Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.8.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 7.8.11.

FRIDAY— Weekly Wrap Up
Big Point: Bill Hybels gives us five filters to evaluate if a prompting is from God.

From Bill Hybels: “Over the years I have complied a short list of filters that help me test every whisper I receive. No matter how confusing, challenging or unsettling a prompting may be, if it passes the following five filters, I attempt to obey it every time. Similarly, if a whisper doesn’t stand up under the scrutiny of these five filters, I am reticent to accept it as being from God without further careful examination.”

FILTER #1: Is the Prompting Truly from God?
Whenever you receive a prompting—whether from God directly or through the lips of another—take whatever time is necessary to ask, “God, is this message from you? Is it consistent with your character? Is it aligned with your attributes?” Before taking a single step to obey the whisper you’ve received, be sure you get the all-clear that the voice you have heard could be from God.

FILTER #2: Is it Scriptural?
Scripture is replete with examples of how God would behave in any given life situation, and the Example’s name is Jesus Christ. Whenever I sense a prompting from God, I ask myself if I could imagine Jesus doing whatever action the prompting is suggesting I do. If I can’t envision Jesus following suit, I fear my wires somehow must have gotten crossed. Messages that contradict Scripture are not from God.

FILTER #3: Is it Wise?
God’s whispers rarely go against wisdom and common sense. The entire book of Proverbs is devoted to dissecting wisdom and all her attributers. Scripture is relentless in exhorting us to be wise in all our dealings, to be wise in all our ways.
God’s direction rarely violates the wisdom test. Be sure you’re not sidestepping what is wise in favor of acting quickly on whispers. If God is indeed in the plan, it will likely not involve blatantly unwise action.

FILTER #4: Is It in Tune with Your Own Character?
I caution people against running headlong into a field that is totally foreign to their wiring patterns, their education, their expertise and their experience in life thus far. It’s not that God can’t endorse a dramatic 180-degree turn. It’s just that typically when he does so, it gets affirmed through a series of whispers, from several sources, in a variety of different ways.

FILTER #5: What Do the People You Most Trust Think about It?
Whenever you sense that God is speaking to you, find two or three veteran Christ-followers—preferably people who know you well and who are further down the spiritual path than you are—and take some time to describe the situation to them in detail. Humbly ask them, “Do you think God really did speak to me? Is this the voice of God I’m hearing, or in your estimation did I get my wires crossed?” Then, listen openly and intently to the answers you receive, because they might just save your hide.

Subject every prompting to the godly counsel test. It will save you from boatloads of heartache and just might affirm God’s best will for your life.

Weekend Reminders!
~ Registration Deadline July 12th! The early bird rate for Leadership Summit tickets expires on July 12th. If you haven’t purchased your ticket, now’s the time to go to www.cedarcreek.tv/summit.
~ Are you a writer? Do you enjoy reading the Living It Out? If so, we’d like to hear from you! We are looking for new writers to join our team. Find out more information and complete the training online! Contact barbr@cedarcreek.tv for more information.

HomePointe Family Activity
Big Point for Families: God’s got this!
Lesson: If you really trust that God loves you? Do you really trust that He is powerful? Do you trust that He will provide for all of your needs? If you really do then you should stop freaking out. When you put all of your faith and trust in God, act according to what scripture tells you is wise and remain obedient, you are going to get where God wants you to go and He will provide for you every step of the way.
Activity: Ask your family the following questions:
~ Where do you go to find wisdom when you need to know what to do?
~ What do you think it means to obey God?
~ Whom do you look to as an authority figure in their life?
~ Do you trust that God will provide for you wherever you go?
These four questions will help you determine if you are truly seeking God’s will the way He requires. Want to be wise? Want to be obedient to God? Read the scriptures to discover what He requires. Want to place God as the authority in your life? Submit yourself to His will daily.
Pray: Thank God for providing for all that we need.

