FRIDAY — Accept God’s story for your life
Big Point: God wants you to accept His story for your life by receiving His free gift of salvation, and that of grace, and to extend that same type of grace to others.
It’s likely that we all will subtly fall into the if we do “X,” then God will do “Y” institutionalized way of thinking even after hearing Ben’s message this past weekend, and even weeks after conducting this Bible study. Sadly, we’ll often believe Satan’s lie that says that we are not allowed to have God’s free gift of grace. Even worse, we will stand in judgment believing that we deserve God’s grace more than others.
Grace is not reserved for good people, grace underscores the goodness of God
– Andy Stanley
To help us close out the week, we’d like to share an excerpt from Andy Stanley’s book, The Grace of God. We highly encourage you to get this book as it will greatly bless you and allow you to continue your study on God’s grace. Here’s what Andy has to say about what God says about your story
“In your story you are going to continue searching for a reason God should love you. In your story you are going to continue finding reasons he shouldn’t. So here’s my suggestion: give up your version of your story and embrace his. In his story, he loves you no matter what you’ve done. In His story, He doesn’t love you because of what you’ve done. In His story, He could not love you more and He will never love you less. It’s a better story. It’s a true story. It’s a story of grace. The grace of God!”
We pray that this Bible study has encouraged you not to fall back into the rut that you have to earn grace—that form of institutionalized thinking that we mentioned at the beginning of the week. Take some time to answer a few more questions as we close this week’s Bible study and pray about what God wants you to know and do this week.
READ and THINK…Find the answers
We spent a substantial amount of time reviewing and breaking down Ephesians 2:1-10 throughout the week. Take a moment to review chapter two and verses one through ten in their entirety and write out what most resonates with you and why.
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
LIVE…What will you do now?
What were the two most profound things you learned this week as it relates to the grace of God?
God loves our praises to Him and He especially loves when we surrender our will to His. Take some time to write an “I surrender” letter to God on a separate piece of paper and define what you are willing to give up in order for Him to do the good things He has planned for your life.
Write out the names of two people that you can think of who would benefit from hearing this “Grace of God” message. Then, go to cedarcreek.tv and scroll to the bottom of the page and find “Media Player” and forward this message to them.
PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you stay out of the grace rut of “institutionalized”, self-exiled or self-righteous thinking. Ask Him to help you accept His story for your life and to learn about ways to encourage others as they accept God’s amazing grace!
- Watch Lee Powell dance to benefit injured army veterans— “Dancing With The Military Stars” is a benefit and community event that will take place on Saturday, May 12th, sponsored by The Arms Forces nonprofit that assists military veterans who have a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress or other invisible wounds. You won’t want to miss our very own lead Pastor Lee Powell as he puts his best foot forward. Follow this link for ticket information: http://www.thearmsforces.org/dancingwiththemilitarystars/index.html
- Help Benefit Local and Regional Missions—Put a golf team together to participate in a July 14th golf outing. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. And/or, run in a 5k on June 30th at 10am at the Perrysburg campus. Contact email@example.com.
- Fusion Camp–Each summer, hundreds of middle school students enjoy an incredible week of fun, friendship, worship and Bible study at Camp Michindoh. Registration is open now, but don’t delay because spots usually fill up. Questions? Contact the church office at 419.661.8661.
Living It Out: May 2012
“I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
Galatians 2:21 (NLT)
Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.
Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.
Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message
Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the Bible in 1 year—Old and New Testament will alternate month to month.
Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others
Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month
All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.
We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv
Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.
The Grace of God by Andy Stanley
This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by: