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Bible Study

LIO 3/3 – Why Guardrails are Important

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

THURSDAY—Why Guardrails are Important
Big Point: A key practice in marriage is to establish mutual guardrails.

Wikipedia defines “guardrail” as “a system designed to keep people or vehicles from straying into dangerous or off-limits areas.” In our personal lives, guardrails protect us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They are intentional boundaries that are set in one’s life to prevent a sticky situation from occurring. Trust is established in relationships when guardrails are set and they can often display how the marriage is built putting Jesus first. It’s within a trustworthy relationship that both spouses thrive.

Today, 70% of infidelity begins at the workplace, which means something in the trustworthy relationship either broke down or wasn’t there to begin with. Although temptations arise in our lives, we ALWAYS have a way out. We can surround ourselves with people who speak truth into our lives, practice the pathways towards a growing faith (we discussed those on Monday), and set clear, mutual boundaries mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Maybe your marriage hasn’t had boundaries, maybe the very thought has you overwhelmed, but as one pastor put it, “Our solution to losing our self in the muck and mire of sin and the dirtiness of life is to be found in Jesus Christ.” If you are feeling hopeless because of all that has already passed, it can be an opportunity to experience and understand the grace of God on a more intimate and personal level. Maybe the drift has just set in, or maybe your marriage is good, but you had hoped for something more. As Tom Martin shared, “Guardrails never keep us from our destination, they only protect us from disasters.” This is a great reminder of the importance of guardrails. They may keep us from harm, but more importantly, they can help us get to where we really want to be. This isn’t a new idea. The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom for every day living and addresses the importance of setting boundaries in all areas of our lives to experience healthy relationships.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Proverbs 22:3 (New Living Translation)
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

Question: What happens to the one who doesn’t plan a guardrail?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
Why does God want you to foresee danger and take precautions?

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
If you are married, what are some areas where you and your spouse could set guardrails together? If you are single, what are some smart guardrails for your heart? Review the entire list of work and personal by clicking here.

 

PRAY IT…
Thank God for being the ultimate guardrail. Ask God for revelation in areas of your life where you could place a guardrail and thank Him for His faithfulness of wanting to protect our hearts.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. Tom shared this weekend how he met his wife. If you are married, share how you met your spouse. If not, share your parents’ or grandparents’ story.
  2. The decisions we make today determine our relationships tomorrow, so PEP – Priorities, Expectations and Practices – are key to putting God first. Discuss PEP. How have you seen this to be true in your own life? Be specific.
  3. Submission is a word that makes most of us cringe. Read Ephesians 5:21-30. What do you think of submission for both husband and wife when it’s put with out of reverence for Christ? Taking it a step further, do you think it’s the glue of every relationship? Why or why not?
  4. Trust builders in a marriage relationship are communication, finances and fidelity. What stood out to you the most about what Tom shared for each of these areas?
  5. Tom challenged us this weekend to pick one area in our relationship and apply the PEP principle to it. He even recommended that we set a calendar reminder for one month from now to check back and see how we are doing with it. What area in your relationship did you choose and why?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • Tom shared that there would be additional resources for marriage in this week’s LIO. Click here for Tom’s Top 10 List for Strong Marriages, and click here for a list of Personal and Workplace Guardrails to consider.
  • In addition to our series memory verse, Romans 12:10, here are some
    additional verses to study and commit to memory to keep God first and your
    marriage strong:

    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

LIO 3/2 – Different Kinds of Love

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

WEDNESDAY—Different Kinds of Love
Big Point: The Bible teaches about different types of love, but all of them are a part of the marriage relationship.

Our English word for love falls woefully short of defining the different ways we love. We use the same word whether we love ice cream or we love our kids, but we certainly don’t mean the same kind of love for both. The Greek language uses four words to describe love—philia, storge, eros and agape.

For friends or brotherly love there is philia or phileos. It is a strong feeling of solidarity with someone you have usually experienced a lot of life with. This is the word used when describing the love between Christ and his disciples. Another less often mentioned in the Bible Greek word for love is storge, or stergein love. It can include the love of a parent, sibling or cousin, love through family relationships. Eros is a strong physical attraction kind of love, the romantic, sexual love. While the word eros isn’t specifically used within Scripture, this kind of love is referred to as it relates to a husband and wife. Last, there is agape love, love at its ultimate and fullest.  Agape love is not like a brotherly love or a love between a husband and a wife. It is the most self-sacrificing love there is. This is the type of love God has for His children and is the type of love displayed on the cross by Jesus Christ. 