Living It Out: **NEW** July 2011
Colossians 4:5-6 (New Living Translation)
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

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

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses, are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.
Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message
Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the New Testament in a year
Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others
Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

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

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

RESOURCES:
Daily Bible Commentary compiled by Barb Roose
HomePointe Family Activity written by Chantele Henry

This week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study written by:
Tammy Kaiser
Kaye Althaus
Rick Kinney
Emily Lee
Barb Roose

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Proverbs 23-24
23:4—God isn’t against wealthy people. It is wise, however, to consider when your efforts to generate income begin to conflict with your relationships, health or spiritual well-being.
23:6-8—How do you know when you are hoarding? Answer: When you cannot be generous toward others because you are worried about providing for yourself.
23:17-18—“Don’t envy sinners” One of the most difficult transitions for new Christians is the sense that they are missing out on “fun” when they accept Christ. Think about what you are really missing. How does it compare with what Jesus promises to do in your life?
24:6—It is wise to ask for advice from those who are more knowledgeable than you. Their opinion shouldn’t be your only source of information, but their wisdom can illuminate your situation.
24:8—“a person who plans evil” Unchecked, wrong desires can lead to sin.
24:10—When we fail to live out our faith under pressure, we can either respond by getting discouraged or we can learn from our mistakes and grow from them.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.7.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 7.7.11.

THURSDAY— Clearing cloggy pipes
Big Point: Sin and disobedience will diminish our ability to hear from God…that’s not a good thing.

One of the most striking elements of 1 Samuel 3 is found in the opening sentence: “Now in those days, messages from the LORD were rare and visions were uncommon.” Eli and his sons were serving as priests in the temple, yet their family history of disobedience had led to decreased messages from God.
If you are reading this LIO Bible study, we are going to assume that you have an interest in living a life that pleases God. However, we know for a fact that none of us is perfect. The problem comes when we have areas of our lives that we know are falling short of God’s holy standard, yet we let those sinful behaviors or patterns of disobedience continue unchallenged.
How does disobedience diminish our capacity to hear from God? When we sin, it’s like we put up a wall that keeps God’s influence out of our life. Galatians 5:19-21 tells us that when we are disobedient, the fruits of that disobedience will carry us far away from what God desires for our lives. It’s not God that abandons us; in fact, we separate ourselves from God when we sin.

READ…What does the Bible say?
Luke 6:46-47 (New Living Translation)
46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 4

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 (New Living Translation)
7 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. 8 Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

1 John 2:15 (New Living Translation)
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.

THINK…Find the answers
Luke 6:20-49 has been referred to as Luke’s Sermon on the Plain (an apparent parallel to Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount—Matthew 5-7). In Luke 6:46-47, Jesus is referring to those who profess themselves to be Christians, but what is it that they are failing to do?

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8. The Apostle Paul instructs believers to live in a manner that pleases God—particularly when it comes to remaining sexually pure. In today’s culture, there is a lot of conversation about morality and sex. What does Paul say about those who refuse to listen to God’s teaching about sexual morality?

Sometimes we get consumed by all of the noise in our culture—often that noise distracts us, causing us to turn away from listening for God’s voice. Read 1 John 2:15. What does it mean to “love the things of this world”? How does loving the things we see around us distract us or prevent us from hearing God’s voice?

LIVE…What will you do now?
Are there any sins or patterns of disobedience in your life that you suspect are keeping you from hearing God’s voice? How is your spiritual life being hampered as a result?

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
It’s time to address the things that you wrote in response to the question above. If you are ready, begin praying. Confess your sin and disobedience to God, asking Him for forgiveness and restoration.

Improve your listening skills:
Connect with God through prayer and reading scripture. Psalm 1-4
Be immediately obedient once you confirm God’s leading—don’t delay! Romans 8:7-8
Do not doubt God’s power or provision. He will provide for you! James 1:6
Believe in God’s love so that you are free to live out His will for your life!

