NEXT Family,

We are launching small groups this week. If you are a guy we will be meeting tonight at Krazy Karls Pizza @ 5:30PM (Group Leader | Eli Rodgers – 970-980-6757) If you are a girl we will be meeting tomorrow night at Vintage City Church @ 5:30PM (Group leader | Erin Horner – 970-682-0400)

Also, come skate with me next Tuesday at the Colorado Refuge indoor skatepark. (Click the link for details and registration)



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Teaching Note’s

The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names:

Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego.

But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.

What do we know about the Babylonian re-education process?

This wasn’t the first time that Babylon had besieged a city.

They had a track record and a system already set in place for how they handled people they selected for the process.

They were 14 years old

It was a 3 year process

It was required that your name would be changed

To name something means you identify them for who they are and what their purpose is in life.

When you hear someones name (and you know who they are) you immediately determine what they are like because they have been identified.

Example: Kevin Heart, Miley Cyrus, Lebron James, Oprah Winfrey, ETC…

The Babylonians understood the significance of someones name. They had a clear agenda to completely re-define everything about who Daniel was and where he came from.

I would submit the main goal in the name change was to strip them from God.

Take a look at what their original names meant:

Daniel – Judge of God

Hannaniah – The Lord has given favor

Mishael – One who reveals God

Azariah – God will aid me

Each of their names given at birth declared GOD over their life and gave them authority to walk in the things of the Lord. (They had been identified).

Each of their new names given to them as captives declared PAGAN things over their life. They all referred to the pagan deities of Bel, Marduk, Venus and Nebo.

Daniel was called Belteshazzar

Belet protects his life / Keeper of the hidden treasures of Bel.

Hananiah was called Shadrach.

contains the name of the pagan deity Marduk.

Mishael was called Meshach.

Contains the name for the deity Venus

Azariah was called Abednego.

‘the servant of Nebo’

What can we learn from this?

I believe there will be season’s in life where the culture around us will try and define/redefine everything about who you are.

Consider this reality about the story of Daniel:

God Had arranged for them to walk through this process and season. 

The God they worshiped and served allowed for them to walk though difficulty, pain, frustration, confusion, etc…

If that is the case then I believe that this is an extremely important process

Have you ever considered that as a young person you are actually in a re-education process? Culture is trying to define who you are.                              Think about it:

What was the Babylonian requirement for things that would change?

Clothing | Diet | Name | Home | Social Status | Religion | ETC… 

What is Northern Colorado (High School) cultural requirement’s for acceptance?

Clothing | Diet | Name | Home | Social status | Religion | ETC…

Do you notice a pattern?

Could I suggest that the decisions you make and the way you walk through this season of life will identify who you become in the future.

How did Daniel survive and stay grounded in this process?

They had fully bought into the reality that God is sovereign.

For most of us, this will be the biggest decision we make on earth.          Is God in control and am I willing to accept his plan?

We never see Daniel and his friends fight this process.

It would have made sense to read a story about a group of young kids who lived in fear and frustration with God. They should have tried to find a way to escape and run. But this is not what happened:

They were so grounded with the reality that “God is in control” and they completely trusted His plan regardless of what their circumstance was.

They understood something extremely important.                                                            “I cannot control my circumstance, But I can control my choices.”

The scripture’s say something about Daniel that I want to highlight:

But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king.

As a Jew, God had given Daniel specific requirements for food he could not eat in scripture.

Daniel did not eat the food because it would have violated scripture. He was ALL IN!

He did not allow his situation to inform his obedience to God.

Daniel was so consumed with the reality that “God has my back, and he is in control”.

I believe that a lot of us live with one foot on each side:

If we want to get real, culture would call that two faced.

I’ll connect with the Lord on the weekend, but during the week I bend to whatever culture around me is saying.

I think that God is looking for young people that are willing to say i’m all in.

Regardless of your social status or what the culture around you is saying.

For most of us it is simple decisions that will draw you closer to the Lord and create boundaries that help you.

      1. Put your phone away and stop spending so much time on Instagram
      2. Stop listening to music that fills your mind full of sex, alcohol, drugs, and profanity.
      3. Actually invest in a Bible and read it on a daily basis.
      4. Get plugged into a small group and walk through this season with other people.

Are you willing to accept the reality that God is sovereign and he is in control and he has a plan for you?

Are you willing to say “i’m all in”?



Get plugged into a small group this week. It’s going to be amazing! Register for skate day below.


Travis Horner 

Student Ministries Pastor | Vintage City Church