Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.30.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.30.12.

 

Can you think of the most contemporary way for the average “Joe” to share something with a ton of people all at one time? Years ago, the first thought that would likely pop into our mind would be radio, newspaper or, if you were the “Joe” who had tons of cash, perhaps television. But, who has that kind of cash stashed away (well, perhaps the Financial Peace University graduates)?

No, this electronic communication vehicle allows you to reach out and touch upwards of 150, 300, and even 3,000 (if you are Kyle Gray) close friends, acquaintances, and admirers who will likely listen to your daily ramblings. All you have to do is write a post and click to send. You guessed it, Facebook! Check out these fun Facebook facts:
1. There are more than 800 million active users.
2. More than 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day (even at work!).
3. An average user has 130 friends (… obviously not Kyle Gray).
4. An average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
5. More than 350 million users access Facebook through their mobile phone.

You probably know by now where we are going. Here’s the deal; If you are looking for a way to tell the world about Christ, Facebook is a great way to do it. CedarCreek figured that out with its 6,815 followers. Think we’ll meet our vision with that many followers? We think so! Combine that with our use of technology like the iCampus and iChat, and you can see how we can truly live out our mission and vision here and abroad. Our vision is to be a contemporary church for the unchurched and spiritually restless, starting in Perrysburg and reaching out to the Greater Toledo area, helping people to love Jesus, serve others, and tell the world about Christ, and then multiplying our efforts through new church plants.

Of course, we realize that we cannot fulfill Christ’s mission as individuals. Jesus himself organized the Church to represent his hands, feet, and presence to the world. That’s why we desire to become a Biblically functioning community furthering his kingdom in obedience to the Great Commission. Because Jesus came to seek and save the lost, we feel compelled to do the same. Through all of the ministries and sub-ministries of our church, we desire people not only to meet Christ, but also, over time, to grow in their faith so that they live obediently to his commands and become conformed to his character.

That is our vision! Can you see this unfolding? Are you on board? While we are not requiring that you sign-up as a Facebook user we truly would like you to live out the Great Commission, telling people about Christ everywhere! This Bible study will provide some Biblically helpful tips to carry out our vision. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete the “Tell” portion of Missional Membership on page 6-9, complete the personal response questions, and take that final step to commit to becoming a Missional Member. Be sure to tell others what you learn.

Tell It!
Who: Those who don’t know Christ
What: That everyone needs him
When: At every opportunity
Where: Everywhere
How: Facebook? Invite card …etc.
Next: Teach and train them!

IN THIS WEEK’S STUDY WE’LL FILL IN THE GAP ON HOW TO LIVE A FULL LIFE BY TELLING THE WORLD ABOUT CHRIST!

MONDAY — Do You Really Know Him?
Big Point: Our duty is to wholeheartedly fall in love with Christ and to share everything we know about him with others.

        Earlier we spoke about the average “Joe” telling the world about Christ. Well, you can’t get more average than author James Bryan Smith when he was in high school. In his book, “Good and Beautiful God.” Smith talks about his early days coming from a Christmas-and-Easter only Methodist family. At that time he liked sports, pretty girls and Jesus—in that order. He shared how average he was academically, graduating three hundredth out of six hundred. But something marvelous happened when Smith entered college—Jesus began moving up the “priority” list and he decided to transfer to a Christian college. As Christ became a priority, Smith began encountering mentors and fell deeply in love with the God that Jesus knows. He writes about mentors like Richard J. Foster, author of the most significant Christian book “Celebration of Discipline;” Henri Nouwen, a great spiritual writer; Richard Mullens, songwriter and recording artist of “Awesome God” and “Step by Step.”
        Eventually, Smith and Foster launched a spiritual renewal ministry called Renevare and began traveling around the world telling people how to live a deeper, more balanced life with God. Through Smith’s travels, he met Dr. Dallas Willard, author of the book “Divine Conspiracy” and philosophy professor at University of Southern California. Smith spent over seven hundred hours listening to Willard teach about God, the Kingdom of God, the Bible, the spiritual disciplines and how they apply to life in general. That’s a lot of hours. Eventually, Smith created a curriculum that teaches people around the country to live as Jesus taught us to live and that genuine transformation into the character of Christ really is possible. Are you interested in living this way? The more you learn about God, the more genuine you are in sharing about Him. Well, we have GREAT NEWS, James Bryan Smith is coming to CedarCreek church on March 1st and 2nd to conduct the Apprentice Conference—learn more below!

