Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.20.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today.
Click here to listen to an audio version of the Daily Bible Study for today.

 

FRIDAY — The Bible—Informs us and then transforms us!
Big Point: When we prioritize the Bible as truth in our lives, God transforms us in ways we could never imagine! 

Here is a devotional by Pastor Rick Warren, author of “Purpose Driven Life”: “I was once asked what the best translation of the Bible was. My answer: ‘When you translate it into your life.’ That’s what Bible study is all about. If you’re not translating God’s Word into your life, then you’re not studying the Bible the way God intended.”

God gave us the Bible to transform us, not simply inform us. It should give us a bigger heart, not a bigger head. In the Book of James, we’re told, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22, NIV) In other words, God wants our beliefs turned into behavior.

God makes his purpose for the Bible even more explicit in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “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. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

The purpose of the Bible is more than just showing us what is wrong in our lives or how we should live; God gave us His Word to radically transform our lives.

The Bible describes itself in different ways. For example, it calls itself a hammer, a sword, and a scalpel. All of these tools are designed to make radical changes. God intends for the Bible to dramatically change our lives.

The Bible also describes God’s truth as milk, water, bread, and meat. What do all those things have in common? If you don’t eat or drink them regularly, you’ll die. We were never meant to live without the Bible.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
Write down your favorite Bible verse in the space below (or recite it aloud):

 

What is it about that verse that inspires you? How does it challenge you?

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Think about what you’ve read and hopefully learned during this week’s Bible study and answer the following questions:

What have you learned about the Bible this week or what do you think you should learn more about?

 

What verse has had the most impact on you and why?

 

Knowing that our knowledge of the Bible is literally a matter of spiritual life or death, have you been challenged to think or relate differently to the Bible? If so, in what ways?

 

The Bottom Line: When you summarize the Bible to its essential points, it becomes less about rules and specific ways to live and more about a call to love and to be in a loving relationship with God and others. CedarCreek’s mission statement embodies the essence of the Bible – To Love Jesus, Serve Others and Tell the World about Christ.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Our hope is that this week’s study has not only informed, but challenged you to amp up your time and attention to the Bible—no matter where you are spiritually. Think about what you’ve studied this week and thank God for what He has revealed to you. Ask Him to help you remain accountable to reading His Word.

 

Great book & web resources for Bible study:

  • www.livingitout.tv—We publish this study every week so that you can learn more about the Bible in order to apply it to your life!
  • Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell—This benchmark resource is a top recommended source for those who want to know more about the Bible history, how the Bible was written, Biblical artifacts and so much more!
  • New Christian LifeGroups (NCLG)—The best way to learn about the Bible is to learn with others. Stop by the Groups Wall at your campus and join one!
  • Bible Essentials I & II—This is our online class available through CedarCreek.tv. Learn all about the Bible and learn to apply it to your life.
  • www.gotquestions.org—An easy-to-use website for basic Bible questions.
  • www.preceptaustin.org—A mega-site providing access to dozens of online Bible commentaries, word studies and research.
  • www.Biblegateway.com—We love Biblegateway! It’s an easy-to-use site with a variety of Bible study aids.
  • www.youversion.com—The largest online Bible resource in the world!

 

Additional Resource: Here is a great resource on the authority of the Bible. This one is pretty in-depth, so buckle up!
Link: http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Bible_Authoritative.htm

 

Weekend Updates!

  • Ladies, do you know that God sees you as Fabulous? … And we do too! This year’s theme, “It’s Women’s Work,” will prove to be just as wonderful as last year’s event. Except you don’t want to wait to register as tons of tickets have already been sold and there are a limited number of seats. Register by going to cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected” tab.
  • Your Home Matters! Do you realize that what happens in your home matters to God? We have a HomeMatters resource area at every CedarCreek Campus. It’s been newly updated with great information!
  • Got a Group? Are you in connected in a group? Do you have a community of Christ-followers that support and encourage your spiritual growth? We have hundreds of groups available: LifeGroups, LifeSupport, MOMentum and high school groups. Stop by the Groups Wall at your campus for more information.
  • Fusion Camp–Each summer, hundreds of middle school students enjoy an incredible week of fun, friendship, worship and Bible study at Camp Michindoh. Registration is open now, but don’t delay because spots usually fill up. Questions? Contact the church office at 419.661.8661.

 

Living It Out: April 2012
“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?'”
John 11:25-26 (NLT)

 

Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.

Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the Bible in 1 year—Old and New Testament will alternate month to month.

Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others

Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.

We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.

 

RESOURCES:

Evidence that Demands a Verdict
By Josh McDowell

Answers in Genesis.org

Craig Groeschel
“Text #2” message

 

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

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.19.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today.
Click here to listen to an audio version of the Daily Bible Study for today.

THURSDAY — Jesus proved the Bible is true—case closed!
Big Point: The fact that Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophesies and persistently proclaimed that the scripture is true is evidence that the Bible is true.

How often do you find yourself trying to predict what’s going to happen in a movie? Do you find you are one of those people who try to work out in your mind what will happen next? Or, do you find that you are, well, let’s say, somewhat on the obnoxious side, always asking questions during the movie to the person next to you about what will happen next? And, if you are like most, you want to know whether a movie is based on a true story and whether all the accounts in the story are true. In the Old Testament, many predictions were made of what would happen—they were known as prophesies and they were written hundreds upon hundreds of years ago. And, you can best believe, there were many who wanted to know if these prophesies ever came true. Well, they did.

In fact, Peter Stoner, Professor of Mathematics, among other professions, decided to do an experiment that wound up in a book that discussed biblical prophesies entitled “Science Speaks.” He decided to look at only eight prophesies. After looking at all the evidence, he found that the probability of only eight prophesies being fulfilled in Jesus is one-in-ten to the seventeenth power. Let’s just say that’s a lot of zeros! To put this in laymen’s terms, that’s like taking a quintillion Oreo cookies, spreading them over the entire state of Texas over two feet deep. Take the cream-filled center out of one then place it back in the pile. Then walk the entire state of Texas blindfolded to find that one “center-less” cookie. You think you could find it? Not likely! (Watch this fun clip to learn more: http://vimeo.com/2143938)

Based on the research above, it doesn’t seem probable that Jesus could fulfill those eight prophesies, but he did—time and time again as you will read below.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
Read the following prophesies and the Old and New Testament references. Then, write out a few prophesies you were unaware of before now.

 

OT PROPHECY  & NT FULLFILLMENT

Born of a Virgin
Isa 7:14
Matt 1:25

 

Born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2
Matt 2:1-2

 

Anointed by the Spirit
Isa 11:2
Matt 3:16

 

Rides Triumphantly on Donkey
Zech 9:9
John 12:14-15

 

Betrayed By Friend
Ps 41:9
Matt 26:48-49

 

Silent Before Accusers
Isa 53:7
Matt 27:12

 

Beaten and Spat Upon
Isa 50:6
Matt 26:67

 

Cast Lots for Clothing
Ps 22:18
John 19:23-24

 

Crucified With Criminals
Isa 53:12
Mark 15:27

 

Given Vinegar to Drink
Ps 69:21
John 19:28-30

 

Forsaken By God
Ps 22:1
Matt 27:46

 

Pierced For Our Sins
Isa 53:5
John 19:34-35

 

His Bones Will Not Be Broken
Ps 34:20
John 19:33

 

The Day Turns Dark
Amos 8:9
Matt 27:45

 

He Will Rise Again
Ps 118:17-18
Mark 16:6-8

Answer:

 

Prophecies yet to be fulfilled:
The following prophesies have yet to be fulfilled: 1 Thessalonians 4;16-17, Revelations 19:11-16 and Revelations 7:9-12. Take the time to look up these scriptures and write out the prophesy.

  1. Thessalonians 4:16-17:
  2. Revelation 19:11-16:
  3. Revelation 7:9-12:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Jesus emphatically declared that the Old Testament was indestructible down to the smallest of Hebrew letters as noted in Matthew 5:18 … “not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished.” How about you—do you emphatically declare that the Bible is indestructible? Do you have any doubts about the Old Testament or the New Testament? Explain.

 

Do you struggle believing that the prophesies discussed above were made and actually came true? If so explain.

 

Why are fulfilled prophecies so important for us to know? Write out the prophesy that has inspired you most in your Christian walk. Describe why and how it has helped you and how often you use it as a means to strengthen your faith.

 

Considering all that you have learned in the past two days, suppose someone asked you why you believe the Bible is true. How would you respond?

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you learn, understand and retain the prophesies that were made so many years ago and how they were fulfilled in the New Testament. Ask God to help you do this to not only strengthen your faith but to also strengthen others.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.18.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today.
Click here to listen to an audio version of the Daily Bible Study for today.

