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Bible Study

LIO 6/24- Satan’s Tired Old Playbook

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TUESDAY – Satan’s Tired Old Playbook
Big Point:  The best offense is a good defense.

I believe Satan to exist for two reasons:

first, the Bible says so; and second, I’ve done

business with him.

— D.L. Moody

The evil one has been up to no good since the day he decided that he wanted to be God. Unfortunately for us, from Eve to the newborn baby, we keep falling for the same old plays! God tells us all about Satan’s lies and activities in the Bible; all we have to do is read it to know what to look out for every day. If we look within the Bible’s pages we see not only the devil’s playbook exposed, but also how to formulate the best defense against him. Here are a few of the liar’s biggest plays.

WHAT DOES THE DEVIL DO?

  • HE BLINDS THE MINDS OF UNBELIEVERS.
    2 Corinthians 4:4
  • HE STEALS GOD’S WORD FROM YOU.
    Matthew 13:19
  • HE SETS TRAPS TO ENSNARE YOU. 2 Timothy 2:26
  • HE FIGHTS TO STOP YOU. 1 Thessalonians 2:18
  • HE PLANS TO DESTROY YOU. 1 Peter 5:8.

In order to defend ourselves against his plays, we must be prepared. The way to do this is to read the Bible and recognize his tricks, so when he comes at us, we are ready. We must pray for God to be the center of our lives. Only then will the devil be defeated.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?

1. In this passage, Paul urges the Ephesians to stay strong and resist the devil by arming themselves as soldiers for battle. The rest of the passage relates each piece of the armor to a concrete way for us to stand firm and fight.

Question:  In what ways does fighting the devil relate to fighting a worldly battle? How is it different?

Ephesians 6:10-12 (New Living Translation)

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Answer:

 

 

2. Although the context of this passage talks about the Kingdom of Tyre, most scholars believe the reference is to Satan as well. Some scholars also see a foreshadowing of the fall of the church into sin.

Question: What parts of this passage can you see pertaining to a king, to Satan, to the church and to yourself?

Ezekiel 28:15-17 (New Living Translation)
15 “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. 16 Your rich commerce led you to violence, and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. 17 Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE…What will you do now?

Have you thought much about the devil’s playbook before? What are some of the plays he’s used in your life? Which ones do you seem to fall for over and over again?

 

 

 

 

 

How can recognizing the plays help you avoid them in the future?

 

 

 

 

 

Although we use a sports analogy, this is really a serious battle. The verses given in this day’s reading can help us remain armed for battle. How can you use Bible verses to arm yourself?

 

 

 

 

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know and do?

Praise our heavenly Father for giving you His Word, that you may know the lies of Satan and how to protect yourself. Ask Him to give you strength for this battle. Thank Him for His forgiveness when you fall for the same tricks over and over. Ask Him to be the center of your life, so that you may recognize the lies and overcome them.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

Click here to go deeper using the Life Group DVD by the teaching pastor or view the message, including bonus discussion questions.

LIO 6/23- Legends: The Cosmic Chess Match

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Spiritual warfare makes us think of demon possession, horrific demonstrations of satanic control, and dramatic exorcisms. But Scripture presents spiritual warfare not as the violent, bizarre end of the Christian life, but as what the Christian life is!

-Paul David Tripp

These are the things of legend…but, what is a legend? What makes a legend? A legend is an historical story that cannot be authenticated. Legends are often retold and even re-envisioned as they are passed down through the generations. Some legends capture our hearts; you have probably heard of Robin Hood and maybe Paul Bunyan.

Some legends capture our imaginations, like the urban legend, perhaps told around a campfire on a dark night, when the moon is waxing and the air holds a slight chill. Do you feel that? Those hairs on the back of your neck and the shiver running down your spine? And so, the tales grow.

The stories of the Bible, the miracles and incredible mysteries, these are legends of epic proportions. Though some people treat the historical, biblical stories as Jewish mythology, Jesus did not. Jesus spoke of Moses, Jonah and Adam as real men with legendary lives.

