1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.5 The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.
8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.
– Daniel 1:1-8
1. A SECURE FAITH PROVIDES DISCIPLINE
Disciplines of the Faith
4. Trust His Word
5. Focus on Christ
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NASB)
1. HOW THE RECONCILIATION TOOK PLACE – WORLDWIDE
34But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
– Luke 23:34 (NASB)
30Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
– John 19:30 (NASB)
2. HOW RECONCILIATION TAKES PLACE – PERSONALLY
3. HOW RECONCILIATION IS CARRIED OUT TO OTHERS
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
– 1 John 1:9 (NASB)
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
– Acts 1:8
1. YOUR POWER COMES FROM GOD’S SPIRIT
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
– John 14:16
2. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIS WITNESS
3. YOUR WITNESS IS TO BE TO EVERYONE
48 but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
– Luke 12:48
What it Takes:
An obedient heart
Alertness to opportunities
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE ENGAGEMENT:
Philosophical & Practical
A – Secular VS. Sacred
B – You have to live it before you give it.
The world’s 3 questions for the Christian:
Is It Real?
Does it Work?
Is it worth it?
C – NO CONTACT, NO IMPACT!
N.F.L. – Neighbors, Friends, Loved ones.
2 questions before the throne of God:
A – What did you do with My Son?
B- What did you do with your life?
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyonelight a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:14-16
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
– Acts 2:37-47
1. THE NEED FOR CHRISTIAN DEVOTION
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
– Acts 2:42
2. THE NEED FOR CHRISTIAN PARTNERSHIP
3. THE NEED FOR CHRISTIAN CELEBRATION
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding [a]to their number day by day those who were being saved.
– Acts 2:47
23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
– Acts 16:23-34
1. OUR TESTIMONY OF JOY
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
– Acts 16:25
2. OUR FOCUS OF JOY
28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”
– Acts 16:28
3. OUR MESSAGE OF JOY
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
– Acts 16:31