 

WEDNESDAY — Is the Bible True? This is a Test!
Big Point: The Bible is true and passes the historicity test with flying colors.

Is the Bible true? Better yet, are you sure the Bible is true? Can you clearly explain whether the Bible is trustworthy, true and accurate? Today’s study is meant to arm you with some findings and a few “battery tests” by using the research of Steve Sanders, a 1952 historian who came up with three specific tests to evaluate the authenticity of historical writings. In addition, we’ll share some thoughts from Craig Groeschel’s “Text #2” sermon in which he addressed this topic. The tests are:

  1. Internal Test—“Do the writers of the Bible claim that their writings are true?” Quick Answer: The New Testament was written between 47 and 95 A.D. by plenty of first generation believers who were alive and were actual eye-witnesses to Jesus. Yes, the Bible passes the internal test.
  2. External Test—“What does the outside evidence (non-biblical sources) say about the Bible?” Quick Answer: Roman Writers, Greek writers and Jewish sources confirm biblical stories and the historicity of Jesus Christ. And, while archaeological findings do not completely prove the authority of the Bible, it is fair to say, as Groeschel points out, “archeological evidence has provided external confirmations for literally hundreds of Biblical Statements.”
  3. Bibliographic Test—“How well were the original documents translated to today?” Quick Answer: The most reliable and well-respected copy of the Old Testament was the Hebrew manuscript known as the Masoretic text. When the Romans attacked the Jews in 70 A.D., the scrolls were hidden in bottles for over 1800 years and became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Archaeologists went on to discover eleven other sources of these ancient scrolls. When you compare the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Masoretic text, the accuracy is spot on. There are over 14,000 copies of parts of the Old Testament and over 24,000 copies of parts of the New Testament—the Bible stands alone and unquestionably passes the bibliographic test with flying colors.

Take the time to understand the above findings so that you can explain them to anyone interested in understanding the truth of the Bible. To learn more, take the Bible Essential’s course—www.cedarcreek.tv/get-connected/classes/online-classes

 

“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference”
Nelson Glueck, Archaeologist and former President of the Jewish Theological Seminary

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
What does Peter want everyone to know in 2 Peter 1:16 as it relates to the stories he was writing about in the Bible?

2 Peter 1:16 (New Living Translation)
For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes.

Answer:

 

What do1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:6 say we should do if someone asks about our Christian hope that is found in the Bible?

1 Peter 3:15 (New Living Translation)
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.

Colossians 4:6 (New Living Translation)
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Are you always ready to explain your hope and why it stands firmly in the scripture as described in 1 Peter 3:15? Do you have the right response ready for everyone? Explain why or why not.

 

Take the time to see how much you know about the three above mentioned tests. Can you list two other authors of the New Testament who, like Peter, were eye-witnesses to Jesus’ teachings? This will help further support your understanding of the internal test. HINT: Check out the author of the first and the last book of the New Testament. Research these authors in your study Bible and write out what you learn.

 

Have you ever taken the time to understand the archeological evidence that supports the stories in the Bible? Well, here’s your chance to research your findings by going to www.answersingenesis.org and search under “articles” and find “Does Archeology Support the Bible.” Or simply go to http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-archaeology-support-the-bible. Write out four findings that you were not aware of before and their relevance. This will help support your understanding of the bibliographic test.
1.
2.
3.
4.

With over 24,000 original copies of the New Testament alone, why do you think it is so difficult for people to believe that the Bible is true?

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you understand and to learn as much as possible about the Bible and its truthfulness so that you can easily explain it to others.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.17.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today.
Click here to listen to an audio version of the Daily Bible Study for today.


TUESDAY — How Did We Get the Bible?
Big Point: It’s okay to have questions about the Bible, but we must take the time to understand and evaluate the evidence.

Before addressing any other controversies in scripture, it is vital to determine who wrote the Bible. Was it merely a group of men—albeit brilliant individuals—who authored the scriptures or did God orchestrate the Bible through the Holy Spirit?

In an article about this topic, author Robert Verlarde addresses some of the critics’ questions about how and why the Bible came to be:

– Some critics believe that the Bible was created by a select few to consolidate, gain or maintain power and prestige. Yet, both Hebrews and New Testament Christians were greatly persecuted, so rather than having power and prestige, they were oppressed.

