First Baptist Church of New Carlisle, Ohio has a rich and unique history in our community. Since 1955 we've been establishing ourselves as a lighthouse for Jesus Christ in our hometown of New Carlisle, Ohio.

We have Bible Study at 9:15 am and Worship Service at 10:30 am every Sunday. Childcare/nursery provided for all services. Wednesdays we have Prayer Meeting at 7:00 pm and Revive Student Ministries for youth at 7:00 pm

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Through the Fire - By Ken Lawler

Have you ever wondered about those preachers (mainly on TV) who stand in front of packed churches telling the people about this "name it and claim it" religion where God just can't hardly wait until you get up in the morning so He can start blessing you another day?  For some strange reason there have been days in my life where those blessings have been few and far between, or completely missing.  Some of you have travelled the same road I have and know exactly what I'm referring to.  What brought this subject up was Dolly on the piano learning how to play Through The Fire by Gerald Crabb.

One of the neat things about the Bible is that if some character, (even the heroes of faith listed in Heb. 11), have a wart or flaw the flaw is pointed out so all of us can know about it.  There are a few people in the Bible that there is nothing derogatory said about them.  If they had some flaw in their character we're not told about it.  You would expect these individuals to breeze through life if these modern day preachers knew what they were talking about.  One of these "perfect and upright" people was Job, and look what happened to him!  Another was Daniel; another was Joseph; and three more were the Hebrew boys named Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.  You know these last three better by the names given to them by the Babylonian prince of the eunuchs: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego.

Joseph's only "flaw" was being his father's favorite son from his father's favorite wife, neither of which were his fault.  He may have seemed to be an arrogant little twerp to his brothers (ten of them were half-brothers), but the Bible doesn't imply that.  Yet he was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery by them, unjustly imprisoned in Egypt, and left to cool his heels in a dungeon.  Not too many blessings from God there.

Look at the other four guys I mentioned, probably teen-agers taken from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar into captivity in Babylon.  When you read in Dan. 1:7 that the man in charge of them was 'the prince of the eunuchs,' it implies that Nebuchadnezzar had them castrated.  How's that for being the apple of God's eye?  Daniel's devotion to God got him thrown into a lion's den.  The three young friends of his were equally devoted to God and it got them thrown into a furnace.

That brings me to the title of this article.  Notice God did not protect Daniel from the lion's den; He protected him in the lion's den.  God did not protect the three Hebrew boys from the furnace; He protected them in the furnace.

Gerald Crabb hit the nail on the head when he wrote the song Through The Fire.  Look at these words:

"He never promised that the cross world not get heavy, and the hill would not be hard to climb.  He never offered our victories without fighting, but He said help would always come in time.  Just remember when you're standing in the valley of decision and the adversary says 'give in,' just hold on.  Our Lord will show up, yes, and He will take you through the fire again."

There's an old hymn titled God Leads Us Along and the chorus says, "Some thro' the waters, some thro' the flood, some thro' the fire, but all thro' the blood."

We're all delighted we get the privilege of eternity in Heaven by going "through the blood," since it's Jesus' blood, not ours.  We're not so gung-ho about the possibility that we might have to go "through the waters, flood or fire."  In Isaiah Chapter 43 the subject is "Redeemed and Restored Israel," and Verse 2 says:  "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:  when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."  A couple examples of God's people having to go through the waters/rivers are Noah and his family during the flood, and Israel crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan River during their escape from Egypt.

We've all heard numerous sermons from Mark Chapter 6 about Jesus and Peter walking on the water.  There's something in that passage that I've never heard anyone elaborate on.  In Mark 6:45, Jesus tells His disciples to get in the boat and go across the Sea on Galilee.  We know from the text that they had fed the crowd an evening meal (so it was late afternoon) and it says straightway, or right after that, Jesus sent them out onto the lake.  He came walking on the lake, "about the fourth watch of the night."  This was the watch just before dawn, so they had been out there rowing all night.  What's really interesting, and that I've heard no one comment on, is the last phrase in Verse 48.  He is walking toward their boat and it says, "and [He] would have passed by them."  You get the impression that if they had not cried out to Him, He would have walked on to the other side and left them out there rowing in the storm.  Apparently the only reason He got into the boat and calmed the storm is they "cried out [to Him]."

So when The Lord tells you to go through the water, the flood, or the fire you need to know that you can cry out to Him and He may get in the boat with you; and calm the storm.  If you have been rowing your boat into the wind for a while and making little progress, that may be the reason;  ask Him to get in your boat.

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