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
1. Have you ever blotted out something that stained a piece of clothing? It’s as if the stain was never there. Christ does the same for us as outlined in the scripture below. Describe in your own words what is happening here:
2 Corinthians 5:19 (New Living Translation)
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

Answer:

2. Matthew 28:19 describes how we can best symbolize our submission to Christ and our willingness to live God’s way, and how we can identify ourselves with God’s covenant. Write out what that symbol is and what command the scripture tells us to do.
Matthew 28:19 (New Living Translation)
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Answer:

3. One of the most popular quoted scriptures has to be John 3:16. Have you ever truly examined this type of love and what eternal life means in this passage? If you read closely, you’ll see love that equals a high degree of self-sacrifice. Describe the sacrifice outlined in this scripture and what eternal life means to you:

John 3:16 (New Living Translation)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Answer:

LIVE…What will you do now?
Have you ever considered it your life’s work to learn about Christ? If not, why not?

Have you ever counted the hours that you have learned about Christ? Some can point to hours spent in a Life Group or in their own personal study. But most can likely point solely to the weekend message. Sadly, that’s just not enough. Try to review the past twenty years of your life and jot down the hours that you have spent learning about Christ. Hours:
• During the day:
• During the week:
• During the month:
• Average yearly hours:

Let’s start doing the work that Christ asks us to do. Be his apprentice, disciple others. Ready? Write out how you will start the process. Here, we’ll help you take one step. Read the above box quote and signup for the Apprentice Conference. Go to cedarcreek.tv under the get connected tab to learn more.

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to make you a sponge, soaking up every morsel of His Word so that you know everything about Him and can become His Apprentice, His disciple, telling everyone about the Christ.

The Apprentice Conference
When:
Thu, March 1st (6:30-9p) – $10
Fri, March 2nd (8:30-3p) – $10
$20.00 for both—lunch Friday.
Where:
Perrysburg Campus
For Who:
Everyone who wants to learn to be
Christ’s Apprentice!
How to Sign-up:
Complete the weekend message
insert and drop off at the Welcome
Center or at www.cedarcreek.tv under
the get connected tab.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.27.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.27.12.

 FRIDAY — Take the Tithe Test Challenge

       Test God’s faithfulness by “tithing” (giving 10% of your household income) to God through CedarCreek Church for a three month period. At the end of the three month period, if you’re not convinced of God’s faithfulness as a result of your obedience to His Word, then you will be entitled to a refund of the full amount of contributions made during that three month period.

Malachi 3:10 (New Living Translation)
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my temple. If you do,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you.”

Please read the following guidelines:
1. I understand that the form below must be completed and received by CedarCreek Church before, or the week of, starting the challenge.

2. I understand that my household qualifies for participation because I/we have not been tithing for the last six months.

3. I understand that if paid at a physical CedarCreek Church campus, my tithe must be paid by credit/debit card (online or at a giving kiosk), by check, or by completing an offering envelope if using cash, so that my tithe can be properly credited to my name.

4. I understand that I cannot seek a refund prior to the end of the three month period and I must tithe for the entire period to be eligible for a refund.

5. I understand that any request for a refund must be received by the church within 30 days of the end of the three month Tithe Challenge period.

6. I would like to test God’s faithfulness by accepting the three month Tithe Challenge. I agree that for the three month period I state below, my household will contribute to God, through CedarCreek Church, a tithe equal to 10% of my/our income. At the end of the three month period, if I am not convinced by God’s faithfulness as a result of my obedience to His Word, then I will be entitled to request a refund of the full amount of contributions made during that three month period.