The fall of man occurred in the Garden of Eden. Eve was tempted by the serpent, Adam bit the apple as well, and the rest is history. The moment when Adam and Eve sinned, the battle was declared. Man and the enemy would war; the serpent would snap at man’s heels, but the man would crush the serpent’s head.

The entirety of the spiritual war did not begin here. Satan and his demons had already betrayed their creator and chosen to sin against God. Billy Graham said, “The greatest catastrophe in the history of the universal creation was Lucifer’s defiance of God and the consequent fall of perhaps one-third of the angels who joined him in his wickedness. When did it happen? Sometime between the dawn of creation and the intrusion of Satan into the Garden of Eden.”

Now, however, the warfare includes man. Throughout the Bible, Satan seeks any chance to destroy and prevent the Messiah from reconciling the broken relationship between God and His children. It is in this struggle that legends were and will continue to be made. Legends of the heroes and villains battling in a supernatural war. The outcome of this battle has already been foretold, but it still occurs today, all around us.

Will you choose to enter this heavenly battle? You can’t wage war like the rest of the world does. As 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” This is a battle for righteousness, played out in the spiritual and sometimes physical realm.

Perhaps one day your own life will become a legend. What do you want people to remember about you long after you’re gone? That you were swept up in Satan’s schemes or that you were a champion for God’s heavenly warriors?

MONDAY – The Problem of Sin
Big Point: Every one of us has a problem with sin.

Every sin is a mistake, as well as a wrong; and the epitaph for the sinner is, “Thou fool!”

-Alexander MacLaren

When you hear the term sin, what comes to mind? Does anyone have a vision of Dana Carvey’s Saturday Night Live character, The Church Lady, dancing in their head? Some of us think of the word sin as a pejorative thrown around by repressed, do-gooder, kill-joys that don’t want anyone to have any fun or enjoy life. But what is sin really?

When God created the earth, humans and animals, He created perfection. After all, God is perfect, so why wouldn’t His masterwork be perfect? So if God did not intend for sin to exist, how did it get here? Through me. Through you. Through Adam and Eve and every human being that has lived or will live on this earth. It came by a choice. The first man and the first woman had a choice to obey God and show Him love and honor in this manner or disobey Him and show Him disrespect and disloyalty. They chose the latter. And you and I choose sin over perfection every time we make a choice that is not in line with God’s unspoiled and divine nature.

This choice separates us from God because He is flawless and holy and cannot be around sin. Sin brought about sickness and death and animosity, the exact opposite of God’s perfect plan for us. And how did God respond? With fire and brimstone and righteous indignation? The book of Genesis tells us, “It broke his heart.” We hurt Him. Deeply. Every time we sin, we cause God pain because He knows the perfect life He had in store for us. And we blew it. Sin is not fodder for a comedy sketch. Sin is a problem. An enormous, ugly, painful problem. And the first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging there is one.

READ, THINK and LIVE. Read and apply the Bible.

1. In the following passage of scripture, God is observing the behavior of His creation, mankind, in Noah’s day, just before the great flood.

Question: How does this passage describe man’s behavior? What do the chosen descriptive words tell us about the extent of this behavior? What is God’s response to this behavior? What is He considering doing to His creation?

Genesis 6:5-8 (New Living Translation)

5The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8But Noah found favor with the Lord.

Answer:

 

2. In Romans 6, Paul is discussing how we can be free from the power of sin. He says that we will be controlled by one of two things in this life: sin or God’s way of living. It is our choice.

Question: What is the difference between wages and a gift? What are the two consequences based on the life you choose to live on this earth?

Romans 6:23 (New Living Translation)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Answer:

 

2. Under the law of Moses, worshipers could not be “cleansed” for all time. The law could not remove guilt from them and give them permanent access to God.

Question: What are the “good things” to which the author of Hebrews is referring?

Hebrews 10:1 (New Living Translation)  

“The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.”

Answer:

 

LIVE … What will you do now?

Can you remember a time when you made a choice that you knew was contrary to what God would have you do? What were the consequences of that choice?

