Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.15.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 11.15.11.

Series: Broken
This Week: Relationships

TUESDAY— Check Your Backside
Big Point: Before you start correcting others and telling them of their faults and shortcomings, take a good look at yourself—front, back, inside and out and be sure to have a hefty dose of “grace” for others while you are at it!

Often times we are quick to judge and let someone know what they need to do and why they need to do it. Some of us may not say what we think, but often times a never ending theme song plays in the back of our mind entitled “I know more than you … and here’s what you should do … according to me!” Think of ole’ honest and innocent Abe in the Geico commercial that was played this past weekend. If you did not see it, it showed a fictional reenactment of Abraham Lincoln’s wife asking her husband whether her “back-side” looked big in the dress she was wearing. Now we all know that Abe earned the coined phrase “honest Abe,” but do you think he was hard-pressed to say honestly what he thought in this instance? Well, his body language kind-of said it all and his wife walked away in a huff.
       Perhaps Abe did not want to offend his loving wife, or perhaps he thought “who am I to say what’s wrong with her, let me examine my own faults first before I go shouting out what’s wrong with her.” Okay, okay, perhaps you don’t buy that line of reasoning. Here’s the bottom line: we all must take an honest look at our own faults and be sure to harbor a huge dose of grace for others as we travel through our daily life!

READ…What Does the Bible Say?
Matthew 7:3 (New Living Translation)
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?

Colossians 3:13 (New Living Translation)
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you …

THINK…Find the answers
Can you imagine having a log in your eye as described in Matthew 7:3? What analogy is Jesus trying to draw here?

If someone messes up, what does Colossians 3:13 say we should do in response to that mess up?

LIVE…What will you do now?
Have you ever taken the time to look at yourself in a magnifying mirror and notice all of the faults you have on your face? For some of us, it’s just not pretty. The magnifying mirror just tells it all, doesn’t it? … All of our blemishes, wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, and hair that tends to grow in places where it shouldn’t.

Describe a time (or times) where you found yourself judging someone else without taking a look at some of your own faults:

Do a little self-examination of your own. Think about the areas in your life where you could really start uprooting some of the “logs” stuck in your own eye. In other words, what are the stumbling blocks you consistently deal with?

 

How would you describe your general demeanor towards other’s faults? Would you say you are quick to judge or quick to provide grace and make allowances for their faults? If you are struggling to think of examples, think of when you are driving and someone cuts you off. Is your first response “what an idiot” as you speed up to drive past them and look at them with a face that could kill, or is your first response “oh, they must be in a hurry, let me slow down and allow them to pass” (here’s your moment of truth … be honest):

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you remember to work on your own “back-side” and to be quick to make allowances for other’s faults. Ask Him to help you to be less judgmental and more loving and forgiving.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: 1 Chronicles 1-4
Ch. 1 The identity and legitimacy of this people are traced in a line beginning with Adam and extending through the tribes of Israel. The first genealogy takes the story from Adam, the first human, through Abraham and Isaac; then it focuses on Isaac’s son Esau and the kings who descended from him. Israel is located within the nations of the world, which are similarly God’s creation and part of His purpose for Israel. The line of election continued through Abraham who is also recalled as the recipient of covenantal promises.
Ch. 2 The line of divine election culminates in the sons of Israel, the subject of the following genealogies. But the Chronicler does not consider them in the traditional order of these verses. Further, his actual listing of the 12 tribes differs because it includes the half-tribes of Manasseh in Transjordan and west of the Jordan and omits mention of Zebulun and Dan. The first and most extensive place is given to the tribe of Judah. It is the focus of chief interest because it leads to David, the central human character in Chronicles.
Ch. 3 The genealogy of King David through his son Solomon and those who were their descendants into the Babylonian captivity.
Ch. 4 Chronicles descendants of Judah and Simeon. Includes the “Prayer of Jabez” who was remembered for his prayer rather than an heroic act. Jabez asked that God bless him, help him in his work, be with him in all he did and keep him from trouble and pain. Jabez acknowledged God as the true center of his life.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.14.11

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Series: Broken
This Week: Relationships

“It takes one person to
forgive, it takes two
people to be reunited.”

