RAP SHEET 8/28/22
Series: Home Team
Sermon: Band of Brothers
Scripture: Daniel 3
ICE BREAKER: What is the strongest friend group you have ever had and what made y'all so close?
This week, we wrapped up our Home Team series AND we launched a new round of Life Teams!
The message was called, 'Band of Brothers" and focused on the deep relational connection that forms when soldiers are in the trenches with one another. Family background, home of origin, political affiliation, racial profile... ALL of that goes out the window when bullets are coming your way! The relationships formed in war are often so strong that soldiers struggle to find a similar bond when they arrive back home.
Our current generation has faced very little on the ground combat. For many people, sports has offered a kind of substitute for experiencing camaraderie at a high level, (albeit not NEAR as high as those who come out of an actual war zone). Having a Common Goal, being accountable to one another at the highest level, and applying your training together on the FIELD or COURT of "battle" erases all the superficial lines that we normally use to determine our relationships.
All of this describes ALLIANCE - the last ingredient for true community in this series. The power of this type of community is demonstrated in the Old Testament book of Daniel. In a famous story, the King of Babylon had created a false idol, 90 feet tall! Everyone in the kingdom was forced to bow down to the statue or else be burned alive in a fiery furnace.
Three young Israelites, who had been tremendously successful in the Kingdom, did not bow! God made it clear they were not to worship idols and they took that command seriously - deadly serious!
Are there things in this world you feel like you are "bowing to" in your life? (Things that you know are not from God, but the pressure of the culture around you keeps causing you to give in?)
How significant is it to have someone stand up WITH YOU when you are seeking to do the right thing?
Do you have an example of this in your own life?
These three courageous men were brought to the king and given one more chance. They bravely faced down the flames and refused to disobey the one, true God. They decided, "Even if [God] does not rescue us, we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue..."
The men were thrown into the furnace, but were miraculously not harmed! God was with them and through their courage, the king became aware of the God of Israel!
So often, it feels like we are all alone in trying to live out a life that actually follows Jesus. The music is playing, the world around us is bowing down, and it seems natural to follow suit.
However, God wants MORE for you than that! He sees your potential and has promised we no longer have to fear the flames of rejection or bullying or loss of influence. To stand up in a world that is bowing down requires clarity on who God is AND it requires a strong alliance around you. We need each other! Together we stand, and alone we often fall!
HERE IS THIS WEEK'S APPLICATION QUESTION:
What is ONE WAY you can leverage the community around you this week to help you STAND UP in an area where you often GIVE IN?
Ask God to help you see the areas where you have been bowing to the things in this world. Allow the Holy Spirit inside of you to connect with other believers around you and fully embrace the power of alliance!