The Opposing Powers of Pride & Humility

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Daniel 4

The Opposing Powers of Pride & Humility_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  1. Read Daniel 4. What are some repeated phrases or words? How does this help you identify the major theme?
  2. What can you learn from Daniel’s role in this story?
  3. Read Romans 1:21-32. Consider Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment in light of Paul’s teaching on God “giving over”. How can pride lead to dehumanizing?
  4. Read carefully Nebuchadnezzar’s language before his humiliation (vv.29-30) and after his restoration (vv.1-3 and vv.34-39). What are some marks of humility, some changes, you see in Nebuchadnezzar’s words?
  5. Is there a time in your life when God, in His graciousness, humbled you? How did you grow through that experience?
  6. How can you use this passage to build a healthy self-confidence?
  7. Spiritual Exercise: The king’s state of mind changed when his eyes moved and he looked upward. This week, if your pride is showing in insecurity or arrogance, or you are feeling anxious from scarcity or while “content and prosperous”, turn your eyes to heaven in humble acknowledgment of God’s rule and ask Him to restore your “reason” and find peace in His reign.

 

Courage in Resistance

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Daniel 3

Courage in Resistance_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  1. Read Daniel 3. What was the author’s purpose in writing this after the event? After reading the story, what leaves an impression on you?
  2. Consider carefully the words in vv.16-18. What do the words teach about faith and God’s deliverance from suffering? What compelled the guys to stand?
  3. In what ways do you think God’s work of deliverance in Daniel 3 is normative for those suffering persecution or unique to these three guys? Why?
  4. Where can you find hope to give you courage to resist the idols in our culture?
  5. Read Exodus 20:1-6. According to Exodus 20:1-6—what can become an idol in our lives? Tim Keller defines an idol as “anything that becomes more functionally fundamental to your happiness, meaning in life, and identity then God.” What are some idols you see people worshipping? What idol do you struggle with?

Spiritual Exercise: The example of faith in Daniel 3 clarifies that faith is not just
doctrinal ascent, but active obedience. They obeyed God’s revealed will (Exo. 20:5) and trusted God with the results. Is there a situation in your life where you need to stand and obey God’s revealed will, trusting Him with the resulting circumstances? Remember, you are not standing alone “… But I see four men… and the fourth is like a son of the gods.” (Dan. 3:25). “I will be with you always…” (Mat. 28:20).

 

A Firm Hope and A Sure Song

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Daniel 2

A Firm Hope and Sure Song_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  1. Read Daniel chapter 2. Who are the main characters? What roles do they play?
  2. Based on this account, what words would you use to describe the king, the king’s advisors, Daniel (and the guys), and God?
  3. The author of the book of Daniel intended for this account to provide something needed for God’s people to live faithfully in a mostly “God-less” society. What are some ideas the author conveys? Do you need to hear these in your life?
  4. Where do you see the end of “Babylonian” thinking? When it comes to fully knowing life, the future, and who we are and God is, what is needed?
  5. How does this story challenge you or comfort you?
  6. Spiritual Exercise: Reflect on what gave Daniel the confidence to sing worship while in exile. Read the “song” a few times in Daniel 2:20-23. How is God
    encouraging you to live firmly and faithfully in your experience of “exile’? How can you act in faith?

 

Wisdom in Resistance

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Daniel 1

Wisdom In Resistance_ Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  1. Read Daniel chapter 1 and Matthew 22:15-22. Does anything stand out to you? What are some ways these two passages connect with each other?
  2. Daniel’s resolution to temporarily abstain from food from the king’s table, yet submitting to (and utilizing parts of) secular education, appearance, and names in service to the king, is an example of his resolve not to defile himself. Why do you think he made this choice? How does that help inform you about living for God in our cultural moment?
  3. Neither the author of Daniel, nor Jesus in Matthew, provides a clear list of “do’s” and “do nots” when it comes to living faithfully in a corrupting culture. What might the reason be? How does this challenge you to live?
  4. Where do you see Daniel demonstrating Christ-likeness in his act of resistance?
  5. Spiritual Exercise: Read Daniel’s resolve and Jesus’ exhortation again. Pray about them. Listen to the Holy Spirit prompting you. Is this resolve of heart one you share with Daniel? Do you need to make it? Do you need to honor it today?