– Other critics question whether or not there are many different “Bibles” and how can we be sure that the Christian version is the “right one”? They ask questions such as: which “gospels” are right because there are many writings outside of the New Testament that claim to be gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas. However, these additional gospels appeared long after the New Testament manuscripts (copies of original writings) and so these “lost” gospels are suspect in their content and in their reliability.

– Skeptics propose that the Bible has errors as a result of centuries of copying scripture over and over again. “Transmission” has to do with how the contents of the Bible have been communicated through history. In tomorrow’s LIO study, you will study this in detail, but here is a tidbit that addresses this controversy: “The transmission of the documents through history is astounding. Not only do we have thousands of manuscript copies, as well as thousands more fragments or portions of the New Testament…errors or changes are slight, known as variants, and do not change any central belief of Christianity. When it comes to transmission and translation, we can indeed trust the documents.”

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
One of the most commonly used arguments against the validity of the scriptures is that the Bible was written by a bunch of old men. Read 2 Peter 1:20-21. How was the Bible actually written?

2 Peter 1:20-21 (New Living Translation)
20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Answer:

 

Although Luke acknowledged that many others have written about Jesus’ life, he used his own personal investigation and testimony of eyewitnesses. What did Luke do to assure Theophilus that what he wrote was true in Luke 1:3-4?

Luke 1:3-4 (New Living Translation)
3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
When people say, “Oh, you can’t trust the Bible because it was written by a bunch of old men” what do you think they are really saying?

  1. If the Bible was written by a bunch of old men then it must have mistakes.
  2. The Bible can’t be relevant if it was written by men centuries ago.
  3. We don’t really need to stake our lives or eternity on the Bible because it was written by flawed people just like us.
  4. All of the above. (By the way, this is the correct answer)

Perhaps you have some questions about how the Bible was written or questions about the Bible’s accuracy. List some of your questions below.

 

How is your ability to explain how you know the Bible is true related to Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20 when he tells Christians to share the Bible and make disciples around the world?

 

2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us that the Bible was written by prophets who were moved by the Holy Spirit. How have you experienced the Holy Spirit’s power by applying God’s Word in your life?

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Whether you are completely confident in the scriptures or you have difficulty truly believing that the Bible is true, the fact remains: The Bible is the Word of God. If you are struggling, take time today to ask God to help you understand. If you aren’t struggling, then ask God to give you opportunities to share what you know with others.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.16.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today
***NEW FEATURE***Click here to download an audio version of today’s daily bible study. NOTE: This is only the Introduction section as one of our readers is sick. Please pray for her to overcome this so that she can continue to serve the Lord. We will resume the audio version shortly. Thank you for your understanding!

 

A young man once received a letter from a lawyer stating that his grandmother had left him an inheritance. To the young man’s astonishment, it was $50,000 plus “my Bible and all it contains.” He was delighted to receive the money. However, he knew what the Bible contained, and because he wasn’t into religion he didn’t bother to open it. Instead, he put it on a high shelf. He gambled the $50,000 and over the next fifty years, he lived as a pauper, scraping for every meal. Finally he became so destitute, he had to move in with his relatives. When he cleaned out his room, he reached up to get the dusty old Bible from the shelf. As he took it down, his trembling hands dropped it onto the floor, flinging it open to reveal a $100 bill between every page. The man had lived as a pauper, simply because of his prejudice. He thought he knew what the Bible “contained.”

How many of our world’s greatest injustices have come as the result of people thinking they knew what was in the Bible—but not really knowing the truth of the Bible as the Word of God? What about you? What do you really know about the Bible?

As the best-selling book—and consequently, the most shoplifted book—the Bible remains controversial. First, the Bible proclaims itself to be the Word of God, and the source of absolute truth. Next, the Bible contains stunning miracles and supernatural events. Nonetheless, people (maybe even you) want to know if what they are reading is true.

One of the strongest arguments for the accuracy of the Bible is the 100% accuracy in predicting the future. Those predictions or prophecies in the Old Testament (written between 1450 BC and 430 BC) were recorded by God’s prophets. Of the events recorded at that time, every one of them has taken place and occurred as they were predicted to have happened. No other “sacred writing” has a perfect record.

