Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.13.12

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.09.12

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For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 NLT

 

“The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal GOD had made. He spoke to the Woman: ‘Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?’ The Woman said to the serpent, ‘Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, “Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.”’

The serpent told the Woman, ‘You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil’” (Genesis 3:1-5, The Message).

Did you see that? How God’s cleverest creature, that serpent, how he made the woman doubt? Made her question God’s goodness? Made her think that she was lacking something, that God was holding something back from her, in Eden? This may not look the same today, but this happens all the time. Colossians 2:8 reads: “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” Someone challenges your faith and you are not sure how to answer them. The people around you are following the newest, hottest philosophy, guaranteed to make you rich and happy. You ask God for something and it doesn’t come. Are they right? Is God indeed not good? Ephesians 6:12 says that we are fighting against mighty powers in this dark world. They may not come as serpents hissing in ours ears, but their effect is the same—to make us doubt, to make us think that we can figure it out ourselves, to make us think there is more that should be ours. Satan makes us think that God, who sacrificed His Son, is holding back on us.

Adam and Eve did exactly what God warned them not to do. God walked with Man in the garden. When the Man was lonely, God gave him a companion. And when they disobeyed God…He called to them. God came to them as they hid, wrapped in fig leaves, guilt, and fear. This is the moment the war began. God could have ended it right there, but instead He made a plan. God’s response to sin is to call to us, to confront our sin, and to draw us back to Him. He reminds us of what is true. “I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers” (Genesis 3:15, The Message).

This is still WAR. Not a battle won and lost in a garden long ago. We are at war against Satan’s seduction, against the false ideas of this world, against our own pride, ingratitude, and self-righteousness. It is a battle for our souls, for our eternity. A battle we can never win without a SAVIOR. God is calling you today. Are you hiding, covered in guilt? When He asks you—what is it you have done—are you ready to admit your sin? Are you ready to believe in the only one who can cover your stains? Are you ready to commit your life to JESUS?

 

MONDAY — The Good Works Trap
Big Point:
Good deeds are THE FRUIT of your salvation. They are not THE ROOT of your salvation.

In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus foretold an interesting but confusing circumstance at the final judgment. He said he would come back and separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep at his right hand from the goats at his left hand. Then he told those on his right that they would be coming back to the Kingdom with him because they had fed him, offered him water and given him clothing and shelter. Confused, the righteous people had no recollection of doing those things for Jesus; but then he revealed that when they did these things for anyone in need, they were doing them for him.

Next, Jesus dismissed those on his left because they did not perform the kindnesses the other group had done. When the group questioned him, Jesus told them that when they refused to help those in need they were, in fact, refusing him.

With an illustration like that, it is tempting to connect the dots and believe that the difference between going to Heaven or Hell has to do with what we do on this earth—good or bad. However, in reality, Christianity is the only world religion that does NOT require good works for salvation. Think about the implications if God based our salvation on good works. How would we ever know if we had performed enough of them to get into Heaven? Remember that first and foremost, we are saved because our merciful God made a way for us to have salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.

So where does that leave us with the story from Matthew 25? Jesus was illustrating that as children of God, we should be known by our good deeds. It is the evidence of our salvation, but salvation comes from God’s mercy. We can get away from the Good Works trap by embracing the simplicity of the Admit, Believe, Commit approach that we will study the rest of the week. It is a simple focus that is the cornerstone of our faith. Challenge yourself through this week’s study.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
According to Ephesians 2:8, how are we saved? Why is it done this way? As saved people, who are we?

Ephesians 2:8-10 (New Living Translation)
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Answer:


Read Galatians 2:21. If our good works could secure our place in Heaven, what would the consequence be for Christ’s death and God’s sacrifice and grace?

Galatians 2:21 (New Living Translation)
21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Answer:


How does Philippians 3:9 say that we become righteous and what does this righteousness depend on?

Philippians 3:9 (New Living Translation)
I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

Answer:


No Chains On Me
Chris Tomlin 

Now is the time, now is the time for freedom,
Abandoned by cold religion,
my heart on fire.

