Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.18.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.18.12.

 

WEDNESDAY — Serving: Connecting to God’s Family
Big Point: It is essential to connect with others outside of the weekend service in order to grow, encourage, and serve!

The Response Questions for Serving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

         A home is a place for two groups of people: family or friends and guests. How you interact with and “love others” is based on your understanding of what it means to be a healthy family or friend. In other words, it is based on your definition and expectation of community.
        We’ve seen in the previous study that God gave us His Word, the Bible, prayer, and His Holy Spirit to live in us and help us grow. These are valuable tools but they aren’t all He’s given us. He also gave us each other!
        When we sit with members of our Group Ministry or Ministry Team, someone can powerfully remind us of what we may be unable to see—that God is working in us, that we’re going to make it, that the affection of God is not just for “the world,” it‘s for me.
        It is easy to come to large group gatherings and get a false sense of your spiritual or personal condition. Furthermore, large meetings where anonymity is honored give us no opportunity to enter into someone else’s needs and be God’s agent of help to them. The value of connecting to God‘s family is that somewhere, on a regular basis, with a few other believers, all missional members have face-to-face meetings that help shape them—places they give and receive care.
        We believe that a CedarCreek Group Ministry—either through a Life Group, Life Support, MOMentum, Vertical, or a close Ministry Team is an optimal place for that to happen. But we realize that some individuals may be committed to the value of significant relationships without, for various reasons, being in a formal group at a particular time. So we give a lot of latitude as to what kind of group this might be. At a minimum, it must be with other believers where you get to know them and they get to know you, and Christ is central to the group. We would also consider groups not formally connected with CedarCreek, but there are some disadvantages to those, and groups here at CedarCreek will most clearly mirror our values. The key, however, is to get in a LifeGroup or Ministry Team and grow to become a more mature disciple of Jesus Christ.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
The Community of Believers
1. The early believers in Christ did not want to live the new life they‘d found alone. What do you learn about their relationships with each other from the following verses?
Acts 2:44-47 (New Living Translation)
And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. 45They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. 46They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord‘s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.

Acts 4:32-35 (New Living Translation)
All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had. 33And the apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God‘s great favor was upon them all. 34There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them 35and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.

Answer:

 

2. In Hebrews 10:24-25, the writer of Hebrews actually gave a command about community life. How would you rephrase this passage in modern terms?

Hebrews 10:24-25 (New Living Translation)
Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. 25And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but en-courage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.

Answer:

 

The Few in the Midst of Many
3. In addition to large groups, where else did Christians get together according to Acts 2:46? (See also 1 Corinthians 16:19 and Colossians 4:15)
Acts 2:46 (New Living Translation)
They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.

Answer:

 

4. What do you suppose they got out of these smaller, house-sized group meetings that they didn‘t get out of bigger gatherings? Mark 6:30-32 reveals that Jesus often withdrew from the larger crowds to be alone with His few disciples. What are some benefits of being in a smaller group?
Mark 6:30-32 (New Living Translation)
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and what they had taught. 31Then Jesus said, “Let‘s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.” There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn‘t have time to eat. 32They left by boat for a quieter spot.

Answer:

 

To join a small group—like Life Groups, MOMentum, Life Support or Vertical,
go to www.cedarcreek.tv under the
“get connected” tab!

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do? Ask God to help you join a small group, if you have not done so already.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.17.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.17.12.

 

TUESDAY — Serving: Be A Difference Maker!
Big Point: Believe that you can change the world by making it your life’s mission and “full-time job” to do God’s work by serving and loving others!

The Response Question for Serving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

        Christ followers recognize that the church is composed of interdependent members, each uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building up the body and furthering the ministry of the church.
        They therefore seek to discover, develop, and deploy those God-given gifts and to seek a place of service within the church, with the support and affirmation of the body.