        Every one of us has to deal with difficult or damaged relationships—whether a struggling or broken marriage, disharmony between brothers and sisters, unfriendly neighbors or the friend who never feels quite like a real friend. You probably have one of these relationships in your life, and the heartache or pain that accompanies that relationship can be difficult to deal with at times. So often we exclaim, “Why must relationships be so hard?!” There is no easy answer to this question because the simple fact is that relationships are hard. They just are. But, we have to learn how to deal with that. Perhaps the following story about a certain animal can shed a little light on how to deal with difficult relationships:
Once upon a time it was the coldest winter ever – many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.
After awhile they decided to distance themselves from each other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive. The moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, rather, it’s when each individual learns to live with each other’s imperfections and admire the other person’s good qualities.
In 1957, civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sat in a Montgomery, Alabama cell and penned one of the most eloquent sermons ever written on how to deal with those who make life difficult or painful. Decades later, Dr. King’s words ring true for those who have had damaged or broken relationships. Here’s a powerful excerpt on why we should seek to repair our broken relationships: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence… love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power.”
We recognize that this week’s LIO may be very difficult for some of you. Perhaps years, even decades of painful interactions, have broken your heart. However, God’s love can make a difference in your life and help you heal from broken relationships— even if the other person never changes!

THIS WEEK’S STUDY WILL FOCUS ON HOW WE CAN HARNESS GOD’S AMAZING LOVE TO DEAL WITH OUR RELATIONSHIPS.

MONDAY — Put on Love
Big Point – Love is a fashion necessity for all Christians- men and women alike!

        What do your clothes say about you? When you walk down the street what kind of attention are you attracting? Do people smile, stare, point at you and laugh, look away, or simply ignore you altogether? Like it or not, people judge “a book by its cover.” While it may be true that what you wear doesn’t define you as a person, people notice what you wear.
        Look at Lee as an example. In a recent survey, Lee’s choice of shirts was mentioned quite a few times in response to what people notice about some of the teaching pastors. Who can forget the shirt that made him look like a UPS worker? Or the orange shirt that made us all hungry for orange sherbet? Obviously people feel what shirt he wears is important or else they would not bother talking about it. (Take Kyle Gray for instance, one of the other teaching pastors. He often talks about Lee’s shirt and shoe fashions. You can read more about Kyle’s utterings on our cedarcreek.tv Facebook page)
        For Christians, the most important piece of clothing we must wear is love. Love is what we should be reflecting to everyone around us. So, what do you wear – hate, jealousy, anger, bitterness … or is it love?

READ…What does the Bible say?
John 13:35 (New Living Translation)
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

Colossians 3:14 (New Living Translation)
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

THINK…Find the answers
In John 13:35, what did Jesus say will prove to the world that you are his disciples?

Colossians has great advice for all Christians. What does Colossians 3:14 say we should clothe ourselves with?

What binds us all together in perfect harmony?

LIVE…What will you do now?
List at least three ways you can show love to those closest to you:
1.
2.
3.

List at least three ways you can show love toward a complete stranger:
1.
2.
3.

List at least three ways you can show love to your enemies:
1.
2.
3.

Did you get a chance to hear the “Love Medley” song by the CedarCreek band this past weekend? It was a compilation of 37 love songs that have been written over the years by various artists. This week, give yourself a challenge. Pull out your favorite songs about love and play them throughout the week in your car and/or at home. If you’d like to listen to the love medley again, put this in your web browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdMIrdFqUUs&feature=related

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask the Lord today to show you ways to prove to the world that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. Also ask Him to help you to follow through on the ways to show love that you listed above. Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can you show others the love of Christ in you.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Hosea 8-14
Ch. 8 The people of Israel claim to know and love the Lord, but their deeds prove otherwise. What follows in the chapter are accusations that expose Israel’s idolatry, politics and false worship.
Ch. 9 God will punish Israel by sending her people away from the land to a place where they will not be able to make sacrifices to the Lord. The failure of crops in the land is not the only outcome of Ephraim’s adultery. Expulsion is another consequence.
Ch. 10 For the image of Israel as a vine, the example suits Hosea’s repeated pattern that Israel got off to a good start but then went wrong. The prophet tells of the end of the northern monarchy due to the people’s unfaithfulness.
Ch. 11 The Lord loved Israel from the beginning and never stopped. It was God’s love that provided. Tragically, however, more than anything else it was the Lord’s love that was spurned.
Ch. 12 Ephraim depends on what is elusive and unprofitable. The “wind” graphically describes the duplicity of both Israel and Judah’s covenant making.
Ch. 13 The man-made gods that Israel worshipped are nothing compared to their actual God— living, active and true to His word.
Ch. 14 Hosea finishes his book with a series of moving appeals to the wayward northern kingdom to return to the Lord and find healing and covenant renewal. Hosea gives the words of repentance and confession that the people should use before the Lord.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.11.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 11.11.11.

