OceanSide church of Christ
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by: Dalton Gilreath
a. Read the story, You are Special
i. I donít condone the authorís teachings but the book makes for a great illustration to introduce this study.
b. John 12:42-43
i. The chief rulers believed but would not confess for fear of the Pharisees putting them out of the synagogue.
1. They cared more about the opinion of man than of God (v43)
II. A Negative Example
a. 1 Samuel 15:1-24
i. Saul was to utterly destroy the Amalekites
1. He destroyed all but Agag and the best sheep and oxen
ii. God tells Samuel that Saul sinned
1. Saul feels he obeyed God because he is going to sacrifice them all to God
iii. Samuel explains that God wants obedience more than sacrifice
1. Saul admits his sin
2. Saul says the reason he did it was because he ďfeared the people and obeyed their voiceĒ (v24)
iv. Saul deviated from Godís plan because of peer pressure
1. Do we ever deviate a bit because we care about the opinion of others?
2. Some sins are nearly always based solely on peer pressure, like smoking.
a. Ever seen someone light their first smoke and like it?
b. They only do it because someone else is doing it
3. Young people deal with this every day in school
a. They naturally want to be accepted and popular
4. Adults deal with this every day at work
a. They want to impress their boss and climb the ladder
a. The processionary caterpillar follows its leader and forms a train
i. The head caterpillar is in charge of bringing the others to food
b. An experiment put the caterpillars in a circle with no leader
i. Their food was only 6 inches from them but they died of starvation
ii. Not one caterpillar was willing to lead the way
c. We must be leaders and not follow everyone else to our spiritual demise
i. Yet, many are doing this every day in the world
IV. Positive Example
a. Daniel 3:1-27
i. Nebuchadnezzar had an idol built
1. He required it to be worshiped
ii. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the idol
1. They did not even pretend to bend down and worship it
2. Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into a fiery furnace
iii. God saved them from the fire free from burns, soot, a hair singed, or even the smell of smoke
1. God saves us from the fire if we devote our priority to Him over man as these three did
a. He delivers us without a burn (Eph 5:26-27)
b. Not a hair is damaged (Luke 21:18)
c. Our clothes are clean (Rev 3:5)
d. We smell wonderful to God (Phil 4:18)
V. Whose opinion matters to you?