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Spend some time reading and thinking about the story from Matthew 25:31-46 that we referenced in today’s intro. Why is it tempting to believe that you could earn your way to Heaven? What are the downfalls of such a plan? How does being 100% sure that salvation has been achieved change the way you live today?

 

Think about the difference between the fruit of your salvation and the root of your salvation. Why are both an important part of your relationship with God?

 

Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I doing enough good deeds for God?” In light of these previous scriptures, why is that kind of thinking born of fear and apprehension? Why is a question like, “Since good deeds please God, how can I do more of them?” a more positive question? What kinds of thoughts do you need to cultivate to get your thinking on track with this issue?

 

What does it mean to you that there is nothing you can do to win God’s love? Explain why it’s still sometimes hard to admit your need and to accept God’s grace through Christ.

 

PRAY… God what do you want me to know and do?
Ask God to forgive you for any self-righteousness that has caused you to try to earn your way into Heaven and reject His grace. Pray that He will renew your appreciation of your salvation. Thank God for the Easter victory!

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.06.12

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FRIDAY — What Do You Want to Be Remembered For?
Big Point: You can live a life of significance . . . and it’s never too late to start!

This week we talked about what you should say and do before your Last Call. We have limited days on this earth. What kind of legacy are you leaving? How would you like to be remembered? In a survey by Rick Warren in which he asked these same questions, some of the responses he received were:

  • “Probably most importantly I want to be remembered as being a good mother to my children and a good wife to my husband and a good friend to all my friends.”
  • “I want to be remembered as being a very loving and supportive wife, a loving and uplifting mother who is close to her children, and a loving and supporting daughter, and a wonderful friend.”
  • “I want it to be remembered that I was a good father.”
  • “I don’t want to be remembered for anything bad.”
  • “I would like to be remembered as a great chef.”
  • “I’d like to be remembered as investing in the lives of my children and also giving them the tools to follow the Lord.”
  • “Probably my honesty. I think if you have convictions, you’ve got to follow through with those convictions. That will get you pretty much anywhere.”
  • “I would like to be remembered for leaving something a lot more positive toward our legacy.”

Although the above are good and noble things to be remembered for, not all of them have an eternal impact or Kingdom Contribution. The questions most relevant here and now are: If you were to die today, would your legacy have an eternal impact? If not, what do you need to change?

 

If I have no love for others, no desire to serve others, I should question whether Christ is in my life.
–Rick Warren

 

READ and THINK…Find the answers
The verse at the heart of this week’s message that we thought worth repeating is Philippian’s 2:4. What is God commanding us to do here?

Philippians 2:4 (New Living Translation)
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Answer:

In some of his final days before the crucifixion, Jesus gave instructions to his disciples as outlined in Mark 8:34-38. What do we need to do to leave a legacy of Kingdom Contributions?

Mark 8:34-38 (New Living Translation)
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Answer:

LIVE…What will you do now?
Bob Buford, in his book Halftime Rules, offers us a way of rating just how we are doing in leading a life of significance—one with Kingdom Contribution. Write down your score, but also take time to write yourself some notes on possible changes that you can make to work toward being the person that Christ wants you to be.

 

Eight Options for Second Half Significance
(This is also appropriate for significance in the first half of your life)
Rate your involvement in each option, 1-no involvement, 5-high involvement

 

__ Volunteer: Donate substantial time and energy to a kingdom cause or ministry.

__ Donor: Contribute financial resources to a kingdom cause or ministry.

__ Business as Ministry: Use your business to accomplish kingdom work.

__ Partner: Team up as a silent partner with someone involved full-time in a kingdom cause and resource that individual in whatever ways to produce results.

__ Board Member: Provide expertise and support to non-profit organizations committed to a kingdom cause.

__ Parallel Career: Take on major responsibility in a kingdom cause, even as you continue to carry out your vocational commitments.

