FOR DISCUSSION IN COMMUNITIES:
Question to open discussion:
We have been noticing how the Babylonian power tried to squeeze it’s captives into the Babylonian mould through language, literature, learning, world view and luxurious living. Romans 12:2-3 in the JB. Phillips version reads:
1-2 With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
Brainstorm together as a group, in what ways does our culture or context try to squeeze us as Christians into it’s mould? How do you personally feel that squeezing?
Read together Daniel 1:8-21.
Q1. What do you notice about the way Daniel goes about exercising his commitment to not defile himself? What could we learn from his example?
Q2. How does God respond to his and his friends commitment?
Q3. Read verse 9-10, notice the officials reaction to Daniel’s request, what does this tell you about the nature+ implications of the request that they were making?
Q4. Undoubtedly Daniel and his friends decision to not accept food from the King’s table came with it’s risks, and they more than likely would have experienced some fear. over the uncertainty about how their resolution would be met. How do you think they overcame their fear?
Q4. Do you ever experience fear /anxiety of appearing different to those around you who don’t acknowledge God? How do you deal with your fear?
Q5. Think about Daniel and his friends, what would have they meant to each other as they faced the reality of exile together? Have you ever experienced this kind of accountable friendship?
Q6. “When we commit ourselves to the pursuit of holiness, we need to ensure that our commitment is actually to God, not simply to a holy lifestyle or a set of moral values … offer yourselves to God, and in doing that commit yourselves to the pursuit of holiness in order to please Him.”Jerry Bridges. How might the practise of abstaining lead to the pursuit of God and pleasing him? When might it become about morality instead of pursuing Him?
Pray as a group inviting the Holy Spirit to show you where in your life is the light of Christ being inhibited from shining through because you have adopted ways of the world instead of the ways of Christ.