While we may feel all these types of love towards our spouse, the type of love reserved only for our spouse is eros. There is nothing sinful about the “eros” love, as long as it is within the confines of marriage. This is a wonderful part of married life, but romance, and all that comes with it, is often the last thing we make time for. Some ways to build more romance into your every day: be kind, considerate and use romantic gestures. Write a love letter to each other and say exactly why you are still in love. Non-sexual touch is critical to keeping the fires burning too. Spend some time cuddling on the couch, holding hands and hug each other every day. Try holding hands and praying together. If you are shy about praying out loud do it during “grace” at meal time. These may seem like small things, but they are all ways a husband and wife can celebrate the gift of marriage.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Genesis 2:23-24 (New Living Translation)
“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This bone is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman”, because she was taken from ‘man’. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united into one.

Question: Why are the two joined into one?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
Is God truly at the center of your marriage commitment?

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
What romantic gesture towards your spouse can celebrate God’s gift of marriage to you?

 

PRAY IT…
Ask the Lord to help you actively live in His will and His way in your marriage. Thank Him for your precious spouse and ask Him to help you open the lines of communication between you and Him to include both of you spending time in His word together.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. Tom shared this weekend how he met his wife. If you are married, share how you met your spouse. If not, share your parents’ or grandparents’ story.
  2. The decisions we make today determine our relationships tomorrow, so PEP – Priorities, Expectations and Practices – are key to putting God first. Discuss PEP. How have you seen this to be true in your own life? Be specific.
  3. Submission is a word that makes most of us cringe. Read Ephesians 5:21-30. What do you think of submission for both husband and wife when it’s put with out of reverence for Christ? Taking it a step further, do you think it’s the glue of every relationship? Why or why not?
  4. Trust builders in a marriage relationship are communication, finances and fidelity. What stood out to you the most about what Tom shared for each of these areas?
  5. Tom challenged us this weekend to pick one area in our relationship and apply the PEP principle to it. He even recommended that we set a calendar reminder for one month from now to check back and see how we are doing with it. What area in your relationship did you choose and why?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • Tom shared that there would be additional resources for marriage in this week’s LIO. Click here for Tom’s Top 10 List for Strong Marriages, and click here for a list of Personal and Workplace Guardrails to consider.
  • In addition to our series memory verse, Romans 12:10, here are some
    additional verses to study and commit to memory to keep God first and your
    marriage strong:

    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

LIO 3/1 – Out of Reverence to Christ

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

TUESDAY–Out of Reverence to Christ
Big Point: A Christian marriage is defined by having Christ at the center.

Not to be Captain Obvious here, but what makes a Christian marriage different from a non-Christian marriage? Hopefully you answered—the goal. When two people are joined in Christ, their marriage goal is to grow together to become more like him, and to reflect Him to each other and others through their marriage. This is not to say that all Christians, when they marry, immediately begin to work toward this goal. Many of us don’t even realize that this is the ultimate goal, but the presence of the Holy Spirit within a husband and a wife works within them. This work matures each of them and when both partners make becoming more like Jesus their individual goal, a strong, vibrant Christian marriage begins to take shape.

How does that really happen though? Ephesians 5 makes it clear that we are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. The whole idea of submission is a tough one for us to take, but so often it’s because we divorce the command to submit with the reason, out of reverence to Christ (pun intended). The two go hand-in-hand and Paul goes on to provide a description of what that looks like for a husband and wife.

The husband is to assume leadership in the home. This leadership should not be dictatorial, condescending or patronizing to the wife, but should be in accordance with the example of Christ leading the church. Christ loved the church with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, respect and selflessness. In this same way husbands are to love their wives. Wives are to submit to their husbands, “as to the Lord”, not because they are to be subservient to them, but because both husband and wife are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” and because Christ is ultimately the head of the home. Respect is a key element of the desire to submit; wives must respect their husbands, as husbands are to love their wives.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Ephesians 5:22-26 (New Living Translation)
22And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.

Question: Why do a husband and wife submit to one another?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
Yes/No—I understand the order and meaning of mutual submission.

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
Tom introduced practicing mutual submission by asking your spouse: “What can I help you with?” How can you genuinely ask this question today?

