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Since sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, there has been an ongoing struggle between good and evil, light and darkness. Social media paints a bleak picture of all that is taking place in our world and most of the time it feels we are being overpowered by the darkness. So what do we do? Author Henry S. Haskins said, “The darkness around us might somewhat light up if we would first practice using the light we have in the place we are.”  Join us this week in a new series, “The Darker It Gets…The Brighter You Can Shine” and learn how to live and thrive in a godless society.

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The Darker it Gets … The Brighter You Can Shine

Part 1 – How to Live and Thrive in a godless Society

Principles to Shine

1. (God is in control of who is in control)

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.  Daniel 1:1-2 NIV

2. (It’s never been easy to live a godly life)

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.  Ecclesiastes 7:10 NIV

Babylon was the symbol for evil throughout the Bible

  • (Ungodly leadership) – Daniel 3: 1-12
  • (Ungodly institutions) – Daniel 1:4, 18-20
  • (Spiritually hostile environment) – Daniel 1:6-7

3. (A faith that’s never tested will never shine)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faithmay be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV

How trials prepare you to shine brighter

1.(Learn obedience) – the essential trait of discipleship

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  1 John 2:3-4 NIV

2.(Gain perspective) – seeing the bigger picture

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT

3.(Develop endurance) – pushing through when things get hard

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  Romans 5:3-4 NLT

4.(Grow in Confidence) – prepared when enemy shows up

But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” …

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”   Daniel 3:15b -18 NIV

5.(Builds courage) – relying on God as you move forward

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 NIV

Bottom Line –  To have impact and influence, stop cursing the darkness and start turning on your light

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