In today’s scientifically-precise world, where we can track DNA or send a probe to Mars, it could be hard to believe that a flood covered the world or a man was swallowed by a fish. Did the sun really stand still for a day so that Old Testament figure Joshua could win an important battle? What? Just because something is outside of our experience—outside of the catalog of our knowledge—does not change it from truth to myth. Think about your ancestors, your great-great-great-great-great grandparents and how they would react if you went back in time to tell them about your world including airplanes, space shuttles, computers, iPads and email. Even though they could not believe it, it doesn’t change the reality that those things do exist. The same holds true for the Bible. Much of what we find within its pages might be difficult for us to grasp, remaining outside of our personal experience or knowledge; but the fact remains: the Bible is God’s Word to us and it is true. Your challenge is to understand for yourself why the Bible is true and then live your life according to God’s truth and share what you know with others.

 

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
1 Peter 3:15

 

 

MONDAY — Facts about the Bible
Big Point: There is so much more to our Bible than what we realize!

Many people are intimidated by their Bible. It’s a thick book with lots of thin pages and for some, lots of bad memories of falling asleep while reading it. We’ve got a lot of information to cover this week, but first, we thought it might be a good idea to share a few interesting facts about the Bible. Check these out!

  • The Bible was written over 1500 years. It was written in three languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic). It was written on three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) and it was written by over 40 different authors from all different walks of life.
  • The different authors in the Bible wrote in many different places: traveling, prison, wilderness, and palaces. And they had different occupations such as: shepherd, king, tentmaker, physician, philosopher and more!
  • Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, but Psalm 119 is the longest.
  • Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the Bible. Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse which says: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”
  • The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9.
  • The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
In 2 Timothy, we are told that all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true. What are some of the other roles that the Bible fulfills in the life of a person who proclaims to follow Jesus Christ?

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:

 

Another word for ‘inspired’ is ‘God-breathed,’ which is from the Greek word ‘theopneustos,’ which means ‘divinely breathed.’

 

In this next section, we thought it might be interesting for you to explore a passage of scripture that highlights a dramatic scene between a man and talking animal—and in this story, the talking animal is the hero. Sound crazy? Read this account and then answer the questions following the story:

Numbers 22:21-29 (New Living Translation)
21 So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along, 23 Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all. 27 This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff. 28 Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam. 29 “You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”

 

Questions:

  • Do you believe that the donkey talked to Balaam? What is the basis of your answer?
  • Do you believe Balaam really responded to the donkey?
  • Did the donkey make Balaam look like a fool or was Balaam really a fool? Explain your answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Here is an opportunity for you to test your Bible knowledge with some questions. The answers to these questions are to the right…but don’t peek!

  1. How many books are in the Bible? _________
  2. How many books are in the Old Testament? _________
  3. How many books are in the New Testament? _________
  4. How many verses are in the Bible? _________
  5. What does the word “testament” mean? _________
  6. Who wrote most of the Old Testament? _________
  7. Who wrote most of the New Testament? _________
  8. What is the oldest book in the Bible? _________
  9. What is the oldest New Testament book? _________
  10. What is the newest book in the Bible? _________
  1. 66
  2. 39
  3. 27
  4. 31,102
  5. Covenant
  6. Moses
  7. Paul
  8. Job
  9. James
  10. Revelation

 

How do you feel about your score? What do you need to improve?

 

In general, describe how much you know about the Bible. Do you feel you could state generally where certain facts are in the Bible?

Circle:              Always                    Sometimes                              Never.

 

PRAY… God what do you want me to know and do?
Thank God for the Bible and how it can teach you what is true and help you realize what is wrong in your life. Ask Him to show you how to use the Bible to correct you when you are wrong and to teach you the right thing to do. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s help as you use the Bible to prepare and equip you for every good work.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.13.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today
***NEW FEATURE***Click here to download an audio version of today’s daily bible study.

 

FRIDAY — Share Your ABC’s with Someone
Big Point: Once we learn our ABC’s— Admit, Believe and Commit— we should share them with someone so that they can win the War that wages against their salvation.

 What an exciting yet challenging Bible study we had this week. We learned about a war that began in the Garden of Eden between Satan and Eve and ultimately, mankind. Unfortunately this war still wages on. There is a never ending battle for your salvation and we will continue to fight evil rulers and authorities, mighty powers and empty philosophies that come from human thinking in this dark world. To the non-biblical mind, these lines sound like the trailer to a really fascinating sci-fi action movie or an old Star Trek picture. But the reality is, this is not fake, this is a REAL war with REAL evil.