READ and THINK…Find Answers in the Bible
1. According to 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 and Romans 12:4-8, what is the ultimate reason we each have differing abilities within the church?
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (New Living Translation)
4Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. 5There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 6There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. 7A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

Romans 12:4-8 (New Living Translation)
4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Answer:

 

Every Person a “Difference-Maker”
2. What do you think Jesus meant by “bearing fruit” in John 15:8, 16-17?
John 15:8, 16-17 – 8My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father. 16 You didn‘t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
17
I command you to love each other.

Answer:

 

3. Why would Jesus make such a close connection between bearing fruit and showing ourselves to be His disciples? What does 1 Corinthians 15:58 have to say about the standard for all believers for participation in ministry? What is a key motivating factor?

1 Corinthians 15:58 (New Living Translation)
So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Answer:

 

One of the core values of the New Testament, and of CedarCreek, is that the members of the body are the ministers. Practically speaking, the church cannot grow in a healthy fashion unless all of its core believers are sharing the ministry load. So, we ask all missional mem-bers to contribute to the body by using their gifts in some place of service. At the same time, we recognize that demanding seasons of life or other unusual circumstances may re-quire reducing the amount of involvement or taking a “break” for a period of time. But, in any case, it should be their desire, or intention, to reengage in some level of service—even if only on a periodic basis.

 

Take A Test Drive:
Test Drive is a “no strings attached” chance to volunteer at the ‘Creek. Try serving in an area one time…if you like it: join the team … if not, try something else. Did you fill out the “Test Drive” form that was found in the weekend insert? If not, check out volunteer opportunities available online at www.cedarcreek.tv, under the “get connected” tab

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
God can change the way you think by having you shift your own priorities to God’s priorities. Ask Him to shift your focus, if necessary, to be a true servant; using your God given talents to uniquely serve. Ask Him to help you take the next step and do a Test Drive volunteer opportunity and get plugged in!

DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE:
Learn what makes you so unique! We encourage you to attend the next “Discover Your Purpose” class to discover how God has uniquely wired you to serve people through your passion, spiritual gifts, experiences, and personality. February classes will be scheduled soon at our four campuses. Be sure to check the ATC for class information. Meanwhile, down-load a Spiritual Gifts Assessment at www.cedarcreek.tv under the “get connect-ed” tab to learn what your spiritual gifts are.

Find the Daily Bible Reading commentary for Acts 16-18 at www.livingitout.tv and click on the commentary link.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.16.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.16.12.

So where were you when the song “We Are The World” came out? Some will say, “I wasn’t born.” or, “What song is that?” Others will say “I remember the song.” and immediately recite the 1985 iconic words “We Are The World, We Are The Children, We Are The Ones Who Make A Brighter Day So Let’s Start Living.” What’s so special about that song? It was one of the most superb displays of unity and service in music history. Basically, a group of very unique and diverse singers came together to serve a cause for humanity. And quite literally, this single song managed to accomplish the action within the title of the song “to change the world.”
In all honesty, that’s what happens when diverse and unique people get together believing in a common cause with an “I don’t care what’s in it for me.” servant’s attitude. With that kind of attitude, there is no doubt folks can quite literally change the world and nothing can stop the momentum—not even adversity, the deepest of odds or even the face of death.
How did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. get a group of people together—both whites and blacks, some with little to no education, to sacrificially give of themselves, spending hours of their time, with no pay, no guarantee of freedom, with the thought that by doing the very thing he was asking them to do could likely result in death by hanging or being burned alive. How does that happen? How did he tell that family to not fight back after losing a loved one due to their Civil Rights movement activities—and not to ask for anything in return; just keep serving. What is that about?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the same exact book, and references the same life-examples of a person that Lee Powell and our other teaching pastors reference every single weekend—The Bible and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The bottom line is that God calls us to serve—Christ lived his life in service. The Bible teaches us that we all have different gifts and how we are to use those gifts to serve others and to advance the gospel. By doing so, God will bless you!
Lee calls us all to the same sacrificial service that Christ called us to. That same sacrificial service that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked individuals to provide in the Civil Rights movement. While the Civil Rights era is over, our movement will not end until Christ returns. Our movement is missional living. This Bible Study will challenge us all to take an honest look at our lives and conduct our own spiritual gifts inventory. You’ll want to ask yourself, “Do I have a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love?” Or, is your primary question, “What’s in it for ME?” This week we’ll continue our Missional Membership review on serving. If you are following along and completing the January Living It Out, you are on your way toward completing the membership process. Keep up the great work. Meanwhile, do your-self a favor: Get involved. Volunteer. Serve!

Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve.
You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.
You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace.
A soul generated by love.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MONDAY — Serve: Develop Your Spiritual Gifts
Big Point: Stop spending time comparing yourself to others—you are uniquely designed with distinctive gifts and talents to serve others and spread the gospel everywhere you go!

The Response Questions for Serving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

       

        God gave us the gifts of the Spirit so we’d all be different. He included the fruit of the Spirit so we’d all work as one. Gifts used properly always testify to our unity as well as our diversity.
        One of the key concepts of Missional Membership is the recognition that every member is on a mission and regularly, intentionally fulfilling the role God has specifically wired them to fulfill. Every single Missional Member of CedarCreek is aware of the fact that the Holy Spirit has given him or her a spiritual gift. It is our duty to ascertain those spiritual gifts and use them in a manner that honors God. People often ask about finding out about their spiritual gifts and what to do once they figure out what those gifts are. Spiritual gifts assessments are available at the Welcome Center/Connecting Point at any campus. Additionally, Spiritual Gifts classes are scheduled at least twice a year at all CedarCreek Campuses. The Spiritual Gifts class is available online each month of the year.
        In this section of the study, we are going to look at how our spiritual gifts are distributed and the importance of understanding the impact of using our spiritual gifts to contribute to the continued spread of the gospel message inside and outside of the walls of CedarCreek Church.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible

The Need for and Privilege of Serving:
1. Read Matthew 9:36-38. Now imagine Jesus visiting a weekend service at CedarCreek. After the service, you and He sit in the back and watch the hundreds of people walk out. He sighs as He sees the streams of attendees pass by—and then says to you the exact words from Matthew 9. Explain in your own words what you think is on His mind and heart at that moment.
Matthew 9:36-38 (New Living Translation)
36 He felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. 37He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. 38So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.”

Answer:

2. What was Paul’s attitude toward working in God’s service in 1 Timothy 1:12?
1 Timothy 1:12 (New Living Translation)
How thankful I am to Christ Jesus our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve him…

Answer:

Different Parts, One Body
3. The Bible compares the Church to a human body, with Christ as the head and all of us as different parts, or members, of the body. Summarize, in a sentence or two, what Paul is trying to convey in 1 Corinthians 12:14-26.

1 Corinthians 12:14-26 (New Living Translation)
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

Answer:

4. According to 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, what is the ultimate reason we each have differing abilities within the church? (See also Romans 12:4-8)

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (New Living Translation)
Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. 5There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 6There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. 7A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

Answer:

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you understand how to best use your spiritual gifts to work with others to help spread the gospel.

 

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Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.13.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.13.12.

FRIDAY — Pursue Christ-like Virtue

* The Response Questions for Loving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

        Christ followers are committed to being conformed to the image of Christ and developing Godly characteristics in their thoughts, actions, words, and relationships. They are under the control of the Holy Spirit and subject themselves to the Spirit‘s promptings, being quick to flee from temptation or anything that is dishonoring to God. As Christ followers seek to be Christ-like in all their behavior, they will respond in a positive way when confronted by others regarding areas of their lives that do not demonstrate Godly character. They will seek help and support from their Life- Group members or other trusted Christians to be accountable in areas of concern.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible

1. The Battleground
Living in our present culture is a challenge. Temptations to fall back into our old way of life are everywhere, and we are constantly bombarded with enticements that are contrary to Godly living. The Bible describes a battle between two natures raging within us: our old nature before coming to Christ, referred to as the flesh, and our new nature now that we are in Christ, referred to as the Spirit. In the spaces provided below the verses, list the deeds, or “fruits”, of the flesh and Spirit according to Galatians 5:16-26.