________________(fill out, tear off bottom, and drop off at church office/offering):___________

Challenge Registration Email: _________________________________

First Name: ______________________ Last Name: ______________________

Address: _________________________________________ City:_________ State: ____________ Zip:____________

Three Month Period I (we) will participate:
From: ________________ To: ____________________

 

 Personal Response Questions: Take the time to answer these questions in response to what you’ve learned about giving to Jesus from pages 6-9:

1. Do you think Christians should tithe (giving 10% of income as an act of worship)? Why or why not?

2. In light of the tithe as a Biblical precedent for giving, do you regularly support this body using 10% as a goal to reach (or surpass as God prospers)? If not, describe your current practice and ways you’re moving toward this goal.

3. What does the implication of the verses on stewardship have on your own possessions (See page 7)?

4. Do you believe the way you use your material wealth is God-honoring in all respects? If no, in what areas are you lacking? What action are you taking to make changes?

5. What challenge is presented in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7? What promise?

6. If proportionate giving becomes possible for you (that is, giving beyond 10% of your income), what dreams do you have of using your resources so the Kingdom can expand locally and around the world?

  Weekend Updates!
• Apprentice Conference Series:
Is your life reflective of the spirit of Jesus Christ – that is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? If not, are you interested in becoming that type of person? If so, The Apprentice Conference Series can help. On Thursday, March 1st from 6:30-9pm and Friday, March 2nd, 9-3pm at the Perrysburg Campus nationally acclaimed Apprentice Series authors, Jimmy Taylor and James Smith are flying to Toledo teach us how to develop Christ-Centered character, see God and find balance in our daily life, develop spiritual practices, and build community! The cost is only $20.00 for both days and $10.00 for one and includes the book and lunch (if you attend Friday). Childcare is available on Thursday only. Register at www.cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected” tab.

• Interested in getting Baptized: Baptisms will be held at New Community on Sun., Jan. 29th at 6pm at the South Toledo Campus. Attend one of the following Baptism class: Sun., Jan. 29th at 4pm at South Toledo Campus.

 

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.

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.

 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 01.26.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.26.12.

THURSDAY — A Christ-filled attitude toward giving
Big Point: Give joyfully and without over zealous attention to yourself as God loves a cheerful and self-less giver.

On page 11, see the Response Questions for Giving in order to complete the Commitment
portion of the Missional Membership Process.

      Followers of Christ realize that God is the owner and giver of all things and that we are God’s managers of all that He has entrusted to us.
        In light of this, they desire to be responsible caretakers of the material resources that God has entrusted to them. They recognize the tithe (10% of one’s earnings) as the historic standard of giving in Scripture. But moreover, in response to Christ’s abundant giving, they increasingly submit to His Lordship and display a spirit of generosity and cheerfulness in supporting the work of the church.

READ and THINK…Find Answers in the Bible

Savings and Debt
1. In this age of easy credit and consumer debt, what does the timeless wisdom of God have to say concerning how we as Christ-followers handle our desires and indebtedness?

Proverbs 22:7 and 26-27 (New Living Translation)
7Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender … 26 Do not co-sign another person’s note or put up a guarantee for someone else’s loan. 27If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.

Answer:

 

2. Why do you think the Scriptures elevate practices such as saving and avoiding debt to a spiritual level rather than just a simple monetary one?

Answer:

 

Attitudes toward Money and Giving
1. What additional lessons about giving can be gleaned from the following passages? (See also Proverbs 23:4-5)

Matthew 6:3-4 (New Living Translation)
But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. 4Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 (New Living Translation)
Now about the money being collected for the Christians in Jerusalem: You should follow the same procedures I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2On every Lord’s Day, each of you should put aside some amount of money in relation to what you have earned and save it for this offering. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.

2 Corinthians 8:8 (New Living Translation)
I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19 (New Living Translation)
Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. 7After all, we didn’t bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. 8So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 9But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows … 17Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. 19By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of real life.

Answer:

 

2. What attitudes should characterize giving according to 2 Corinthians 9:6-7?
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (New Living Translation)
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But one who plants generously will get a generous crop.7You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.