Series: Broken
This Week: Dreams

FRIDAY — Be Helpful
Big Point: God can use your life experience to help heal others.

It’s the end of this week’s study. Reflect and write down the two most important things God has revealed to you during this week’s study:

1.

2.

What if God can give you a new dream?
        Last weekend, you saw a video of Dave and Tami Walbom with their daughter, Liz. Ten years ago, Dave and Tami could not have imagined a day when their daughter, Liz, would turn out to be healthy, happy and living a Christ-Centered life. During those days, they lived with constant concern over their drug-addicted, diabetic daughter.
        Dave and Tami’s hearts were broken as they watched their daughter’s life slide out of control and there was nothing they could do to stop her. Instead, Dave and Tami did what they could do—they took the broken pieces of their heart in prayer to God. As they drew closer to God, the Walbom’s were able to weather the storm.
        After many years of cocaine addiction and abusive relationships, Liz realized she needed to make a life change and in 2008, Liz got sober. A couple years later, Liz got involved as a volunteer in Life Support because she realized that “I do have a story that I can share with people. I can be there for people. I’m not judgmental or critical like I used to be. It’s easy for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes because I was there.”

READ…What does the Bible say?
2 Corinthians 1:4 (New Living Translation)
4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

THINK…Find the answers
Read 2 Corinthians 1:4
In order for us to be in the position to help others, what must we have experienced first?

LIVE…What will you do now?
It might not be possible right now, but could you take a moment to imagine how God can use you and your difficult life experience in order to minister to others?

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to give you the peace and the fortitude to share your story with others in a timely and Christ-honoring manner that is the most helpful to others.

Weekend Updates!
Operation Christmas Child: Pick up a list of items needed to put into a shoebox for the national project run by Samaritan’s Purse entitled “Operation Christmas Child” at any Welcome Center. Together we can get involved to express Christ’s love for a child this Christmas by filling a box. Final collection is November 13th.
Walk Across the Room: Ready to go to the next level in your personal evangelism? Walk Across the Room is a 4-week class that will help you stay attuned to and cooperate with the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Perrysburg and Whitehouse Campuses: Monday, Nov 14, Toledo Campus: Wednesday, Nov 16. Register online under the “Get Connected” tab at CedarCreek.tv or at the Welcome Center/Connecting Point.
Parent/Child Dedications: There are a limited number of openings, so sign up soon at any Welcome Center. Please attend the 15 minute parent training class; this will give you important information about the service and what it means to raise your child in a Christian home. The training classes are available Saturday, Nov 12, 5:15pm and Sunday, Nov 13, 10:45am OR Saturday, Nov 19, 5:15pm and Sunday, Nov 20, 10:45am. Dedications are at all services Nov 26 & 27 at ALL CAMPUSES. Contact SarahG@CedarCreek.tv.

Living It Out: *NEW* November 2011
Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7 (New Living Translation)

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

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

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

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the New Testament in a year

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

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

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

We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to barbr@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:
Old Testament Commentary compiled by: Jan Martensen

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Barb Roose
Emily Francis
Terri Seagert
JoAnna Studer

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Hosea 1-7
1:9 “Lo-Ammi…” The name means “not My people” and symbolizes God’s rejection of Israel.
2:8-13 God withheld rain and productivity to show Israel that the Canaanite god Baal was not the god of rain and fertility, not even a god.
2:8 “they used for Baal…” Baal (the Phoenician sun god) worship became established in Israel when King Ahab married Jezebel, who attempted to obliterate Israelite worship of the true God.
3:3-5 Gomer would not be allowed conjugal relations for “many days,” with any man, including Hosea.
4:14 Although all who sin will be judged, God forbade punishing the adulteresses alone and leaving the men who patronized them to go free. The heaviest punishment would not be on the women who sin but on the fathers and husbands who set such a bad example. 4:16 Because Israel was like a stubborn calf, God no longer attempted to corral her, abandoning her as a lamb in a vast wilderness.
5:6, 7 Israel’s religious sacrifices and monthly festivals no longer brought divine favor, only judgment. God “has withdrawn Himself from thee.”
6:4-7 Because Israel’s commitment to the Lord was fleeting and superficial, God had to send prophets with stern words, calling for a covenantal loyalty befitting a marriage relationship. But they violated the marriage vows.
7:8, 9 At Israel’s invitation, foreign nations made debilitating inroads into her national and religious life.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.10.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 11.10.11.

