The Pressure and the Precious

We have been walking through the book of Daniel and seeing how we can look at this book in God’s word to determine how we can live in a culture that is removed from God and move from surviving to thriving in that culture. Today, we look at the well known story of the golden image and the fiery furnace. What are the pressures we face in the culture today and how can we respond to them? What things are revealed as ‘precious’ inside of us when we are encountering those pressures in the culture? Open your Bible to Daniel 3 and join us as we continue our journey through this book to discover how pressure on the outside will reveal what is precious on the inside.

Date: February 11, 2018
Speaker:  Jason Jordan
Series: Daniel

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Pastor’s Comment

Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.

Jason G Jordan

Lead Pastor, West Side Church

Sermon Notes

Daniel 3:1-30 “Fire & Faith”

INTRO> Let’s be honest, there is no introduction needed after that text! Wow, this is serious!

CONTEXT> We are in Daniel chapter 3, this is another event in the life of Daniel. We see and here what the situation is, the question is, “Why is this event recorded?” Remember this was written to people living in exile and to give them hope. The same is true for us. It’s not just cliché saying like “Stand up when everyone is bowing down.” though that’s true.

      • Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” 1 Timothy 3:12
      • The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” Proverbs 29:25

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Big Idea> Pressure from the outside reveals what is precious on the inside.

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CONTEXT> Look in v28. It totally jumped out at me this week, the entire summary and the application is in this one verse. We also have to understand what was in Daniel and his friends heads, God’s top 10, right?

    • And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:1-6

APP> This is still true for us and even more so in light of the cross! So how do we handle this pressure? how do we handle this tension?

  1. Expect it. v4-6
      • v4“You are commanded oh people… to worship the image…” So we see that King Neb builds this huge statue and give a decree that everyone needs to bow down to it. We don’t know what the statue is but it represent Babylon and the spirit of it.
      • v14 “is it true that you don’t worship my Gods..” his language is interesting here and I think we can learn from this. Notice, the pressure isn’t to STOP worshiping Israel God’s but it’s to worship BOTH.

APP> The pressure will always be to worship Jesus and _______. Sure as you add to Jesus you take away everything. *ILL> The pressure form the world will look like this *Coexist PIC

APP> People will say, “That extremely intolerant.” Well look at King Neb, he is doing the very thing that he says that they can’t do, which is make somone do something, do you see the irony there? So when people say, “You can worship Jesus but don’t put those beliefs on anyone else?” They are putting their beliefs on you, that’s intolerant.

2) Engage it. v16-17

      • v16 “Oh Ned we have no need to answer you in this matter…” Here we see something interesting, now remember, this was the LAW of the land at the time but we see these men not run but rather engage.

APP> There will be a time when you have to disobey a king in order to obey the king. The proper term for this is called “Civil Disobedience” *Dr Martin Luther King Jr. preached a sermon on this text to his church on November 1967 he said these words, “Civil disobedience is based on a commitment to conscience. In other words, one who practice[s] civil disobedience is obedient to what he considers a higher law. And there comes a time when a moral man can’t* obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust. And I tell you this morning, my friends, that history has moved on, and great moments have often come forth because there were those individuals, in every age in [and?] every generation, who were willing to say “I will be obedient to a higher law.” 

APP> We  need to be careful here because things like abortion, homosexualual marriage, whatever is the legal doesn’t mean we obey. But we can learn from these men how to do this properly:

Principles for Pushing Back:

      • Be Educated. v16
      • Be Calm. v13,v16
      • Be Loving. v21

“Here’s what you are seeing. Ninety-five percent of the time the best way to defend absolute truth, if it’s Jesus, is to live it. In other words, these men are showing the opposite of what King Neb is showing them. He’s angry, he’s foaming a the mouth, he’s against them. They are calm. They are respectful and let us note, they even had to be turned in….live a life of sacrifice, live a life of love.” – Tim Keller

3) Entrust it.

      • v17-18 are huge it shows how they entrusted this situation and pressure to the Lord but there are three main things i want to show you.
      1. Trust God’s Power- “Our God whom we serve is able” Yes and Amen, wow that’s powerful!
      2. Trust God’s Plan“But if not” wow… this is the key, they didn’t just trust God ability, they trusted his timing.. A lot of people can say, “HE IS ABLE” but how many of us can say “But if Not?”

*ILL> This is a picture of a Brian Sternberg (PIC), Brian is a nationally acclaimed track star, he held many records in pole vaulting. in 1963 he set the world record. On July 2, 1963 just three weeks after setting the record he was practicing on a trampoline when he landed on his neck, heard a pop and lost the feeling in his arm and legs (PIC) . Less than a year after the accident he wrote an article in Look magazine and said these words: “Having faith is a necessary step toward one of two things. Being healed is one of them. Peace of mind if the healing doesn’t come, is the other. Either one will suffice.”

C. Trust God’s Presence- v25 “ I see four men..” Who is the fourth man? Notice to v29 “rescue in this way.

APP> God never promised to protect us from trials. He promised to be present with us in trials.

          • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

Close> Most scholars believe this to be a pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. “Sent HIS ANGEL”

Interesting isn’t it, the way God’s saves is that he suffered like his people. This furnace is mentioned again in the NT, by Jesus Christ himself. 

“The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,  and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” – Matthew 13:41-43

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Big Idea> Pressure from the outside reveals what is precious on the inside.

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        • Do you value comfort over obedience?
        • Where is God calling you to take a stand?
        • What is most precious to you?

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