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Proverbs 22
22:2—At the end of our lives, it doesn’t matter how much money we did or did not have—we will all answer to a Holy God and be held to the same standard.
22:3—This is one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible. A parent’s role is to teach children HOW to make decisions, not to make all of the decisions for them. When parents teach children how to make decisions, then parents do not have to always watch every decision their child makes and the parents can rest knowing that they have honored God by teaching their children the right priorities. Whether or not the adult child abides by those priorities is not the parents’ responsibility.
22:7—Here is another popular verse. Question: Is it a sin to borrow money? No, but we must be careful to avoid taking on loans that we might not be able to repay. At some point, no matter our income level, too much debt is just too much.
22:13—Lazy individuals who do not like to work or struggle to keep a job always seem to have strange or lame excuses for not staying employed.
22:17-28—This is a collection of good advice that we can still apply to our lives today.
22:24-25— “Don’t befriend angry people” Another verse (1 Corinthians 15:33) also tells us to remember that “bad company corrupts good character.”
22:26-27—This verse creates a lot of tension, but the writer’s advice is true! Have you ever had to pay for a car that someone else bought but you co-signed for in order to help him or her get the car? If you can afford to co-sign, then make sure the person you are co-signing for is worth the risk. However, you can’t afford to co-sign for another’s debt, you are actually putting your household at risk. That’s not wise.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.6.11

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WEDNESDAY— How can we hear God speaking?
Big Point: People have a tendency to listen only to what they want to hear.

Soccer star Keith Downing shared the following story about his Uncle Dick… Apparently Uncle Dick noticed that every time he ate pork chitlins (his favorite food), his foot pained him immensely that evening. His family physician confirmed his suspicion of pork-induced gout. When Uncle Dick returned home from the doctor’s office, his wife asked him how the appointment had gone. Uncle Dick plopped off his shoes and replied, “The doctor said I’m going to have gout about three times a week.” The lesson: people have a tendency to listen only to what they want to hear. -from www.sermoncentral.com, “Hearing God When He Speaks”

Yesterday we looked at God speaking through His Word, Wisdom, and Authority. Today, we will see how God speaks through Personal Experience, the Holy Spirit, and Godly Counsel.

READ…What does the Bible say?
1 Samuel 3:3-4, 9-10 (New Living Translation)
3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening,’” So Samuel went back to bed. 10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

James 4:8 (New Living Translation)
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

THINK…Find the answers
Read 1 Samuel 3:3-4. Where was Samuel when he heard God speaking to him? How did his location help Samuel hear God?

In 1 Samuel 3:9-10, Eli gave the confused Samuel advice on what to do when he heard God’s voice again: in order to hear God, he must give God permission to speak. How did this help Samuel hear God?

According to James 4:8, what hinders our ability to hear God?

LIVE…What will you do now?
There are lots of passages in the Bible where God admonishes his people to listen to him. Why is it so important to God that we listen to Him? God wants us to hear his voice—it’s the only way we’ll receive all the blessings He wants to give us.

Describe some experiences in your life when you have been blessed as a result of listening to God’s leadings.

When it comes to hearing God, proximity is important. We can’t expect to hear from God if we don’t remain close to Him. That’s why things like attending church and doing life with other Christians in a Life Group are important. List two or three Christ-followers you can turn to for godly counsel.

We have looked at six ways that God speaks into our lives. Why it is important for us to consider all of the ways when contemplating a decision versus just relying on one or two areas of input?