__ Career Change: Serve full-time in a kingdom cause or ministry.

__ Social Entrepreneur: Start and build a new non-profit organization to fulfill a kingdom cause or unmet need in an innovative way.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Making adjustments in your life is always difficult. Open your heart to God and ask Him for guidance as you consider what changes you want to make in your life so that your Last Call is significant way before you are “called.”

 

Weekend Updates! 

  • Searching for Ways to Live Life without Regret? A 6-week series by Andy Stanley entitled “Guardrails” will 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 beginning on April 16th at 7pm. KidKare is available for a small fee and it’s only $10.00 for the workbook that you can pick up at The Source book store. Register at cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected tab” then find classes and seminars and the campus you wish to attend.
  • 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:

“Leaving a Legacy” by Rick Warren

Halftime Rules by Bob Buford

Steve Job’s 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University

 

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Kaye Althaus
Rebecka Blevins
Tammy Kaiser
Rick Kinney

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.05.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 04.03.12.
***NEW FEATURE***Click here to download an audio version of today’s daily bible study.

THURSDAY — Make a Contribution
Big Point: As Christians, leaving a legacy is more than being remembered for the earthly things we have done; it is about making Kingdom Contributions.

Have you ever wondered how the seconds and minutes and hours of our days add up? In his sermon, Leaving a Legacy, Rick Warren said:

  • If you’re an average American you’re going to live about 25,550 days.
  • If you live to your 70th birthday you will spend 23 years of your life sleeping.
  • You will spend 17 years of your life working.
  • You will spend 11 years of your life watching TV and playing.
  • You will spend 6 years of your life traveling.
  • You will spend 6 years of your life eating.
  • You will spend 2 years of your life getting ready.
  • You will spend 1 year of your life going to church.

Is that really what a successful or even a significant life is all about? So many people today are miserable. We are encouraged to live for ourselves and are told that our success is measured by the material things we accumulate. If this is true, why are successful people sometimes bored and unfulfilled? The reason is that our self-esteem comes from service to others. Success, in and of itself does not “satisfy.” You reach a certain goal only to realize that once the goal is achieved you have to continue to reach for other goals to top the one you just reached. God says that if you give your life away you will save it (Mark 8:35). Only by giving will you find true happiness and joy. You can start giving by finding a ministry at church to serve in. Help make coffee, volunteer in a kids’ ministry, find a way to utilize your talents and resources.

Instead of living for success and yourself, start living for others. Give your life away to a cause greater than yourself. There is no greater cause than doing what God put you on the earth to do. That’s called a Kingdom Contribution. It means doing what God made you to do, doing what you were shaped to do. Through this you will get fulfillment and happiness here and now in this world, and eternal rewards in Heaven.

 

READ and THINK…Find the answers
Jesus tells a parable of a master entrusting three servants with bags of silver while he goes out of town. Two of the servants invest the money and it multiplies. Matthew 25:23 is the master’s response to those two servants when he returns. In this parable, who is our master? What must we do to gain our master’s approval? What is our reward?

Matthew 25:23 (New Living Translation)
The master said, ‘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:

Read Romans 12:1. What does it mean to offer our bodies as living sacrifices? For what reason are we to offer our bodies as living sacrifices? How are we to worship God?

Romans 12:1 (New International Version)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Answer:

Read Mark 8:35. What happens when you try to hang on to your life? How can you save your life?

Mark 8:35 (New Living Translation)
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
God says that only through giving to others will we find lasting happiness and fulfillment. Instead of living for ourselves, we are supposed to live for others. Write down specific things you can do to live for others.

 

Volunteering in a church ministry is a good way to serve others and to utilize your God-given talents or resources. List three talents/resources that God has given you.

 

Talents/Resources
1.
2.
3.

Are you using these talents/resources for God today? If so, how?

 

If not, brainstorm ministries/volunteer opportunities where you could serve others and utilize these talents. If you cannot think of ideas, read the ATC (Around the ‘Creek) newsletter for specific areas at each campus in need of volunteers, or go to cedarcreek.tv and find “get connected” to find volunteer opportunities. Also, pray and ask God for direction in how He wants you to use your talents/resources.