Fruits of the Flesh: (Underline the ones that are your biggest struggles)

 

 

Fruits of the Spirit: (Circle the ones that you already practice)

 

 

Galatians 5:16-26 (New Living Translation)
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

2. Pursuing Christ-Like Character
In truth, you are pure and holy in God’s eyes through Christ (Isaiah 1:18). However, God wants you to live up and live out these standards in your everyday life here on earth. What should you practice and avoid?
Ephesians 4:25-32 (New Living Translation)
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Practice:

Avoid:

3. Christ desires his followers to love. Which characteristic is hard to practice?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (New Living Translation)
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Answer:

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you continue to make “love” a verb by taking action and pursuing a mission-minded life through Membership or disciplining someone to do the same.

Weekend Updates!
• Financial Peace University: Exciting News—Financial Peace University (“FPU”) is having a sale—you now only need to pay $80! That represents a $30 savings. The 13-week classes begin on Monday, January 23rd at the Whitehouse and West Toledo campus and Wednesday beginning January 25th at the Perrysburg and South Toledo Campus at 7pm. Childcare is available for a nominal fee. Register online at cedarcreek.tv under the Get Connected tab or at any Welcome Center. Registration cut-off is Friday, January 13th at 12pm.
• Provide and Protect: Once you get your budget organized, then what? What happens if your health fails, you pass away or you are otherwise unable to provide for your family? The Perrysburg Campus will host a seminar entitled “Provide and Protect,” Sunday, Jan 22 from 10:45am-12:15pm to give you the tools necessary to set your family up for success. A financial advisor and attorney will be present to answer your questions. Your only cost is the Provide and Protect book that you can pick up at The Source bookstore before the seminar begins. Register now at CedarCreek.tv under the “Get Connected” tab.

 Personal Response Loving Jesus: God’s Grace

RESPOND: Take the time to answer these questions in response to what you’ve learned about God’s grace by receiving the gift of eternal life.

 

1. How does someone become a Christian in the true sense of the word? Describe how that happened for you.

 

 

2. Have you been baptized as a believer? Describe the total experience. When and where did your baptism take place?

 

 

3. Who is ultimately responsible for your spiritual growth? _________________

 

 

4. What are you currently doing to grow in your relationship with Christ? Practically speaking, what else could you do to further your intimacy with God?

 

 

5. Practically speaking, what else could you do to further your intimacy with God? Prayer, worship, and Bible study are vital elements in deepening one’s walk with Christ. Describe how you are nurturing your spiritual growth through those spiritual disciplines.

 

Personal Response Loving Jesus: Biblical Worldview, Developing intimacy and Godly Character

1. Do you regard the Bible as God‘s final authority in all areas of the Christian life, and do you desire to be wholly obedient to it? Please explain any reservations you have.

 

 

2. Knowing that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere at one time, how should this affect the way you live?

 

 

3. Rate how comfortable are you in explaining the major doctrines of the bible to someone who does not know God. 1 (little) to 5 (excellent). __ Bible ___ God ____ Jesus Christ ____ The Holy Spirit ___ The Church __ Humanity (the condition of man, sin) ____ Salvation and Redemption

 

 

4. In which doctrinal issues do you feel you need additional training?

 

 

5. In your pursuit of becoming more Christ-like, what areas are most difficult for you and most frequently need more attention? (See 1 Corinthians 13). Write out a personal plan to help you improve in the area that concerns you most.

 

 

6. Will you seek to model Godly character in all aspects of your life? 7. Are there any ongoing patterns of sin in your life that you are not willing to turn from and/or are not yielding to Christ: i.e. sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, addictions (such as to drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, food, video games etc.) lying, stealing, gossiping, coarse language, prejudice and so on?