PRAY… What do you want me to know and do?
Today, thank God for His grace in wanting to bless you. Ask Him to help you slow down and remain close to Him so you can listen and be guided by Him in your life.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Proverbs 20-21
20:1—In Galatians 5, the Apostle Paul instructs believers to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. When we overindulge in alcohol, we are unable to live by the Spirit because we are under the influence of alcohol. Drinking alcohol is a liberty. However, every believer must determine whether or not to indulge in this liberty.
20:2—This verse is a parallel to Proverbs 19:12. Both verses discuss what happens to subjects who do not live in obedience to the king’s rules.
20:6—This verse is a parallel to Proverbs 18:24.
20:12—Hearing God speak into our lives is a blessing.
20:13—”If you love sleep” doesn’t mean that it is wrong to get enough rest; rather it describes a person who is lazy and doesn’t get up and work.
20:15—”wise words” This theme is repeated numerous times in Proverbs.
20:22—Are you secretly hoping that someone will “get theirs” for wronging you? There are numerous verses in both the Old and New Testament that remind us that God will deal with those who treat us unjustly.
20:24—We are often confused by the events around us. Some things we will never understand until later when we look back and see how God was working. This proverb counsels us not to worry if we don’t understand everything as it happens.
21:2—This verse should remind you of Psalm 139:23—Ben talked about this verse in his message on Samuel.
21:6—Perhaps someone should have mentioned this verse to Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff…
21:12—God knows what’s happening behind closed doors even though your manicured front lawn and shiny cars fool your neighbors and friends.
21:13—This verse reflects Jesus’ illustration in Matthew 25:35-45.
21:20—Saving for the future isn’t unbiblical—in fact, God admonishes us to prepare for future financial obligations so that we won’t end up incurring unnecessary debt. Those who are unable to control their spending will end up broke.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.5.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 7.5.11.

TUESDAY: How does God speak?
Big Point: Listening to hear God speak is key in living a fulfilling Christian life.

In his recent book, The Power of a Whisper, Bill Hybels casts a vision for what life on earth can look like when God’s followers turn an ear toward heaven— discerning whispers that arbitrate key decisions, nudges that rescue from dark nights of the soul, promptings that spur growth, urgings from the lips of another person and inspiration that opens glazed-over eyes to the plight of injustice and poverty in our world.

Hybels incites passion in Christ-followers’ hearts for being wide open to the power of a whisper from God, offers practical filters for discerning whether the whisper you heard is from heaven and issues the challenge to get gutsier about actually doing what God is prompting you to do.

There are six ways God speaks to us. Today we will look at three of those ways: God’s Word, wisdom and authority. Tomorrow, we will look at the remaining three vehicles God uses to speak to us.

READ…What does the Bible say?
Psalm 119:105 (New International Version)
105Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.

James 1:5 (New Living Translation)
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

Romans 13:1 (New Living Translation)
1Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

THINK…Find the answers
God’s Word to us is the Bible, a complete set of instructions directly from God. What does Psalm 119:105 mean by “lamp for my feet”? How about “a light for my path”?

According to James 1:5, where should we start our quest for wisdom? Will we be penalized for asking for wisdom?

Read Romans 13:1. Why does God care whether we listen to those in authority? How does God speak to us through authority figures?

To read more about discerning whether a whisper is truly from God, turn to the Weekly Wrap-Up on Friday for a list of Bill Hybels’ Five Filters to Test a Whisper.

LIVE…What will you do now?
There are many different ways to hear God speaking to us. What are some ways that you have experienced God speaking into your life? How did you know God was speaking?

Today, we examined three ways that God speaks to us. Do you need to improve in any of those areas?

One of the ways that CedarCreek helps Christ-followers learn to hear from God is to encouraging the memorization of scripture each month. Turn to the last page of this study and write out the new July Memory Verse below:

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
One of the most assuring things in the Christian life is the sense that God is speaking to us. Today you have the opportunity to reflect on the times in life when you were certain God was speaking into your life. If it’s been a long time since God has spoken into your life ask God to reveal the reasons why He seems to be silent.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Proverbs 19
19:2—How often do we over-rationalize the reasons to do something we really, really want to do? This verse warns us to not rush important decisions that require careful evaluation as to whether or not God is leading us in a particular direction.
19:4—Did you know that the average lottery winner is broke within five years of winning? Former winners reported that they couldn’t say “no” to their sudden “new” friends or long-lost family members asking for money.
19:8—This verse doesn’t condone selfish or self-centered behavior. However, we are instructed to love and care for ourselves in a manner that honors the God that created us. This includes caring for ourselves spiritually and physically.
19:13—Unfortunately, many of us experience the tragedy of this verse first hand.
19:18—Parents are admonished to take great care in training their young children while those children are still moldable. Lenient parents do not realize that untrained children will not only be a burden to the parents, but society as well.
19:21—During this weekend’s message, we discussed a question Christians like to ask: “What is God’s will for my life?” What have you learned about God’s will and what He desires for your life? Are you willing to conform your desires to God’s purposes?

