Daniel 3:6 Pressure

Logs on fire

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6 

Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.

When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.

While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.

Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.

Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.

Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.

You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.

In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.

I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world. 

Jeremiah 4:18 Consequences Of Actions

Chemical reaction

“Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!” Jeremiah 4:18 

There is an old scientific law that states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the idea that there is a consequence to every action that occurs.

In life there are many consequences to the actions that people do. Some are positive and some are negative. Some occur immediately, while others don’t occur until many years later.

Speeding down the road when there is a policeman there will result in a ticket immediately. Eating a poor diet will take years to show, but it is result in weight gain and health problems later in life.

God is beginning to punish Israel for their rebellion and sins against Him. He points out that it is their own actions that had brought this punishment upon them.

God is a patient God and full of mercy, however, there are consequences that He brings about or allows because of sin. There are many health problems that occur because of a sinful lifestyle. There is a loss of peace and joy because of sin in one’s life.

For the believer, God is always striving to call him away from sin. He may use the consequences of sin to get his attention and draw him back away from sin.

Most people do not like consequences to their actions, unless they are positive. Yet, God has placed negative consequences upon sin in the life of a person. The ultimate consequence is eternal death and separation from God.

This is not God causing the consequence, but the actions of the person. One’s own self brings upon him the problems of sin. This does not have to be, since a person can go to God for forgiveness and be changed into a new person. Living for God and rejecting sin brings about positive consequences.

Is there something missing in your life, such as joy, peace, love, God’s presence? Take a look at your life and how you are living.

What actions have you been allowing in your life? Are they God honoring actions, or actions of selfish sin?

Jesus is right there to help you turn from sin. He is willing to wipe the slate clean and forgive you, bringing about positive consequences. Do not give God a reason to strike you to get your attention, but live for Him in His ways.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that all of your actions will honor God; that you will know God’s peace, joy and love in your life; and that you will hear God’s direction for your life. 

2 Chronicles 7:19 But if…

Hand agreement

“But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them,” 2 Chronicles 7:19 

Contracts are common between businesses, businesses and people, and people and other people. Every contract has some type of clause in it that if one party or the other does not hold up to the agreement in the contract, there will be consequences.

The types of consequences can be very severe or very mild, but there will be a consequence. Every contract will be different in what the consequences are. They are there to protect both parties from anything going wrong. Pages and pages of clauses can be written into some contracts, while others only have one or two lines.

God had made a covenant with the Israelites, this was His contract with the people. As Solomon was following God and had built the temple, God told him that He would always be there and bless him and the nation of Israel. However, Solomon and the people would have to continue to follow Him. If they chose to not follow God, then there would be severe consequences and His hand of blessing would be removed. He would set out to destroy them.

Jesus had made a new covenant between God and mankind. He shed His blood to remove the consequence of sin. However, there is still a clause in following Jesus. One must follow and trust Him with all of his heart. It is a belief that Jesus does the saving and removing of sin, not works or self. It would also be that He would be God and God alone, no other gods were allowed to be followed.

If one chooses to begin to follow other gods or idols, God will remove His hand of blessing on that person. He will always love the person, but cannot have him in His presence, because of the sin in his life and refusal to follow Jesus.

You have a choice to make. Will you follow Jesus or will you follow some idol or false god?

As you follow and trust in Jesus with all of your life, God will pour out blessings upon you. However, if you choose to walk away and follow some idol or other god, He will pull back that favor and blessing.

Don’t be a statistic of walking away from God, but follow Him with all of your life. Don’t make God say ‘but if’.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust in Jesus alone for your salvation; that God will keep you close to Him; that you will turn from self and idols to God; and that you will know the blessings and favor of God in your life.

Joshua 7:12 Consequences Of Sin

Camouflaged man

That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. Joshua 7:12

Consequences to actions is one thing that many people do not think about or do not like to think about. People want to be able to do what they want to do, without any repercussion.

Often, people think that what they are doing will have no consequence, it is just a small little thing in light of much greater things. No one will notice or really care about it. Yet, every action, thought, or word has some type of consequence.

As the Israelites were going through, conquering new cities on a regular basis with no real challenge, they suddenly were beaten badly by a small city of Ai. Joshua went before God about it. He was told that there was sin in the camp of the Israelites. Someone had stolen something and hidden it. Because of that stolen item, God was not supporting the Israelites anymore. They had to clean up the camp from all sin.

Out of all the things that were destroyed in the taking of Ai, one man, Achan, had stolen a robe and some bold and silver. This little bit of theft–sin–caused God to take His had of favor and provision off of the Israelites.

Sin in a believer’s life will cause God’s favor to pull back. God does not want sin in the life of any believer. It is common for people to try to hide ‘little’ sins. People may never see the sin, but God does. Things begin to go wrong and fall apart, and the person wants to know why.

Today all a believer must do is repent, turn away from the sin and turn back to God. Jesus has already paid the price for that sin.

Do not allow any ‘small’ sins be hidden. God already sees them and knows about them.

There will be times when you will sin. Strive to keep from sinning, but if you do, immediately turn back to God and repent. God is waiting there for you to restore you. He does not want to destroy you, but to build you up. That is why God sent Jesus to pay for your sins.

Do not let sin destroy you. But let God restore you.

I pray today that you will turn to Jesus for everything; that God will help you turn from all sin; that God will build you up in Jesus; and that you will know God’s forgiveness and love.