Daniel 4:1-18; Daniel 4:18-27; Daniel 4:28-37. In Daniel chapter 4 there is a sudden change of perspective. Instead of Daniel this is written by King Nebuchadnezzar. Words of the bible written by the king of an ungodly nation! Does God communicate his truth to people who aren’t in church and not in the bible? What is God saying to people in our nation today? What are we to say?
Daniel 3:1, 8-30; 1 Peter 4:12-18; John 16:23–33. As we witness the great miracle of God’s rescue of His faithful servants from the fiery furnace, we are reminded that this is not an isolated ancient story. Troubles and trials come to each of us. The troubles of the world confront us every day—troubles in the news, troubles in our families, troubles within ourselves, troubles at work or at school. Jesus knows the world. So He said to His disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Yet the final word of this Easter season is not trouble. It is hope through the resurrection of Jesus in defeat of all of this world’s troubles. “Take heart; I have overcome the world,” Jesus said. Being a follower of Jesus never protects us from experiencing the world’s troubles. It does give us hope. It does fill us with courage. It does strengthen our hearts.
Daniel continues to be a man of God in an ungodly world. In today’s world Christians often assume that God is full of bitter anger and enjoys bringing justice on sinners. But the book of Daniel teaches us a very different heart of God and God’s people.
In the Old Testament the nation of Israel fell. Now God’s people were taken to other countries to serve a ungodly king and live in a world with very different thoughts and believes. Daniel is great example of who God works in ungodly nations, and what God calls us has his children to be and to act in this new world.
Mark 1:40-45. When Jesus began His ministry, His heart of love lead Him to heal the sick. But His greater purpose was to heal the spiritual heart of humanity. As Jesus Christ has brought the gift of forgiveness, joy, and everlasting life, we also have a heart for those who are sick and suffering in this broken world. We have a heart to share what Jesus has won for us!
Acts 10:34–48; 1 John 5:1–8; John 15:9–17. Life should be filled with joy. Jesus said that He came that our joy might be full. Yet, often the trials of life bring us down and block us from experiencing the joy God intended for us. It is not enough to say, “Be joyful!” We all desire to be filled with joy. We need to know how to cultivate joy in our lives. We need to know how to turn every circumstance into a reason for joy. Today, we will explore how to cultivate joy in our lives.
Today we consider how we, as the people of God, should respond to our culture. We have explored how our culture is opposing God by redefining any and every truth God has spoken. Last weekend we discussed why God’s way is not just the best way, but the only true way. Now we consider how God would have us to move forward with His truth in the midst of our culture. How can we bring truth and love together to change minds and win hearts? For the important thing is not to win the argument, but to draw them to Christ and His saving grace.