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.4.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 7.4.11.

Series: Vintage Faith
Samuel

Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, the young man entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.

The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, he stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was happening. They muttered amongst themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet. Surely the young man went into the office by mistake and would be disqualified. Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.”

The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: ‘If you understand this message, them come right in. The job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”

This past weekend Ben talked about Samuel and his experience with listening to the still, small voice of God. John 8:47 says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” This week the Living It Out daily study will help you, if you profess to be following Jesus Christ, become more aware of the times when God is speaking to you. If you have yet to become a Christ-follower, then you’ll be more aware of how you can become one and start to hear His voice.

We live in a world that is full of busyness and clatter, like the Morse Code office. People are distracted and unable to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks to them. What about you? Are you tuned in to God’s voice? Do you hear God when He speaks to you? Are you listening?
-portions adapted from sermoncentral.com, Holy Headphones

IN THIS WEEK’S STUDY WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON LISTENING AND LIVING OUT GOD’S WILL FOR OUR LIVES.

MONDAY — Hearing from God
Big Point: God’s will is simpler than we tend to make it.

Here is an observation from Bill Hybels, author of the book, The Power of a Whisper: “The message that the Lord then spoke to young Samuel was a prophetic promise that would radically impact an entire nation. But the content of that message is not what struck me as I sat in my wooden grade-school desk. What struck me was the fact that the content got conveyed through the ears and lips of a little boy!”

Young Samuel was asleep in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God when he heard someone calling him. Three times Samuel went to Eli and asked if Eli was calling him. After repeatedly telling Samuel to “Go back to bed,” Eli finally realized it was God who was calling Samuel. Eli told Samuel the next time he heard someone calling his name to tell God he was listening. When God spoke again, Samuel responded.

READ…What does the Bible say?
1 Timothy 4:12 (New International Version)
12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Romans 8:28 (New International Version)
28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Matthew 28:19-20 (New International Version)
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

THINK…Find the answers
Throughout the Bible, God uses unusual people to deliver important messages. God chose Mary to give birth to His Son, Jesus. God used a shepherd boy named David to encourage the Israelites and slay a giant and women, to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection. No one is too insignificant to be used by God!

In 1 Timothy, what encouragement does God give young people? What instructions?

Matthew 28:19-20 is referred to as The Great Commission, in which Jesus gave final instructions to his followers after His resurrection. What did Jesus call all Christfollowers to do?

LIVE…What will you do now?
When you read Matthew 28:19-20, what information do you gather that helps you identify God’s will for your life (if you consider yourself a Christ-follower)?

What situation is challenging your faith these days? Is there something you keep asking God about over and over again because it seems that He hasn’t provided an answer? What is it?

Re-read Romans 8:28. If you really trust that your heavenly Father loves you and that He is powerful and He is a provider, then stop freaking out! You are going to get where God wants you to go. What verses testify to God’s provision for you? (You might need to get out your Bible, but finding those verses is worth it!)

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
In the box to the right is a poem that Bill Hybels memorized as a little boy. This child’s prayer can be your inspiration as you pray today that God will give you ears like Samuel to be open and hear His word.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Proverbs 17-18
17:3—It takes intense heat to purify gold and silver. In the same manner, Christians have the potential to experience tremendous spiritual growth while enduring intense challenges.
17:5—Making fun of those who are less fortunate is offensive to God because we are called to love and care for those who lack the ability to provide for themselves.
17:8— “lucky charm” The Bible does not condone bribery, but the writer does observe that bribery is effective in getting what one wants.
17:9—Is there someone that you need to forgive today for offending you? Remember, forgiveness is choosing to let go of the offense, but it isn’t the same as reconciliation (which may or may not be possible).
17:14—If we followed the counsel of this verse, our marriages and interactions with our children and parents would improve immediately.
17:22—There is such potential for us to be a blessing when we are known for greeting others with a smile on our face.
18:4—Even though we cannot know the future, when we have God’s wisdom planted within our hearts, we are able to apply it to every situation in life.
18:6—This verse evokes a question: “How often do you get into arguments with others?” If you are always getting into disagreements with others, perhaps you need to consider the words that you use.
18:8—Everyone likes to hear the “dirt” about others. However, if we refrain from hearing the first tidbit, it’s easier to ignore the rest.
18:21—This verse reflects the theme of James 3.
18:24—King Solomon may not have been familiar with the term “frenemy.” Are you known as a friend that blesses or breaks down friendships?

