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"Strength Comes Through Testing" by Pastor Tony

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Group Discussion Guide 

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION

Thriving in Babylon  Sermon Series
“Strength Comes Through Testing” by Pastor Tony
Choose the best question(s) for your group

September 22, 2019
Questions:  Contact Pastor Ric,

Below are some discussion questions relating to a recent sermon. These are provided so that your Life Group can discuss what was shared. Previous Weeks’ Discussion Guides and Sermon Notes are available through the Sermons under the Resources menu. Click on the sermon series and then the sermon you are interested in.  You will see a paper icon under the sermon title. Click the icon to open the sermon notes. To listen to the sermon, click on the speaker icon.

Context  
Last week:  Babylon:  Revelation 18:2. The city that in its day, defined evil.  A culture defined by satanic religious activity, evil success and control over people.  Was God really in control of a city led by Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most cruel, narcissistic rulers in history? A place that was increasingly hostile, spiritually! Daniel lived and served here. Daniel is a great example of an influential leader who understood God’s sovereignty even in the most corrupt of cultures.

This week:  Daniel had resolved to serve God verses being the victim.  He did not get disillusioned, seeing God in the midst of evil’s success. 

Texts:  Daniel 1:8-16; 2:12-47; 4:19-27; 5:16-17; 6:16-23; Hebrews 12:7-11                                  

Discussion Questions:

Spend a few moments re-capping the sermon.  What thought, concept, text or phrase impressed you? Did the Holy Spirit whisper something to you regarding a change you need to make?  Share it with someone you trust. 

  1. How do we evaluate our role in our job when our employers are seen as corrupt or violate biblical standards? How did Daniel do it and why was it so risky for him?

  2. Do you believe that God speaks through dreams in contemporary life? Why or why not? How does one interpret a dream? How do you know that your dream is from God?  (See 1 John 4:1-6)

  3. God’s love for us is sometimes demonstrated through hardship. Share how God has used the hard times in your life and how it has formed you into a godlier person. 

Each one of us are surrounded by people in our relational world, our Oikos, who are watching our responses to situations every day. 

  1. What counter cultural opportunities do you believe there are today to speak the truth in love (as Daniel did) to your oikos? (Relationship)

  2. How can your Life Group legitimately partner with other secular groups or parachurch organizations to show Christ’s love to the culture? (Mission) What attribute of God does this show? (See John 3:16,17 The Message Version)

  3. What could you or your Life Group do today for a friend who is going through difficult and challenging times?

Pastor Tony’s Three Take-Aways: (Is there one of these concepts that might be more difficult than the others for you?  Why?)

  1. Keep your eyes set on Jesus during the hard times and endure with hope. (What Bible text(s) comes to mind?)

  2. Ask God to build in you strong character and faith through hardship. (Becoming a better disciple, James 1)

  3. Pray for the hard stuff to produce good things and peace for others through you. (God’s Power to work through us)
Posted by Ric Joline with

"Making Sense of Evil's Success" by Pastor Tony

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Group Discussion Guide 

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION

Thriving in Babylon  Sermon Series
“Making Sense of Evil’s Success” by Pastor Tony
Choose the best question(s) for your group
 

September 15, 2019
Questions:  Contact Pastor Ric,

Below are some discussion questions relating to a recent sermon. These are provided so that your Life Group can discuss what was shared. Previous Weeks’ Discussion Guides and Sermon Notes are available through the Sermons under the Resources menu. Click on the sermon series and then the sermon you are interested in.  You will see a paper icon under the sermon title. Click the icon to open the sermon notes. To listen to the sermon, click on the speaker icon.

Context 
Last week:  Daniel was a prince of Israel.  As a captive and a victim, he learned to live a godly life in the midst of a godless culture. His choice to fear God and not the king as well as his character is to be emulated. He was, nonetheless, respected by the evil leaders he was forced to serve. 

This week:  Babylon as referenced in Revelation 18:2. The city that in its day, defined evil. A culture defined by satanic religious activity. A city led by Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most cruel, narcissistic rulers in history. A place that was spiritually hostile to Daniel—even forcing him to take another name! Daniel lived and served here.

Texts:  Romans 9:14-25;  Daniel 2:10-16, 20-47; 3:26-29; 4:34-37 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Spend a few moments re-capping the sermon. What thought, concept, text or phrase impressed you? In what ways is Babylon’s culture like ours today?  How do we, as followers of Jesus, live above our culture while living in it as Daniel did? (Please be specific in helping your group understand how you deal with the evil in our culture.)

  2. Last week our country observed a day of memorial for the 9/11 bombings of the World Trade Center twin towers. Without question, this was one of the most evil events of our history. Why did God allow this?  What good, if any, has ever come of it? How could we then say, “God is in control?” 

Each one of us are surrounded by people in our sphere of influence, our Oikos, who are watching our responses to situations every day. 

  1. What opportunities do you see to engage your Oikos in conversation about the tragic events of 9/11? (Relationship)

  2. How could your Life Group get involved in making a difference for those affected by this tragedy or any evil around us? (Mission)

  3. How could we more effectively use prayer in our Life Groups, as Daniel did, to ask God to reveal himself through the evil around us? (God’s Power)

  4. What can you share about your personal context (Oikos) that causes you to sometimes struggle with your ability to live like Daniel? How can evil (a hard man’s heart) lead to brokenness (soften our heart) for us? 

Pastor Tony’s Three Take-Aways: (Is there one of these concepts that might be more difficult than the others for you?  Why?)

  1. Evil victories will be short-lived. (How does this give us perspective?)
  2. God’s plan will not be hindered. (What attribute of God is shown?)
  3. God will be worshipped now or later! (What Bible text comes to mind?)
Posted by Ric Joline with

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