March 30, 2011Read: Daniel 3

"Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feat in amazement." --Daniel 3:24

Three young men, when faced with a stubborn king's order to worship a pile of gold or else face a fiery furnace, jumped 1) at the chance to serve God, 2) out of the way of peer pressure and 3) in front of the crowd.

Three young men had a defining moment. When tested, they knew God was all they needed. And since God's favorite place to run is to our rescue, He jumped in the flame with them. And if their bold faith wasn't enough to convince anyone they were serious, the fourth image with them in the flame was. Can't you just see King Nebuchadnezzar counting his fingers and squinting his eyes? "Wait, one, two, thr..."

But that's what God does. He shows up and leaves the naysayers in shock and awe. So today, when we're faced with a challenge or golden opportunity, let's remember two things: God is with us, and the world is watching.

So on the count of three...



Friends and family, the time for half-measured health is over. If you're fighting your bodyweight, blood pressure or other health issues, you're not alone in the fire. With God, it's possible, and we're praying for you and applauding your heart to serve. If you're not fighting but should be, it's time to jump. Health takes sacrifice. Health takes guts. And in this day and age, it takes those who are willing to set themselves apart from the crowd. The phrase "God looks at the heart" can no longer be used as an excuse to abuse the body. But there is no tomorrow. If it's right to jump, it's right to jump today. Let the onlookers watch in amazement at just how serious you are.

Here are some ways to jump in the fire: Turn off the TV, computer and phone and take a walk outside with your family. Get up 10 minutes earlier each day to do bodyweight exercises in your living room. Push away from the table just a few minutes early.

But these are merely suggestions. We have to decide what we'll sacrifice, what we're willing to change in order to be better stewards of the physical gifts we've been given. And since God looks at the heart, that's probably the first place we need to start.