We all have had times of disruption …

We are going through a time of disruption right now. No matter your feeling about Covid-19 this has undoubtedly brought about disorder, confusion, disorganization and for some, turmoil, that are altering our culture, our region, our lives and our world ... and it’s not over yet.
 

Join us in this study of Daniel. When we look at Daniel we’ll quickly see that disruptions are not chance. The divine is behind every disruption.

Week 9 Sermon Notes

 Week 9: Getting Kicked While You’re Down

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

Don’t let short-term disruptions distort your perspective of God’s eternal reality.

 

Context:

*God made promises to Israel of a Land, Nation and a Blessing. Genesis 12:1-3; 17:7-8; 25:23

*Their disobedience brought prophesied discipline by Babylon’s dominion. Jeremiah 5:12-19

*When they returned to Jerusalem after an over 70 year exile, they found their land plundered by the Edomites (the descendants of Esau). That’s the context of Malachi 1.

 

Read Malachi 1:1-5

- God Expressed His Love for Israel. V. 2

- Israel Doubts God’s Love. V. 2

 

Two Truths About Disruptions:

 

  1. Disruptions and hardships are a main reason we question God’s character. V. 1-2
    Israel Questioned God’s Immutability: Immutability means God does not change.

  2. Our Disruptions don’t change God’s character, promises or love. V. 2-5; Gen. 25:23

 

Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”

 

Two things that never change which we must embrace today: 

- God’s Word.

- The Good News, His Gospel, The path to eternal relationship with Him – which is Jesus Christ. 

Questions For Discussion

Question #1 – Discuss Israel’s “getting kicked while they’re down” experience after coming back from Babylon. What was it? Who kicked them? Have you ever experienced a “getting kicked while you’re down” period of life, when trials seemed to just pile on? Would you share it with the group?

 

Question #2 – Read Malachi 1:2 and Psalm 73:1-14 – the honest confession of the Psalmist. Have you ever thought or said some of those things? What parts of that confession resonate with you? Why do people (we) often think that God has changed when our circumstances have gone bad or when those without God prosper?

 

Question #3 – Read Malachi 1:2-5. Put into your words what God was trying to communicate to Israel. How would this give them reassurance in their time of doubt?

 

Question #4 – Ultimately, God wants us to know that life’s disruptions don’t change His character, promises or love for us – that’s His immutability! How can His immutability give you confidence … comfort … peace … assurance … hope … today? Take some time to worship God … can you think of any verses or songs that speak of God’s unchanging nature? Finish by praying to Him and thanking Him for who He is and putting your hope in Him.

Week 8 Sermon Notes

Week 8: Daniel and God in the Lions Den

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

We must depend on Jesus for all of life, not just eternal life.

v. 23 “And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had

trusted in his God.”

 

Trusting God for all of life means we …

 

1. Have a spiritual reservoir not just a routine. V. 1-12

 

v. 10 “Three times a day he got down on his knees and gave thanks and prayed, just as he did before.”

Here’s how Jesus says it: John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the
vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” It’s not just that we connect into the vine but that the vine gives us what we need for spiritual life and health.


2. Experience Peace in the Den. V. 13-20

 

How is it that Daniel is in the pit and at peace but Darius is in the palace and in panic?

Here’s how the Psalmist says it: Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod
and your staff, they comfort me.”

 

3. Enjoy God as Your Great Deliverer. V. 21-28


While the whole known world was still praying to Darius as a god, Darius had to confess that there is only
one God … there is only one true rescuer. That’s who Daniel was connected to!

Application:


- Abide in Christ. Have a regular reservoir of relationship with Him that you draw from.
- Trust in Christ. For your eternal life and your everyday life.

Questions For Discussion

Question #1 – Read Daniel 6:10-13. Remembering that Daniel was in pagan Babylon for 70 years, discuss the significance of his regular relationship with God. Was it just religious ritual? Could he have been faithful for 70 years without it? What part did it seem to play in his life? How did it affect his life?


Question #2 - Compare your above discussion with John 15:4. What does it mean to “abide” in Him? How do we practically abide in Jesus today? Do you feel like you are abiding or is this a drought time for you? How can we help each other abide in the vine?
 

Question #3 – Why did Daniel have peace in the pit? Why did Darius (who was “god for a month”) panic in the palace? Read v. 23 How was it that Daniel genuinely trusted God? Are you going through a “pit” experience? How would you encourage someone biblically who was experiencing panic in their pit?
 