 

 

 

 

 

There is a tendency for us to think of ourselves as pretty good, more good than bad, or at least not as bad as other people. What do the scripture passages in today’s LIO tell us about the sin in our lives? What do you think your daily behavior would look like from God’s point of view?

 

 

 

 

 

PRAY… God what do you want me to know and do?

Thank God that He speaks to you through His Word. Thank Him for loving you enough to point out areas of your life you could improve upon. Thank Him for showing you how to love Him and honor Him. Then ask Him to help you follow His way, rather than the way of sin, so you can show Him you love him and stop grieving Him.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

Click here to go deeper using the Life Group DVD by the teaching pastor or view the message, including bonus discussion questions.

LIO for the Week of 6/23: Legends, Genesis

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LIO 6/20 – Reflections on “Transformed”

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CONFORMING
has to do with behavior and
TRANSFORMING
has to do with character.
CONFORMING
is from the outside in.
TRANSFORMING
is from the inside out. As you learn to think
God’s way, you’ll begin to live God’s way.

-Rick Warren

FRIDAY– Reflections on “Transformed”
Big Point: Here’s a final chance to reflect on your Transformation journey.

How has God transformed your thinking over the past fifty days? Here’s a quick reminder of some of the “Transformed” series big ideas:

TRANSFORMED SPIRITUALLY  – Spiritual growth isn’t automatic; it’s a choice.

TRANSFORMED MENTALLY – When we allow God to change our thoughts, then our feelings change, which leads to behavioral change.

TRANSFORMED PHYSICALLY – You can’t serve God without a body. Taking care of your body is an act of worship.

TRANSFORMED EMOTIONALLY – We have to be honest with ourselves, to God and to at least one other person.

TRANSFORMED RELATIONALLY – Casual friends are the result of circumstances. Close friends are the result of choices.

TRANSFORMED FINANCIALLY – God uses money as a tool to test us.

TRANSFORMED VOCATIONALLY -  The purpose of transformation is to fulfill God’s purposes.

What were some of the ways that God changed your thoughts during this series? List some examples of the new ways in which you are thinking that came about as a result of one of these topics.

 

 

Which area of transformation was the most difficult for you? Where are the painful or broken places in your life that you will need to continue to pursue transformation?

 

 

What is ONE transformation goal that you will continue to work on? Is there one area where God has radically changed the way you think and you want to continue to grow in that area?

 

 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

As we close out our 50 Days of Transformation journey, create a few minutes of silence for yourself to reflect on the “ah-ha” moments you’ve experienced during this series. Talk with God about them. If you’re struggling with changing your thinking, don’t give up! Ask God to continue to transform you—He wants to do it!

Questions for Discussion— Try these in a group, with friends or at the dinner table.

1. What does the phrase, “The purpose of transformation is to fulfill God’s purposes” mean? How have you seen this play out in your life?
2. How does God use your vocation to challenge and change your character? When was the last time you had a moral dilemma at work and how did you respond?
3. In what ways does your job challenge you in the area of taming your tongue? How might God be seeking to transform your conversations at work?
4. Read Ephesians 2:10. How does your vocation provide you with the opportunity to do good works and help to contribute to the lives of others?

June 2014 Memory Verse:

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Colossians 3:23 (New Living Translation)

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

For the duration of the Transformed series, we are asking groups to use the provided materials rather than a video from our teaching pastors. To download discussion questions or to participate in the Tuesday night iCampus discussion, visit our iCampus page.

Weekend Updates!

  • Saturday’s Daily Bible Reading Plan: June 21st, Acts 27:1-44
  • Next Weekend: Next week we will begin a new series, “Legends”. Kyle Gray will be kicking things off, speaking about the book of Genesis. Services are Saturday, June 21st—5:15 pm, 7:00 pm and Sunday, June 22nd—9:00 am, 10:45 am, 12:30 pm. We hope that you can join us at any of our four locations or on the iCampus at CedarCreek.tv
  • Celebrate Recovery: Find freedom from your hurts, habits and hang ups. Celebrate Recovery happens on Friday evenings at all campuses. For more information, set your web browser to: CedarCreek.tv/celebraterecovery
  • Global Leadership Summit: This year’s Leadership Summit will be simulcast at all four CedarCreek campuses on August 14-15 (Thursday and Friday). Sign up today for the special discounted rate of $79 by visiting Cedarcreek.tv/Summit and entering the code LEAD14HS

