We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
We’ve started a new series called Neon and we’re looking at Daniel’s life; from the time he was a teenager, being sent to serve King Nebuchadnezzar (or Nezzer if you watch Veggie Tales), to when he was tossed into a den with lions because he refused to stop doing what he knew was right.
This is a life story that shows, “The darker it gets, the brighter our tiny light shines (Larry Osborne).” But most importantly, we don’t have to be afraid when we know how big our God really is.
BREAKING THE ICE
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what food/dish would you bring?
:: Daniel 1:8-10
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
:: Daniel 1:11-16
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
:: Daniel 1:18-20
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Babylon was a desirable and lustful place to be. We’ve all been in Babylon-like situations and these situations tend to be a little different for everyone.
How have you successfully handled temptation against something you knew was bad for you when it looked so good?
The King’s Diet
Daniel and his friends were given food from the King’s table. Which means, their diet was probably the same as the king’s and most likely insulting the King's diet to require anything different. Daniel wanted to keep the diet explained in the Torah (the 5 books of Moses).
Have you ever tried eating like Daniel before? How did you feel?
Faith through Discipline
Daniel’s desire to not eat puff pastries and ribeye was way bigger than food.
How does discipline in eating train us for the discipline of the future challenges God has for us?
God made all foods
As Christians, we don't live by the law, but by grace. This means that we believe the law is fulfilled by Jesus and we live by faith. Below are two important verses to consider.
Romans 14:20-23 English Standard Version (ESV)
20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.[a] 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.[b]
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Favor with God
What do you think of the concept that God can “cause” someone to have favor with you? Have you ever experienced this?
Relationship with Jesus Through Prayer
The King’s administrators were jealous and wanted to get rid of Daniel. However, they couldn’t find any laws he had broken (Daniel 6). So, they schemed to create a law they knew Daniel couldn't follow: No prayers to anyone but the King. Despite this law, Daniel continued to pray every day at home, to his God, 3x daily. His routine did not change--even when the penalty was becoming a lion's dinner.
Does viewing prayer as a privilege change your urgency to pray? What do you want your prayer life to look like?
Live a life of wisdom
Daniel wasn’t afraid to be in relationship with people that were less than perfect because he was anchored daily in God and His Word. He filled his body, mind, and spirit with things he knew were good.
What specific actions do you think are important to be anchored in Jesus and the way He has called you to live?
READ. PRAY. DO.
- Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Lord, You are good, you are great, and I need you! I thank you for my full life! Break me and make me humble, so you can grow me up and anchor me in faith. Please give me courage this week to live as you’ve called me to live and to not be afraid. Show me where I'm not living for you and help me make the changes you want to see.
Mission is moving soon! When we get there, there will likely be a rush of interest from new people - and that means we have a huge opportunity to help people stick around!
Connection with others is what makes people feel at home. It’s not the coffee, the message, the music, or the comfy seats - it’s the people.
So for the next few weeks, we are going to stretch ourselves!
Introduce yourself to someone new at church next week.
I.e. Hey! My name is ___ we haven’t met before!! Have you been around Mission long? Or are you new?
*Try to look for someone who is like you in some way that you can picture getting to know better.