Jan. 10/11, 2015
WITH A NEW YEAR COMES ANOTHER CHANCE TO DO LIFE BETTER. God provides strength to the weary and develops our character so we can be better for each other. So we can lead our families well. So we can love people well. So we can make an impact in our communities. Let’s get stronger.
When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, harp, pipes, and other instruments, bow to the ground to worship the gold statue. Anyone who refuses to obey will be thrown into a blazing furnace.
We do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. But even if he doesn’t, we will never bow to your statue.
But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to him by the king.
God can save us from the trials and temptations we face, but like Daniel, we must choose to stand strong in our faith and morals in the midst of it all. There’s a real chance we’ll be left out, passed over, sidelined, or ridiculed as a result, but when we trust the God who is able, our character will grow stronger in whatever fire we may face.
1. Daniel’s character never wavered, even under intense pressure and hostility. Share a time when you were faced with the decision to either stand strong in your character or violate your faith and morals. Either way, what were the consequences? 2. Character is about honesty, morality, purity, and dependability. How important is someone’s character? What struggles in your career, family, or life have you encountered due to a lack of character? Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, but how strong is your character? What are you like when nobody’s around and you’re alone at the mall, in your dorm room, or in your office? 3. People of strong character don’t wait for temptation to come; they’ve already decided what they’re going to do when it comes. What advanced decisions do you need to make in your life—including how you spend money, who you do life with, what you watch, and where you go? 4. Where do you feel most pressure to violate your principles—at work, school, home, or with friends? In these situations, how can you stand strong and trust God?
Make an advanced decision today about refraining from watching, consuming, or participating in things that will violate your character and handicap your future. Take a stand, and share it using #EBCstronger.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. Daniel 3:17