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 6.10.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 6.10.11.

FRIDAY — Reflection

We’re at the end of this week’s LIO and so it’s time to reflect on the things that you’ve experienced during this week’s study.

• As you look back on this week’s study, what ideas/concepts were you challenged to think about the most?

• Reflect on the various verses that you read this week. Which verse was the most meaningful for you? Why? How has this verse impacted you?

• On Tuesday, we looked at the “Bystander Effect” and how people rarely break away from a group to take action. Yet, when someone does get involved, others usually follow. Have you identified an environment in your life where you need to break away from the crowd and stand up for your faith? How can you have courageous faith and display it in a way that honors God and demonstrates humility toward others?

• Were you able to think of different ways for you to live out your faith more courageously? Did you act on any of them? If so, how did it go?

WEEKEND REMINDERS:
• Dave Ramsey’s Life.Money.Hope – June 14 and 15.—Did you barely make it through the first half of the year financially? Do you want to improve your financial outlook for the second half of the year? In this two-day seminar, you will watch a three-part series from popular author, financial expert and top-rate television host Dave Ramsey. This seminar runs simultaneously with KidVille’s Summer Blast. Cost for Life.Money.Hope is $10 and includes book and course materials.
• Leadership Summit—Don’t forget to register for this year’s event! Special CedarCreek attendee discount rate still applies, but don’t delay! To register, go to www.cedarcreek.tv/summit for more information or to register.
• Annual Business Meeting—Want to hear about our annual budget or information about the plans for our church over the next year? CedarCreek’s annual business meeting is Sunday June 26 at 5pm at the Perrysburg Campus.

HomePointe Family Activity Section
Big Point: We are courageous and stand up for what we believe, it makes it easier for others to be courageous and stand up for what they believe as well.
Lesson: There are lots of people in our society who courageously stand up for what they believe. It’s always a great idea to talk as a family about what makes a person courageous, whether it was a courageous action or taking a stand for faith. The best time to have these conversations are when we hear any story of a courageous person or perhaps, taking the time to read a biography of someone who was bold and courageous enough to stand alone for what he or she believed in.
Activity: Answer the following questions:
1. Who is the most courageous person you know personally? Why did you pick that person?
2. What is the bravest or most courageous thing you have ever done? What did you learn about yourself when you chose to be courageous?
3. This week, we learned about Caleb and Joshua and how they courageous stood up for God when the Israelites were against them. In what ways can you let others know that you stand for God?
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the example of Caleb and Joshua. We pray that we will always be courageous and brave for You. We know that when we are courageous, others will be inspired to be courageous, too.

Living It Out: Scripture Memory JUNE 2011
Joshua 24:15 (New Living Translation)
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

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

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses, are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.
Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message
Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the New Testament in a year
Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others
Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

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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 barbr@cedarcreek.tv.

RESOURCES:
Daily Bible Reading Commentary compiled by Rick Kinney
HomePointe Family Activity by Chantele Henry

This week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study written by:
Barb Roose
Kate Roose
Sam Roose