Write down some of your ideas regarding areas in which you can serve.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Thank God for the talents and resources that He has given you. Thank God for the opportunity to serve Him and others. Pray and ask God to reveal to you how you can serve Him and others. Pray and ask God to lead you to a ministry or volunteer opportunity that will enable you to serve Him and others so you can feel good when you start working on your Last Call.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.04.12

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 04.04.12.
***NEW FEATURE***Click here to download an audio version of today’s daily bible study.

 

WEDNESDAY— Say: I Appreciate You
Big Point: Saying I appreciate you is more than saying “Thank you.” Appreciation is the expression of thankfulness and gratitude.

Appreciation is an acknowledgement of God’s generosity toward us and is a virtue that shapes not only our emotions and thoughts but our actions and deeds as well. Even if someone knows they are appreciated, a show of appreciation is always a welcomed gesture. The website eHow suggests five ways that appreciation can be shown:

1. Tell the person how much you appreciate him/her. Sometimes that can be enough. Always thank people for the things they do and tell them you appreciate them even when they have not done anything in particular.

2. Schedule time to spend with them. Sometimes just spending time with someone is the greatest gift that can be given. Jesus taught about the importance of fellowship with other Christians. Spending time with others is a way to uplift and encourage them.

3. Give a gift without an occasion. The gift can be as simple as spending time with them, helping with a needed chore or sharing a meal. It is not the expense of the gift that counts but the thought that goes into it.

4. Do something for others without being asked. Show your appreciation by taking care of the kids for a day, cooking dinner or doing a particular chore they may dislike doing.

5. Always make time to listen. You can show someone you appreciate them every day by making time for them. Showing this type of appreciation shouldn’t be a one-time event—strive to do it daily.

It often does not take much to show someone that they are appreciated, it just takes deciding to do it, figuring out how to do it, and to doing it often!

 

READ and THINK…Find the answers
Gratitude goes hand in hand with appreciation. Focusing on the blessing you have makes it easier to be appreciative towards others. Read Philippians 4:6. What does this scripture say about expressing gratitude, and who are we suppose to express it to?

Philippians 4:6 (New Living Translation)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Answer:

Read Hebrews 10:24. What are we supposed to motivate others to do? How can we motivate others towards these actions?

Hebrews 10:24 (New Living Translation)
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

Answer:

Reread the five ways that appreciation can be shown, as listed above. How do these actions tie into Philippians 2:4?

Philippians 2:4 (New Living Translation)
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Answer:

LIVE…What will you do now?
What are you doing right now to show your loved ones—family, friends, co-workers—that you appreciate them? After all you have learned today, do you think it is often enough?

 

Spend some time thinking about how you can show appreciation to others. Write down the names of three people that you appreciate. What steps can you take this week to show your appreciation?

Person                            Action
1.
2.
3.

Often we encourage our readers of the Living it Out to keep a gratitude journal. The reason we encourage this activity is because of the awareness it brings. This week keep a gratitude journal; every day write down five things that you are grateful for. This is not extensive, time-consuming journaling. It is a quick and powerful list of the blessings already in your life. Enjoy and Rejoice!

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

As you keep your journal for the week, express how listing your blessings helped you show appreciation for others. Did keeping a gratitude journal help you to focus on the blessings that God has given you? Make sure to spend time thanking God for these blessings.

 

Just as we are to show appreciation, we also like it when others show appreciation towards us. If you are feeling unappreciated by someone in your life, have an honest conversation with them. Be open and not defensive. Work together to make sure the needs of each person are being met.

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Pray and give appreciation and gratitude to God for who He is and all He has done in your life. Pray and ask God to help you to show your appreciation toward other. Pray for an attitude of gratitude in all you do so that when your Last Call comes, you will be able to pull out a list of blessings from your gratitude journal.