 

PRAY IT…
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for marriage! Help us to keep you first, and our spouse’s needs, desires, and wishes more important than our own. Let us be an example of Christian marriage to our children and our grandchildren, till death do us part. Amen.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. Tom shared this weekend how he met his wife. If you are married, share how you met your spouse. If not, share your parents’ or grandparents’ story.
  2. The decisions we make today determine our relationships tomorrow, so PEP – Priorities, Expectations and Practices – are key to putting God first. Discuss PEP. How have you seen this to be true in your own life? Be specific.
  3. Submission is a word that makes most of us cringe. Read Ephesians 5:21-30. What do you think of submission for both husband and wife when it’s put with out of reverence for Christ? Taking it a step further, do you think it’s the glue of every relationship? Why or why not?
  4. Trust builders in a marriage relationship are communication, finances and fidelity. What stood out to you the most about what Tom shared for each of these areas?
  5. Tom challenged us this weekend to pick one area in our relationship and apply the PEP principle to it. He even recommended that we set a calendar reminder for one month from now to check back and see how we are doing with it. What area in your relationship did you choose and why?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • Tom shared that there would be additional resources for marriage in this week’s LIO. Click here for Tom’s Top 10 List for Strong Marriages, and click here for a list of Personal and Workplace Guardrails to consider.
  • In addition to our series memory verse, Romans 12:10, here are some
    additional verses to study and commit to memory to keep God first and your
    marriage strong:

    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

LIO 2/29 – Forever Crazy In Love

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


MONDAY—Making It Last
Big Point: God created the institution of marriage to last a lifetime.

Can a man and woman stay in love forever? If you saw the story of Jim and Jan Armbruster earlier in the series, who have been married for 64 years and are going strong, we know there’s one! But, in today’s culture and age of technology, is it still possible?

The answer to this really takes us back to the beginning of our “Crazy In Love” series when Ben shared the Andy Stanley quote, “To fall in love you need a pulse, but to stay in love you need a plan.” Making it last is possible, but not without a plan. Barb shared last weekend that part of the plan is to practice kindness and to pray together; Tom continued this weekend sharing that the plan needs to include PEP—priorities, expectations and practice that keep God #1. Individual practices like praying and talking to God daily, reading Scripture, connecting with other believers through our church community and serving others. It also includes understanding mutual submission and being all-in on the trust builders of communication, finances and fidelity. The reality is that we can have all the right answers, even believe it can last, but if we don’t have PEP and the pathways to God in place, that’s when marriages drift apart and boundaries are crossed. It’s not that we plan for the drift, it’s more that we didn’t plan NOT to drift.

While this LIO is devoted to marriage, whether you are married or not, these resources can help you establish healthy boundaries for all of your relationships so that they can flourish, while also keeping God as your number 1. The apostle Paul writes about a boundary around marriage in his letter to the church in Ephesus. He reiterates the purpose of marriage that God instituted with Adam and Eve, and why it remains important today.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Ephesians 5:31-32 (New Living Translation)
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.

Question: Who is joined and united into one?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
Do you believe that when a man and woman are married they are united into one?

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
Tom issued a challenge to choose one thing to PEP in your marriage relationship. What is the one thing you commit to taking a next step on today? You can access the resources he mentioned by clicking the following links: Tom’s Top 10 List for a Strong Marriage and Work Guardrails and Personal Guardrails.

 

PRAY IT…
Thank God for the reminder about His plan for marriage and how important the institution of marriage is because of what it reflects. Pray over PEP and ask for whatever you need to follow through on it to begin strengthening your marriage.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. Tom shared this weekend how he met his wife. If you are married, share how you met your spouse. If not, share your parents’ or grandparents’ story.
  2. The decisions we make today determine our relationships tomorrow, so PEP – Priorities, Expectations and Practices – are key to putting God first. Discuss PEP. How have you seen this to be true in your own life? Be specific. 
  3. Submission is a word that makes most of us cringe. Read Ephesians 5:21-30. What do you think of submission for both husband and wife when it’s put with out of reverence for Christ? Taking it a step further, do you think it’s the glue of every relationship? Why or why not?
  4. Trust builders in a marriage relationship are communication, finances and fidelity. What stood out to you the most about what Tom shared for each of these areas?
  5. Tom challenged us this weekend to pick one area in our relationship and apply the PEP principle to it. He even recommended that we set a calendar reminder for one month from now to check back and see how we are doing with it. What area in your relationship did you choose and why?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • Tom shared that there would be additional resources for marriage in this week’s LIO. Click here for Tom’s Top 10 List for Strong Marriages, and click here for a list of Personal and Workplace Guardrails to consider.
  • In addition to our series memory verse, Romans 12:10, here are some
    additional verses to study and commit to memory to keep God first and your
    marriage strong:

    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

LIO week of 2/29: Series – Crazy In Love: Forever Crazy In Love

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

LIO 2/26 – One Thing to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage

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

FRIDAY—One Thing to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage
Big Point: Divorce-proof your marriage with prayer.