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Judges 1-3
1:1 “after the death of Joshua…” Descriptions of the book’s setting in Judges 1 and 2 vary between times after Joshua’s death and flashbacks summarizing conditions while he was alive.
1:2 “Judah is to go…” The tribe received God’s first go-ahead to push for a more thorough conquest of its territory. The reason probably rested in God’s choice that Judah be the leader among the tribes. 1:6 “cut off his thumbs and big toes…” Removing the king’s thumbs and big toes rendered him unable to use a weapon and unstable on the battlefield. This made him unable to fight in the future.
2:1 “I will never break my covenant with you…” God would be faithful until the end, but the people would forfeit blessing for trouble, due to their disobedience.
2:12 “they followed other gods…” Idol worship, such as the golden calf in the wilderness, flared up again. Many different gods from the area’s inhabitants entered the life of the Israelites.
2:14 “In His anger against Israel…” Calamities designed as chastisement brought discipline intended to lead the people to repentance.
2:16 “the Lord raised up judges…” A judge, or deliverer, was distinct from a judge in the English world today. Such a leader guided military expeditions against foes. There was no succession or national rule. They were local deliverers, lifted up to leadership by God when the deplorable conditions of Israel in the region around them prompted God to rescue the people.
3:10 “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him…” Certain judges were expressly said to have the Spirit of the Lord come upon them. HomePointe

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 6.9.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 6.9.11.

THURSDAY—What is God saying to you?
Big Point: God is speaking to each one of us.

If you’ve been around CedarCreek for awhile, you’ve heard us talk about Bill Hybel’s book, The Power of a Whisper. We had the opportunity to hear Bill talk about his new book at our 15th anniversary celebration last October at the Huntington Center. The subtitle of The Power of a Whisper is “Hearing God. Having the guts to respond.”

Isn’t that so true? When we hear God speak into our lives, it usually means that we have to abandon our agenda and our plans for His plans. Furthermore, God’s plans usually require us to walk by faith, meaning that we have to leave the land of what we can predict and expect and step into the open and trust God’s character and faithfulness for our lives.

We spent the week talking about courageous faith, but as we enter into the final portion of this week’s study, we have to remember that it’s one thing to have courage, but it is another thing to have a courage that is grounded in faith and trust in God.

READ…What does the Bible say?
Galatians 5:25 (New Living Translation)
25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Luke 9:23 (New Living Translation)
23 Then he (Jesus) said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.

THINK…Find the answers
Read Galatians 5:25. What does it mean for us to follow the Spirit’s leadings?

In Luke 9:23, Jesus challenges his disciples to turn away from their established lives and follow him into the unknown. What kind of courage did it take for the new disciples to walk away from their families and lifestyles to follow Jesus?

From Bill Hybel’s book, The Power of a Whisper
“When people hear from heaven, they are rarely the same again. When the sovereign God chooses to communicate with someone— whether eight, eighteen or eighty years old— that person’s world is rocked.
Without a hint of exaggeration, I can boldly declare that God’s low-volume whispers have saved me from a life of sure boredom and self-destruction. They have redirected my path, rescued me from temptation and reenergized me during some of my deepest moments of despair. They inspire me to live my life at what boaters call “wide-open throttle”— full on!”

LIVE…What will you do now?
Usually, a “whisper” or leading from God is something that exceeds our ability to do on our own. While we’ve spent the week talking about having the courage to stand for our faith, we should also think about new roads that God might be calling us to courageously explore in order to build His kingdom and our faith.

While we’ve asked this question a few times in the last few months, it seems appropriate to ask it again: What has God been “whispering” about in your life lately?

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Here’s an opportunity for you to write out a prayer to God about the things that you’ve been thinking about this week when it comes to the topic of living out your faith courageously. What do you think you need to do differently as a result of what you’ve studied so far this week? Commit those plans to God in prayer:

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Exodus 37-40
39:32 “so all the work…was completed.” Finally, the moment arrived when the different tasks assigned to various artisans were all completed, and the result was ready for formal presentation to Israel’s leader.
39:43 “then Moses inspected the work…” Fittingly enough, the one who had been with God on the mount and had passed on to the people the blueprints for everything connected with the Lord’s tabernacle personally inspected the work and confirmed its successful completion. “And Moses blessed them.” By this act, Moses set his final and formal seal of approval on the outcome of their earnestness and diligence, and expressed his prayer-wish that good would result to them from their God.
40:1-33 Finally, the time arrived for the tabernacle to be erected with the Holy of Holies and it’s accompanying Holy Place to the west, and the courtyard entrance to the east. In terms of pagan religions and their worship of the sun god, some significance might be seen in the high priest worshipping God with his back to the rising sun. All who entered the courtyard also turned their backs to the rising sun as they came in to sacrifice and worship.
40:17 The tabernacle was completed almost one year after the Exodus from Egypt. The people were at the foot of Mt. Sinai at that time.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 6.8.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 6.8.11.