Question #4 – Read v. 25-28 While the whole known world was still praying to Darius, Darius and Daniel experienced firsthand that there is only one true God who rescues and saves. Take some time to elevate Jesus’ name by sharing how He has rescued you. Some can share their story of salvation. Some can share accounts of his rescue through life’s challenges. Finish with prayer of thanksgiving to God!

Week 7 Sermon Notes

Week 7: God Always Keeps His Word

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

In one event, God kept His Word from three different sections of Scripture

To Belshazzar – To the Proud … Daniel 5:22-30
Although Belshazzar felt invincible, when God said that Babylon was done and given over to the Medes and Persians, that’s exactly what happened because God always keeps His Word.

To Daniel – To Those Waiting … Daniel 2:36-39
Whether it takes time. Nebuchadnezzar was dead now 23 years. Daniel was now about 84 years old. He had interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream from Daniel 2 almost 70 years beforehand. The head of gold now officially turns to the chest and arms of silver proving that God always keeps His Word!

To Jerusalem – To Those Needing Rescue … Isaiah 44:24-45:25
The Prophet Isaiah wrote these words for God’s people roughly 175 years before this event even took place. Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, Cyrus, Darius, Belshazzar … none of them would be in existence for at least another century. But God promised rescue and He delivered because He keeps His Word.

Questions For Discussion

Question #1 – Read Daniel 5:22-30 and discuss the specific ways that God kept His Word to Belshazzar because of the king’s pride. Can you think of some specific verses or Bible characters that give special instruction or lessons on pride?


Question #2 – Read Daniel 2:36-39 and discuss the ways that God kept His Word to Daniel (and Nebuchadnezzar) regarding the dream although this was 65 years later. Envision was life was like for Daniel these last 65 years. What other verses or Bible characters help teach us special lessons about patiently waiting on God?


Question #3 – Read Isaiah 44:24-45:25 and discuss any observations in Isaiah’s prophecy from God to rescue His people. (look closely, there are some good ones in 44:25-26; 44:28-45:1; 45:13 and others).


Question #4 - Better than Cyrus, God sent Jesus to rescue us! Share some verses of Scripture that talk about His sacrifice and rescue of us.


Question #5 – How does our pride or a long delay in time affect our belief in God keeping His Word? What counsel would we give someone dealing with either of these things? Do any of us feel the affects of these in our lives? How can we help each other?

Week 6 Sermon Notes

Week 6: Can You Hear Me Now

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

 

1. Nebuchadnezzar Still Didn’t Get It. 4:4-8
  - Life was about his comfort and prosperity. V. 4
  - Humanism was his go-to religion. V. 6-7
  - God was his last resort. V. 8


2. The Vision/Dream of the Tree. 4:9-27
  - Nebuchadnezzar explains the dream to Daniel. V. 9-18
  - Daniel (Belteshazzar)interprets the dream to Nebuchadnezzar. V. 19-26
  - Nebuchadnezzar’s opportunity of repentance. V. 27

 

3. The Dream is Fulfilled. V. 28-37
  - God Patiently Waits for 1 year. V. 28-30
  - God punishes Nebuchadnezzar for his pride. V. 31-33
  - God restored and redeemed Nebuchadnezzar. V. 34-37

 

Application Thoughts:
 

  - God’s Sovereignty Gives us Sanity!
Maybe our sanity would restore when we understand that God is in control!

 

  - God’s Grace is Amazing!
1 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
God intended to rescue Nebuchadnezzar as much as He intended to rescue Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.


  - Truth without Action is Meaningless. V. 29
Nebuchadnezzar knew the dream and its interpretation for 12 months and did nothing about it.

Questions For Discussion

Question #1 – Look at Daniel 2 and Daniel 4 and point out the numerous similarities between the two accounts.


Question #2 – What was God trying to teach Nebuchadnezzar through these chapters and dreams? What would be key verses in chapter 4 that highlight God’s lesson for the king? Why would it be so important for Nebuchadnezzar to learn that lesson?


Question #3 – Daniel 4 is not only a picture of God’s sovereignty, it’s also a great picture of God’s grace. Discuss the ways God showed His amazing grace to Nebuchadnezzar.


Question #4 – How can understanding and believing God’s Sovereignty help you in life today? Do you have any Scripture that could add to the discussion? Are you going through something now for which you need to rest in His sovereignty?