Living It Out:
Have some feedback? Email questions or comments to LukeS@CedarCreek.tv
Want to find out more about the Living It Out? Check out tons of free resources or have this study sent directly to your daily email. Set your web browser to: livingitout.tv

RESOURCES:
Biblegateway.com

This week’s Living It Out was written by:
Lindsey Campos
Rebecca Miller
Barb Roose
Penny Taylor

 

 

 

 

LIO 6/19 – Transformed Vocationally: God Uses Work to Transform Our Compassion

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

I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.

   -Albert Schweitzer

THURSDAY – God Uses Work to Transform Our Compassion
Big Point: Our work gives us an extraordinary opportunity to display compassion.

Think of a coworker who is going through a tough time, someone who drags in after a long weekend of providing care for an elderly parent or who is struggling through a divorce. If you are a student, a stay-at-home parent or someone searching for a job, think about the people that you meet in the course of your day—classmates, other parents hanging out at the playground, interviewers. Chances are, at least a few of the people you interact with are navigating one struggle or another.

Compassion can begin with the desire to listen to your coworker’s answer to a simple question: “How are you doing?” Displaying compassion in the workplace continues when we follow the advice of Sigal Barsade, a professor in management at the Wharton University of Pennsylvania: “[Compassionate coworkers] are careful of each other’s feelings. They show compassion when things don’t go well. And they also show affection and caring — and that can be about bringing somebody a cup of coffee when you go get your own, or just listening when a coworker needs to talk.”

Our work presents an extraordinary opportunity for us to lavish and model Christ-like love. Work environments are not associated with being loving. So, imagine how brightly your light could shine for Christ if you modeled compassion for those in your work environment. Wondering how you could do that? Well, that’s what we’re exploring in today’s study.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. Have you been through some challenges in life? We all have. In the following passage, the Apostle Paul explains one of the ways that God redeems the tough circumstances we face in life.

Question: What does God do for us in our difficult times that allows us to bless others? Describe the kind of comfort that only God can provide?

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (New Living Translation)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 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.

Answer:

 

 

2. We have lots of great opportunities as Americans! However, some of us know what it feels like to be trapped in a “dog-eat-dog” or “watch-your-back” work environment. Yet, as followers of Christ, the Apostle Paul gives a framework for how we should conduct ourselves.

Question: Compare the attitude that we are to display in Philippians 2:3-4 against how the world tends to behave. How will people identify us as Christ-followers if we display the attitude outlined in these verses?

Philippians 2:3-4 (New Living Translation)
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Answer:

 

 

3. We dislike people who are “two-faced”. Unfortunately, Christians can be very loving while at church but hateful in the workplace. In this verse, Paul is challenging believers to high standards at all times.

Question: What are the standards Paul discusses?

Romans 12:9 (New Living Translation)
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

If your coworkers saw you at church on the weekends and watched you interact with others, would they be shocked by your change in behavior?

 

Think of the person you struggle with the most in your work environment, whether it is a coworker, boss, teacher/professor, child. Identify your source of struggle with them:

 

Have you talked to that person to determine whether or not something difficult is happening in their lives?

 

What would it look like for you to display compassion and love toward that person?

 

How do you need God to transform your thoughts and feelings toward that person?

 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Talk to God about where He is challenging you to show love and compassion at work, particularly to someone with whom you struggle often. Praise Him for the mercy and compassion He shows to you.

 

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

For the duration of the Transformed series, we are asking groups to use the provided materials rather than a video from our teaching pastors. To download discussion questions or to participate in the Tuesday night iCampus discussion, visit our iCampus page.

 

LIO 6/18 – Transformed Vocationally: God Uses Work to Transform Our Conversations

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

Learn to hold thy tongue; five words cost Zacharias forty weeks of silence.

