SERMON SERIES OVERVIEW
LIVING FAITHFULLY AS EXILES: The Book of Daniel
The Biblical message to Godís people who are living in a land not their own and among a people who are not his is especially timely.† As our culture becomes less Christianized and more resistant to the Christian worldview, there will be challenges of a different kind for the people of God.† The messages in the book of Daniel are especially suited for our times.† It offers perspective on Godís larger plans that go beyond our current time and place.† God directs history toward the consummation of his goals. †Unlike the many kingdoms in the world that have come and gone, Godís kingdom is eternal and will remain long after these kingdoms have been relegated to the dust of the ground. †It also reminds us of our purpose in the present time.† †Even though we are to be a people of integrity that serve those over us with honor, our loyalty and service is ultimately to God to whom we give the glory.†
Sermon: Living as Exiles in a Strange Land
†††††††† Summary: We belong to the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world. One of the challenges to face from the world is the pressure to conform against the will of God. To be faithful to God in this world, we need to be firm and resolute in our identity and faithfulness as his people, recognizing that we ultimately serve God who is always on the throne and always reigning.
†††††††† Text: Daniel 1
Sermon: A Glimpse Into the Future
Summary: As God gave Nebuchadnezzar a glimpse into the future, he gives us a glimpse into the future and shows us that he is always on the throne and establishes his eternal kingdom with will put an end to all other kingdoms. The encourages us to remain faithful to our heavenly King even in the midst of kingdoms that are in opposition, because they will be abolished, but Godís reign is eternal.
Text: Daniel 2
Sermon: Facing Cultural Pressure
†††††††† Summary: Living in the world while belonging to the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world, requires recognizing that pressure to conform to the worldís norms is always lurking and we need to be ready to resist it in every form so that we can continue to honor God and not allow it to change us through compromise, knowing that God is with us through any consequence that comes as a result.
†††††††† Text: Daniel 3
Sermon: American Idols
†††††††† Summary: Idolatry is not just an ancient problem, but is an ongoing problem because idols come in many forms. The problem with idolatry is that God prohibited it because he is the only God, and all other replacements for God are nothing more than heavy burdens we cannot carry that leads to evil. God wants us to flee from idolatry and put our hopes and trust in him.
†††††††† Text: Various
Sermon: A Letter from a Pagan King
Summary: God has demonstrated that no matter who is in the seat of power and authority on earth, God is the one who ultimately reigns, placing whom he wills in power. This is a reminder to Godís people that God is near and active, fulfilling his purposes even in pagan rulers. Knowing that nothing happens outside of our God who is always on the throne shapes our perspective and commitment to our Heavenly King, knowing that we belong to His Kingdom, not the Kingdoms of this world.
Text: Daniel 4
Sermon: When you see the Writing on the Wall
†††††††† Summary: God has given both warnings and promises regarding pride and humility. In account of Belshazzar demonstrates that pride breeds insolence, which blinds one to Godís lessons and prevents repentance that leads to life. Coming to God with a humble and submissive heart brings a great blessing in many ways.
†††††††† Text: Daniel 5
Sermon: Continuing in the Midst of an Upheaval
†††††††† Summary: Life is uncertain and full of huge transitions and upheavals. Because we know that it is God who ultimately rules in and through all of these things, we continue to serve those over us with integrity, knowing that God is over all, and are therefore loyal to God above all else, continuing to trust in him through all things. These things continue as a constant in our lives, regardless of our circumstances.
†††††††† Text: Dan 5:30 Ė 6:28
Sermon: Pulling Back the Curtain in Daniel
†††††††† Summary: Parts of the Bible pull back the veil in order to give us enough of a glimpse of the spiritual realities that war against us. This added perspective shows us that God and his people triumph over those that oppose us, no matter how seemingly strong and terrifying they may seem. God is the almighty creator, and everything else is creature, not God. Therefore, we can be courageous and confident as we stand with God.
†††††††† Text: Daniel 7-12
Sermon: Where the Wild Things Are
†††††††† Summary: God pulls back the curtain to allow his people a glimpse of the spiritual realities behind what is happening in an environment that is hostile to his people. God is always on the throne and in control, and will destroy the powers hostile to his people and give the kingdom to his people, and it will never be destroyed.
†††††††† Text: Dan 7
Sermon: What to Do if Bad Times Are Coming
†††††††† Summary: God reveals that He has a timetable and a plan which includes times of relative calm and times of extreme hardship for his people in the world. Though we may not know or understand all of the particulars, we do understand that Godís plan is working toward his goal, which is eternal peace in his heavenly him after he has destroyed all enemies. Because of this, we have strong encouragement to keep serving in faith, love, and hope.
†††††††† Text: Dan 8
Sermon: Praying as Exiles
Summary: We as Godís people, since we belong to the Kingdom of Heaven and are not of this world, pray as exiles in this world. This means we need to pray with humble awareness of Godís word so that we can understand who we are and our God given purpose in this world.
Text: Dan 9:1-19
Sermon: But Wait, There is MoreÖ
†††††††† Summary: God gives a much larger perspective and insight to our place in his detailed plan in order to encourage us to keep looking toward the future he has planned on not get stuck in the past or present. Knowing that there are many stages in Godís plan with the last stage making everything right should encourage us to keep loving God and our neighbor, serving in his name with a sense of expectation.
†††††††† Text: Dan 9:20-27
Sermon: A Glimpse Behind the Curtain
†††††††† Summary: Since sin came into the world, we have always been in conflict, which is not ultimately a physical conflict, but a spiritual one that involves angels of God and malevolent beings whose goal is to sway our hearts and minds. God does not leave us to our own devices, but sends help in many forms that enable us to be victorious in the battlefield of our hearts.
†††††††† Text: Daniel 10
Sermon: Our Citizenship
Summary: The biblical perspective on our place in this world with its kingdom and nations is that earthly kingdoms are neither divine nor eternal, therefore, we must not get caught up in them and remember that we belong to the eternal Kingdom of God and serve the purposes of our king as his subjects, even in the midst of the difficulty that comes from being allied to the Kingdom of heaven rather than the world.
†††††††† Text: Daniel 11
Sermon: Firm Facts for the Faithful
†††††††† Summary: Because God calls his people to faithfulness in an oppositional world, difficult times are the norm rather than an anomaly for us, but we can have confidence and assurance between the names of the faithful, whom God protects from death, are written in Godís book. Even though we do not have all the particular details of Godís plan, God gives us enough information for us to be faithful and active in pleasing him during our stay on earth.
†††††††† Text: Dan 12