Series: Broken
This Week: Dreams

THURSDAY — Be Grateful and Hopeful
Big Point: God can be trusted to keep His promises!

       Does hope make a difference? Yes, it does! Philip Crosbie, in his book “March Till They Die,” gives an account of a forced march that American and European soldiers who had been captured had to endure in Korea. It was November of 1950 and the North Koreans were being pushed north. As they went, they forced the American and European prisoners to go with them. It was a terrible march. They were driven as far as twenty miles a day at times, though it was cold and they were emaciated, hungry, and suffering.
When prisoners who couldn’t keep up would fall back, shots would ring out. They were executed on the spot. Crosbie and several other Christians would pass close to the GI’s who were having a hard time keeping up. They would say slowly in a whisper, so as not to be heard, “God is near us in this dark hour. His love is real. His mercy is real. His forgiveness is real. His reward is waiting for us…” (excerpt taken from sermoncentral.com)
If it had not been for that hope, many more soldiers would have died. They were literally marching through the valley of the shadow of death, but they were trusting in God to lead them through it. One of the most important things you can do when faced with a broken dream is to remember God’s promises to those who draw close to Him. Our hope isn’t in ourselves or in our circumstances, but our hope is in a God who loves and cares for each one of us.

Hebrews 10:23
(New Living Translation)
23 Let us hold tightly without
wavering to the hope we affirm,
for God can be trusted to
keep his promise

READ…What does the Bible say?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New Living Translation)
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 3:6 (New Living Translation)
6 But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.

THINK…Find the answers
According to 1 Thessalonians 5:18, what is God’s will for those who belong to Christ? How does being joyful and thankful in all circumstances help us to live out God’s will for our lives?

Where must we put our confidence if we wish to be considered “God’s house”, according to Hebrews 3:6? Define the “hope” referred to in Hebrews 3:6 and Hebrews 10:23.

LIVE…What will you do now?
The Christian prisoners in today’s story whispered pertinent words of encouragement and hope to those struggling in a literal death march. We all face times of struggle in this life. We can best prepare ourselves by knowing and trusting in God and His Word. Check out Psalm 18 and Psalm 28. What kind of hope and encouragement can you draw from those two passages of scripture for today?

Sometimes its helpful to have a verse to mediate on (think about). Look through this week’s study and select a verse to think about for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, reflect on God’s promises and how they can change your attitude and outlook.

Look for MORE promises in the Bible!
You can search online http://www.biblegateway.com using the keyword “hope” —there are over 150 verses in the Bible about hope!

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Talk with God about reasons you may struggle with a grateful heart. Ask Him to lead you to a new hope in Jesus Christ.

Remember God’s
Promises!
Psalm 18:2,30
The Lord is my rock, my fortress,
and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom
I find protection.
He is my shield, the power
that saves me,
and my place of safety.
God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises
prove true.
He is a shield for all who
look to him for protection.
Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and
shield. I trust him with all
my heart. He helps me, and
my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of
thanksgiving.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: 2 Kings 21-25
21:3 “high places…altars…” Manasseh reversed the reforms of his father, King Hezekiah, reestablishing the worship of Baal as an official state sanctioned religion .
21:15 “provoked Me to anger…” The history of God’s people, Israel, was of disobedience toward the Lord. With the reign of Manasseh, the sin of God’s people climaxed . God’s patience was withdrawn, and the judgment of exile became inevitable .
22:1 “thirty-one years…” Josiah became King and ruled for thirty-one years. He was the last good king in the Davidic line.
22:11 “tore his robes…” Josiah’s reaction at the reading of the law was one of immediate contrition, expressed by the common sign of lamentation and grief. Josiah’s grief sprang from his country’s guilt and God’s punishment.
22:15-20 Huldah gave God’s message to Josiah through his messengers. First, the Lord confirmed to Josiah that He was surely going to bring His judgment upon Jerusalem because of her idolatry. Second, the Lord’s personal word to Josiah was that he would die “in peace”, meaning that he would escape the horrors in store for Jerusalem.
23:25
“no king like him…” Of all of the kings in David’s line, including David himself, no king more closely approximated the royal idea laid out in Deuteronomy 17 than Josiah. Yet, even Josiah fell short of complete obedience because he had multiple wives. However, even this righteous king could not turn away the Lord’s wrath because of Manasseh’s sin.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.09.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 11.09.11.

