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Summary: The Bible says that the people who know God will be strong and have great adventures. Daniel and his three friends’ lives are an example for us to follow.

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HEROES OF FAITH: KNOW GOD, BE STRONG, HAVE GREAT ADVENTURES

INTRODUCTION:

Briefly discuss Costa Rica mission trip and invite people back next week to hear the testimonies of the team and see the drama, a video, and cardboard testimony presentations.

KEY TEXT: “But the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32b).

INTRO TO THE BIBLE STORY:

“1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king's delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.” (Daniel 1:1-7).

• These four young men were strangers in a foreign land. They were being indoctrinated in a secular university, forced to learn their ways of talking and thinking.

• This world system was trying to squeeze them into its mold!

THE BIG IDEA: The Bible says that the people who know God will be strong and have great adventures. Daniel and his three friends’ lives are an example for us to follow.

BIBLE ILLUSTRATION: Dramatize the story. (Daniel 3:1-30).

• The story of three young boys who knew God, were strong, and had great adventures.

• Start out by talking about three heroes who got in trouble for doing what was right:

• Cast: Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael. Two astrologers. Angry king. Three soldiers to tie them up. Statue. Fire. Musicians.

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then he sent messages to the (people) to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up. 3 When all these officials had arrived and were standing before the image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, 4 a herald shouted out, "People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king's command! 5 When you hear the sound of the (musical) instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar's gold statue. 6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace."

7 So at the sound of the musical instruments, all the (people)… bowed to the ground and worshiped the statue that King Neb had set up. 8 But some of the astrologers went to the king and informed on the Jews. 9 They said to King Neb, "Long live the king! 10 You issued a decree requiring all the people to bow down and worship the gold statue when they hear the sound of the musical instruments. 11 That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews -- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego -- whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They have defied Your Majesty by refusing to serve your gods or to worship the gold statue you have set up."

• Notice that these three boys didn’t compromise even though everyone else did.

• What a great example they are to us! We live in a world that wants us to compromise.

13 Then Neb flew into a rage and ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be brought before him. When they were brought in, 14 Neb said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance. If you bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments, all will be well. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. What god will be able to rescue you from my power then?" 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, "O Neb, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn't, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."

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