Answer:

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you apply the above scripture by learning how to save and reduce debt and have the correct attitude towards giving.

Mature Christians Give:
Locally…Knowing that they claim this church as their spiritual home, they support the ministries from which they derive benefit.
Liberally…As they are able, they go beyond giving to their own church and contribute to the cause of Christ globally. Cheerfully…Knowing that God sees the heart, they don’t just give begrudgingly to an organization—they give their offering as unto God Himself; they do so willingly, and not under compulsion, but with joyful worship as their resources flow out to serve others.
Anonymously…They don’t call attention to themselves when they give or expect their offering to produce an advantage in the church.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.25.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.25.12.

WEDNESDAY — Biblical tithing, stewardship, and saving
Big Point: Guilt and legalistic “obedience” toward giving that creates financial dependence is a dangerous trap—simply give generously, proportionately, and regularly.

On page 11, see the Response Questions for Giving in order to complete the Commitment
portion of the Missional Membership Process.

What is the difference between a house and a home? An empty house can look sterile and cold. However, that same home takes on an entirely new feel with the addition of furnishings, wall coverings and most of all, people that care about the house. When all of those elements are added to the empty space, well, that’s when a house morphs into a home.
        While new homes are under construction, the waiting homeowners aren’t discouraged by the unpainted walls or uncovered floors. Neither will you hear a home owner say, “Yeah, when the home is done, I’m just gonna leave it like that.” Once the contractor turns over the keys, priority number one is moving in personal belongings in hopes of creating a space that can be lived in and shared with others. We’ve been using house construction as an analogy for the work that God wants to do in our lives. First, we turn our affections toward God, and the ultimate goal is to love Him with all of our heart. Then, a proper foundation must be laid in order for us to establish right attitudes (beliefs), for they lead to right behaviors—that’s learning to love God with all of our minds.
        Now, we are looking at the transformation God is doing in our hearts and minds and we are challenged with the outward expression of what is taking place in our hearts, specifically how we view our money and our stuff as well as how we spend our time.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible Biblical Tithing
1. What percentage is common to the following biblical stories of giving?

Leviticus 27:30, 32 (New Living Translation)
A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy. 32The Lord also owns every tenth animal counted off from your herds and flocks. They are set apart to him as holy.

Malachi 3:8-10 (New Living Translation)
“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won‘t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!” (See also Genesis 14:18-20)

Answer:

Stewardship of Our Resources
2. In Luke 14:33, Jesus lays out for His followers the percentage of our worldly goods that belong to Him, and the worldly goods that are ours. What is your reaction to His teaching in this verse? Luke 14:33 (New Living Translation) So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me. Answer: 3. What’s the moral of the story Jesus summarized in Luke 16:10-12?

Luke 16:10-12 (New Living Translation)
“Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.11And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people‘s money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?”

Answer:

 

Savings and Debt
1. Why is the ant a good model of proper money management according to Proverbs 6:6-11?

Proverbs 6:6-11 (New Living Translation)
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! 7Even though they have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work, 8they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 9But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson: 10A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—11and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

Answer:

 

2. What does the writer of Proverbs say about “get rich quick” schemes?

Proverbs 28:20 (New Living Translation)
The trustworthy will get a rich reward. But the person who wants to get rich will only get into trouble.

Answer:

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you learn to give generously, proportionately, and regularly.

 

Mature Christians Give:
Generously
…They know Christ has given all to them, and they know Christ owns all they have anyway. Proportionally…They try to give as high a percentage of their income as possible, recognizing the tithe (10%) as a long-established benchmark which may well be exceeded as they prosper.
Regularly…As resources flow in, they offer their “first-fruits” back to God, honoring Him before any others.

 

 

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.24.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.24.12.

TUESDAY — Take Steps To Be What You Should Be
Big Point: Even if you have to take baby steps towards giving, take that step. There have been many before that have taken that one small step that leads to growth in Christ!