Series: Broken
This Week: Dreams

WEDNESDAY—Be Patient and Wait Close to God
Big Point: We know God is working, even if we can’t see it.

        How often do you find yourself wondering what exactly God is doing in a certain situation? What is happening seems to make no sense. It is unfair. It is painful.
        It is in these moments that we need to draw closest to God because we need to hold onto what we can know for sure. We need to hold onto God’s goodness and His love. We need to get to know God’s unchanging character through the Bible.

READ…What Does the Bible Say?
2 Corinthians 4:8,9, 16-18 (New Living Translation)
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

READ…What Does the Bible Say?
Psalm 37:7 (New Living Translation)
7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!

THINK…Find the answers
How does the passage from 2 Corinthians describe life in this world? Even when life is difficult, what is our situation?

According to verse 18, how can we look past the troubles of this world?

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace, Comfort for
family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to
ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken
need
Yet love us way too much to give us
lesser things
‘Cause what if Your blessings come
through raindrops
What if Your healing comes
through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re
near
What if trials of this life are Your
mercies in disguise
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this
heart
That this is not, this is not our
home
It’s not our home.
Lyrics to Blessings by Laura Story

Read Psalm 37:7 and 46:10. What direction does it give for remaining close to God?

LIVE…What will you do now?
How would you define the word “still”? What does it mean to you, to be still before God?

What comfort do all of today’s Bible verses offer to us? Where can we find hope and peace in this challenging and chaotic world?

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to show you how to trust Him, even in the cloudiest, darkest moments. Thank God for the things you do know for sure, like how much he loves you. Ask Him to show you how to be still and wait for Him.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: 2 Kings 16-20
16:1-17:41
The narrative turns to the defeat and exile of Israel by Assyria.
16:3 “walked in the way of the kings of Israel…” Ahaz continued to bring pagan, idolatrous practices into the worship of the Lord. This included idols to Baal.
16:10 “the altar…” When Ahaz traveled to Damascus, he saw a large altar and he sent a sketch of this altar to Uriah the high priest in Jerusalem and Uriah built an altar just like it. This changed the furnishings of the temple which designs were given by God. This was like building an idol in the temple, done to please the Assyrian king, whom Ahaz served instead of God.
16:17, 18 Ahaz continued to make further changes to the temple.
17:7 To the casual eye it seemed unfair that God let the Assyrians, a much crueler people, conquer Israel and take the whole nation into exile. Israel was judged on a higher standard due to the many advantages that God had given them.
18:4 “removed the high places…” Hezekiah was the first king of Judah to eradicate the high places, the worship centers built contrary to Mosaic Law.
18:5 “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God…” The noblest quality of Hezekiah, in dramatic contrast to his father, Ahaz, was that he relied on the Lord as his exclusive hope in every situation.
20:1 “Hezekiah became ill…” The prophet Amoz informed Hezekiah that he would not recover from this illness.
20:2, 3 “wept bitterly…” Hezekiah reminded the Lord of his devotion to God. He did not specifically ask God to be healed.
20:16, 17 “word of the Lord…carried to Babylon…” Isaiah predicted the Babylonian captivity that would come over a century later, another prophecy that was historically fulfilled.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.08.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 11.08.11.

Series: Broken
This Week: Dream

TUESDAY—Be Honest with Yourself (Be Honest with God)
Big Point: God wants to hear from you—the real you—the good, the bad, the ugly.

      “Have you any right to be angry?”
        That was God’s simple question to Jonah—the reluctant prophet—as he pouted about God’s compassion on an enemy of Israel. In fact, Jonah was so angry about God’s patience and love being poured out on those who did not deserve it that he demanded of God, “Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” God did not do as Jonah asked. Instead He asked again, “Do you have a right to be angry?”
        Jonah’s anger did not surprise God and God did not respond in anger, even though Jonah had fled from Him, refused to do His will, endangered innocent men, and desired vengeance over mercy. God’s compassion poured out not only on the Ninevites on that day, but also on Jonah. God wanted the people of Ninevah to turn from their evil ways and to become His people. At the same time and with the same amount of love, God wanted Jonah to know Him better. God wanted to teach Jonah about His love and His heart for each person on earth.
        You may be asking yourself why God would bother with either the wicked Ninevites or the whiny, angry prophet. But try asking this instead—would Jonah ever change if he wasn’t honest about his feelings of anger and resentment towards God?

