Community Groups Week of Oct. 16th

Announcements :  

  • Spanish Translation:  Now available during 10:30 & 12 noon services.  
    • You can now invite friends or family members who speak spanish to join us on Sundays!  
  • Student Ministry Update - If you have middle or high school students in your life then check out our Student Ministry. Here’s a few things we’ve got going on for your students...
      • Every Wednesday we open the doors to two schools near us and host Waffle Wednesday, where we simply serve the students waffles, love on them and get to know them.
      • We also have a special service just for students: High School meets on Wednesday nights at 7pm and Middle School meets on  Sunday mornings at 10:30am and 12:00pm.

** Very Important : Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video :  

[vimeo 182770895 width="640" height="360"]

Main Text:    Daniel 5:1-12 

Sermon Title: Messy, Part 5:  The Effect of Excellence

Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

  • Nebuchadnezzar is gone and now his son is ruling. Daniel served Nebuchadnezzar since the beginning of his reign over forty years earlier. Daniel is no longer a young man. In fact he served an entire career.
  • Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, has a party one night. In this party, the wine is flowing. The king get’s the idea to bring out the vessels that were taken out of God’s temple in Jerusalem so many years ago. He takes these holy vessels and he and his guests drink out of them. If that’s not bad enough, he drinks to false gods.
  • At that moment a hand appears and begins writing on the wall a phrase that none of the king’s wisemen can interpret. The Queen remembers that Daniel can interpret things like this. She describes Daniel as having an “excellent spirit.”
  • Sure enough, Daniel comes out and interprets the phrase correctly. He tells the king that because of lack of humility before God, his kingdom will be given to the Persians. Despite the bad news the king honors Daniel and promotes him. He puts him as third in command. That very night the Persians take over the kingdom and kill Belshazzar.
  • The new king, Darius the Mede, keeps Daniel as one of the top three rulers in the entire kingdom. And then looks to promote him even higher because he also notes Daniel’s “spirit of excellence.”
  • Moments before the Babylonian kingdom comes to an end, God arranges it that Daniel is promoted. The new king, keeps Daniel in that role. And then once again sees his excellence.
  • Often we look at Bible characters and historical leaders we respect and see their lives as such adventures. It seems so unlike our experiences. Our lives are so monotonous. But think about Daniel’s life. In the course of a 40 year career with Nebuchadnezzar, we are told about 2 dreams he interpreted. 2 episodes, that’s it. So what did he do for the rest of his career? Committed himself to excellence. The Queen noted that he could explain riddles and solve problems. That he had knowledge and understanding.
  • We may feel like there is little opportunity to make an impact in our environment. There may be long stretches of monotony. We may feel unfulfilled. We may wonder when the adventure is going to start. But in the meantime there is something we can do - be committed to excellence.
  • Excellence leads to influence. Influence leads to a Gospel opportunity.
  • As Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:    Daniel 5: 1- 12

  • How does God use Daniel’s excellence?
  • How can any task be turned into a way to worship God?
  • How have you seen someone’s commitment to excellence turn into an opportunity to influence?
  • Of these three which would you say you are facing the most right now: discouragement, boredom, feeling purposeless? Why?
  • Is there any area of your life which you are tempted to give less than your best?
  • What is leading you to feel that way?
  • READ: Colossians 3:23 3:17 and Romans 14:8. How do these verses challenge you?
  • How does it encourage you?
  • What are you going to do differently this week to commit to excellence?

Theme/Quote:

  • Somewhere deep down, each of us wants to make an impact. God’s wired an impulse into our souls that is driven to have a positive influence. Sometimes when we see an extraordinary character in the Bible like Daniel, it is inspiring but also can be discouraging. We look at these incredible opportunities and adventures and wonder how our lives could compare to them. We see what God did through their incredible lives but feel so ordinary. Where do we even start? Daniel instructs us there too. There is something so simple, but more powerful than we realize. And we put it into operation starting tomorrow. Something we can commit to and then watch God work. God calls us to be committed to EXCELLENCE.

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.