 

What We Believe

The following pages contain our Statement of Faith which summarizes our beliefs as a church. Do not try to hurry through these pages, but read them slowly and thoughtfully. Ask yourself throughout, “What difference does this truth make in my life? If I didn’t know or believe this, would it matter?”

The Bible
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Scripture at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. 2 Timothy 3:16

God
We believe that there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each of Whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity, and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning, God created the world out of nothing and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom, and goodness. By His providence, He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes. Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:34-35

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity. We believe in his deity and in His miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own. He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. John 1:1-5

The Holy Spirit
As believers submit to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, they are enabled to live a life of holiness and obedience. The Holy Spirit was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior and regenerates them. At the point of salvation, he permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, comfort, strength and wisdom. He uniquely endows each believer with spiritual gifts for the building up of the church. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scriptures. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. John 16:5-15.

Salvation
The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Him. Originally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way, and so was alienated from God and suffered the corruption of his nature, rendering him unable to please God. The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are in need of the saving grace of God. The Salvation of mankind is, then, wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. Salvation is available to all, but it must be received to become a child of God (John 1:12). When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation. John 3:16, Romans 10:9, Philippians 1:6

Human Destiny
Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. For all mankind, there will be a resurrection of the body into the spiritual world and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual. Unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation. God’s judgment will reveal His justice in consigning them to perpetuate in eternal retribution for their own rejection of God. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God and will be rewarded for works done in this life. Romans 6:23

The Church
The result of being united with Jesus Christ is that all believers become positional members of his body, the Church. There is one true universal Church, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. The Scriptures command believers to devote themselves to the observance of Baptism and Communion as the sacramental ordinances established by Jesus Christ. We believe that Baptism by immersion, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is commanded by God; that it is subsequent to conversion, that it is not a saving ordinance, but an obedient outward expression of an inward work of the Spirit of God (Matthew 3:13-17).
We believe that Communion is a symbol of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, representing the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, and a looking forward to the second coming of Christ to receive His own (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). The Scriptures also command believers to devote themselves to fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world. Every member of Christ’s body should share their Christian witness with others. Acts 2:42

Faith and Practice
Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.

We believe the Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension.

 

Living It Out: January 2012
6And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7 (New Living Translation)


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 New Testament in a year

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.

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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.

 RESOURCES:
CedarCreek’s Missional Membership Manual

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Barb Roose
Diana Patton

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.12.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.12.12.

THURSDAY — Develop Intimacy With God
Big Point: Growing in deeper intimacy with God allows you to honestly confront areas of personal sin and engage the Holy Spirit’s power to turn from it.

* The Response Questions for Loving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

         It is important to discover the balance between owning the responsibility to grow, which requires resisting what keeps us from growing, and trusting in the help and power of the Holy Spirit to bring about Christ-like character in us. That is the tension that will be with us all of our lives. But if we‘ll commit to move forward, we will experience the blessings of God’s grace active in our everyday lives—and marvel at the resultant miracle of our spiritual growth.
        Christ-followers know the grace of God that saved them is only the beginning of His work in them. They gratefully respond by actively pursuing a lifelong process of spiritual growth in Christ and seek to become conformed to His image. To this end, they consistently nurture their spiritual development through prayer, worship, and Bible study.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
1. In Ephesians 4:14-15, Paul describes two contrasting scenarios: traits that should no longer characterize believers, and then traits that should be evident in a Christian. List as many of those dissimilarities as you can find:
Ephesians 4:14-15 (New Living Translation)
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Traits that should no longer characterize believers:

 

 

Healthy traits a Christian should possess:

 

 

  2. Tools for Developing Intimacy with God: The Bible
What do the following verses teach about the importance of Scripture in the life of a growing Christian? (See also 1 Peter 2:2-3, Psalm 1:2-3 and Psalm 119:9-24)
Hebrews 4:12 (New Living Translation)
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.