READ…What Does the Bible Say?
Psalm 13:1,2 (New Living Translation)
1 O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? 2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Psalm 22:1,2 (New Living Translation)
1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? 2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.

Matthew 27:46 (New Living Translation)
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

THINK…Find the answers
Read Psalm 13:1,2. What questions does the author ask of God?

What complaint does the Psalm 22 author have towards God?

Matthew 27:46 are the words Jesus speaks while he is hanging on the cross. Do Jesus’ words surprise you? If so, why? Describe what Jesus may have been feeling.

LIVE…What will you do now?
Many of the psalms, including Psalm 13 and 22, were written by King David, whom the Bible refers to as a man after God’s own heart. David’s life was in no way perfect, but what stands out about Him is his emotional honesty before God. Answer the following questions honestly:

Can you describe a time you felt abandoned by God?

Can you describe a time you wondered how life can be this hard or this unfair?

When is the last time you wanted to just ask God—”What is up with this?”

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Don’t wait another day! Tell God how you are feeling right now, especially how you are feeling about Him. God is not surprised by our anger or our frustration. He can take it. Tell him what is in your heart.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: 2 Kings 11-15
11:1
“Athaliah…” A daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. She was zealous to rule after the death of her son and was dedicated to seeing the worship of Baal officially sanctioned in Judah.
11:17 “a covenant…” The renewal of the agreement between the people and the Lord and between the house of David and the people was appropriate because of the disruption under Athaliah.
12:20 “a conspiracy…” Some of the officials of Joash conspired against him because he had killed the high priest, Zechariah.
13:19 “three times…” Elisha commanded Jehoash to shoot the remaining arrows into the ground. Jehoash shot only three arrows into the ground instead of emptying the entire quiver. Because of his lack of faith, Jehoash would win only three victories over the Syrians instead of completely destroying them.
14:3 “not like…David…” David set a high standard of unswerving devotion to the Lord for the kings of Judah who were his descendants to follow. Amaziah did not follow the Lord completely. According to 2 Chronicles 25, Amaziah embraced the false gods of the Edomites.
15:5 “leper…” Azariah suffered from leprosy as punishment for usurping the priestly function of burning incense on the altar in the temple.
15:10 “Shallum…” Shallum killed Zecharaiah and replaced him as king of Israel. Assyrian records call Shallum “the son of nobody,” indicating that he was not from the royal family.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.07.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 11.07.11.

Series: Broken
This Week: Dreams

During this past weekend’s service you may have received a piece of broken pottery when you walked into the ‘Creek. The broken piece of pottery represents any broken dream in your life. When Lee asked you to take a pen and write on that shattered piece, what did you think? Perhaps one or more of the following thoughts drifted through your mind:
…I’m sick! I don’t understand why I am not healthy—I eat right and exercise.
…My marriage is over and I had always dreamed of happily ever after.
…My family is crazy and it hurts to know we can’t get along.
…No job after all this time. I just want to pay my bills.
…Nothing in my life has turned out like I thought it would.

What does a broken dream feel like? It depends. For some of you, the brokenness has been there so long, you can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a heavy weight or dull pain pushing on your chest. For others, the sudden loss of a dream felt like a catastrophic heart attack—the layoff notice, the test results, the discovery of infidelity—it likely felt like your heart was forcibly ripped in two. And since that day, you’ve been staggering from morning until night barely breathing (almost suffocating) because of the pain of your broken dream. Now what should you do?
One of the things we tend to do when our dreams come crashing to the ground is call out to God. When was the last time you called out to God during a difficult time? What did you say to Him? Some of us beg and plead for God to rescue us from our situation and to correct what has gone wrong. Others scream and rail at God because they feel He has failed them for not changing the situation. Then there is the silent group that just turns their back on God because they feel He has turned His back on them. Which group do you belong to lately?
When our dreams are broken, we question whether or not we will ever find happiness again. Which begs the question: Is God’s biggest concern for us to have happiness? The answer is no. Instead, God wants us to experience the tremendous joy that results from deeply knowing Him. Joy provides contentment; happiness requires things to happen, typically in our favor, for us to value God’s blessings. A great example is that God knows most of us only come to know Him when our dreams fall apart—which can likely be defined as situation-dependent happiness. Joy says, everyday, “this is the day the Lord made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118.4)
No matter your broken dream, God has joy in store for you—yes, you! It might be hard to believe, but it is true. Not only does God have joy in store for you, He wants to heal the broken pieces of your heart. But, only if you let Him.

