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Daniel (7 of 18)
You will recall in the opening verses of chapter 3 that King Nebuchadnezzar has constructed a massive image of gold. He has gathered all the dignitaries of the kingdom out on the plains of Dura. He issued a command that all were to fall down and worship the image of gold. When the orchestra begins to play all of them were to bow down. Thousands of them did. Yet, there were three young Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who refused to bow down to the image of gold. Their refusal to bow down has precipitated a religious crisis and also a political crisis. Also a very personal crisis to them!
What follows is going to be one of the classic passages in all of the Bible of what pressure is all about. Do you know anything about pressure? Do you know the pressure to go along? Do you understand the tremendous power of peer pressure? You have peers who put pressure on you to do certain things.
There are two basic ways to live life. Romans 12, verse 2, says this. "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." You can live your life on the basis of pressure. If so, you live a life conformed by pressure from the outside. Or you can live your life by principle. If you live your life by principle, that means you are transformed by conviction and principle on the inside.
It's my prayer that every one of you will determine in your heart not to give in to the pressures of this old world. Not to go along with the crowd. Not to be just ordinary or average, but make up your mind tonight to withstand the pressures and be what God wants you to be.
There are two basic scenes in these verses of Scripture as the curtain for the drama rises again. The first scene is the attitude of the king. Keep in mind that King Nebuchadnezzar is a mighty king. He is the ruler of the mightiest empire on this earth. Word has been brought to King Nebuchadnezzar that these thre ...
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