Answer:

 

2. The Purpose of Spiritual Disciplines:
Spiritual disciplines are not ends in themselves. How would you describe in your own words the result of a spiritually disciplined life according to 1 Timothy 4:7-8?
1 Timothy 4:7-8 (New Living Translation)
7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

Answer:

 

3. Read Romans 6:1-11. As long as we‘re forgiven, why does it make any difference whether we sin or not?
Romans 6:1-11 (New Living Translation)
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Answer:

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you develop a lifelong practice of spiritual growth through prayer, worship and Bible study. Ask Him to help you confront areas of personal sin and to engage the Holy Spirit’s power to turn from it.

 

Find the Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Acts 7-9 at www.livingitout.tv

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.11.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.11.12.

WEDNESDAY — Construct a Biblical Worldview
Big Point: Build a firm foundation on Jesus by clearly understanding who God is and the role the Bible plays in your life.

* The Response Questions for Loving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

        The first step in building a home is to dig a footer to lay the foundation. Digging the footer isn‘t glamorous and few people are interested in watching a footer being poured – even fewer people want to actually participate in digging the footer. However, a solid footer is vital to the health and long-term stability of the home. If the footer is inadequate, the stability of the home will be compromised. If the footer is strong and properly installed, the home will fare well for generations to come.
        Today, we are going to look at the “foundation” that God wants to put into your life. The foundation of our faith is based on what we believe. Ultimately, we need to understand that right beliefs will lead to right behaviors.
        Loving God with all of your mind seems to be academic, as if love and intellect contradict each other. However, the reality is that people who struggle with one particular sin or another tend to have a misshaped belief. A flawed belief is like a weak spot in a footer because it makes the rest of the house unstable and vulnerable to damage.
        As we engage in the process of establishing a correct foundation or what we refer to as a “biblical worldview,” the goal is for us to make sure that we have a correct understanding of who God is and the role that the Bible plays in our lives.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
1. The Doctrine of the Bible, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
The Bible is self-attesting. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Where did scripture originate?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New Living Translation)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Answer:

 

Christ followers accept all 66 books of the Bible as the actual and literal word of God as given by Him through the prophets. They rely on its accuracy and seek to abide by all that is written in it. The Bible will always overrule human reasoning and will be the standard by which all other teachings or so-called truth are measured. Devoted followers of Christ also study the Bible and become grounded in all aspects of the Christian faith to recognize and refute false doctrines.

2. GOD IS OMNIPRESENT, OMNISCIENT, OMNIPOTENT
What do these Biblical authors say about God’s omnipresence?
Psalm 139:7-10 (New Living Translation)
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

Hebrews 4:13 (New Living Translation)
Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must expose all that we have done.

Answer:

 

3. THE DEITY OF CHRIST
Jesus was fully divine. The term “incarnate” refers to the fact that Jesus was God in human flesh. What does this verse tell you about the Deity of Christ?
Colossians 2:9 (New Living Translation)
For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body…

Answer:

 

According to this verse, why did the Jews want to kill Jesus?
John 10:33 (New Living Translation)
They replied, “Not for any good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, have made yourself God.” (Also see John 5:18)

Answer:

 

4. THE HOLY SPIRIT
What specific role does the Holy Spirit play according to these verses? (see also John 14:16-18, 26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; 1 Corinthians 12:5-11, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:26)
John 16:13-14 (New Living Translation)
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.

1 Corinthians 12:4 (New Living Translation)
Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all.

Answer:

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Pray that as God becomes clearer to you, your foundation in Him becomes more grounded and your mission becomes clearer.

Find the Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Acts 4-6 at www.livingitout.tv

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.10.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.10.12.

TUESDAY — God’s Grace and Baptism
Big Point: We have the opportunity to share our outward expression of God’s grace through Baptism.

* The Response Questions for Loving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

        While we respect the religious heritage of those who have been baptized as infants, we believe Scripture teaches that baptism should come after a person has personally received Christ.
        We therefore require that a person be baptized by his or her own choice be-fore becoming a missional member at CedarCreek (although that baptism does not need to have occurred at CedarCreek).
        If you have not yet been baptized since you became a Christian, we ask that you do so at one of our baptism services so that we can celebrate your commitment to Christ with the rest of the church members.

