At Home Bible Study from your Board of Christian Education – 7/01/20
Lesson 7: The Christian Virtue of Courage
In children’s worship Donna asked the kids to tell about a time when they had experienced fear in facing a situation when they had said “I can’t do that” and then gotten past their fear. For Bethany, it was taking a big leap on the jungle gym. (She demonstrated with chairs, her dress swirling in the air). For Amanda, it was the first day of school and anxiety about whether the other kids would like her.
The times in your life when you are likely to say “No, God, I can’t” may be surprisingly similar. It might be an act of physical endurance (giving birth for example). It might be a big job interview. Or it might be standing up to a friend at church who is gossiping. The courageous choice that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego made was not to bow down to a secular idol. The fact that it could cost them their prestigious jobs in the king’s house, or their lives, is strikingly contemporary.
Reading: Daniel 3 (the purpose of this lesson is to provide encouragement for Christians, to maintain their unique identity, even in a hostile environment).
Questions/thoughts to consider:
- What “I can’ts” have you conquered? Did you rely on yourself, a friend, or God’s word to help you accomplish the task?
- Read Daniel 3. Describe the characters who play a key role in the story: King Nebuchadnezzar, Astrologers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
- What seems to be the motivation behind the actions of each character or group?
- Did you notice that the actions of each character changed the outcome? What would have happened if they didn’t stand up for what they believed out of fear?
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego took a great risk for what they believed. What are some things you can stand up for without hiding in the background waiting for someone else to do the job?
- Do you have idols in your life? (Anything that takes the place of God being number one in your life)
- In verses 16-18, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said they don’t need to defend their actions and that no matter if God chooses to save them or not, they will continue to follow and serve God. How do they describe the relationship between our will and God’s?
- There was a fourth “person” in the furnace (v25). Have you experienced God’s comfort in times of a crisis when you fully trusted God?
- What has the king learned about God (vv. 25-30)?
- Who are some Christians you know that have the courage to stand up for their beliefs? Be inspired and stand up yourself!
Dear Lord, it is so much easier to not stand up for You and our faith: to quietly sit in the background and let others be persecuted (the disabled, those of color, the unborn, the poor, those with Christian values). But Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Through Jesus’ power, I can find the strength to let my light of faith shine to all. Help me make a difference in this world, not just be an observer.