Our common assumption is that the divorce rate is 1 in 2. So if you think about all the couples in your life, the societal expectation of marriage is only half have a chance of making it. In reality the percentage is lower, but what if we could do one simple practice to lower the rate to 1 in 10,000, no matter the current rate. It sounds too good to be true, but the research backs it up—if you pray consistently with your spouse, your odds of staying married go up dramatically. Whether you’re married or single, prayer is the holy grail of marriage advice!

It sounds easy, but clearly it isn’t or more people would be doing it. You have to make it a priority—actually put it on the calendar if you need to—because consistency is so important. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it should be daily. Take into account that it may take some time for change to occur. Transformation may not happen at the same pace, but don’t stop praying. Be patient and allow God to work in your heart and your spouse’s. Praying together might feel a little (ok, a lot!) awkward at first, but keep in mind it’s about God, not about you. So try to keep it simple. Remember, you’re talking to God, not your spouse. Don’t try to impress. As blogger Matt McWilliams humorously writes on the subject, “You’re talking to the One who breathed life into the aardvark; He loves you, but He’s not impressed.”

Most importantly, be honest. Admit your faults and ask Him for help. And then be kind to one another. If you need help with that, go to the Bible. There are many verses about being kind to one another, such as 1 Peter 3, or Philippians 2:2-7, as well as verses about restoration and redemption, such as the verse below. If we keep our focus on God,
humble ourselves and pray together to Him, His promises will be alive in our hearts and relationship.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
2 Chronicles 7:14 (New Living Translation)
Then if my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Question: What are we told to do and what is the result?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
On a scale of 1-5, how often do you seek God as a first response to problems?

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
What are the first steps you can take to implement this marriage-saving practice in your life? If you already do this, how can you help another couple with this?

If you are single, will you put this on your list of “must haves” for your spouse?

 

PRAY IT…
Praise the Lord for giving you a direct route to Him through prayer. Ask Him to help you begin or to strengthen this practice in your marriage, to make it a priority every day. Thank Him for His forgiveness and restoration.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. If you are married or single again, what one truth do you wish someone had told you before marriage? If you have never been married, what would you tell someone is true about marriage from what you have seen?
  2. The Bible teaches that marriage is a picture of Jesus’ relationship with his followers. Read Ephesians 5:31-32. How do you feel about this truth of marriage?
  3. Barb shared this weekend that we need two realizations when it comes to marriage: 1) that there are foxes in our marriage, and 2) that our job is to get rid of them. Read Song of Solomon 2:15 and then discuss the typical foxes that you’ve seen ruin marriages.
  4. The first two ways to get rid of the foxes are to be committed to kindness and to remember that your spouse is not a fox. Read Proverbs 16:24 and Colossians 3:12-14. How do the behaviors and qualities taught in the Bible equip us to be patient (travel at the same speed as our spouse), to accept our spouse for who God created them to be and to make room for forgiveness for a shared future?
  5. The last two ways to get rid of the foxes are to love and trust God to transform and to pray together. What does it look like to love and trust God to transform every day? How does prayer play a role (whether you’re in a happy marriage, troubled marriage or not married)?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • God can do anything. And He will. But, if you are in a situation where there is abuse, infidelity or you are being pressured to act illegally by your spouse, please reach out to your campus pastor.
  • If you are married and would like to spend some focused time together on your marriage relationship this year
    consider:

    1. Love and Respect Video Conferences at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/love-and-respect-video-marriage-conference-8115607351
    2. Miracle Camp at MiracleCamp.com/marriage
    3. God Loves Marriage at GodLovesMarriage.org
  • Verses to study and commit to memory, in addition to our memory verse:
    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

Weekend Updates!