If you have not heard the name Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University (“FPU”), perhaps you’ve been taking way too many naps in church. Dave is nationally known for the assistance he provides through FPU to individuals who struggle with managing their finances. FPU helps people learn how to stop worrying about money and to be a good steward of their finances. Dave created FPU as a means of educating people on how to rewire their brains with the goal of giving more! He starts with the step that we discussed yesterday by knowing that everything we own is God’s. From there, he introduces a series of step by step instructions on how to be what we should be in Christ as it relates to our finances. FPU talks about taking seven baby steps. They are:
1. Create a $1,000 emergency fund.
2. Pay off all debt with his signature “Debt Snowball” methodology.
3. Create a reserve: 3-6 months of expenses in savings.
4. Invest 15% of income in Roth IRA’s and other annuities. 5. Create a college fund for your children.
6. Pay off your home early.
7. Build wealth and give!

          How do you measure up to these steps? If you wonder how people who have little to no money still give with peace and joy in their heart, you’ll find they had to reposition their heart toward Christ. Learn how to take steps toward giving with the right attitude and how God can entrust more to you as you depend on Him through the scriptures below.

READ and THINK…Find Answers in the Bible
1. During Paul’s third missionary journey, he collected money for impoverished believers in Jerusalem. However, the people in the churches in that area had given more than Paul expected. What were the people experiencing in that time and what did Paul testify to regarding their giving:

2 Corinthians 8:2-3 (New Living Translation)
2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.

Answer:

 

2. What point is Jesus trying to make as it relates to us abiding by the law of giving and our general attitudes and behavior toward giving in Matthew 23:23:

Matthew 23:23 (New Living Translation)
23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Answer:

 

3. Jesus is trying to make yet another crucial point in the parable outlined in the scripture below. What lesson is Jesus trying to teach us about our responsibility in using what God has given us?

Matthew 25:14-21 (New Living Translation)
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip. 16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. 19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ 21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’”

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
1. After reading the seven baby steps that Dave Ramsey outlined in FPU, list how many steps you have taken for yourself. If you have not taken any of these steps, list which steps you will work on first.

 

 

2. How well do you manage your current finances? Explain why you believe you are a good steward with what you currently have and how you would steward if God wills for you to have more:

 

 

3. Do you have any hesitation with giving on your own free will or do you feel like people are pressuring you to give? Describe what needs to change in your heart.

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you take steps toward having a heart of giving. Ask Him to help you to be a good steward of what you currently have so that you can be entrusted with more as Christ’s wills for you.

 

Interested in Taking A Steps? Financial Peace University
started this week! If you are still interested in joining this class, Perrysburg and South Toledo class begins tomorrow. Contact lindseyp@cedarcreek.tv to learn how to get involved!

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.23.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.23.12.

We’ve all likely heard the scripture “It’s better to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35). While most would agree with that piece of scripture, some can honestly say, “Well, I don’t have much or anything at all to give.” It’s not uncommon to hear people say that they live paycheck to paycheck. And even that’s an understatement. After paying the mortgage, the car payment, a plethora of monthly credit card bills, gas, food, and general utilities; there’s really not much to give at the end of the month. We find ourselves just like the guy who was cutting up the pie in the video, “God’s Pie.” We are hard pressed just to give God a sliver of that pie because we have to satisfy our own needs and wants first. Sadly, we act like God is not there and ignore Him, all the while knowing something just isn’t right.