READ and THINK…Find Answers about God’s Grace:
1. Once we’re at that position where we’ve been honest about our need for God‘s help and forgiveness, what does the Bible say is the next step? (See also John 1:11-12, Acts 16:30-31 and Galatians 2:16)
Romans 10:9 (New Living Translation)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Answer:

 

2. I John 5:11-13 speaks of only two types of people: those who accept Christ and have eternal life, and those who don‘t. What does verse 13 say about your eternal security?
1 John 5:11-13 (New Living Translation)
11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

Answer:

 

READ and THINK…Find Answers about Baptism:
3. According To Romans 6:4-5, what is signified by baptism?
Romans 6:4-5 (New Living Translation)
4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.

Answer:

 

**Much misunderstanding ex-ists about what it means to be a “Christian.” Church at-tendance, belief in God, strong commitment, etc. are all good but none of them make you a Christian in the Biblical sense. If you’re at all unclear as to whether or not you’re a Christian, we’d like to clear up any confusion you have. Please don’t feel embar-rassed if you’re not sure. Feel free to get in touch with our spiritual formation depart-ment by contacting Diana at dianap@cedarcreek.tv**

4. According to the following verses, what was the response of new believers, those who had recently received God’s grace, which visibly demonstrated what God had done in their lives? (See also Acts 8:36-38 and Acts 16:14-15)
Acts 2:37-38, 41 37
Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter re-plied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

Acts 10:47-48 (New Living Translation)
47 “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.

Answer:

 

Many people, maybe you, too, were baptized as a child. But the pattern in the New Testament (example: Acts 18:8) is ―believe “then be bap-tized.” Why do you think it would be appropriate for a person to be baptized AFTER his or her con-version instead of before it?

 

About Baptisms here at the ‘Creek: Baptisms will be held at New Community on Sunday, January 29th at 6pm at the South Toledo Campus. Attend one of the following Baptism classes: Saturday, Jan 14 and 21 at 5:15pm, and Sunday, Jan 15 at 10:45am, and Sunday, Jan 29 at 4pm at the South To-ledo Campus ONLY. Then at ALL campuses on Sunday, Jan 22 at 10:45am.

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you pursue baptism, if you have not done so already. If you have been baptized, ask Him to help you always remember the experience. Ask Him to help you continuously pursue Him and experience his grace.

Looking for the Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Acts 1-3?
As of January 2012, we are no longer providing commentary in our printed Liv-ingItOut copy. Instead, we invite you to go online and sign-up for the electronic version at www.livingitout.tv. There you can click on the Daily Bible Reading commentary link that will allow you to go deeper into your Daily Bible Reading.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.09.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.09.12.

 

THE GAP SERIES
“LOVE FOR GOD”

 

Love is a verb—
that means it’s never too late. If you don’t feel the love anymore choose to act the love.

– Stephen Covey

 