  • Coming Up: “Crazy in Love!” Join us for week three!
  • Prayer: Give us the opportunity to pray for you. Submit a prayer request at CedarCreek.tv/prayer or call 419.661.8661 and ask to be added. Worried about confidentiality? Don’t be! Our prayer ministry uses first names only, of the people we pray for. If you would like someone to pray with you in person, join us in the front of the auditorium after any service, at any campus and we will pray with you.
  • Get Connected! Don’t wait to connect with others and Live for More! We have something for everyone…any age, any stage including lifegroups, MOMentum, Celebrate Recovery, Cedarville for babies—5th grade, Fusion for 6-8th grade, Vertical for 9-12th or serving opportunities in a variety of areas. Visit the welcome center during any weekend service for more information.

Resources Used This Week:

Craig Groeschel Devotion, “Never Give Up”

Matt McWilliams blog at MattMcWilliams.com

Andy Stanley at AndyStanley.com

All Scripture references are New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.


The mission of the CedarCreek LivingItOut Bible study is to provide a complementary Monday-Friday study that digs deeper into Scripture and the weekend message topic so we can live out our faith daily in Jesus Christ.

Each week the LivingItOut (LIO) is put together by a team of writers and proofers. Thank you to this week’s team! Interested in serving? Questions or comments about this week’s study? Email MarnaW@CedarCreek.tv

 

LIO 2/25 – Love Trusts God to Transform

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

THURSDAY—Love Trusts God to Transform
Big Point: See past the uh-oh’s and allow God to transform your heart and relationship.

Yesterday we discussed utilizing forgiveness in marriage to help make room for a shared future. Forgiveness can occasionally be easy, but it’s typically hard work. This is why we need the power of God to help us. From Pastor Craig Groeschel’s devotional “Never Give Up”: When you exchange rings and vows and enter into the covenant of marriage, you’re dedicating yourself to love ‘until death do us part’. But what happens when the love runs dry? What happens if only one of you chooses to read this Bible plan? What do you do when the worst happens, and those vows are shattered by unfaithfulness? Whatever you’re facing, even if it could be grounds for divorce, that means it can also be grounds for forgiveness. Marriage is one of the toughest ways that we can see the proverb ‘iron sharpens iron’ play out. No matter what fault you find in your spouse, the truth is, there are always ways that you need to grow and develop, too. If that wedding band starts to feel more like a handcuff, then you have a decision to make: you can decide to forgive what seems unforgiveable. You can decide to extend the grace that God gave you to your spouse. You can decide to own up to your mistakes. When your car runs out of gas, you don’t sell it. You put more gas in! Let God love through you. And never give up.
       
It needs to be noted that although nothing is impossible with God, if you are in a situation of abuse, infidelity or are being pressured into illegal activity, please reach out to your campus pastor.
       
Paul teaches the church in Corinth that God’s love is directed outward, towards others, and specifically that love has elements of perseverance and dedication that we should strive for in our marriages.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
1 Corinthians 13:7 (New Living Translation)
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Question: According to the verse above, what are some characteristics of love?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
To make it personal, think of a word that describes each of the following parts of the verse from above. For example, “Love never gives up” Relentless; “Never loses faith” ____________ ; “Is always hopeful” ______________ ; “Endures through every circumstance” ____________ .

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
Have you given up or lost faith?

What is the first step out of that place that will begin to allow God to transform you?

 

PRAY IT…
God, please give me the strength to forgive just as You have forgiven me. Give me the will to persevere in my relationship despite the imperfections we both have. Help me to own up to my own mistakes and focus on fixing those rather than dwelling on the mistakes of my spouse. Amen.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. If you are married or single again, what one truth do you wish someone had told you before marriage? If you have never been married, what would you tell someone is true about marriage from what you have seen?
  2. The Bible teaches that marriage is a picture of Jesus’ relationship with his followers. Read Ephesians 5:31-32. How do you feel about this truth of marriage?
  3. Barb shared this weekend that we need two realizations when it comes to marriage: 1) that there are foxes in our marriage, and 2) that our job is to get rid of them. Read Song of Solomon 2:15 and then discuss the typical foxes that you’ve seen ruin marriages.
  4. The first two ways to get rid of the foxes are to be committed to kindness and to remember that your spouse is not a fox. Read Proverbs 16:24 and Colossians 3:12-14. How do the behaviors and qualities taught in the Bible equip us to be patient (travel at the same speed as our spouse), to accept our spouse for who God created them to be and to make room for forgiveness for a shared future?
  5. The last two ways to get rid of the foxes are to love and trust God to transform and to pray together. What does it look like to love and trust God to transform every day? How does prayer play a role (whether you’re in a happy marriage, troubled marriage or not married)?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • God can do anything. And He will. But, if you are in a situation where there is abuse, infidelity or you are being pressured to act illegally by your spouse, please reach out to your campus pastor.
  • If you are married and would like to spend some focused time together on your marriage relationship this year
    consider:

