FRIENDS: Cultivating Conviction, Commitment, & Character
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19-Aug-18 How Friends Develop Commitment with No Compromise
26-Aug-18 How Friends Develop Conviction, Despite Confusing Change
HOW FRIENDS DEVELOP CONVICTION,
DESPITE CONFUSING CHANGE
Today, we start a 3-part summer sermon series called “FRIENDS: Cultivating Conviction, Commitment, & Character,” based on a study on Daniel & his 3 friends (from Daniel 1, 3, & 6). The 1st message focuses on developing conviction, despite confusing change. Here’s a key thought: “If we don’t stand up for something, then we would fall for anything.” What do we stand up for? What’s important to us? As friends of God & with one another, may we resolve to stand up for God, even when doing so is risky or scary. In Daniel 1, Daniel & his 3 friends stood up for God & stated how important He is to them. How did they do it?
I. FRIENDS RESOLVE TO STAND UP FOR GOD ALWAYS (1:3-9)
The resolution of Daniel & his friends to make a stand for God occurred in a context of their being exiled for 70 years, of being looted as a nation (1:2), & of being uprooted from their homeland (1:3-7). Though the 4 Jewish men were given royal treatment, they still took a stand to please God (1:8), rather than men or themselves. Taking a stand for God helps us pass the “teach & test” principle of growth. Let’s stand up for God always!
II. FRIENDS REMEMBER THE VALUE OF STANDING UP FOR GOD (1:15-17)
The resolution of Daniel & his friends was richly rewarded by God. God affirmed the value of their stand in 3 ways: (1) God brought about encouraging results (1:15-16); (2) God added more personal blessings (of knowledge & understanding) (1:17); & (3) God gave them favour in the sight of the king (1:18-20). When we are tempted to compromise or confirm, let’s remember the God whom we value, so that we can value having a consistent conviction & commitment to stand up for God!
02-Sep-18 How Friends Develop Character When Communication Is Cold
TRUSTING GOD IN DIFFICULT TIMES
Daniel and his three friends lived an uncompromising life in a foreign country even when they were far from their loved ones (1:8). They were among those young Jewish lads who were selected to undergo training and eventually serve in the king’s palaces. Their program went for three years (1:5) and they graduated summa cum laude. God gave them “knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning” and Daniel was specially gifted with the ability to interpret visions and dreams (1:17). They fully trusted God. And in today’s message we will learn three actions of a person whose faith in God is genuine.
I. DILEMMA(vv. 4-9, 11-18): “…anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den” (7b)
Action: Remain composed amidst calamity.
II. DEVOTION(v.10): “Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (10b)
Action: Commune with God in any adversity.
III. DELIVERANCE(vv. 19-27): “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.” (22a)
Action: Celebrate God in any victory.