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LIO 5/26 – Transformed: Transformed Emotionally

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We must not allow our emotions to hold sway over our minds. Rather, we must seek to let the truth of God rule our minds. Our emotions must become subservient to the truth.

-Jerry Bridges

Life is a never-ending, constantly looping and sometimes 200 foot drop from the top to the bottom that pushes your stomach into your throat, emotional roller coaster. We are emotional beings and that’s okay. We were created with feelings.

God is emotional and we are emotional because He created us in His image. Feelings of love, joy, happiness, sorrow, heartache, peace and even despair are all a part of the human experience. The real question is, do you control your emotions or do they control you? Do you honor God with your emotions or do you allow them to lead you into bad behavior?

First, God has emotions. God has feelings. God feels joy, grief, pain and hatred towards sin. The only reason you have emotions is because you’re made in God’s image. If God wasn’t an emotional God, you wouldn’t have any emotions. If God wasn’t a God of love, there would be no love on this planet. God is love. God created emotions, created feelings. So, God is an emotional God.

Second, the ability to feel is a gift from God. Your emotions are a gift from God. Emotions are a great asset. Without emotions you’d be a robot. Emotions make you human. It is your emotional ability that allows you to love and create, be faithful, loyal, kind and generous… all of the emotions that are attached to the good things in life.

Finally, there are two extremes to avoid. One is called emotionalism and the other is called stoicism. Emotionalism is saying the only thing that matters in life is how I feel. It doesn’t matter what I think, it doesn’t matter what’s right or wrong, good or bad. If it feels good, do it and that extreme means everything I do in life is based on my emotions. They control, dominate and run my life and I’m a very emotional person.

Stoicism is the exact opposite. It basically says feelings aren’t important at all. The only thing that matters is your intellect and your will—your volition and your intelligence. So the stoics say emotions are not part of life; feelings don’t really matter. But, God gave you your emotions for a reason. God wants you to worship Him emotionally. He wants you to feel it. In fact, God complains in the Scripture many times that people are worshiping with their lips but not with their emotions, not with their hearts. (The previous points are paraphrased from Rick Warren).

The Bible tells us that God gave us the book of Psalms in order to understand our emotions. Psalms has every emotion possible in it! It’s there to teach you about emotions, positive and negative. Not all psalms are about praise and thanksgiving. There are psalms of anger, lament and sorrow. There are even psalms of arguing with God. God is saying all of these are legitimate. He gave these things to you.

God wants us to worship Him not just with our mind, but also with our heart. The “heart” is often used in scripture to encompass feelings or emotions. God wants us to worship Him not just with our thoughts and our actions, but He wants us to FEEL an emotional connection, too. He wants us to be emotionally honest with Him. He wants us to love Him the same way that He loves us!

THIS WEEK’S STUDY IS ABOUT UNDERSTANDING AND HANDLING OUR EMOTIONS IN A WAY THAT HONORS GOD.

MONDAY – Managing Emotions Means not Being Manipulated
Big Point: Emotional management can add ease to your daily life.

If you don’t manage your emotions, then your emotions will manage you.

-Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman

Have you ever been lost in the woods or on the highway? Your gut says that straight ahead is the way to your destination, but your compass says to go in the exact opposite direction. So what do you do? You follow the compass! Your gut feeling is wrong. Emotions are like that sometimes. They can fool us. What feels right may very well be incredibly wrong.

For example, if a pilot flies into foul weather, with poor visibility, he can quickly become disoriented. This is called spatial disorientation; in this state, a pilot’s perception of direction does not agree with reality. He literally doesn’t know which end is up. In such conditions, pilots must depend on their instruments rather than their senses in order to avoid a fatal error.

Emotions are not necessarily bad. God gave them to us for countless reasons. However, if we aren’t careful, our emotions can control or manipulate us. Advertisers know this well. They seek to reach us emotionally to encourage us to buy their products. We may feel our lives would be enhanced by it and we would look so impressive behind the wheel of a new Mercedes. But if our bank account cannot back the check that our emotions want us to write, we had better get our desires in sync with reality. Emotions are a beautiful aspect of life. We simply need to learn to master our emotions so they don’t manipulate us into making decisions we may later regret. You need to decide who is in control: you or your emotions.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. Solomon, the author of the majority of the book of Proverbs, is considered the wisest man to have ever lived. The book of Proverbs contains invaluable nuggets of wisdom that are useful for addressing many of life’s decisions.
Question: What is this verse telling us about the potential role emotions can play in our decision making?