But, the wonderful peace we have as Christians is that we don’t have to fight this battle on our own. In fact, the battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s. Doesn’t it feel good that we don’t have to earn our salvation? Sadly, some of us fall into the “good deed trap” thinking that we have to perform good deeds to get to Heaven. Thankfully, we learned that God simply asks us to do something as simple as learning and applying our ABC’s:

1. Admit your sins, and ask God for forgiveness.
2. Believe that Jesus was crucified, shed his blood for the forgiveness of your sins and was resurrected from the dead.
3. Commit yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

 

Take a moment to THINK and RESPOND:
As we learn more about the Bible, we tend to learn things we never truly quite understood before. Some of us have sat in many Easter services. What made the Easter message different this time around? What was one of the most significant things you learned this week?

 

How many people do you know that believe they have to earn their way to Heaven? How do you know this? Do you ever talk about your Christian faith or do you consider yourself a “closet Christian”? A closet Christian is someone who does not readily share their faith with individuals they don’t know. Do tell.

 

Have you ever engaged in a conversation about what Easter truly represents and discussed with others the battle that currently exists in the world we live in? If not, make a plan. Challenge yourself to reread and study Ephesians 6:12 and Colossians 2:8 that were discussed in this week’s Bible study introduction. Write out the type of war we are in and what steps we need to take to allow Christ to fight the battle for us. This plan will not only encourage you but it will also prepare you to share this with someone who may need to hear it one day.

 

We’d like to end this week with the lyrics from Michael Maher’s song “Christ is Risen.” We encourage you to listen to this song via the Living it Out audio podcast. If you are unable to listen to the song, please just read and meditate on the words below: (subscribe to the Living It Out audio podcast at www.livingitout.tv)

Let no one caught in sin remain,
Inside the lie of inward shame.
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love.
And bled for us, freely you’ve bled for us.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death.
Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave.
Christ is risen from the dead, we are one with Him again.
Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave.

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign,
Forever let Your church proclaim.

The song goes on to say, “Oh, death where is your sting, Oh, Hell, where is your victory, Our God is not dead, He’s alive, He’s Alive.” The fact is, our God is not dead. He is Risen! Stop and Praise God for the victory in Christ Jesus.

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to give you the strength and the courage to live out the Easter message three hundred and sixty-five days of the year and to share that our God is not dead. He can fight our battles if we are willing to learn and apply our ABC’s.

 

Weekend Updates!

  • Searching for Ways to Live Life without Regret? Starting this Monday, April 16th at 7pm, a 6-week class series by Andy Stanley entitled “Guardrails” will begin and it’s purpose is to assist you in creating a life with appropriate boundaries and a clear focus. This class will take place at the Perrysburg and South Toledo campus ONLY. KidKare is available for a small fee and it’s only $8.00 for the workbook that you can pick up at The Source book store. Register at the Welcome Center this weekend if you’d like to participate in this class.
  • Ladies, do you know that God sees you as Fabulous? … And we do too! Join us on Thursday, May 17th from 6-10pm and Friday, May 18th from 9am-4pm and enjoy speakers like Nicole Johnson, of Women of Faith, and Sarah Hammitt, wife of Sanctus Real’s Matt Hammitt, and others as they share their stories and inspirational messages of just how Fabulous we are in God’s sight. This year’s theme, “It’s Women’s Work,” will prove to be just as wonderful as last year’s event. Except you don’t want to wait to register as tons of tickets have already been sold and there are a limited number of seats. Register by going to cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected” tab.

 

Living It Out: April 2012
“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?'”
John 11:25-26 (NLT)

 

Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.

Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the Bible in 1 year—Old and New Testament will alternate month to month.

Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others

Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.

We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.

 

RESOURCES:
The Bible:
New Living Translation 

 

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Alyssa Baker
Cynthia Savage
Emily Francis
JoAnna Studer
Ryan Wilson

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.12.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today
***NEW FEATURE***Click here to download an audio version of today’s daily bible study.

 

THURSDAY — Just Commit!
Big Point: Commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ doesn’t just happen by itself—it takes time and effort and it can often be grueling and gut-wrenchingly difficult. Are you in?

Webster defines commitment as “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future.” The term implies action and a “come what may” type of attitude. Let’s face it, we all feel good when we say up front “I commit” because we all want to feel like we are contributing, that we are a part of something, or that we are changing something for the good. It says something about our character. But often times, we simply use the word “commit” loosely and when we peel back the “commitment cloth” we get to see how truly committed we are to—for example, a particular cause, to staying healthy, to our church, or even to each other.

