Newsletter May 2008
Deal or No Deal….
Every so often in life, a defining moment presents itself when
we stand at the crossroads of a decision that can affect our lives
for years to come. Sometimes we are aware of the importance of
the choice and other times we are more or less oblivious. On TV
or in the movies, there are usually musical cues that alert the
characters that they need to choose wisely. Or, like on the very
popular TV show, Deal or No Deal, the
audience, friends and families of the contestants are all shouting
their advice as to whether they think you should risk a sure thing
for a chance to win really big. However, most of the time in our
non-scripted lives, our choices are made with an audience of One…God
himself, who knows our inmost thoughts and motives.
In the book of Daniel there is an inspiring story about three
young men who all stood face to face with a “life changing”
dilemma and in reality, a life or death situation. There was no
music, no fans cheering, and no time to go get the opinion of
anyone else. These three young Jewish men; Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego had the choice to make. Bow before the statue of King
Nebuchadnezzar and live- or refuse to bow and die. To deny their
faith in God and bow to a false god was a fate worse than death
to these dedicated young men of God so each of them chose to stand
tall and unashamed when the moment of truth arrived. Infuriated
King Nebuchadnezzar had them bound and cast into the fiery furnace
and what he thought would be certain death. However, while gazing
down into the blazing furnace to watch the show, the king saw
four men down there walking around unfazed by the flames and one
of them looked an awful lot like God. When they climbed up out
of the furnace, not even a hair on their heads was singed and
ol’ King Nebuchadnezzar immediately issued a decree that
only Jehovah, the God of these three young men was to be worshipped.
And, to top it off, he promoted all three to high positions in
his kingdom. What a wonderful example of the awesome power of
God to bless and protect His children. Can you imagine the fun
they had years later telling this story to their grandchildren!!
Of course not all stories of this genre end the same as this
one. The Bible and history tells us that some perhaps equally
dedicated followers of the Lord wound up giving their lives as
martyrs because of the same choice. Do you think that Shadrach,
Meshach and Abednego KNEW how that story was going to end while
it was unfolding. Personally I don’t think they had a clue.
But, I also believe that to them, it didn’t matter. They
stood at that crossroads of decision…to bow or not to bow…deal
or no deal…and live or die; they made the choice to serve
their God with a pure heart, no matter what.
Now, not all of the decisions we make every day have obvious
life or death consequences. However, the fact is, we don’t
always know what the outcome will be of our choices. In my mind’s
eye, I can picture God, poised on the edge of his seat, ready
to jump into action on behalf of those three brave Hebrew young
men…just like He is poised and ready to act in your behalf
when He sees you act in faith in your own moment of truth.
The Bible says to “…let the peace of Christ
be the decider of all things within your hearts,
for it is to that peace that you are called.” Colossians
3:16 (Barclay Translation). Be on the lookout for signs of that
special kind of peace, the peace of Christ, God has made available
to us when it comes time to make our choices.