Shine Like Stars – Wk 3
Matthew 5:11-12 (NLT))
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Daniel 2:12-24 (NLT)
12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. 13 And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.
14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. 15 He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. 16 Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.
17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. 18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. 19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 He said,
“Praise the name of God forever and ever,
for he has all wisdom and power.
21 He controls the course of world events;
he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the scholars.
22 He reveals deep and mysterious things
and knows what lies hidden in darkness,
though he is surrounded by light.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors,
for you have given me wisdom and strength.
You have told me what we asked of you
and revealed to us what the king demanded.”
24 Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”
FIVE TRAITS TO PRACTICE WISDOM AND DISCRETION IN THE FACE OF PERSECUTION:
1. Be alert.
2. Be prudent.
3. Be discerning.
Godly discernment seeks God to reveal a word of knowledge beyond our human understanding.
1 Corinthians 12:7-8 (NLT)
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.
4. Be a servant of the Lord, not a troublemaker.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NLT)
24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
5. Be gentle when instructing those who oppose the truth.
COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING OUTLINE
Where your faith intersects with real life!
Each person shares a recent high and low from their life.
Review the message notes.
Big Idea: Stand firm in the face of persecution by being bold with your beliefs and wise in your approach.
Choose one or two questions for your Group to discuss as time allows.
▶ Read this series’ core verse, Daniel 12:3. What does it look like in our everyday lives to shine in this dark world?
▶ Read Daniel 2:2-3. What would a more natural response have been to the King’s demand? Read Daniel 2:14-19. What can we learn from Daniel’s response?
▶ Read Daniel 2:20-23. What stands out as remarkable about God to you in this prayer?
▶ Have different people pick one of the 5 traits to practice wisdom and discretion, define it, and share how they have seen someone use that trait to be a light.
Spend a moment in silence to consider your response, then share your decision with the Group.
Ask God which of the following He is leading you to focus on this week and what is one practical way you could do that?
– Be alert.
– Be prudent.
– Be discerning.
– Be a servant of the Lord, not a troublemaker.
– Be gentle when instructing those who oppose the truth.
Thank God for the highs and lift up the lows.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-8. Pray as a church that we will receive what the Spirit has for us and share it with others.