 Be Realistic…
Be Honest…
Be Hopeful
Be Closer to God…
Be Patient…
Be Grateful…
Be Helpful …

THIS WEEK’S STUDY WILL FOCUS ON HOW WE CAN FIND GOD’S JOY IN THE MIDST OF OUR BROKEN DREAMS.

MONDAY — What does God owe you?
Big Point – While some people believe that they are entitled to a “good” life from God, they’ve failed to read the fine print of the contract.

Reflect: What are the two things that impacted you the most from Lee’s message last weekend?
1.

2.

        A big theme from Lee’s message was broken dreams. We have all dealt with hardship in life. Perhaps it was a broken marriage or a medical diagnosis. Maybe it was the loss of a loved one, a career or our happiness. We sink to the bottom where we question God’s purpose in our lives and existence.
        One such story belongs to Jennifer, a young woman who had gone to church all her life. When she went to college she stayed away from the party scene, preferring to spend her time on ministry teams, service projects and going to church. She even met a man who shared these views and married him. She felt that after following the “rules” for her whole life, she was entitled to a happy ending. When her husband confronted her a year after their marriage saying he wanted a divorce, she was blind-sided and devastated.
        For many of us, this story seems familiar – change out broken marriage for broken family or broken health, but the anger at God is still there. Stuart Blount, Senior Pastor at Christian Life Center points out that, “There are many good Christian people who find things happening in their lives that they have never chosen.” (excerpt from Sermon Central) We do not choose hardship, but in this life, it finds us.
        It might be tempting to say that God has not kept up His end of “our bargain,” but in reality the Bible promises that in this world, we will have trouble. Thankfully, He also promises to help us and give us the strength to overcome these troubles.

READ…What does the Bible say?
John 16:33 (New International Version)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

THINK…Find the answers
Reread the Big Point in light of John 16:33. In this statement, what do you think is meant by “the fine print”? What does Jesus promise?

According to John 16:33, how does Jesus encourage us?

In the dark moments of life, we often ask and plead why is God allowing this to happen to me? Is this love and care? We may not understand what we are going through or understand what God is up to in all of this, but as we find ourselves in these shadows and dark places of life, we can find ourselves in His arms of love.

LIVE…What will you do now?
List a few of your broken dreams. Rate the impact those broken dreams have had on your life on a scale of 1 (minimal impact) to 5 (life-changing tragedy).

Which of the following phrases have you used in response to hardship or broken dreams? Check all that apply.
___ God’s not keeping His end of the bargain.
___ It’s not fair! I’m a good person.
___ I’ve done this for you, God. What have you done for me?
___ Why me?
___ Why not me?

Think of the responses you checked in the last question. Think of a different response to your situation that takes into consideration the help Jesus said he’d provide in John 16:33.

In what ways have you possibly treated God’s promises as an entitlement? How can you refocus on God’s promises to help you move forward in your relationship with Him instead of thinking of them as deal breakers between you and God?

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Take a few moments to pray that God will help you see His promises and how they can carry you through hardship.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: 2 Kings 6-10
6:5 “iron…borrowed…” Iron was expensive and relatively rare in Israel at that time and the student-prophet was very poor. The ax head was loaned to the prophet since he could not have afforded it on his own and would have had no means to reimburse the owner for it.
6:31 “the head of Elisha…” Jehoram swore an oath to have Elisha killed.
7:12 “what the Syrians have done to us…” Jehoram greeted the report from the lepers with great suspicion. He thought the Syrians were feigning the pull-back to appear defeated in order to lure the Israelites out of Samaria for a surprise attack to gain entrance into the city.
8:3 “an appeal to the king…” The Shunammite woman made a legal appeal to the king to support her ownership claim. In Israel, the king was the final judge of such disputes.
8:7 “Elisha went to Damascus…” It was unusual for a prophet to visit foreign capitals.
9:10 “dogs shall eat…” Dogs were considered scavengers in the ancient Near East and they would devour the corpse of Jezebel. 9:30 “paint on her eyes…” Eyelids were painted with a black powder mixed with oil and applied with a brush. This darkened them to give an enlarged effect. Jezebel’s appearance at the window gave the air of a royal audience to awe Jehu.
10:28 “destroyed Baal from Israel…” Jehu rid the northern kingdom of royally sanctioned Baal worship. It was done, however, not from spiritual and godly motives, but because Jehu believed that Baalism was inextricably bound to the dynasty and influence of Ahab. By its extermination, he thought he would kill all the last vestiges of Ahab loyalists.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 11.04.11

Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 11.04.11.

