October 25, 2022 – Pastor Mark Albrecht
Message Big Idea – Hostility in the culture does not change how we as Christians are called to live nor does it threaten God’s supremacy over all creation. Thus, we must consistently internalize the reality that God has been, is, and will always be in charge. From this, we will be able to daily hold to our convictions, respond in grace and truth, band together, model calm resolve, pursue excellence and trust the Lord.
- 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?
- Often situations seem more dire when we are right in the middle of them. Share a time when you thought it was the ‘end of the world’ (perhaps from your teenage years) only to realize it was not as bad as it seemed.
- Read Daniel 1 (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. faced unique challenges being exiled in Babylon. What are some similarities between their situation and the current challenges you face in your context? What are some differences?
- Pastor Mark summarized Niebuhr’s view on ‘Christ and Culture.’ Take a moment to revisit it (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/christ-and-culture-an-overview-of-a-christian-classic/). What are your thoughts on the interaction of Christ and Culture? Given no single option solves all cultural situations, which selection(s) best addresses the challenges brought up in the previous question?
- Daniel and co. refused to compromise, did not respond with anger/condemnation, encouraged one another, modeled calm resolve, pursued excellence, and trusted God was at work. Which behavior do you need to work on in response to your current challenges and anxieties? How can you practically start working on that in the week ahead
- Read Colossians 1:15-20 aloud. Meditate on this passage. Consider what life would look like, moment by moment, anxiety by anxiety, if you truly internalized the truth of this passage. What would happen to fear and worry? How can you pragmatically center yourself on Christ’s supremacy in the coming weeks (e.g., solitude and meditation on God’s Word, fasting from social media, communal prayer and worship, etc.)?
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 intentionally praying over the challenges facing the Church. Praise God for His daily blessings and mercies. Meditate on Christ’s supremacy. Present your worries and fears before the Lord. Request wisdom and discernment in interacting with culture. Lovingly pray for your enemies. Profess your complete reliance on God. Amen!