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Summary: It's amazing how fickle our loyalties are, isn't it? Dependent upon/external pressures, we get swayed so easily/circumstances/who we want to influence.

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Real Christians don’t bow down!

Date: Feb 5, 2012

Scripture: Daniel 3

Introduction

Prior/Super Bowl game years ago, When Ronald Reagan was running for president

 He was leaving/press conference/New Hampshire and someone fired a question at him:

"Who do you like in the Super Bowl?"

 Without hesitation, former gov/Calif. and presidential hopeful said: "The Rams."

Then a light apparently went on in his brain and he paused and said:

"Wait a minute, I'm not running for gov/Calif. anymore, may the best team win."

It's amazing how fickle our loyalties are, isn't it?

Dependent upon/external pressures, we get swayed so easily/circumstances/who we want to influence.

• This is just a part of life for most people.

• I hope as we study/chapter 3 this morning we can learn to draw a line

• Call that line conviction/determine in our minds/hearts that we'll never descend below that line.

• That isn't easy to do.

• Let me give you a simple way to look at it.

Our decisions, our attitudes and our behaviors are determined by one of two things: external pressure, or internal principle.

Let me say it again.

The battle is going/all/time/lives between/two conflicting items.

And we're very good at self-justification\so a lot of times when we succumb to external pressure we define it as internal principle.

o Do we do what we do--say what we say--act the way we act because we have convictions about it

o Or because we feel the pressure coming from the outside?

Are our convictions somewhat altered by the pressures brought upon us?

 When you’re faced with a situation/dilemma….

 Do you say what you believe based on internal principle

 Or do you succumb/external pressure and let them hear what they'd rather hear?

As we approach the third chapter of Daniel

 Going/meet three young men who functioned on internal principle and they didn't really care what the external pressure was.

And as followers of Jesus Christ, I think we have a lot to learn from these three young men.

I want you to put yourself in this situation today, I want you to see yourself here,

I'm not so concerned that you see S/M/A as much as you see yourself.

And that you see how you would respond in a similar situation.

Sermon

You never really know what curves life will throw at you,

 You don’t know what is lurking around the corner.

 You never know when you might be called upon to compromise your actions

 So when you are called on, you need to know what to do.

Life Is full of unexpected events—even for you and me as Christ followers.

o We are not exempt from/painful experiences that come to fallen beings living in a fallen world.

o Unexpected times—bad times—they come to all of us in this room so we need to know what to do when they do.

o That’s why THIS book is written. I mean, one reason God gave us this “handbook for life”—is to help us know what to do when we face the unexpected times...the “Babylons” of life.

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