Series: Refining Faith
This Week: Against All Odds

FRIDAY — What’s your plan?
Big Point: In order to fight off the devil and his evil schemes we need to have an action plan focused on God, the Bible, and constant communication with Him.

In Matthew 4:1-11 we find the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. As you review this story, pay close attention to how Jesus responds to the devil.

Matthew 4:1-11 (New Living Translation)
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. 3During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” 7Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” 8Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9“I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” 10“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” 11Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

Below, list the three ways the devil tempted Jesus, and his response each time:

First Temptation:
Jesus’ Response:

Second Temptation:
Jesus’ Response:

Third Temptation:
Jesus’ Response:

Looking back on this week, what have you learned about who Satan is and what his tactics and schemes are?

Three times Satan tempted Jesus—and all three times Jesus was prepared with a response. It stands to reason that we must be prepared and not take this lightly. Do you agree? What steps are you going to take to better resist the devil’s temptation and not allow even a foothold of opportunity?

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Today, thank God for His help in fending off the devil. Ask God to help you continue to stand up to temptation and fight off the devil.

Weekend Updates!
Serve at the South Toledo Campus: The count down is on. Soon, the
South Toledo campus will open. Have you considered serving at the South Toledo
Campus? They could surely use your help. Contact Wendy Schaetzke at rebels510@
yahoo.com to get involved.
Walk Across the Room: Ready to go to the next level in your personal evangelism?
Walk Across the Room is a 4-week class that will help you stay attuned
to and cooperate with the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Perrysburg and
Whitehouse Campuses: Monday, Nov 14, Toledo Campus: Wednesday, Nov 16.
Register online under the “Get Connected” tab at CedarCreek.tv or at the Welcome
Center/Connecting Point.
Parent/Child Dedications: There are a limited number of openings, so sign
up soon at any Welcome Center. Please attend the 15 minute parent training
class; this will give you important information about the service and what it
means to raise your child in a Christian home. The training classes are available
Saturday, Nov 12, 5:15pm and Sunday, Nov 13, 10:45am OR Saturday, Nov 19,
5:15pm and Sunday, Nov 20, 10:45am. Dedications are at all services Nov
26 & 27 at ALL CAMPUSES. Contact SarahG@CedarCreek.tv.

Living It Out: October 2011
…if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do it in a gentle and respectful way.

1 Peter 3:15b-16a (New Living Translation)

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

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

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

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the New Testament in a year

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

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

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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:
Old Testament Commentary compiled by: Jan Martensen

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

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: 2 Kings 1-5
1:4-7 Ahab’s son, Ahaziah, was hurt by a fall, sends messengers to Baal-zebub to inquire whether he shall recover. Elijah tells them that Ahaziah shall surely die.
1:9 “garment of hair and belt of leather…” That was all the description the king needed to know it was Elijah. Elijah’s name and appearance must have come up a few times in the royal palace.
2:3 “sons of the prophets…” They are not the physical descendants but groups of prophets usually affiliated with a more prominent prophet. The phrase “sons of” can mean “members of a guild of”.
2:6-8 Elijah crosses the Jordan river on dry land reminiscent of Moses crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15-31).
2:14 Elisha proves that he is Joshua to Elijah’s Moses by recrossing the Jordan river on dry land. Joshua crossed the Jordan in Joshua 3 and entered the land of Israel near Jericho, “repeating” Moses’ action of parting the waters.
2:19-22 “new bowl and salt” New items, being uncontaminated, were customarily employed in ancient Near East rituals. Salt is associated with the covenant and is included as part of offerings made to the Lord (see Leviticus 2:13 and Numbers 18:19) as well as being used in other specific rituals (Judges 9:45; Ezekiel 16:4). The use of salt here is symbolic, for by itself a tiny bowl would have no effect on the constantly moving waters. The healing of the waters was therefore accomplished by supernatural means.
4:2 “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” God takes our “nothing” and makes it into something that takes away our breath. Elisha’s command may have seemed silly to the woman, but she obeyed and God blessed her obedience