Question #5 – We all are Nebuchadnezzars! Reflect together on God’s amazing grace to you. Bring up a Bible verse or passage that elevates God’s grace and salvation for us. Have you genuinely trusted in Jesus for forgiveness?

Week 5 Sermon Notes

Week 5: The God of Impossible Rescues

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

 

1. We Don’t Change God’s Word, It Changes Us. 3:1-15

Nebuchadnezzar’s solution to change the Word that God decreed in the dream was to establish his own kingdom forever, remove the weaknesses of the statue and align all obedience and worship of every nation and language to him and his religion. Galatians 6:7-8

 

2. Following God is to Be Unconditional 3:16-23

V. 12 “They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

V. 17-18 “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

 

If we follow God for things to go our way, our actual god is us!

 

3. God Performs Impossible Rescues. V. 24-30

We all are impossible rescues. There is no way for self-recovery from our sin, its power and its punishment. We were hopeless, lost and far from God. Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us so that we can be forgiven, released from sin’s eternal punishment and even to have the power today to live for God. God didn’t promise that we won’t go through the fire but He did promise that we won’t be alone in the fire.

 

Application:

- Follow His Word, don’t try to change it but let it change you.

- Unconditionally follow God.

- Remember, God performs impossible rescues and goes through the fire with us.

Questions For Discussion

Question #1 – Where do you think Nebuchadnezzar got this idea to make the image of gold? Discuss the differences between this image and the one he saw in his dream in chapter 2. Why do you think he made the changes in the image?

 

Question #2 – What did God accomplish by the events of chapter 3? * For Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego? * For the other Jews in Babylon? * For Nebuchadnezzar? * For the reader of Daniel 3?

 

Question #3 – Read Daniel 3:12, 17-18. What did following God unconditionally look like for these three men for the first 3 chapters of Daniel? Why do we sometimes struggle with unconditionally following God? Would you share a time when your circumstances negatively affected your following after God. How would you encourage or counsel someone whose commitment to God changes with their circumstances? What Scripture would you use?

 

Question #4 – What sticks out to you about this impossible rescue in Daniel 3? How are we all impossible rescues? How did God care for our impossible rescue? Are there some in the group going through a seemingly impossible situation right now? How can we encourage them from this account?

 

** Pray for each other and consider who God would have you connect with this week.

Week 4 Sermon Notes

Week 4: Hope in the Middle of Disruption

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

 

Christ didn’t die on the cross so that we only HOPE in Him for salvation … it was so that we have someone to HOPE in and live for all through life – especially the disruptions.

 

Main Point: Our only true Hope is in God. V. 17-49

 

1. It’s seen in Daniel’s Prayer. V. 19-23

 

2. It’s seen in Daniel’s Declaration to Nebuchadnezzar. V. 27-28

 

3. It's seen in the revealed dream. V. 31-45

 

4. It’s seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s confession. V. 46-49

 

Our hope (confidence, assurance) is only as good as what we place it in!

 

“My Hope for Eternal Life is in Jesus”

Acts 4:12; John 14:6

 

“My Hope for All of Life is in Jesus”

Questions For Discussion

Question #1 – Rehearse the account of Daniel 2. Discuss the contrast of Nebuchadnezzar’s hope and Daniel’s hope.

 

Question #2 – Dig deep on Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (v. 31-45). What were those nations? What/who is the Rock (not Dwayne Johnson). To what future event is this referring? Can you find supporting Scripture?

 

Question #3 – Interact with the phrase … “Our hope is only as good as what we place it in.” Do you have any examples from your life when your ultimate hope (confidence) was in something it shouldn’t have been in? What are things our world tries to find hope in?

 

Question #4 – What does it practically look like to truly hope in God? (Get specific) For salvation? For all of life? What situations are you facing for which you can develop greater hope in God? Pray for each other

Week 3 Sermon Notes

Week 3: When Crisis Comes

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

 

When Crisis Comes

Daniel 2:11 “What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and
they do not live among humans.”


In chapter 1 Judah was in crisis, in chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar was in crisis with a series of bad dreams that
plagued his thinking.


Crises …
1. Reveal the emptiness of our human solutions. V. 1-16
Nebuchadnezzar exhausted all his personal resources to solve his problem only find out they were empty
and powerless to bring about real change!


Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”


Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Application: Shift Our Dependence from Self to God!


~ For salvation … All our hope for relationship with God is found in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our
sin.


