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Summary: How do we live fearless lives as Christians? God’s heart is that we not just survive, but thrive (adapted from a series taught by Pastor Larry Osborne, North Coast Church.

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Thriving in Babylon

Daniel 1:1-1:21

Fearless Pt 1- Thriving in Babylon

Introduction

New Series- Fearless (adapted from a series by Pastor Larry Osborne from North Coast Church).

Many things to worry about and be afraid of today.

What is it that causes you to toss/turn at night

-economy, health, job,

-not having- family, oh my gosh I have a family

There is- appropriate place Biblically for fear/concern.

However there is a

-ROCK we can stand on,

-a spiritual stability we can enter into,

-that enables us to face fear properly.

Premise of what I want to share is this question

How do we survive and even thrive in a culture that is accelerating towards darkness?

Survive- to remain alive or continue to exist.

Thrive- to grow vigorously, to gain, to progress.

Daniels Story

Look at someone- thrived in a culture darker than ours

Dan 1:1

Judah- represents Gods people- (originally 12 tribes)-

-10 tribes-rebelled/carried away/never to return,

-2 tribes-faithful on/off-at this time-disobedient

Dan 1:2

Here is the picture- Gods people- were

-inconsistent in their obedience to God-

-there were God fearing Jews in the land, and

-in contrast- wicked country/King- attack/win,

-righteous suffer along w/unrighteous.

Hard fact- who delivered Jehoiakim over- the Lord.

Dan 1:3-4

Take- best young men into captivity- serve the King.

Challenge to young people- Daniel- 15/16 yr olds- had great knowledge- gave himself to learn.

The literature/language they had to learn had much to do with astrology/occult.

Babylon originated much- dark magic/occult.

Dan 1:5-8

The diet of Babylonians consisted of many things forbidden by the dietary laws of the OT

-they did not bleed their meat, and

-offered their food to their gods/idols.

Daniel asked-chief official-is there a way to avoid this

Dan 1:9-10

God gave Daniel favor- but- commander was afraid.

Does Daniel get angry/upset? How would we act?

Dan 1:11

Daniel appeals to- man- commander placed over him.

Dan 1:12-17

God gave them understanding in all areas.

Dan 1:18-21

God gave them grace even when they had to study what you and I would consider to be demonic.

Young men- had a solid foundation in OT scriptures- interpreted knowledge in light of their worldview.

As the story goes on- Daniel lived in Babylon- 70 yrs.

He rose to the highest positions of power in the nation and influenced the nation for the Lord.

He not only lived in a godless culture, he thrived in it.

Daniels Story- The Culture of Babylon

What would it be like to be 15-16 yrs old in Babylon?

Babylon is the personification of evil

Rev 18:1-24

The Lord is about to return, it has been a difficult time on the earth- just come through- Tribulation.

Angels shouting- it is over, evil will be destroyed.

Rev 18:1-2, 5, 10

Babylon is as evil and anti-God as a culture can be.

Nebuchadnezzar raided Gods temple/put the holy things on display in a demonic temple.

He was saying- your God- puny compared to our god.

Astrology and the occult was the government sponsored religion and teaching in- schools.

We get frustrated with our educational system, but it is not yet nearly as dark as Babylon was.

My children- BCC- class on world religions

My kids- able to interpret in light of their world view.

Daniels Dilemma he finds himself

kidnapped, castrated, and his name changed to honor Satan (Babylonian gods).

forced to study the occult/serve an evil king.

Daniel did not deserve any of what happened to him but he was caught in Gods judgment on his nation

As a Christian-how would we respond in this situation

It would be like you are kidnapped, taken to Iran, forced to study- 3 year curriculum on the Koran/Isalamic studies, name is changed to one- honors Allah, and you are castrated.

As Christian¡¦s- particularly for us older ones- we get the most upset about where our culture is going.

But what Daniel faced was far worse than today.

If he could not just survive, but thrive, so can we.

Secrets in Daniels Life

1. Optimism

What do I mean by optimism?

Daniel had a Biblical perspective and knew

-who was in control and

-how it was all going to end

This makes a big difference to how we respond to life.

Biblical optimism gives us a solid foundation in the-

-midst of appropriate fears and concerns

-face of the issues of life- life can be hard.

Daniel knew

even in Babylon, God is in control

God brought this about-it did not take Him by surprise

There are things God directly causes, there are things God allows, but He is not surprised.

Daniel understood

God is in control of whose in control. Osborne

Rom 13- all government authorities- raised up by God

Sometimes the short term success of the wicked is Gods will.

In- OT- false prophets who would cry out-

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