Take marriages as an example. Most marriage vows include a “come what may—I don’t know what I am getting myself into but—I am in” type of attitude. Couples usually have a blissful, “rose colored” glass feeling when they say “I commit” to their future spouse. But what wise married folks know is there will be some (well, a lot) of work to do to stay married. That’s why most marriage vows are recited in front of other witnesses and typically are read as follows: “I pledge to you, my [wife, or husband] – to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’til death do us part.” That’s some serious stuff! Sounds like a lot of work, right? It sure is.

Christ expects nothing less from us. When we say “we commit,” we need to be just as serious about our commitment to Christ. It won’t always be easy. It will take a lot of work. As we said earlier, we are in a war. Are you committed to allow Christ to fight your battle? Don’t go to war without Christ—he is your artillery and your weapon of mass destruction. Are you ready? Are you in?

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
After accepting Christ as Lord of your life, what must you do to continue to follow Christ’s leadership?

 

Colossians 2:6-7 (New Living Translation)
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let 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.

 

Commentary for Colossians 2:6-7:

Receiving Christ as Lord of your life is the beginning of life with Christ. But you must continue to follow his leadership by being rooted, built-up and strengthened in the faith. You can live for Christ by:

  1. Committing and submitting your will to him (Romans 12:1,2).
  2. Seeking to learn from him, his life and his teaching (Romans 3:16).
  3. Recognizing the Holy Spirit’s power in you (Acts 1:8, Galatians 5:22).

 

Luke 22:42 describes the feelings Christ expressed to God about what he had to endure. Who’s will did Christ ask for?

Luke 22:42 (New Living Translation)
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
We’ve read a lot about commitment. When you peel back your “commitment cloth,” what are the things to which you are the most committed?

 

After looking at the above list, do any of these things include Christ? If so, describe the ways that you show your commitment to Christ. Are you growing deep roots?

 

Congratulations for staying committed to Christ. But, do you ever get frustrated with the mission he has you on in the same way that Christ did according to Luke 22:42? If so, describe what your frustration looks like and how you typically handle it.

 

Well, it is sad but true—most marriages these days are a poor example of long lasting commitment. If you are married, hopefully you listed your commitment to your spouse. List the ways you show your commitment to your spouse:

 

Well, congratulations for staying committed to your spouse. Describe what most frustrates you about your spouse and how you deal with your frustration (don’t make this list too long). Are you allowing Christ to handle your frustration and asking for his will?

 

Some of you may not be committed to Christ yet, or, perhaps you are not married. After reading today’s Bible study, and looking at your list above, do you need to ask God to reprioritize your life and make some new commitments? Describe what needs to change.

 

All of Me
Matt Hammitt

You’re gonna
have all of me
You’re gonna
have all of me.
‘Cause you’re worth every falling tear.
You’re worth
facing any fear.
You’re gonna
know all my love,
even if it’s
not enough.
Enough to
mend our
broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I’ll start.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you stay committed to Him by submitting your will to Him, seeking to learn from Christ’s teaching and recognizing the Holy Spirit’s power in you when faced with the many challenges that this world will most surely bring.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.11.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today
***NEW FEATURE***Click here to download an audio version of today’s daily bible study.

 

WEDNESDAY— Just Believe!
Big Point: There is a difference between knowing that Christ died on the cross for our sins and actually believing that Christ died on the cross, and that he specifically had you in mind when he did it.

As children, we are innocent enough to believe in many things. For years, we’re told that a man named Santa flies from the North Pole to deliver presents to every child in the world, in one night. When we lose a tooth, we leave it under our pillow knowing that while we sleep, a fairy will appear and take the tooth, leaving behind a shiny coin in its place. But, at some point, our innocence fades and we become jaded and question what we once believed to be true.

We know the above stories aren’t true, yet at some point, you likely believed that Santa and the Tooth Fairy had you in mind when they were disbursing the toys at Christmas and the money when your tooth feel out, right?

You’ve likely heard the story that Jesus died on the cross to save us, was buried in a borrowed tomb and in three days rose from the dead. God’s love for us was so great that He allowed His son to become a living sacrifice to save our souls and to provide eternal salvation for all who believe. You know that story, right?

But the question is, do you believe that that story was specifically written for you? Do you believe that Christ had you in mind when he suffered, bled and died on that cross? That he knew that you would sin, and the type of sins that you would do—he knew all of that way before you were born. So do you believe that he did all of this specifically for you?

