Greetings Brethren:

The Christian journey and the sojourn of those who know God is a test of Faith. Nothing is too great to sacrifice for eternal life. Thus as we look through visions of Truth we see a road made smooth through prayer and faith. What do you see?

Peace and Love,

Carl Patton writing for the FreedomJournal August 22, 2001 in the year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.




In the name of Jehovah God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.

In the Book of Daniel we find several great examples of faith. However faith is magnified when it results in one's conversion. The friendship of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was tested and strengthened by hardships. Together they quietly defied King Nebuchadnezzar's order to bow to and worship the idol he made of himself. Thus, they were unwilling to compromise their convictions even in the face of death.

Daniel 3:16-18 and 1-30.

3:16. "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter."

3:17. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine land, O king."

3:18. "But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up."

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego trusted God to deliver them from the fiery furnace. Meanwhile they were pressured to deny God, but they chose to be faithful to God no matter what happened. Thus, regardless of the consequences they remained faithful. God does not always rescue those who remain faithful. If so Christians would not need faith. In this instance Christianity would be a great insurance policy regarding all of our trials and tribulations.

Therefore, Christianity would be overrunning with insincere selfish people. True believers should be faithful whether He intervenes or not. The gift of eternal life is worth any suffering we may have to endure. But in the case of the three Hebrew boys God saved them due to their great showing of faith. Their faith and the miraculous action of God caused another great miracle.

3:28. "Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed by the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the kings' word and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except thine own God."

The passage of scripture noted in Daniel 3:28-29 does not reveal that Nebuchadnezzar actually converted. However he did acknowledge that God is powerful. Thus, he ordered his people not to speak against him.

Lydia is converted in Philippi, Acts 16:11-15. Philippi was a city in northern Greece (Macedonia) named after Philip the son of Alexander the Great. There was a school of medicine in Philippi, this suggests that Luke who was a doctor was from this city.

Philippians is one of the seven epistles written by Paul from Rome. This letter is filled with joy. The Philippians church had remained loyal to Paul throughout the years when the other churches influenced by Jewish Christians had turned their backs on him. They were the first church established in Europe and the most loyal.

This church represented the first major penetration of the Gospel into Gentile territory. The founding of this congregation is related in Acts 16:9-40. Acts is the connecting link between Christ's life and the life of the church between the Gospels and the epistles.

Paul was joined by Luke, Silas and Timothy. Forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach in Asia they went to Troas. In Troas Paul received a vision from the Lord to take the Gospel to Europe. In Acts 16:9 Paul saw a vision. A Greek Macedonian begged him for help. They set sail to Philippi. His first convert was a merchant woman named Lydia, a seller of purple. Her whole family was baptized and became the nucleus of the new church Acts 16:15.

Acts 16:14. "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatina, which worshiped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the thing which were spoken to Paul."

16:15. "And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the lord, come into my house, and adobe there and she constrained us."

In Macedonia Paul led by the Holy Spirit first made contact with a group of women. Through his preaching Lydia an influential merchant was converted. Her conversion helped establish Paul's ministry in that region. This is also an example that reveals that God during the time of the early church often worked in and through women.

Furthermore when Lydia converted her entire household was baptized. Baptism was a public sign of identification with Christ. Even though all members may not have chosen to follow Christ, it was now a Christian home.

Cont. Part 39: Great Faith: Paul And Silas




Return to Un Published Manuscript Page


All rights reserved by FreedomJournal Press