    1. Love and Respect Video Conferences at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/love-and-respect-video-marriage-conference-8115607351
    2. Miracle Camp at MiracleCamp.com/marriage
    3. God Loves Marriage at GodLovesMarriage.org
  • Verses to study and commit to memory, in addition to our memory verse:
    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

LIO 2/24 – Tilt the Odds to Favor Marriage

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

WEDNESDAY—Tilt the Odds to Favor Marriage
Big Point: God may not tell us who to marry, but He does tell us how to love in marriage and in all relationships.

Admittedly baby foxes are cute, little, red animals with big, bushy tails, but in classic fairy tales or fables, a fox is usually portrayed as a sneaky villain that wants to trick and/or eat the other characters. They are quick-witted and always seeking to slyly destroy the character they are up against. This is the kind of fox we read about in the Song of Solomon. They are the little destructive things that sneak up into our relationships—primarily the marriage relationship. Little things like annoying habits we don’t address, the use of those devices that cause distraction and vie for our attention, hurtful words spoken in anger, household chores and upkeep, financial disagreements, the list goes on. These foxes nip at our hearts and relationships and, when left to their own devices, chew the place to shambles and erode what God intended for good.

As Barb mentioned this past weekend, we have a 50/50 chance in our marriage. We will encounter “uh-oh’s”, “oh-no’s” and “hot-no’s”, but what we do with those can tilt the odds in favor of our marriage. Remember your spouse is not the enemy. There is a very real enemy out there that seeks to destroy anything and everything good in your life, but it’s up to you to decide how to respond. When thinking about tilting the odds in favor of your marriage, remember: 1) Patience is traveling at the same SPEED as your spouse, 2) ACCEPT your spouse for who God created them to be, not who you want them to be, and 3) FORGIVENESS makes room for a shared future. Paul wrote to the church at Colossi, a city in Asia minor, about these things—reminding them that they have everything they need in Christ, and that they can live day-to-day for Him as holy people when they rely on what He provides.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Colossians 3:12-14 (New Living Translation)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Question: What are the character traits of love?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
From the verses above, how would you fill in the blanks: If I am going to “tilt the odds” in my marriage, I need to exhibit more __________, _________ and _______ in my relationship.

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
What are some of the “little foxes” in your relationship right now?

What are some practical ways you can “clothe yourself with love” to not even allow the foxes in?

 

PRAY IT…
Ask God to reveal some of the foxes you are allowing to creep into your relationship. Ask Him to reveal ways that you can clothe yourself in love to create harmony in your home. Thank Him for the person He has placed in your life.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. If you are married or single again, what one truth do you wish someone had told you before marriage? If you have never been married, what would you tell someone is true about marriage from what you have seen?
  2. The Bible teaches that marriage is a picture of Jesus’ relationship with his followers. Read Ephesians 5:31-32. How do you feel about this truth of marriage?
  3. Barb shared this weekend that we need two realizations when it comes to marriage: 1) that there are foxes in our marriage, and 2) that our job is to get rid of them. Read Song of Solomon 2:15 and then discuss the typical foxes that you’ve seen ruin marriages.
  4. The first two ways to get rid of the foxes are to be committed to kindness and to remember that your spouse is not a fox. Read Proverbs 16:24 and Colossians 3:12-14. How do the behaviors and qualities taught in the Bible equip us to be patient (travel at the same speed as our spouse), to accept our spouse for who God created them to be and to make room for forgiveness for a shared future?
  5. The last two ways to get rid of the foxes are to love and trust God to transform and to pray together. What does it look like to love and trust God to transform every day? How does prayer play a role (whether you’re in a happy marriage, troubled marriage or not married)?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • God can do anything. And He will. But, if you are in a situation where there is abuse, infidelity or you are being pressured to act illegally by your spouse, please reach out to your campus pastor.
  • If you are married and would like to spend some focused time together on your marriage relationship this year
    consider:

    1. Love and Respect Video Conferences at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/love-and-respect-video-marriage-conference-8115607351
    2. Miracle Camp at MiracleCamp.com/marriage
    3. God Loves Marriage at GodLovesMarriage.org
  • Verses to study and commit to memory, in addition to our memory verse:
    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

LIO 2/23 – Kindness is Romance

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

TUESDAY–Kindness is Romance
Big Point: The principle for romance in marriage is to practice kindness.