The unfortunate and sad reality is some of us have simply fallen into a subtle form of slavery, and we just don’t realize it. We’ve become shackled at the ankles, wrists, and knees at a 9.5% interest rate. We don’t even know our names and what we actually own because other banks, lending institutions, and major stores have their names dangling above the items that we thought we needed and deserved, for some reason or another, during that purchasing moment. We justify ourselves with the “I work hard, I live in America, I deserve it, and I should have it my way” anthem. Unfortunately, that way of thinking is a dangerous trap.
Reality is, our brains are quite simply out of whack. Our thinking has conformed to the world’s mismanagement of finances. Think about it, when was the last time we’ve had a balanced budget? It’s time to begin the process of rewiring our brain to create new ways of thinking. It’s time to overhaul our entire view about money and how it should be used in our everyday life. Ask any well-trained psychologist, and they will tell you that to create a new pattern of thinking, you must form a new belief. The belief we must hold true is that everything we own or will ever receive now and in the future is God’s. If you even have a hint of doubt about that belief, you need to rewire your brain’s patterns. Your first exercise is to learn as much as possible about how God wants us to view our finances by completing this study. Did you know that God asks us to put Him to the test—that if we bring our tithes to Him, He will pour out a blessing so big we won’t even have room to take it in (Malachi 3:10). Seriously? That’s better than playing the lottery. Oh, and that’s just the beginning. Keep reading.

Over time, as you build your knowledge, faith, and trust in God, you will know how much you should give and when you should give it. Your brain will trigger an automatic thought to give your first fruit of your labor to Him. Not your last.

If you’ve been following along with the Living It Out, this week you’ll complete the “Give” portion of the Missional Membership on pages 6-9. We encourage you to complete all portions of this study. Dig down deep and uproot any doubts you have—all we have is God’s! Honor Him with your giving.

MONDAY — Biblical Financial Literacy
Big Point: In order to be financially literate in Christ, we must first believe that God is the legal owner of everything we have or will ever attain in the future!

     In the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” Robert Kiyosaki references a 1923 meeting that took place at the Edgewater Beach hotel in Chicago between the richest business men at that time. Among them were Charles Schwab, head of the largest independent steel company; Samuel Insull, president of the world’s largest utility; Howard Hopson, head of the largest gas company; Ivar Krueger, president of the International Match Co., one of the world’s largest companies at the time; Leon Frazier, president of the Bank of International Settlements; Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange; Arthur Cotton and Jesse Livermore, two of the biggest stock speculators; and Albert Fall, a member of President Harding’s cabinet. Twenty five years later, nine of them ended up as follows: Schwab died penniless after living for five years on borrowed money. Insull, Krueger and Cotton died broke. Hopson went insane. Whitney and Fall were released from prison and Frazier and Livermore committed suicide.
        We don’t know what truly happened to these men—although the date indicates it preceded the 1929 market crash. What we do know is that these men, at some point, truly attained the world’s standard of financial literacy. But you wonder how many of them had biblical financial literacy—knowing that as much as they believed they earned their wealth, it all belonged to God … that’s the first principle of biblical literacy. Could it have saved a suicide, a prison sentence, a penniless ending? Only one can ponder. Here’s a thought: take the road less traveled—learn biblical financial literacy so that if your world comes crashing down, you know who ultimately owns everything and where your hope lies!

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
1. The term ownership means the legal right of possession. In Psalm 24:1, we learn who has legal right of possession of all we have. Describe the actions you should take knowing that everything in the earth is God’s? If asked how you steward or take care of what God owns, how would you respond? Respond with how you take care of the earth and how you take care of yourself:

Psalm 24:1 (New Living Translation)
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.

Answer:

 

2. It’s pretty overwhelming to think that everything we have comes from God. It’s easy to believe that since we earned what we have, by our hard work, we own it. But, 1 Chronicles 29 puts an exclamation point behind Psalm 24:1 with an added twist. A substantial amount of honor and praise is given to God in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13. Write out all the praise that is given in the space below the scripture. Then, describe in your own words what verse 14 means when it says “we give you only what you first gave us.”

1 Chronicles 29:11-14 (New Living Translation)
11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. 13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! 14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!” Answer: 3. Proverbs 3:9 tells us how we are to honor God, write out how:

Proverbs 3:9 (New Living Translation)
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with being financially literate according to the world’s standard. That in and of itself is being a good steward of all that God owns. But what we should do is begin our financial literacy training with a biblical view.

