DIFFERENT: A Study of the Life of Daniel
Sermon-Based Discussion Questions
September 15, 2019
ICE BREAKER QUESTIONS:
You’ve just been given the opportunity to move into the profession of your choice with guaranteed success. What profession would you choose and why? (You can’t pick the one you’re presently in no matter how much you love it!)
What was a highlight of this last week for you? What was a challenge for you this past week?
DIFFERENT – A Study of the Life of Daniel:
When King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah in 605 B.C., his empire was the greatest in the world. He brought educated, young, male Israelites like Daniel and his friends back to Babylon to serve in the king’s palace. Daniel and his friends found themselves living in a different place with different beliefs and different values and faced a difficult path, but they choose to be different and their difference made a difference. This series focuses on the lessons we can learn from the life of Daniel and how he chose to be different and his difference made a difference.
Read Daniel Chapter 2:1-30; (optional: 31-45 – the dream) 46-49
QUICK REVIEW: In Daniel chapter 2 we read about how Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by a disturbing dream and he started causing trouble for a lot of people, including Daniel. Daniel had a DIFFERENT APPROACH:
- Daniel used wisdom and tact
- Daniel relied on God and turned to Him in prayer
- Instead of being self-promoting, Daniel gave God all the credit.
ASK: What stood out to you from this week’s message and this chapter in the life of Daniel?
ASK: Daniel and his friends took a stand in Daniel 1:8, but they did it with respect. In Chapter 2 Daniel responds with “wisdom and tact”. Why do you think it is so hard to balance taking a stand AND using wisdom and tact?
READ: When Daniel gets a chance to tell the King what his dream was and interpret it, and save his life, he says: “I can’t do it, but God can.” (See Daniel 2:27-28) This was both a testament of dependence on God, but also one of humility in acknowledging that it was God who gave him the ability to interpret the dream.
ASK: Where is an area of life where you need to acknowledge, “I can’t, but God can”?
ASK: God gave Daniel insight into a very difficult question. Can you think of one or two questions you wish God would answer for you right now?
READ: This week we saw God give an amazing answer to King Nebuchadnezzar’s seemingly unanswerable dream. But the reality is that there are questions in life that God doesn’t answer. Listen to the following verses that could be helpful to a person dealing with unanswered questions that may seem to attack God’s credibility? (Have different people read each verse listed below)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
2 Peter 3:8-9
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
ASK: Which of these verses is the most helpful to you when it seems like God isn’t giving you the answer?
Is there one that is more challenging for you to understand or apply than the others?
READ: This week we saw Daniel’s dependence on God through prayer. Prayer is something many of us wish we were better at or did more of. Which of these statements below describe your experience with prayer?
-Prefer to pray silently instead of out loud
-Find my mind wandering when praying
-Like to write out prayers
-Look forward to time in prayer
-Don’t really know how to pray
READ – 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
ASK: What does this verse mean to you and how could you apply it in your life this week?
Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, was there something that caught your attention that is important for you to remember? If so, why? What is your next step to put that into practice this week?
Before you close in prayer as a group, talk about what prayer as a small group should look like. Remember to focus on how you will pray with and for each other AS a group, not just IN the group meeting time. Praying for each other throughout the week is a great way to build a deeper connection with each other.
***Close in prayer