 -Thomas Fuller

WEDNESDAY—God Uses Work to Transform Our Conversations
Big Point: The words you speak offer either life or death.

God wants to transform your speech! Do you build people up or tear them down? Do you breathe life into your coworkers or steal it? Do you encourage people to their face, only to gossip about the same people behind their backs?

Words are more impactful than many people truly realize. In the song, “Words” by Hawk Nelson, he sings, “Words can build you up. Words can break you down. Start a fire in your heart or put it out.” We have great power at the tip of our tongue, but great power comes with significant responsibility.

As Lee said last weekend, at work you will face numerous opportunities to gossip, criticize and demean people, to hurt them. It happens all the time. It’s tempting to join in, whether to feel included or because you agree. It’s easy to do, but you need to take every conversation captive.

The Bible is full of info about taming the tongue. In Proverbs 18:21, we are told that “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Our speech is a direct reflection of our hearts! And our hearts are full of all kinds of evil and poison. When left unchecked, our words can literally be our demise at work. On the other hand, our conversations can communicate Christ, the love of God and proclaim the gospel message. As Lee said, always be ready, because God transforms us by giving us bold opportunities to be His ambassadors (or not).

You have a choice when you speak to either encourage others, or to shame and belittle them. As Hawk Nelson’s song continues, “Let my words be life. Let my words be truth.” Speak the truth, offer life and continuously pour out love on others and you will honor God at work.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. In the following passage, Paul is informing believers how to tell of their faith wisely and persuasively to outsiders, so that they may be drawn to the fullness of life in Christ.

Question: Circle the words that describe how we are to speak to others. What are the reasons we should speak this way to others, particularly nonbelievers?

Colossians 4:5-6 (The Message)
5-6 Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

Answer:

 

 

2. In the verses previous to this one, Peter is informing believers that those who suffer for Christ, for the truth, will be blessed by God. Readiness to confess that Christ is your Lord is an important aspect of your faith, even when the response you receive may contain hostility.

Question: What does Peter mean by “your Christian hope”?

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

Answer:

 

 

3. In the following verse, Paul sums up the appeal he gives to all the world. Reconciliation is the establishment or restoration of loving fellowship after estrangement. For Christians, reconciliation to God is renewed each day.

Question: How does God want to use every Christian to reach the world?

2 Corinthians 5:20 (New Living Translation)
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

Have you ever been significantly affected by the words someone spoke to you? How so, both negatively and positively?

 

 

Describe a time when you have negatively impacted someone with the words you spoke and then describe a time when you positively impacted someone. What were the effects?

 

 

Christians are called to be ambassadors for Christ, to spread the message of the gospel. Are you prepared to share your Christian hope? How do you think sharing this message could dramatically change someone’s life?

 

 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Praise God for your Christian hope, the salvation found in Christ Jesus and the way in which it reconciled you to relationship with your loving God. Ask God to help you to speak wisely and conscientiously at work. Ask Him to help you prepare to offer the gospel message to those around you.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

For the duration of the Transformed series, we are asking groups to use the provided materials rather than a video from our teaching pastors. To download discussion questions or to participate in the Tuesday night iCampus discussion, visit our iCampus page.

 

LIO 6/17 – Transformed Vocationally: God Uses Work to Transform Our Convictions

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

Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God. Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and simpler where they are made not in the fear of men, but only in the sight of God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work.

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

TUESDAY – God Uses Work to Transform Our Convictions
Big Point: Our jobs are a tool used by God to influence our attitude toward everything around us, including our workplace.

Ever heard the term “holy sandpaper”? While the term can be made in jest, it demonstrates truth. Think about it; if something (or someone) is holy sandpaper, God uses them to rub off your rough edges, making you more like Jesus. Incidentally, holy sandpaper is usually quite abrasive in the beginning, wearing away our “flesh”, leaving God’s beautiful patina in its wake.

God uses our belief in Christ as holy sandpaper to shape our convictions throughout life, impacting every decision and attitude—even at work. When Jesus’ teachings and company policy collide, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you through the mine field of decisions will always result in the correct choice. Occasionally, that choice will be in direct conflict with what the world calls “good business”, but choosing God’s wisdom always pays off—maybe not monetarily, but in eternally beneficial ways.

