Daniel 1:3-21

Daniel, like us today, had to make some difficult moral decisions.  Christians often disagree about what we should and shouldn’t do in order to be ‘in but not of the world.’  This message may surprise you, and hopefully will give you lots to talk about and consider when it comes to keeping from being polluted by the world around us, while still being positively engaged in it.

Discussion Questions on Daniel 1

  • Daniel and his friends were all likely teenagers.  Imagine something similar happening to teens in our church. What kinds of pressures and challenges would they face?  How is that similar to what they already face or will face in a few years?
  • Why do you think Daniel took a moral stand of the food he ate, but not on his new name, or his very pagan education (or the Sabbath, or any number of other Jewish laws)?
  • Christians disagree on many of the same kinds of issues Daniel faced:  education, politics, alcohol, and acceptable entertainment.  What is one area from the above list where you have made a stand, about which you feel quite strongly, but you know many Christians do not agree?
  • Rob made three observations about Daniel’s and our own ethical choices.  Discuss each, noting where you agree or disagree, as well as giving some of your own examples.
    • Ethical living matters.  Being different - honouring God - not defiling ourselves - matters. 
    • It’s complicated.  Ethical living isn’t just following rules.  Christian ethics is not simply black and while easy blanket rules for all Christians to follow in all situations.  
    • It’s personal.  It’s about my obedience - not others.  Following and obeying Jesus - knowing and doing right and not wrong - is all about your own conduct, your own obedience - and not about legislating or judging or telling others what they can and can’t do.
  • Rob shared two ways we can, like Daniel, discern what we should and shouldn’t do.  Discuss the following list and not ways you have applied these in your life.
    • Pay attention.
    • to scripture - hard work!
    • to yourself - your struggles, temptations - not the same for everyone 
    • in community - Daniel and 3 friends - discuss, share/pray with others 
    • to God - listen, ask (wisdom, help) - Daniel prayed 3x a day
  • Depend on God.
    • Abide in me… (John 15) 
    • Only partially about Daniel’s actions, note how much his success depended on God’s actions 
  • What is the one thing you need to stop doing, abstain from, give up? 
  • What is the one thing you need to commit to doing that you are resisting or disobeying God about?