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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Teen Tuesday: Taking a Stand

Daniel 3:10-12 “ Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:  And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.   There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Imagine being taken out of your country, and being forced to work in a strange land.  Imagine being separated from your family, culture, religion, and all that you have known growing up.  That is what happened to these three young men.  They trained to stand before king Nebuchadnezzar, who found them “ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”  Daniel 1:20
In this passage king Nebuchadnezzar makes a golden image, and commands all of the people of the land to bow down to it.  When the music started playing, everyone was to worship the image.  The penalty for not worshipping the image was death.  Three men did not bow down to the image: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  The stand they took was a hard one, bow down or be cast into a fiery furnace.   I have wondered several times what I would do if I were put in this position.  Would I bow down?  Would I give in?
Standing up for what is right in an ungodly world can be difficult.   We do not want to be different from everyone else.  What is “normal” in the present world has changed.  Going to church every Sunday, dressing modestly, keeping your purity, and abstaining from rock, rap, hip hop and other worldly music are no longer normal.   Taking a stand in public may be met with criticism and harsh words.  People may laugh at you and tell you that your beliefs are old-fashioned.    But Matthew 5:11 tells us that we will be blessed when we stand up for Christ.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego took a stand and convinced a king that their God was real.
Standing up for what is right among friends or family is even more difficult.  One of the sermons that made an impact on my teenage years was called “Walk On.”  The man who preached the sermon, Bro. Eddie Lapina, taught me that I cannot always please my friends and family and be right with God.  This is an area that is a struggle for every Christian.   We want to be accepted by our family and our friends.  It is not easy to be teased and made fun of by those we love and care about.  I admire all teenagers who stand for right when their family and friends make fun of them.  I especially admire the teenagers who have parents that do not attend church, yet stand for right.  I see the struggle that goes on in many teenager’s hearts, and many teenagers quit.  It fills my heart with joy to see teenagers from my church and other churches take a stand and graduate high school while still taking a stand for Christ.  I know that Christ is pleased with young people who are willing to stand in the midst of adversity.   Some day we will meet the One who took a stand and died for us!  Are we willing to stand for Him?

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