Committing everything you do to the Lord encompasses how you perform your duties as well as what you are doing! God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere: right beside you at your workplace, aware of all you are doing and saying. While God doesn’t punish us for being “bad”, there are consequences (on many levels) for less-than-honest behavior. Cutting corners and “fudging” numbers do not honor God, nor will these “adjustments” result in God’s best for you.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. During the early days of the church, Peter and John were in the temple telling people about Jesus. The Temple Council didn’t appreciate their message, enlisting the help of the captain of the Temple guard to intimidate them into silence.

Question: How does Peter and John’s response reflect a God-centered choice versus a worldly choice?

Acts 4:18-20 (New Living Translation)
18 So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”

Answer:

 

2. During the Last Supper, before his crucifixion, Jesus warns his disciples about how non-believers will feel about Christ-followers.

Question: According to this verse, what are the feelings of “the world” toward Christ-followers? Explain why.

John 15:18-19 (New Living Translation)
18 If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

Answer:

 

3. In this passage, Jesus has just predicted his death to his disciples for the first time. After rebuking Peter for his response to the prediction, Jesus instructs his disciples on what is truly important.

Question: What should be most important to humans?

Matthew 16:26 (New Living Translation)
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

Examining your workplace priorities (based upon where you invest your time, funding and energy), list the three most important. How can you infuse God’s priorities into yours?

 

 

What can you do to encourage yourself to conduct your business God’s way? Are there any changes you need to make?

 

 

Take another look at today’s opening quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. How can you make your work decisions “easier and simpler” as suggested by Bonhoeffer?

 

 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Express your appreciation to God for His persistent faithfulness. Ask His forgiveness for cutting corners and choosing the world’s methods over His. Seek His wisdom to value what He deems important, worshipping Him for His grace and mercy. Honor His powerful, holy name.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

For the duration of the Transformed series, we are asking groups to use the provided materials rather than a video from our teaching pastors. To download discussion questions or to participate in the Tuesday night iCampus discussion, visit our iCampus page.

 

LIO 6/16 – Transformed: Transformed Vocationally

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

Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.

-Fyodor Dostoevsky

Are you happy with your work? Whether you work in an office, work as a student or work in the home, do you see the blessing in your work? We forget that work is a blessing, even though many days it does not feel like it. If you were to ask any random person if he is happy with his job, chances are the answer would be, “Nope.” Sure, there are folks that absolutely love their work, but studies indicate that most of us don’t.

So often we forget the contentment that comes from simply being able to work. Do you ever give thanks for the ability to work? Ask someone that is unemployed or physically unable to work if they appreciate the blessings that come from work. Chances are that person would say, “YES!”

Yet, work is complicated, right? The early or late hours, difficult clients, needy co-workers, demanding bosses or misbehaving children stress us out or drive us crazy. These circumstances can illicit feelings best expressed as, “Why me? How did I get stuck dealing with these people?”

God doesn’t make mistakes and He has placed you in your current place of employment for a reason. Yes, you are in your current workplace for a purpose. No matter what your workplace looks like, every day is infused with opportunities to bring glory to God and, perhaps, to share the gospel message. Remember Lee’s words from this weekend’s message: “God uses our work to change us, transform us and bring out the best in us.”

Through our work, we have the opportunity to serve Him in our everyday tasks, however grand or mundane the task might be. Theologian Martin Luther understood this when he wrote, “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays—not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps, but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”

No matter what your job may be, every day offers opportunities to contribute to the glory of God. Here’s our June Memory Verse—Colossians 3:23: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” This verse offers a unique perspective about our work. Too often, we allow others’ actions to be our excuse for subpar performance. Think about this: God certainly did not let our sinful nature impact His work of reconciling us to Himself through His love and offering the free gift of salvation to us through Christ.

Every day that you live is a day God has given you to glorify Him through all the abilities with which He has blessed you. Honor God by allowing Him to continue to transform you so that you can be blessed, as well as impact the lives of countless others. Remember, if you are not dead, you are not done!