WEDNESDAY—Courage comes when we are courageous!
Big Point: We don’t need to pray for courage. We just need to be courageous and then, we will have courage!

Spc. Ross McGinnis was traveling in a Humvee convoy in Northeast Baghdad. His convoy’s mission was to patrol the streets as well as find a place to put a 250-kilowatt generator that would provide electricity for over 100 homes.

While stopped on the street, an insurgent dropped a grenade from a rooftop above Spc. McGinnis’ Humvee, which was last in the convoy. McGinnis was manning the vehicle’s machine gun. He yelled “grenade” and prepared to jump out of the truck according to those in his vehicle.

However, Spc. McGinnis realized that no one else would be able to get out of their positions soon enough to escape without injury or death, so instead of saving his own life, McGinnis threw his body against the grenade and smothered the explosive with his body. The grenade exploded as soon as McGinnis covered his body with it, killing him instantly. The others in the vehicle survived the explosion.

John 15:13 says that the greatest love we can have for others is when we lay down our lives for them. It takes courage to put someone else’s needs above our own because we are naturally wired to seek fulfillment of our own desires and wishes. Courage doesn’t come naturally. It only comes when we act courageously.

READ…What does the Bible say?
1 Corinthians 16:13 (New Living Translation)
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

Psalm 27:14 (New Living Translation)
14Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.

Psalm 31:24 (New Living Translation)
24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!

Joshua 1:9 (New Living Translation)
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

THINK…Find the answers
In 1 Corinthians 16:13, the Apostle Paul is summing up principles for powerful living for the oft-wayward Corinthian church. Look at each of Paul’s short admonitions. How are they related with each other?

LIVE…What will you do now?
We all want to think that we could be as courageous as Spc. Ross McGinnis. However, we never know if we are courageous until the moment that courage is needed arises. At that moment, we don’t have a lot of time to decide if we are going to be courageous—we either act with courage, or we don’t.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? Why did you decide to act? How did you feel once the situation was over and you could reflect on your actions?

When is the last time you took a stand for your faith? (Ex: inviting someone to church, sharing your faith, standing up for injustice, tithing, giving up a sinful pattern of behavior) Why did you feel compelled to act or speak? How did that act of courage change you?

If you haven’t taken a stand recently, could there be an opportunity for you to try again? If so, what would you do?

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
We could pray for God to give us opportunities to be courageous, however, those opportunities are all around us. We just have to pray and ask God for a fresh perspective on the new ways He wants us to live out our faith with bold courage.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Exodus 33-36
33:7 “the tabernacle of meeting…” In the time prior to the construction of the tabernacle, Moses’ tent became the special meeting place for Moses to talk intimately with God.
33:12-17 Again, Moses entered earnestly and confidently into the role of intercessor before God for the nation whom he again referred to as “Your people.” Moses clearly understood that without God’s presence they would not be a people set apart from other nations.
34:1 “cut two tablets of stone…” Renewal of the covenant meant replacement of the broken, original tablets on which God had personally written the Ten Commandments.
34:29-35 The first time on the mount, unlike the second, had not left Moses with a face which was reflecting some radiance associated with being in the presence of the Lord for an extended period of time.
35:1- 40:38 In this section, the Israelites constructed the tabernacle as God so prescribed in chapters 25-31.
35:30- 36:1 The Lord also gave the two named artisans skill in teaching their trades. This substantiates that they were, most probably, the supervisors or leaders of the construction teams.
26:2-7 The people, stubborn and disobedient at times, nevertheless rose to the occasion and voluntarily brought much more than was needed for the building of the tabernacle.