1. List out all of your major worldly possessions, one by one. Those things that you believe are of a sentimental or physical value. Perhaps you have these items listed in your Will somewhere. Take the time to list them here or on a separate piece of paper:

2. Write down the emotions and feelings that you would experience if you lost the items you listed, or if they were suddenly taken away from you:

 

3. How do you feel knowing that God owns all that you have listed?

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you obtain a biblical financial literacy viewpoint. Ask Him for the peace in knowing that if everything came crashing down, you have hope in Him.

A reminder: if you are looking for the Daily Bible Reading Commentary, go to www.livingitout.tv and click on the Daily Bible commentary link that precedes the Daily Bible Reading for a particular day. We are limited in space with our printed version to truly delve into a commentary study.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 01.20.12

 

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.20.12.

 

FRIDAY — Serve: Christ-Centered Ways to Resolve Conflict

   This day completes our week’s study on serving as outlined in the Missional Membership manual. We end our study today with the understanding that conflicts and quarrels will arise while serving others but there is a biblical way of dealing with conflict. Today’s study shares how we are to resolve conflicts that occur.
        If you’ve been following along in this study, you are doing a great job as you just completed the Bible study portion of serving God. But you are not done just yet. Be certain to complete the response question after you answer the Bible study questions below. Then, continue to learn and commit to memory CedarCreek’s mis-sion statement. Continue to be a disciple with a servant’s heart.

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.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible

1. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 points out that, unfortunately, quarreling can happen among members of the church. How would you put into your own words what our atti-tude and response should be?
2 Timothy 2:23-24 (New Living Translation)
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24The Lord’s servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone.

Answer:

 

2. Put in your own words the procedure Jesus outlines for conflict resolution in Matthew 18:15-17. (See also Proverbs 16:28, Romans 16:17, and James 4:1-3)
Matthew 18:15-17 (New Living Translation)
If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17If that person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. If the church de-cides you are right, but the other person won’t accept it, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

Answer:

 

3. What is the issue these verses have in common?
Proverbs 16:28 (New Living Translation)
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.

Romans 16:17 (New Living Translation)
And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.

James 4:1-3 (New Living Translation)
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn‘t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? 2You want what you don‘t have so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. 3And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your whole motive is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

Answer:

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you continue to deny yourself and any self-seeking motives while putting forth your effort to serve. And if conflict occurs, that you will choose to speak the truth in love and wait patiently for a Christ-Centered response.

Weekend Updates!

  •   Apprentice Conference Series: Is your life reflective of the spirit of Jesus Christ – that is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gen-tleness, and self-control? If not, are you interested in becoming that type of per-son? If so, The Apprentice Conference Series can help. On Thursday, March 1st from 6:30-9pm and Friday, March 2nd, 9-3pm at the Perrysburg Campus na-tionally acclaimed Apprentice Series authors, Jimmy Taylor and James Smith are flying to Toledo to teach us how to develop Christ-Centered character, see God and find balance in our daily life, develop spiritual practices and build com-munity! The cost is only $20.00 for both days and $10.00 for one and includes the book and lunch (if you attend Friday). Childcare is available on Thursday only. Register at www.cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected” tab.
  • Financial Peace University: The Financial Peace University deadline is ex-tended until Friday, January 20th and is now only $80.00. 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 ce-darcreek.tv under the Get Connected tab or at any Welcome Center.
  •  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 pro-vide for your family? The Perrysburg Campus will host a seminar entitled “Provide and Protect,” this 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 at-torney 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 semi-nar begins. Register now at CedarCreek.tv under the “Get Connected” tab.
  •  Interested in getting Baptized: 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 Toledo Campus ONLY.

Personal Response Serving Others and Connected in the Community:

RESPOND: Take the time to answer these questions in response to what you’ve learned about serving Jesus.

Serving Others:

1. What factors or attitudes have ever hindered your involvement at CedarCreek? Have you pushed through the difficulties or are there some things that you still need to work through? How will you work through them in order to get to a place where you can serve in a manner that honors God?

2. Are you responsibly using your spiritual gifts in a place within the church in a manner that maximizes the gifts given to you by the Holy Spirit?

____ Yes ____ No

If yes, in what area? If no, is there a specific reason? Do you intend to pursue some form of service in the near future? In what area?