THIS WEEK’S STUDY WILL FOCUS ON ALLOWING GOD TO TRANSFORM US THROUGH OUR WORK.

MONDAY – God Uses Work to Transform Us!
Big Point: God uses work to change us, transform us and bring out the best in us!

Strength of character may be learned at work, but beauty of character is learned at home.

-Henry Drummond

There’s nothing like attending a great weekend service and hearing a message that makes us want to grow closer to God. How often are we fired up about our faith for the remainder of the weekend, believing that we’re going to do great things for God?

Then, our alarm goes off on Monday morning and our great intentions fade away as we clock in, key in or login to start our work day. Why does our spiritual temperature cool as soon as we engage in our work?

Let’s rewind and review one of Lee’s main points from this weekend’s message about how our work can transform our faith. Do you remember when Lee said the following: “God uses our work to change us, transform us and bring out the best in us”?

Could it be that our work environments are a great place to live out what we’re reading in the Bible? Yes! Do you have a difficult boss? Well, the Bible has great counsel on dealing with difficult people. Is there someone who has hurt you? God directs us in how to respond in those situations.

So, today, we’re going to look at what the Bible says about how God uses our vocations to transform us.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. Galatians 5 is all about the tension between being controlled by self or being controlled by the Holy Spirit. Obviously, being controlled by self, no matter how good one’s intentions, always leads to disaster.

Question: What kind of “fruit”, or outcomes, result from allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us? What type of blessing would this produce for us in our work environments?

Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Answer:

 

2. The book of Proverbs is filled with timeless wisdom which applies in any environment, especially in the workplace.

Question: So often we worry about coworkers or bosses that seem to be getting away with dishonest acts or receiving undeserved favor. What is the fate of those who are honest and those who are dishonest?

Proverbs 11:3 (New International Version)
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Answer:

3. Sometimes, we can get so used to the daily grind that we lose sight of God’s purpose for work. Remember Lee’s words: “God uses our work to change us, transform us and bring out the best in us.”

Question: In Philippians 1:6, the Apostle Paul points out that God’s work is to transform us and that God never loses sight of that goal. If God’s purpose is to change us to bring out the best in us, then how should this verse encourage us?

Philippians 1:6 (New Living Translation)
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

List three things that you LOVE about your work and three things that you HATE about your work.

What I LOVE about my work…

1.

2.

3.

What I HATE about my work…

1.

2.

3.

Describe the toughest situation or circumstance that you’ve endured while working (this includes stay-at-home moms or those searching for work). How were you changed or challenged in that circumstance?

 

Spiritually speaking, at what level is your faith connected to your daily work? Are you satisfied with that level of connection?

 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

We have the privilege of work, yet it is often an environment filled with struggle. Ask God about the areas of your work where you need to let Him transform you.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

For the duration of the Transformed series, we are asking groups to use the provided materials rather than a video from our teaching pastors. To download discussion questions or to participate in the Tuesday night iCampus discussion, visit our iCampus page.

 

 

LIO for the Week of 6/16: Transformed Vocationally

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

LIO 6/13 – Transformed Financially: One Day You’ll Give an Account to God

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

FRIDAY – One Day You’ll Give an Account to God
Big Point: Whether you’ve got much or little, you will one day need to explain what you did with it.

One day, you will stand before God and give an account of your life. It will include how well you managed your possessions and finances. God will ask, “What did you do with the health I gave you? The mind I gave you? The freedom I gave you? Did you spend it all on yourself? Or did you spend it as a good steward, loving others and loving Jesus?” What would it mean to you to hear God say, “You have used the resources I gave you wisely, well done my good and faithful servant”?

Rick Warren says, “One day there’s going to be an audit on my life. How I used not just my money but everything that God gave me. What did you do with what you were given—your talent, your relationships, your opportunities, your mind, your creativity, your contacts, your networks? What did you do with what God gave you? It doesn’t really matter whether you’ve got a lot or a little. What matters is what you are doing with what you’ve been given and can God trust you with more.” If you were standing in front of God today, what would you be able to say about how well you were His manager? Based on your management skills, would God be able to trust you with more? It is never too late to become a trustworthy manager!

