July 10, 2016 • Pastor Bill West
The three friends had to make a hard decision. Would they worship or even feign worship to the image of the king or would they stand firm in their faith in God? The king even gave them another opportunity to bow or be burned. They were faced with trusting God in the middle of difficult circumstances or caving in to the demands of the one who appeared to have the power to destroy them. They chose to believe that God would take care of them regardless of what the outcome would be. God chose to honor their faith and others were changed because of it. We will talk about how they were willing to be obedient even though they had no idea what the outcome would be-which could have been death. We do not need to fear what life may bring us-even death. God will be with us as he was with them even though our outcome may be different. May God grow us to be men and women with a willingness to obey regardless of the outcome.
Stand for Good
July 3, 2016 • Pastor Bill West
The Jews had been conquered by the Babylonians but were refusing to be a part of the new place God had taken them. God speaks through Jeremiah to tell his people how to live in the place where God had placed them and stand for good for the sake of the city. We are to do the same today right here in Reno-we are to live in this city in order to bless it for God’s glory and for the good of those who live here. We will touch on three main points: Don’t withdraw but interact with the city; Respectfully Resist Don’t Give in to their Values; Sacrificially Love and Serve for the Common Good.
Stand Strong in Faith
June 26, 2016 • Pastor Bill West
Daniel received a vision from God that no one else saw. Sometimes God has something for you that no one else can understand. Sometimes we go through things so that God will grow our faith-will we trust him even when it appears he is not at work? Daniel’s response was one of prayer and a great sense of weakness and inadequacy. God’s response was to let Daniel know that he was precious to Him, that he was at work and that he would provide the strength that he needed. Where in your life does God have something for you? Are you willing to trust Him even when it seems he is not coming through? Will you stand firm in faith and in prayer believing that God cares for you, is at work and that He will give you the strength that you need?
June 19, 2016 • Pastor Bill West
Daniel’s integrity caused him to rise to a top leadership position in the Babylonian kingdom even though he was a Jew. He was able to consistently follow God and set himself apart because he could be trusted to do the right thing regardless. Others were not happy with his success and tried to find something they could use against him, they found nothing. So, they knew the only way to discredit him would be to do so with his faith. Daniel still chose to do the thing that he had always done because he knew it was the right thing to do. Do we live out our faith with the same kind of consistency that Daniel did? Are we the same regardless of the audience or the consequences? God desires that we be men and women who do what is right regardless as Daniel did? Daniel continued to do what he believed to be the right thing to do not because he wanted to impress others but because it was already a part of his life.
June 12, 2016 • Pastor Bill West
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that he asked Daniel to interpret. Daniel took a huge risk by confronting Nebuchadnezzar with his own sin. Daniel trusted God and spoke honestly with compassion. His hope was that the King would understand the truth and repent. We are not good at confronting others-we either choose not to confront or we confront in an unloving manner. Taking a Stand for our faith requires that we learn how to confront in the right way for the right reasons and trust God with the results.
June 5, 2016 • Pastor Bill West
The Jews had been conquered by the Babylonians. They had taken the brightest and best back to their homeland to serve the king. (They even gave them Babylonian names). This is the first time that Jews were taken out of their homeland and must decide how they would live in a new place with new views and values. Daniel and his friends had a choice to make- would they blend in with the others around them and do as they were doing or would they live by the convictions of their faith? They chose to stand out by making up their mind to trust God and follow His ways even when it was unpopular and potentially dangerous to them. They were wise in their approach and God honored them as a result. Christians are constantly faced with the same decision in their lives. Will we blend in with those around us or will we stand out by making up our minds to trust God even in tough situations? What do you need to make up your mind about today?