      Have you ever found yourself saying “my spouse and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other that we used to; I guess we don’t love each other any more.” Steven Covey counseled a man who said the exact same thing and Covey’s simple response to him was to “Love her.” The gentleman responded by saying, “No, you don’t understand, the feeling of love isn’t there any more.” Again, Covey responded, “Love her; my friend, love is a verb. Love, the feeling, is a fruit of love; the verb. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Af-firm her. Are you willing to do that?”
What about your relationship with Christ? Take a moment to ask yourself that question. Are you willing to do that? Do you ever feel as though you move the heart of Christ with your love? Are you wondering what that would even look like? Consider the woman who poured very expensive oils from her alabaster box over Jesus’ head as referenced in Matthew 26:6-13. The disciples were so mad at this woman based on the type of woman she was. They claimed she “wasted” these very expensive oils that could have been sold at a higher price. Jesus silenced their accusations by honoring this adoring worshiper. Jesus knew this woman would never write a book or speak at a conference or do anything of worldly significance, but despite her obscurity, no one would ever forget how she moved the heart of Christ with her love.
The basic element that moved this woman to act out her love was that she was grateful to Christ. Perhaps she understood that she was filled with sin, she understood why she sinned and she new that Christ could take away her sins. This makes you wonder, why do we even sin in the first place? We sin because we enjoy the pleasure it brings. John Piper says, “Sin is what we do when our hearts are not satisfied with God.” But, when we remain in a state of gratitude, we can make God our constant pursuit and remain satisfied with Him. As we study God’s word and build our lives around Him our hearts will fill with gratitude. Colossians 2:6-7 says our faith will grow strong in the truth we were taught, and we will overflow with thankfulness. That Gratitude will give rise to Obedience to the Christian life and in return, we will become a Disciple of Christ. Did you catch the acrostic—that’s God!
Make “love” a verb by taking action to live with a more mission-minded focus. Love Jesus with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This Living it Out study contains portions of the Missional Membership on loving God. Not only will your life be richly blessed by this study, you will complete the Highest Level of Commitment here at CedarCreek Church. If you’ve already made that commitment, take the time to review this study again, disciple someone else and share what it’s like to live mission focused.

Gratitude
Obedience
Discipleship

MONDAY — God’s Grace!
Big Point: Loving Jesus means we get to receive the gift of eternal life—no if’s, and’s or but’s about it!

* The Response Questions for Loving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commit-ment portion of the Missional Membership Process.

        Loving Jesus begins when we transfer our affections from wherever they are now and divert them toward Christ. You might not have thought about this before, but long before you can change your beliefs, your attitudes or your actions, you must first transfer your affections…otherwise, the transformational work God de-sires to do in your life will stall—not because God isn’t powerful enough, but be-cause your affections (desires) are still focused on people or things instead of God.
In this first section of Loving Jesus, we will explore God’s Grace. Grace may be a somewhat unfamiliar term to you, or like so many, you hear it sprinkled in spir-itual conversations but aren’t exactly sure how to define it (you may have even used the word without really knowing what you were saying – it happens!). You also may have come from a spiritual tradition where the term had a usage different from what is found in the Bible. So we all need to understand the Biblical meaning of grace and then solidify our understanding of our own beginning with God. For some of us, this very study will be the doorway into that first experience of grace that enables us to say, “I finally understand what grace is, and I’m sure I’m a recipient of it.”

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible

1. Some people assume that they are not that much worse than anyone else, so they don’t need any special help from God. How would you put in your own words the message of the following verses to those who think themselves mor-ally ―acceptable? (See also Isaiah 59:2 and 64:6 and Galatians 3:22)
Romans 3:10-18, 23 (New Living Translation)
10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15“They rush to commit murder. 16 Destruction and misery always follow them. 17 They don’t know where to find peace.” 18 “They have no fear of God at all.” 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Answer:

2. What do we deserve because of our sin? What does God offer and how?
Romans 6:23 (New Living Translation)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Answer:

3. According to Romans 5:8, how and when did God show His love for us?
Romans 5:8 (New Living Translation)
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Answer:

4.  After reading carefully Ephesians 2:8-9, write a letter to yourself explaining why you can’t, and don’t have to, earn God”s acceptance. (See also Titus 3:4-7)

Ephesians 2:8-9 (New Living Translation)
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.

Dear ____________________________,

5. In the spiritual realm, God’s forgiveness means we’re released from spiritual debt. But our sins don’t just vanish into thin air. According to this verse, how is our debt forgiven in a spiritual sense? (See also Hebrews 10:10-14)

1 Peter 2:24 (New Living Translation)
He personally carried away our sins in his body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

Answer:

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you clearly understand and accept God’s grace and to know that it’s just right for you.

Looking for the Daily Bible Reading Commentary for John 19-21?
As of January 2012, we are no longer providing commentary in our printed LivingItOut copy. Instead, we invite you to go online and sign-up for the electronic version at www.livingitout.tv. There you can click on the Daily Bible Reading commentary link that will allow you to go deeper into your Daily Bible Reading.