 

Exile As Opportunity

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Daniel 1:1-7; Jeremiah 29:1-7

Exile as Opportunity_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper

  • Read Daniel 1:1-7 and consider their experience of entering exile. What did they lose and find? How would exile challenge their faith?
  • Can you identify with any of the experiences of “exile” in your life? How? What are some reasons our experience is not a direct parallel with Daniel?
  • How would you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the various paradigms of exile? Have you experienced any of these for good or ill?
  • Read Jeremiah 29:1-7. What did God call the exiles to do in Babylon? How does this inform your perception of being a Christian in Corvallis?
  • Where is God in both Daniel 1:1-7 and Jeremiah 29:1-7? How does this give you hope in your “exile”?

Spiritual Exercise: The word “welfare” (ESV) or “peace” (NIV) is the Hebrew word “shalom”. Shalom means “wholeness” or “flourishing fullness”. Pray for wisdom to find a way you could help bring shalom into Corvallis this week and then follow the Spirit’s leading in faithful obedience.

 

Summer in the Psalms

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Jerome Wernow

Psalm 139

Psalm 139_Sermon Notes

DIGGING DEEPER as YOU DIG THE PSALMS this SUMMER:

  1. How does any psalm you read relate to the purpose and message of the whole collection, summarized in Psalms 1 & 2?
  2. Is there any indication of what occasion or author or time period this prayer came out of?
  3. How is this a Messianic Psalm? How do we read it as followers of Jesus?  Does it predict Jesus, tie into His life, reflect a prayer He could have prayed or we could pray to Him? How does it connect to the kingdom of the Son and the promised blessing that God will pour into it?
  4. How could you pray this prayer or sing this song? Does it remind you of a song you know that you could sing right now?
  5. THE BLESSED LIFE: How are you blessed? How can you seek God’s blessing?  How can you bless God’s name, the name of Yahweh, where you are in your life, dry or abundant?

 

 

Summer in the Psalms

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Jerome Wernow

Psalm 121

Psalm 121_Sermon Notes

DIGGING DEEPER as YOU DIG THE PSALMS this SUMMER:

  1. How does any psalm you read relate to the purpose and message of the whole collection, summarized in Psalms 1 & 2?
  2. Is there any indication of what occasion or author or time period this prayer came out of?
  3. How is this a Messianic Psalm? How do we read it as followers of Jesus?  Does it predict Jesus, tie into His life, reflect a prayer He could have prayed or we could pray to Him? How does it connect to the kingdom of the Son and the promised blessing that God will pour into it?
  4. How could you pray this prayer or sing this song? Does it remind you of a song you know that you could sing right now?
  5. THE BLESSED LIFE: How are you blessed? How can you seek God’s blessing?  How can you bless God’s name, the name of Yahweh, where you are in your life, dry or abundant?

 

 

Summer in the Psalms

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Todd Miles

Psalm 108

Psalm 108_Sermon Notes

DIGGING DEEPER as YOU DIG THE PSALMS this SUMMER:

  1. How does any psalm you read relate to the purpose and message of the whole collection, summarized in Psalms 1 & 2?
  2. Is there any indication of what occasion or author or time period this prayer came out of?
  3. How is this a Messianic Psalm? How do we read it as followers of Jesus?  Does it predict Jesus, tie into His life, reflect a prayer He could have prayed or we could pray to Him? How does it connect to the kingdom of the Son and the promised blessing that God will pour into it?
  4. How could you pray this prayer or sing this song? Does it remind you of a song you know that you could sing right now?
  5. THE BLESSED LIFE: How are you blessed? How can you seek God’s blessing?  How can you bless God’s name, the name of Yahweh, where you are in your life, dry or abundant?