READ, THINK and LIVE… What does the Bible say?

1. In the Parable of the Three Servants, Jesus tells of a master who entrusted three servants with different amounts of money based on their abilities. Two of the servants invested the money wisely and returned twice the amount with which they were entrusted. Matthew 25:21 is the master’s reply when the first man presents the money he’s earned.

Question: Do you think that God will trust you with more responsibilities based on your performance here on earth? Why do you think you have been entrusted with that which God has currently given you?

Matthew 25:21 (New Living Translation)
The master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

Answer:

 

 

2. Paul explains that when you die, you will be held accountable before God for all of your actions on earth. In the end, you will not be answering to others, you will be answering to God.

Question: Do you live to impress others? What kind of financial stress has that caused for you? If you were living to only satisfy God, how might that change the way you manage your finances?

Romans 14:12 (New Living Translation)
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.

Answer:

 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Thank God for trusting you with what He has given to you. Tell Him that you want to satisfy Him alone and not those around you. Pray for the type of life that would allow God to one day tell you, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Questions for Discussion— Try these in a group, with friends or at the dinner table.

  1. Everything on this earth belongs to God and He tests our faithfulness first in the small things that He has given us to manage. What things (small or big) has God trusted you with? What would you like God to trust you with in the future?
  2. Money shows what we love most. Read Matthew 6:19-21. What is the difference between treasures on earth and treasures in heaven? Give examples of each and discuss ways to invest in heavenly things.
  3. What are the dangers and pitfalls of money? How does God use money to test us and strengthen our faith?
  4. A shrewd manager invests in God’s kingdom by using affluence to influence. Why is it so difficult for us to become good stewards of the resources God has given us? How is God currently challenging you in this area?

 June 2014 Memory Verse:

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Colossians 3:23 (New Living Translation)

 

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

For the duration of the Transformed series, we are asking groups to use the provided materials rather than a video from our teaching pastors. To download discussion questions or to participate in the Tuesday night iCampus discussion, visit our iCampus page.

Weekend Updates!

Saturday’s Daily Bible Reading Plan: June 14th, Acts 21:1-40

Next Weekend: Next week we will finish the Transformed series. Senior Pastor Lee Powell will be speaking about “Transformed Vocationally”. Services are Saturday, June 14th—5:15 pm, 7:00 pm and Sunday, June 15th—9:00 am, 10:45 am, 12:30 pm. We hope that you can join us at any of our four locations or on the iCampus at CedarCreek.tv

Celebrate Recovery: Find freedom from your hurts, habits and hang ups. Celebrate Recovery happens on Friday evenings at all campuses. For more information, set your web browser to: CedarCreek.tv/celebraterecovery

Global Leadership Summit: This year’s Leadership Summit will be simulcast at all four CedarCreek campuses on August 14-15 (Thursday and Friday). Sign up today for the special discounted rate of $79 by visiting CedarCreek.tv/summit and entering the code LEAD14HS

Living It Out:
Have some feedback? Email questions or comments to LukeS@CedarCreek.tv
Want to find out more about the Living It Out? Check out tons of free resources or have this study sent directly to your daily email. Set your web browser to: livingitout.tv

RESOURCES:
Rick Warren’s Transforming How I Use and See Money
Highway Accident Statistics taken from NHTSA.gov

This week’s Living It Out was written by:
Alyssa Baker
Alison Frye
Ashlee Grosjean
Kaila Mugford
JoAnna Studer

 

 

 

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Categories

2014 Memory Verses

August, 2014
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
John 21:25

July, 2014
“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”
Romans 15:4

June, 2014
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."
Colossians 3:23

May, 2014
”This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
2 Corinthians 5:17

April, 2014
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

March, 2014
“ Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.’”
John 11:25

February, 2014
“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.”
1 Timothy 6:15

January, 2014
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Act 4:12

Past Memory Verses

Click here to download the 2013 Memory Verses.

Click here to download the 2012 Memory Verses.

Click here to download the 2011 Memory Verses.

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