October 30, 2022 – Pastor Mark Albrecht
Message Big Idea – Daniel not only faced an acute threat from a hostile culture but also had to perform a seemingly impossible task. Yet, he responded with discernment, trust, prayer and thanksgiving. At his very core, he relied on God’s abundant wisdom. He knew of God’s unlimited reach. He recognized God’s Kingdom as supreme. And, he fully surrendered to God’s purposes.
- Take a moment to reflect (if you are going through this on your own) or share (if you are with others in a group setting): What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- What is one of your favorite movies? What is the central crisis of the story? Is there a single antagonist? Multiple enemies? Is there an impending disaster? What is your emotional response to this crisis? Why?
- Read Daniel 2 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
- Go around the group and briefly retell the passage in your own words.
- What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
- Daniel and co. had to respond to a hostile threat bent on their destruction. What are some of the ‘threats’ currently facing Christians and the Church in your current context? Are they cultural, political, social, external, internal, etc.? Briefly share how those ‘threats’ make you feel.
- Daniel 2:10-11 highlights what the Babylonians viewed as an ‘impossible task.’ What are some ‘impossible tasks’ within your cultural setting (e.g., loving/forgiving one’s enemies, miraculous healing, character transformation)? Examine how you personally view the impossibility of these ‘tasks.’ Do you align with the cultural perspective or the biblical view?
- Take a moment and reexamine how Daniel responds to the hostile threat and the ‘impossible task.’ How do you typically respond to threats and/or seemingly impossible situations? What actions do you take?
- Pastor Mark notes four key responses: discernment, trusting in the Lord, prayer (individual and communal), and giving thanks. Which area do you need to work on when reacting to hostility or the impossible? How can you remind yourself of this next time either happens?
- Daniel 2 presents some big ideas that must permeate to the very core of our beings: wisdom comes from God, no one is beyond God’s reach, God’s Kingdom is eternal and supreme, and there is no limit to how God can use someone fully surrendered to him. Which truth do you need to dwell on some more? Take some time this week to reflect, meditate and journal about that idea. Focus on how it changes your view of hostility, threats, and impossibility in the culture.
Live It Out:
- What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
- Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
- Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word!
- Spend some time in intentional prayer. Present your anxieties and fears before God’s throne. Reflect on threats and impossibilities in light of the magnitude of God’s power and supremacy. Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment. Fully surrender to Christ’s purposes in your life. Amen!