Living in the Lion's Den: Part 4 - Fool's Gold

October 8, 2023
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Child Dedications, October 15
The partnership between the Church and the family is vital! For families with younger children, we're having a special Child Dedication service to commit to this partnership publicly. It'll take place Sunday, October 15th at 12:15pm after the second service. We will have a parent meeting today via zoom at 3pm. For more information or to sign up, mark the Child Dedications box on your Connection Card or stop by Next Steps after the service.

Salvation and Baptism Class - for Elementary Kids & Parents, October 22
We want to equip you to have great conversations at home with your elementary students about their faith and about baptism! So - join us for our Kids Salvation & Baptism class Sunday, October 22 at 9am in the Meeting Room of our North & East campuses. Mark that box on your Connection Card to sign up.

Student Life Camp, June 10-14, 2024 - Registration Now Open!
Next summer, our middle & high school students will be headed back to Student Life Camp at Lee University, June 10th - 14th. This is going to be an awesome week where students will grow closer to God, grow closer in their small groups, and have an incredible amount of fun! Registration is now open, so click here for more information and to register!

Join a Volunteer Team

There’s never been a better time to join a OneLife volunteer team than right now. From our Kid City team, to First Impressions & Security, to Production & Worship, OneLife Students on Wednesdays, and our Connections Team during the week - there are tons of opportunities for you to get involved. Mark the Volunteering box on your Connection Card to get started!


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James 4:6 NLT
And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,“God opposes the proudbut gives grace to the humble.”

BOTTOM LINE: Pride looks like it's working - until it doesn't. Humility looks like it doesn't work - until it does. 

Daniel 4:4 NLT
“I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity.

1. Comfort and pride go hand in hand.

Daniel 4:5-8 NLT
But one night I had a dream that frightened me; I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in my bed. So I issued an order calling in all the wise men of Babylon, so they could tell me what my dream meant. When all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers came in, I told them the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant. At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream. (He was named Belteshazzar after my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)

2. Trying everything else first is the work of pride. 

Daniel 4:8-9 NLT
At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream. (He was named Belteshazzar after my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.) “I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve. Now tell me what my dream means.

3. Being impressed by God is not the same thing as being humbled and changed by God. 

Daniel 4:29-30 NLT
29 Twelve months later he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon. 30 As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’

4. Pride takes all the credit and all the glory. 

Daniel 4:31-33 NLT
31 “While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you! You are no longer ruler of this kingdom. 32 You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’ 33 “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.

5. Pride never wins.

Daniel 4:34 NLT
34 “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever.His rule is everlasting,and his kingdom is eternal.

Daniel 4:36-37 NLT
36 “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before. 37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”

6. Humility brings grace. Grace brings real change.

When have you been in a situation where you had to wait for help or rescue of some kind and it was worth the wait? While you were waiting, what did you try to do on your own or what did you consider doing instead of waiting? What would have happened if you didn't wait.

Read Daniel 4:1-4.
Verses 1-3 serve as a "bookend" to this story that Nebuchadnezzer is about to tell. What do these three verses show us about where he is with God as he is writing this?

Then verse 4 serves as a confession that shows where he was before he got to his current place with God. How does verse 4 show us that pride is going to be the theme of this story? What does it tell us about the "fools gold" or false hope of comfort and the false peace of success and prosperity? How are comfort and pride connected?

Read Daniel 4:5-8. 
Nebuchadnezzer tries everything else first before turning to God, even though he had seen God work and move in powerful ways before this. Why is the pride of thinking we know what is best so hard to shake even when we've seen God move and work, too? When have you tried everything else before finally turning to God and his ways? What were you afraid of like Nebuchadnezzer that kept you from trusting the Lord?

Even though Nebuchadnezzer finally turns to God by calling Daniel in, he still hasn't submitted to the Lord or been truly changed - he's only been impressed. What is the difference? How have you experienced this and what was the difference when you allowed God to truly change you?

Read Daniel 4:31-34. When Nebuchadnezzer finally looked to heaven and humbled himself, he found grace and got what he really needed. How have you experienced this? What was the grace you experienced and received? What did you learn and experience about God in that?

What do you sense the Holy Spirit telling you to do with the truths from this passage and from this story? What are you going to do about it?

What most speaks to you about how pride affects you from the list of points below:

- Comfort and pride go hand in hand.
- Trying everything else first is the work of pride.
- Being impressed by God is not the same thing as being humbled and changed by God.

How can you work to humble yourself and truly follow God based on how you answered from the list above?

How will humbling yourself in these ways help you to experience Jesus and be more like him?


Pray for each other and ways that we all face pride each and every day. Pray that we would each allow our Father to oppose the pride in our lives so that we can have a pure and true relationship with Him, and so that as a result the other people in our lives will experience Jesus, too!


Be sure to fill out the online Connection Card to let us know next steps, prayer requests, or other information you'd like to share, click here.
Share spiritual/missional conversations you've had where you live, work, and play:
  - Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
  - What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
  - How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
  - How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
  - Who in your life do you think could be disciple-able or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
  - Discuss the next step for your micro church. When will we gather again, and which purpose will it fulfill (missions, fellowship/care, growth, worship, multiplication)?/giveback/giveback
  - Discuss the next step for your micro church. When will we gather again, and which purpose will it fulfill (missions, fellowship/care, growth, worship, multiplication)?


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