Monday, March 15, 2010

A big "but"

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow (Daniel 3) and they didn't care if the king gave them one more chance or 100 more chances, they weren't going to do it. They went so far as to say that God could save them from the king's big, scary, fiery furnace and that could've been enough to show their faith in God.

Then they took it one step further. Verse 18 says, "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." Those boys had decided in their hearts what lines they would not cross and when the time came they stuck with God, because they knew he would stick with them! And he did!

I encourage you to talk with your kids about the lines they will not cross (lying, cheating, stealing, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, playing the choking game, or anything else friends may try to pressure, dare or sweet talk them into) . We mentioned it in children's church yesterday but, of course, I didn't have time to talk with each of them one-on one. You know best what temptations your kids are prone to.

But don't just dwell on the negatives. Remind your kids that God is with them even in hard times! He will care for him as they trust in him. Sometimes, we end up in lousy situations because of things we have done; sometimes bad things just happen. Either way, we all know that hard times are going to come and we're going to have to go "through the fire". The question is "Are you going by yourself?" or "Have you invited Jesus to come along with you?"

Parents, lead by example. Tell your kids of a time that God brought you through a hard time. You do NOT need to tell them all of your burdens, financial woes, or issues - let them be kids! But you can point out God's faithfulness.

Have you decided to follow Jesus no matter what? If you have, you can show your kids how to.

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