“I am crazy in love with my spouse because they are so ________.” How would you fill in the blank? Gorgeous? Funny? Sexy? How about kind?

We don’t often equate kindness with romance, but true love – enduring love – involves much more than the physical, hormone-fueled passion portrayed by Hollywood. Romance in the movies is self-serving. It’s all about ‘me’. Real, godly love is about the other person and their wellbeing. Displaying kindness to your spouse is one way of expressing your love for them. In fact, the Bible says that love is kind.

Dictionaries describe kindness as being generous or considerate. Are you considerate to your spouse or are you always concerned with whether your needs are met? Andy Stanley says it this way, “The goal of kindness is to benefit the person to whom it is extended.” But what if you don’t feel like being kind? As you will see on Thursday, God has the power to transform us and, in Galatians 5:22, we are told that kindness is from the Holy Spirit. So tap into the power of God that lives inside each follower of Christ and ask to be filled with kindness that you can then extend to your spouse.

Just sayin’: if you want to turn up the heat in your romance, try being kind and considerate of your spouse’s needs in generous doses daily and see what fires ignite.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Proverbs 16: 24 (New Living Translation)
Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Question: What two aspects of a person do kind words benefit?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
Think back to a time when someone showed you kindness. Make a list of the feelings or emotions you experienced because of this person’s actions. Did it result in sweetness to the soul and a feeling of health for your body?

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
List two ways you could show kindness to your spouse in a way that would be evident to them.

When will you do these two things? Make a commitment by putting it on your calendar right now.

 

PRAY IT…
Thank God for showing you how to love like He does. Ask Him to fill you with the spirit of kindness and provide for you an opportunity to shower the one you love with kindness this week.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. If you are married or single again, what one truth do you wish someone had told you before marriage? If you have never been married, what would you tell someone is true about marriage from what you have seen?
  2. The Bible teaches that marriage is a picture of Jesus’ relationship with his followers. Read Ephesians 5:31-32. How do you feel about this truth of marriage?
  3. Barb shared this weekend that we need two realizations when it comes to marriage: 1) that there are foxes in our marriage, and 2) that our job is to get rid of them. Read Song of Solomon 2:15 and then discuss the typical foxes that you’ve seen ruin marriages.
  4. The first two ways to get rid of the foxes are to be committed to kindness and to remember that your spouse is not a fox. Read Proverbs 16:24 and Colossians 3:12-14. How do the behaviors and qualities taught in the Bible equip us to be patient (travel at the same speed as our spouse), to accept our spouse for who God created them to be and to make room for forgiveness for a shared future?
  5. The last two ways to get rid of the foxes are to love and trust God to transform and to pray together. What does it look like to love and trust God to transform every day? How does prayer play a role (whether you’re in a happy marriage, troubled marriage or not married)?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • God can do anything. And He will. But, if you are in a situation where there is abuse, infidelity or you are being pressured to act illegally by your spouse, please reach out to your campus pastor.
  • If you are married and would like to spend some focused time together on your marriage relationship this year
    consider:

    1. Love and Respect Video Conferences at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/love-and-respect-video-marriage-conference-8115607351
    2. Miracle Camp at MiracleCamp.com/marriage
    3. God Loves Marriage at GodLovesMarriage.org
  • Verses to study and commit to memory, in addition to our memory verse:
    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

LIO 2/22 – Surviving the Uh-Oh’s

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


MONDAY—Surviving the Uh-Oh’s
Big Point: Marriage is a reflection of the most important relationship in history.

A simple definition of the phrase “uh-oh” is an expression used when we realize we are in a bad situation or that we’ve made a mistake. Like when a toddler drops something, “Uh-oh you dropped your toy”, but when it comes to marriage, the uh-oh’s get a lot bigger than that. When left unchecked, they breed bitterness, discontentment, resentment and more. The relationship fractures and pretty soon our hearts, minds and attitudes about our marriage are in a place we never intended.

