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Join us here in this post for weekly updates on our journey to Easter.

Dwelling in Daniel With The Discipleship Cycle: Week 1

Listening:  “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 1:2 NIVUK

Looking: Do I believe I am in God’s hands whatever the circumstances, or do I simply judge the circumstances according to my want?

Praying the ‘serenity’ prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living: Consciously sifting through my daily responses, examining what my response needs to be in the light of this prayer.

Learning: God’s wisdom is not always my wisdom! When I take courage the reaction is seldom as negative as I fear.

Dwelling in Daniel With The Discipleship Cycle: Week 2

Listening: “The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.” Daniel 1:7 NIVUK

Looking: You can call me whatever you want, but you can’t change my identity.

Living: I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus, so this needs to be the focus of my ‘how’ I speak and act. When I am tempted to water down my answer to a question for example, not pretend, or avoid, or ignore.

Learning: When I respond to others, consciously rooted in my identity as a child of God, I do so with a greater sense of boldness and security concerning the consequences.

Dwelling in Daniel With The Discipleship Cycle: Week 3

Listening: “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way.” Daniel 1:8 NIVUK

Looking: Lord I need your help to boost my resolve and reveal to me where I need to apply it. The new year lose weight resolution is flagging – maybe I need to see this as more than for my own benefit and health and regard it as a resolve training ground? Keeping Jesus front and centre each day whatever the agenda, time commitments and energy levels.

Living: Commit each day and every planned commitment, or meeting to God. Look for what he’s up to in each and every one, as well as in the people I meet.

Learning: The more I see things and people through Jesus’ eyes, the more engaged I am and the more I seem to get out of each encounter.

Dwelling in Daniel With The Discipleship Cycle: Week 4

Listening: “Now God had caused the official to show favour and compassion to Daniel” Daniel 1:9 NIVUK

Looking: Who are the people of peace? Not where! Lord I need the eyes to see these.

Living: Asking God to show me who, or to open my eyes to see his favour from unexpected channels.

Learning: Consciously trusting I am in God’s hands and not simply at the beck and call of others’ responses is a releasing experience. Good things happen – thank you Lord.

Dwelling in Daniel With The Discipleship Cycle: Week 5

Listening: At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him. Daniel 2:16 NIVUK

Looking: Why these words? I’ve begun to look at where I’d be wise to ‘ask for more time’ before I respond etc.

Living: Simply bearing Daniel’s obvious wisdom in mind has led me to see where I’ve become accustomed to ‘winging it’ with preparation, in particular, may not result in my giving my best and more importantly, whilst I might deliver something ‘true’, ‘sound’ etc it I may not have listened to the Lord sufficiently for his word to be delivered as clearly, or pointedly as could have been the case. The answer lies with my planning in more adequate time for preparation.

Learning: If I don’t have time to deliver my best for what I’m committed to, either because I want to personally, or need to JD and role-wise, then I’m trying to do too much.

Dwelling in Daniel With The Discipleship Cycle: Week 6

Listening:  King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Daniel 3:1 NIVUK

Looking: Hmmm. My hunch is Daniel & co recognised what Nebuchadnezzar was doing and what the image represented before they were asked to fall down and worship before it. Is there anything, or anyone I’m not recognising for what it is, a false idol? If do not recognise it, I may be fooled to worshipping it.

Living: Keeping my eyes open and tuning in my heart – starting with the things I love, or give energy to. Need to incorporate this into my time with God.

Learning: If I’m alert to the possibility, I can address it head-on if necessary. Prevention is also better than cure!

Dwelling in Daniel With The Discipleship Cycle: Week 7

Listening:  Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. Daniel 4:8 NIVUK

Looking: It appears many people only come to consider God’s perspective, (which in the big picture of their life equates to the nature of their relationship with God, who they may not acknowledge even exists) as a last resort. I’m thinking about my 5 a day people and others – where are they now, in relation to God? Am I in the best place in my relationship with them to help them take another step closer?

Living: Need to find time to give space to ask Dave & Sarah (not their real names) how they’re doing.

Learning: Praying for people is one thing, but maybe I need to be more available to them. I at least need to provide that possibility and make it known, in case there’s no one else.

Look out for updates to this post for next weeks’ Dwelling in Daniel.
For coasters to help in your small group study, contact Alex Drew.


Nigel Coles

Nigel is Regional Team Leader of the West of England Baptist Association. He facilitates the life of the WEBA network team and oversees the missional strategy for the region. He also works to develop missional strategy over a wider geographical area with our partner Associations and Baptists Together. Nigel believes that when Jesus sent out seventy-two others, he meant everyone who was there, and this passion to help everyone find their way in the mission of God is what inspired the development of Seventy-two.