires. Your desires were intended to flow out of your identity. You are a child of God. Live pure. Love God. He will fill your heart with pure desires and deliver you from the impure desires.
Psalm 37:4 NIV84
4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

If you love the world, you will defy God.

Devotion to the world is defiance to God.
Why would we be devoted to the World? Because the world offers pleasure.
There is delight in sin.
Hebrews 11:24–26 NIV84
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
Whoever you defy will pour out disgrace on you.
It is not IF you will defy someone? It is Who will you Defy?
Matthew 10:32 NIV84
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.
But here is the truth: the world already hates you. It will use you, throw you away and spit on your grave. Why go back to someone that hates you?
Jesus wants to cancel your sin.
The world wants to cancel you.
Jesus wants to cancel your past mistakes.
The world wants to cancel your present.
Jesus wants to cancel your shame and guilt and fear.
The world wants to cancel your hope and peace and joy.
Jesus offers life.
The world offers lies.
Jesus offers eternity.
The world offers temporary experiences that will leave you broken, ashamed and afraid.
Devote Yourself to Jesus.
Defy The World.
Live. Do Not Die.
Perpetua Story
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