 

Connected in Community:

1. Consistent with God‘s call to commitment and community within a local church body, do you regularly participate in the corporate gatherings of CedarCreek Church (weekend services as well as special New Community and Baptism ser-vices)?

____ Yes ____ No

If not, is there a specific reason?

 

2. Are you connected to a Life Group or Ministry Team here at CedarCreek for the purpose of growth, loving support, accountability, and service? ____ Yes ____ No

If not, please explain why.

 

Personal Response Serving Others and Connected in the Community:

3. Describe the quality of your Life Group life or Ministry Team experience and how it is impacting your spiritual growth.

 

 

        Relational breakdowns are usually complex matters. We recognize and respect that. At the same time, missional members should be willing to engage in the strenuous process of conflict resolution. They should display humble hearts, a willingness to examine and address personal issues that may have contributed to the conflict and openness to receiving counsel where appropriate.

4. As far as it is up to you, are you committed to pursuing the Biblical pattern of conflict resolution as described in Matthew 18:15-17 to rectify any current or fu-ture relational conflicts? ____ Yes ____ No

If not, please explain.

 

5. Do you have any relationships anywhere, such as within the church, at work, or at home, that are dishonoring to God (i.e., broken or impure relationships)? ____ Yes ____ No

If so, please describe the problem.

 

6. Are you willing to accept reproof and correction from others regarding any area of your life that is not God-honoring?
____ Yes ____ No

If not, please explain any hesitation you may have.

 

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.

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.

 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 01.19.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.19.12.

 

THURSDAY — Serving: An Attitude of Service
Big Point: Servants have a Christ-honoring attitude rightly falling under biblical submission!

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 Christ-follower honors God’s call to participate, to express and receive love, and to carry out the ministry of the church in order to grow closer to the image of Christ.
        For this reason, Christ-followers give priority to attending the corporate gatherings of the church for the purpose of worship, teaching, and participation in the sacrament of Communion, and are connected relationally to a small group of believers for the purpose of mutual encouragement, support, and accountability.
        Christ followers also:
*Pursue Christ-honoring relationships at home, within the church, and in the marketplace, and are committed to pursuing the Biblical pattern of reconciliation when conflict arises.

*Support the leadership of the church and are Biblically submissive to it. Scripture does not suggest blind submission – we are all under the authority of God and His Word. Missional members must be willing to go directly to the appropriate leader when issues of concern arise, with the desire to engage in honest and respectful dialogue. Complaints should never be taken to uninvolved members of the body in ways that promote rumor or divisiveness.

*Affirm and uphold the fundamental truths of Scripture (as summarized in our Statement of Faith) and refrain from promoting other doctrines in ways that cause dissension.

READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
1. Why would it be impossible to fulfill the following Biblical commands if you were only attending CedarCreek‘s weekend services without having any close relationships? (See also Colossians 3:16)

Galatians 6:1-3 (New Living Translation)
Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2Share each other‘s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.

Answer:

 

2. At times, it appeared Jesus needed just a few by His side. What is the relational significance of what Jesus did in Mark 14:32-35?

Mark 14:32-35 (New Living Translation)
And they came to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be filled with horror and deep distress. 34He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.” 35He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by.

Answer:

 

Christ-like Attitudes in Every Relationship
2. Read Philippians 2:1-8. Verse 5 says that we should have the same attitude that Christ did. Describe that attitude, using verses 3, 4 and 7 as references.

Philippians 2:1-8 (New Living Translation)
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? 2Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose. 3Don‘t be selfish; don‘t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. 4Don‘t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. 5Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. 7He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal‘s death on a cross.

Answer:

 

3. All of us play the role of followers at some level of our Christian experience. What do the following Scriptures teach about the characteristics of a good fol-lower in the church? (See also 1 Corinthians 16:15-16)

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (New Living Translation)
Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord‘s work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. 13Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.

Hebrews 13:17 (New Living Translation)
Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

Answer: 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do? Ask God to help you take an honest inventory of your spiritual disciplines and attitude toward serving.