Word for Wednesday

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Daniel 3:25

In his book, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan draws a picture of a man struggling under a heavy burden. After the man reaches the wicket gate and then the cross, he sees his great burden fall off and disappear into the empty tomb. The man rejoiced at his liberation. As you listen to Christians give their testimonies, you will hear a common theme from many: a great sense of being free of a terrible burden after they are saved. Lost sinners are indeed bound tightly by the cords of sin and vice, and salvation’s liberation from those bonds is wonderful. It is also apparent to those who would observe us, just as it was to Nebuchadnezzar as he watched the Hebrew youths in the furnace.

Two things caught Nebuchadnezzar’s attention, the free condition of the young men, and the character of their Companion. Those lads had been bound tightly by the guards and could not have delivered themselves. The miracle that preserved them from the fiery furnace also loosed them from their bonds and graced them with their Lord’s presence. What a lovely picture of God’s salvation! Although not apparent to outsiders, we have been sheltered from a flame far worse than a Babylonian furnace, loosed from bonds more cruel than those of prison guards, and provided with a Companion Whose promise is never to leave nor forsake us. Do you feel like shouting Hallelujah yet?

The prospect of the king’s punishment was no doubt frightening to the Hebrew lads. But looking back on that day, they would rejoice for the rest of their lives that they had such an experience. As Christians, the day that we look backward to with the most fondness must surely be the day we were saved. But we also can rejoice about today, because God is also giving to us His daily salvation, every much as miraculous as the experience that sealed us for an eternal Heaven. Today, we are loosed from the crippling bonds of sin, shame, and temptation, as our Lord enables us to live victorious lives for Himself. We are also sheltered from the fiery storms of Satan’s opposition and the world’s reproach. And, sweetest of all, our Lord walks by our side each step of our journey, upholding us whenever we falter and redirecting us whenever we stray.

This is a good day to give thanks for our salvation, for all that we have been delivered from and brought into. – Jim MacIntosh

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