But why does it matter? Because marriage is a picture of Jesus’ relationship with his followers and we are made by the one who never breaks a promise or commitment. It’s also a part of our gospel message to the world, whether you are married or not. As we talked about last week, God designed marriage to provide partnership. In addition, He intended for marriage to bring about spiritual intimacy and strengthen our ability to pursue Him, together, as one. The fact is that Satan wants to destroy marriage because if he can’t overcome Christ – he’s going to go after the next best thing – Christian marriages.

Gary Thomas, Christian marriage author and speaker, says, “God’s design for marriage is paralleled throughout the Bible. For instance, Jesus refers to himself as the ‘bridegroom’ and to the kingdom of heaven as a ‘wedding banquet’.” The apostle Paul writes about this in his letter to the church in Ephesus. He begins his letter by explaining the purpose of the church and then shows how that purpose extends into our behaviors and relationships, starting with marriage.

 

READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Ephesians 5:31-32 (New Living Translation)
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.

Question: What does marriage illustrate?

Answer:

 

BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
Fill in the blank: As the Scriptures say, “A ______ leaves his father and mother and is _________ to his _______, and the two are _________ into _______.”

 

LIVE IT… What will I do now?
If you are married, what is one thing you could do for your spouse today to model unity and show that you are, or want to be, on the same team?

If you are not married, how can you specifically show support for a Christian marriage around you?

 

PRAY IT…
Dear God, thank You for Your design and intention for Christian marriage. We trust Your design and ask for You to show us how we can use our own marriage to show more of You, or support the marriages around us to point people towards You. Amen.

 

More Living It Out


Dig 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.


Weekend Message Discussion Questions: Catching a meal after the service? Meeting with friends this week? Discuss the weekend message together:

  1. If you are married or single again, what one truth do you wish someone had told you before marriage? If you have never been married, what would you tell someone is true about marriage from what you have seen?
  2. The Bible teaches that marriage is a picture of Jesus’ relationship with his followers. Read Ephesians 5:31-32. How do you feel about this truth of marriage?
  3. Barb shared this weekend that we need two realizations when it comes to marriage: 1) that there are foxes in our marriage, and 2) that our job is to get rid of them. Read Song of Solomon 2:15 and then discuss the typical foxes that you’ve seen ruin marriages. 
  4. The first two ways to get rid of the foxes are to be committed to kindness and to remember that your spouse is not a fox. Read Proverbs 16:24 and Colossians 3:12-14. How do the behaviors and qualities taught in the Bible equip us to be patient (travel at the same speed as our spouse), to accept our spouse for who God created them to be and to make room for forgiveness for a shared future?
  5. The last two ways to get rid of the foxes are to love and trust God to transform and to pray together. What does it look like to love and trust God to transform every day? How does prayer play a role (whether you’re in a happy marriage, troubled marriage or not married)?

Bible Reading Plan

Thank you for reading today’s LivingItOut! We encourage you to take it one step further by participating in a Daily Bible Reading plan. There are thousands of individual reading plans available and there is ONE that is just right for you! CLICK HERE to download a basic “Bible in a year” plan. Customizable reading plans available at Youversion.com or Biblegateway.com.


Crazy In Love Series Memory Verse:

Love each other with genuine affection,

and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10 (NLT)


Take Another Step:

  • God can do anything. And He will. But, if you are in a situation where there is abuse, infidelity or you are being pressured to act illegally by your spouse, please reach out to your campus pastor.
  • If you are married and would like to spend some focused time together on your marriage relationship this year
    consider:

    1. Love and Respect Video Conferences at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/love-and-respect-video-marriage-conference-8115607351
    2. Miracle Camp at MiracleCamp.com/marriage
    3. God Loves Marriage at GodLovesMarriage.org
  • Verses to study and commit to memory, in addition to our memory verse:
    • 1 Peter 4:8
    • Ecclesiastes 4:12
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Proverbs 16:24

 

John Reading Plan

Click here for the full plan.
 
Click here to read along starting with today's reading.

Making It Last

Making It Last, Marriage Resources

Click here for Tom’s Top 10 List for Strong Marriages

Click here for a list of Personal and Workplace Guardrails

Deeper Study

2016 Memory Verses

Comeback Series
"Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
Ephesians 4:23-24

One On One Series
"Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, 'I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.'”
John 8:12

Crazy In Love Series
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other."
Romans 12:10

Awaken Series
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
Ephesians 5:14b

Past Memory Verses

Click here to download the 2015 Memory Verses.

Click here to download the 2014 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.