~ For living … live our lives according to His Word and wisdom, not according to society’s “wisdom” or my
thoughts.


Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

Questions For Discussion

Question 1 … Read Daniel 2:1-16 … Refresh yourself on the context of the chapter. Consider and discuss all the human solutions Nebuchadnezzar had at his disposal to resolve His problem.


Question 2 … What other biblical characters or groups tried to solve their problems with their own human solutions? How did it work out? (I’ll start the conversation with the Tower of Babel)


Question 3 … How do we see people in our world and society trying to solve problems without God? World problems? Relationships? Finances? Personal issues? Injustice? What about us?? Are there ways we have in the past or still are personally try to solve our problems without God?


Question 4 … What does it mean to depend on God and not ourselves for our salvation? Open up about any of your current challenges (marriage, personal, kids, job, finances, addictions, etc.) and collectively discuss God’s Word and how to best handle things God’s way. What verses apply to your situation?


Pray for each other!

Week 2 Sermon Notes

Week 2: Disruptions Demand Devotion

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

1. Devotion starts in your heart.

V. 8 Daniel knew that God brought Judah to captivity because of their failure to obey His laws, so he started at the beginning by keeping God’s law and not giving any credence by resisting food offered to another god. Resolve in your heart.

V. 8 “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 in this way.”

 

“Resolved” = “Purposed in his heart”

 

This wasn’t lip service or going through the motions because others would be looking. Daniel had an authentic resolve and loyalty on the inside toward God. He made a decision in his heart to love God and be loyal to His Word. Groups help. In his early years, God gave Daniel a group of 3 other teens that were going the same direction.

 

2 Timothy 2:22 “Although Daniel was captured by the enemy, his heart would never be.”

 

2. Devotion experiences God’s working. V. 9, 17, 20

 

Application:

- Give your heart and life to God.

- Follow with others.

- Experience God making things happen.

Questions For Discussion

 Read 2 Kings 20:18 & Daniel 1:1-7 and detail the disruptions of the lives of these teen boys that lasted the rest of their days. Discuss some other biblical characters who also went through major disruptions? What was their response to their disruption?

 

Discuss Daniel’s “resolve” in his heart to not defile himself with the king’s food. What does heart devotion look like? How does one get it? Can you think of any Scripture that talks about this?

 

Have you gone through or are going through some life disruptions – a death, divorce, job challenge, physical issue, abuse, pandemic, etc. and thought or are thinking “why even bother?” Would you share any of that with the group?

Week 1 Sermon Notes

Week 1: Behind the Disruption

DISRUPTED: What To Do When Everything Changes

 

Disruptions are not chance. The divine is behind every disruption.

Daniel 1:2 “And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his (Nebuchadnezzar) hand…”

 

God Brings Disruption on Judah.

Jeremiah 25:1-7 The repeated phrase of this text is … “you did not listen.” V. 3, 4, 7, 8

 

What had the people of Judah been warned about?

 

1. Materialism – Living for More. Sometimes the best way to get ahead is to slow down, prioritize and rest!

We stand to lose it all if we don’t listen to God’s commands.

 

2. Idolatry – Living for other gods. Jer. 7:17-19; 32:26-35

For God to be God to us, there is to be no other before Him.

 

3. Pride – Taking credit for God’s Goodness. 2 Kings 20:12-19 – Hezekiah took credit for God’s Goodness.

 

What to Do in Disruption:

Don’t Worry - God is in control

Don’t wander - God Keeps His word

Don’t Wait - God has provided a way out of judgement

Questions For Discussion

• Read Jeremiah 25:1-14 – Dive deep into the discussion about God’s Sovereignty (rule or control). Who and what was He in control of in this passage. What did He do with Judah, Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon in this passage. What does that teach us about God’s Control?

 

• Of the three areas Judah struggled (Materialism, Idolatry and Pride), which one(s) do you feel impact you most? What Scripture passages would you use to help each other focus on gaining freedom from those things?

• Worry is a primary response to Disruption. Why? What can we do to battle worry? What Scripture can we use to help us deal with our worry?

 

• What one personal lesson would you take away from today’s discussion? Can you share a specific growth goal to aim for? Pray for each other to become more like Christ through our disruptions.

WORSHIP SERVICE:

Sundays: 9AM & 10:30AM

(231) 946-4479

office @eastbaycalvary.org

2225 Hammond Rd E

Traverse City, MI 49686

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • podcasts_1015623
  • White Spotify Icon