Strand #2 OTHERS - “3 + 1 In the Fire” Daniel 3:1-30
In week 5 of A CORD OF THREE STRANDS, our focus is on the tough stuff that comes our way because of our allegiance to God and our identification with the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ. Our “tough stuff” biography came from 3 men who “swam against the current” in refusing to worship anything other than the Most High God. Our question is: How should we handle the tough stuff that comes our way because of our faith in Christ?
GETTING STARTED – Share and discuss the following:
- have you ever experienced persecution (in any form) because of your known commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word (i.e., the gospel and the Bible)?
- what was your experience like? Did you feel alone in this, or did you have support from others? what was the most difficult thing about your experience? In light of that, what advice do you have for other Christians who may encounter similar things?
IN THE SCRIPTURES – In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were accused of “disregarding” King Nebuchadnezzar by refusing to bow down before his stately golden image. Conversant with the Law, they perhaps had in mind one of the ten commandments (cf. Exodus 20:4-6). Perhaps times when Israel had bowed down before idols (cf. Exodus 32:8), or God’s description of a truly blind person (cf. Isaiah 44:14-18). Though everyone else acquiesced, these three together (note: a cord of 3 strands!) refused to worship anything but the Lord God, the Most High God.
In the New Testament, Peter speaks to Christians about suffering for being a Christian. Let’s explore his counsel.
- First, what does Peter indicate might be normal for Christians in this age. Read and discuss 1 Peter 1:3-9
- Second, what kind of preparations should we who follow Christ make in light of the prospect of suffering for our faith? Read and discuss 1 Peter 3:8-17
- Third, what attitude(s) about suffering for our faith does Peter urge we adopt? Read and discuss 1 Peter 4:12-19
NOTE: What is the contrast Peter notes here…that is, for what SHOULDN’T we suffer, and for what SHOULD WE SUFFER?
OK…summarize: What’s the key truth about suffering for being identified with Christ that you take away here?
SOME TIME TO APPLY - “entrusting your souls (or lives) to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19)
Identify the setting
- in which it is most likely that you could experience some suffering, or persecution for your commitment to Christ
- in which your children could experience the same
What have you learned in this study (i.e., from Daniel 3, or 1 Peter) to prepare yourself, or them, for what the Lord may allow in our lives…the tough stuff of standing for Christ against the grain?