Sadly, sometimes we allow Satan to lie to us and lead us to believe that our sins are too great for salvation. When we listen to that liar, we lose a little more of our innocence and our belief in Christ begins to fade. But, as we have learned already, God’s grace is the gift we receive by believing and living our lives for Him. Do you believe?

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
How does Romans 5:9 say we are made right in God’s eyes?

Romans 5:9 (New Living Translation)
And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.

Answer:

 

What does John 6:29 say is the only work that God wants from us?

John 6:29 (New Living Translation)
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

Answer:

 

What does Romans 10:9-11 say we must do to be saved and be right with God? And if we trust in Him, what does verse 11 say will never happen to us?

Romans 10:9-11 (New Living Translation)
9 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. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Describe how many times you have heard the Easter message over the years and the extent of your knowledge of the Easter story.

 

Describe why knowing that God exists and believing that God exists are two totally different things.

 

Do you struggle with believing that Jesus had you specifically in mind when he died on the cross? If so, explain.

 

Do you struggle with the simplicity of John 6:29—that all we need to do is believe? If so, why?

 

Describe how your actions validate your belief that Christ exists for you.

 

Do you realize that the same love that caused Christ to die is the same love that sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us every day? The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that saved you and is available in your daily life. How often do you call upon this power in your daily life or do you struggle with believing that this power even exists in you? Explain.

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you not only know the message of Christ’s crucifixion but to personalize it and believe that Christ died specifically to save your individual sins. Ask Him to help you to believe in the one who was sent and to act on your beliefs every single day.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.10.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for today
***NEW FEATURE***Click here to download an audio version of today’s daily bible study.

 

TUESDAY — Just Admit!
Big Point: We need to admit that we are sinners and admit our need for God’s forgiveness in order to receive His gift of eternal life through His son Jesus Christ.

Visualize your first day of class in high school, and as you nervously sit down with an armload of textbooks, the teacher walks in. She passes out the syllabus and begins to discuss the agenda for the semester. You notice that among some of the topics of interest there is definitely some tough material. It looks like you are going to have many assignments, quite a few quizzes and, of course, dreaded exams. As you inwardly groan about what lies ahead, you hear the teacher say that you will be graded on a curve. More than likely, you begin to look around at the other students. How are you going to fare? Maybe you are not as intelligent as some, but you think to yourself that surely you are smarter than many of them. Right?!

That is the mind game that we may play with ourselves in regards to sin. We may look around at some of the evil people in the world and think about how wicked they are, which makes us feel good about ourselves. However, God is not that teacher who is going to grade us on a curve. His judgment does not compare us with one another, but aligns us up only with His perfect standard. The Bible tells us that we all fall short of this criterion.

When it comes to how much we have followed God’s law in our lives, we will not even be graded on a percentage scale. We have either lived up to God’s superb standard 100% of the time or we have failed to do so. Due to our sinful nature, we have all failed, but God has still provided a way for us to remain with Him for eternity.

There may be more than one battle going on in our minds in regards to our sin, but admitting and confessing our transgressions is the first step toward salvation. God has already sent His Son to atone for our immoral choices. We just have to admit our need for His forgiveness.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
What do the following verses tell us about mankind, including ourselves?

Romans 3:23 (New Living Translation)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

1 John 1:8 (New Living Translation)
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

Answer:

 

According to the following verse, what is the consequence for our sins?

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:

 

What does the following scripture reveal about how we can receive God’s gift for us?

Acts 2:38 (New Living Translation)
Peter replied, “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.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
In the following passage, Paul talks about the war with his mind in regards to sin. As you read, think of a situation in your life that helps you relate to him.

Romans 7:21-25 (New Living Translation)
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Is there a sin that you cannot seem to break free from? What hope does Paul reveal for your life?

 

When it comes to your sins, do you find yourself playing your own mind games? Here are a few:

  • Comparison Game: “I am not as bad as…”
  • Recreation God Game: “My God is loving. He won’t judge me.”
  • Blame Game: “If you knew what I had to put up with, you would do it too!”

What other excuses have you made for not confessing your wrongdoings to God?

 

As you previously read in Romans 3:23, we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glorious standard. Despite the battles in our mind, we have to admit our sins and our need for God’s forgiveness. Write down any sins that you have not confessed for one reason or another.

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the sin in your life and admit these wrongdoings to God. Praise Him for the gift of grace in Jesus Christ who has already suffered and sacrificed his life for all of your sins.