There are times in our lives that we must make a stand. Have a conviction. Be willing to lose it all in the pursuit of what is right. That is why I love the story of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego. In the face of certain death, they would not bend a knee in worship to the king of Babylon (who just happened to be the most powerful man in the world at the time.) Listen to their words from Daniel 3.
"Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from this burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand. But if not, be it known to you that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
Even if God doesn't come through for us, we still trust in Him. Even if it means we lose everything. We trust.
You have to know that they had NOTHING to lose by bowing down and worshipping the king. Nothing in this world anyway. They were exiles living in a foreign land and not heading back anytime soon. The rest of the exiles had bowed down to the king. There was no peer pressure or fear of being "kick-out" of the church. M,S and A were simply standing for what was right regardless of the cost to them.
John Wesley was fond of saying that if he had 100 men whose hearts were completely sold out, the world could be changed. Let's update the language a bit and say, "100 men or women whose hearts are completely sold out can change the world."
I guess the question for me this morning is simple, "am I completely sold out?" Am I more concerned about temporal things on this earth or eternal things? Will my life be defined by what I had or what I gave away? Will my legacy be that I played it safe or risked it all for the sake of God's kingdom?
I guess those are questions for all of us aren't they?