Summary: How do you handle stress? What strong points do you value in your life, that keeps you going in a situation that you are unsure of? Examine how Daniel stood still among his shaky circumstance he was about to face.
Youth Challenge: Who Is It?
Each player writes down a little known truth about himself that perhaps the rest of the group doesn’t know.
The paper slips are handed in and read aloud one at a time.
The players guess who they think wrote that slip.
After everyone has guessed, the truth is revealed.
Each player gets a point for every correct guess.
If no one guesses a person’s slip correctly, that person gets five points.
The Point: Getting to know you
Who can name the most trivial change that takes place in a person’s life? Examples: hair growth, toenail growth.
How much does that change affect a person?
Now, who can name the most major change that takes place in a person’s life? Examples: marriage, having children, death. We’d all agree those examples affect people greatly.
We are not just going to talk about change, but about being consistent or standing firm in the middle of change or shaky circumstances.
We’d be kidding ourselves not to admit that change, whether it’s summertime out of school, returning from a great church camp, or your youth group is transforming, in general affects you in some way.
We’re not going to talk so much about coming back from or leaving from those circumstances, as we are how to handle the change in our group and in ourselves.
ASK: What are some things in life that change?
ASK: What changes have occurred in your life since last week?
ASK: How do you feel about those changes?
ASK: What are some ways people respond to change? Be honest: how do you respond to change?
SAY: Let’s look at the life of Daniel for a few minutes.
Give a brief overview of the story of Daniel, how because of his insight into dreams, he was promoted in the king’s palace:
SAY: “He was promoted to the third highest ruler” (Daniel 5.29), his habit of praying, the jealous loser-tattle-tales who whined to King Darius that Daniel was praying to God when they’d conned the king into signing a decree that anyone who didn’t pray to him would be thrown into the Lion’s den.
READ: Daniel 1:8 (NIV) “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
(The KJV says Daniel “purposed in his heart…”)
READ: Daniel 6:10 (NIV) “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”
QUESTION: What changes came in Daniel’s life? Were they planned?
QUESTION: What was consistent in Daniel’s life?
QUESTION: What were the results of Daniel remaining consistent in his priorities?...good or bad?
*You can either read this verse or have someone look it up.
Daniel 6.16a (NIV) “So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den.”
QUESTION: Think of yourself -- what is consistent in your life?
QUESTION: How do these things help or not help you during a time of change?
Have you ever noticed what often happens when a light burns out?
Many times when a light is turned on for the last time it produces a sudden burst of light (even burning brighter than it normally does) until the element burns into darkness.
A sudden explosion of light is followed by the search for a new lightbulb.
None of us would want to light our homes with flash bulbs, or the pulse of a strobe light.
We want a steady consistent light that will make the room comfortable to be in.
Our lives are to have that same kind of consistency.
Jesus said that our lives should be as lights for the world to see.
A young man was being interviewed for a position in a small business firm.
He had a neat appearance and made a good impression on the owner.
He had also prepared an excellent résumé in which he listed his pastor, his Sunday school teacher, and a church deacon as references.
The owner of the business studied the résumé for several minutes, then said, “I appreciate these recommendations from your church friends. But what I would really like is to hear from someone who knows you on weekdays.”
Sorry to say, there is a sharp contrast between the way some Christians act in church and how they behave in the world.
The principles they profess on Sunday should be practiced every day.
Daniel was an ideal model in his relationship with both God and man.
He did not live by a double standard. His daily conduct was consistent with his spiritual values.