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Knots.

Daniel and His Small Group Under Fire

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Daniel and His Small Group Under Fire

As you read through the book of Daniel, you’re struck by the number of difficult situations and decisions faced by Daniel and his friends (known to us as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). They are seeking to live in a pluralistic culture with a singular devotion to God. They are seeking to live in a polluted world and yet remain undefiled. Easier said than done … especially in the face of lions, fires, and powerful pagan kings.

As they consistently chose to maintain their distinctive identity and commitment to God, I can imagine how alone they must have felt. Everyone else was bowing, everyone else was eating, everyone else was seeking to get ahead. But I also imagine that reality brought these four men closer to each other. The more they seemed to be the only ones standing, the more I suspect they leaned on and encouraged each other. I imagine Daniel praying for his three friends as they faced the fiery furnace. I imagine them returning the favor as he entered the lions’ den. I imagine they must have wrestled together through how to handle the issues of serving in the king’s court – how to be “in the world but not of the world” at the same time.

It’s a good picture of what small groups can be for each other in our day as well. Many of us day in and day out enter contexts where others around us discourage a distinctive commitment to God. The more alone we feel in those arenas, the more we need each other in our small groups – to pray, to support, to encourage, to counsel. May we help each other to stand for God when all others bow to idols. And may we remind each other as we do that we are not alone even when we feel like it; we have a God who is with us in the fire and who is himself our great hope.

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Recommended Reading

You'll find most of my recommended books available in the Guest Center at Southwood.

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Recommended Links

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