 

Proverbs 14:12 (New Living Translation)
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.

Answer:

 

2. The wise sayings in the latter part of the book of Proverbs were gathered by advisers to King Hezekiah, a king of Judah who honored God. Many of these proverbs pertain chiefly to leaders or those wishing to become leaders, but they contain truths that are useful to all of us.

Question: What does it mean here to have no control over your spirit? What does this verse tell us are the potential consequences of not controlling our emotions?

Proverbs 25:28 (New American Standard Bible)
Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit.

Answer:

 

 

3. Peter knew Jesus personally and spent time with him while he lived on earth. In this letter, he is writing to encourage Jewish believers who were being persecuted for their faith in Christ.
Question: On what kind of creature does a lion prey? How does this verse tell us to respond to the devil and how can we be strong in our faith?

 

1 Peter 5:8-9 (New Living Translation)
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

Can you think of any area of your life where your feelings may be controlling you, causing you to make bad decisions? Is your sense of direction out of sync with what God would have you do? Is there anything you can do about it right now? Do you think there is anything God can do about your situation right now?

 

 

We all need guidance and direction in life, just as a pilot needs aviation instruments to get him to his journey’s end safely. As believers, from where should our direction and guidance come? What steps can you take today to tap into God’s guidance for your life on a daily basis?

 

 

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

Thank God for giving us emotions to add beauty and depth to our lives. Ask Him to alert you when your emotions are out of sync with His will and to show you what course of action you should take that would please Him. Ask Him if there are any areas of your life right now where you are being manipulated by your emotions and to give you the strength and knowledge to control them, rather than the other way around.

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 5/26: Transformed Emotionally

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

LIO 5/23 – Never Stop Improving Your Leadership

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FRIDAY – Never Stop Improving Your Leadership

Big Point: Invest in yourself by intentionally growing as a leader.

James C. Georges, of the ParTraining Corporation, in a recent interview with Executive Communications said, “What is leadership? Remove for a moment the moral issues behind it and there is only one definition: Leadership is the ability to obtain followers.”

Jesus Christ has given us a perfect model and illustration for this. At CedarCreek, we believe that Jesus Christ was the best leader that ever lived. Consider this: Jesus lived in a remote part of the world over two thousand years ago. People throughout history have been trying to discredit him and disprove his teachings. Yet, one man took on twelve disciples, who in turn took on disciples of their own. Hundreds of generations later, over one billion people on earth claim some affiliation with Jesus Christ.

Daily, he was able to overcome insult, attacks to his character and people trying to distract him from his mission. Yet, he still made time to invest in and challenge his disciples. And how did he do this? By capitalizing on disproportionate moments of influence and growing up their leadership.

At CedarCreek, we are passionate about the Global Leadership Summit because we believe that when leaders get better, everyone wins.

If you haven’t signed up already, please consider attending the 2014 Global Leadership Summit. The Summit is a two-day event that is telecast LIVE from Willow’s campus near Chicago every August to more than 300 locations in North America. Throughout the fall, Summit Events take place in an additional 350+ cities, 105 countries—translated into 50 languages. You can sign up today for the special discounted rate of $79 at CedarCreek.tv/Summit  by using the promo code: LEAD14HS

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

The writer of Hebrews discusses God’s rescue plan for mankind. Because the Israelites were given the law, but were unable to follow it perfectly, God sent His Son to pave the way for the rest of us. Because Jesus suffered and died, he was given the place of the highest honor.

Question: How was Jesus made a perfect leader through suffering? How can our own suffering make us more sensitive servants of God and better leaders?

 

What are you doing, in your own life and amongst your own “followers”, to develop their leadership?

 

Hebrews 2:10 (New Living Translation)
God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.

Answer:

 

 

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

Ask God to help you recognize leadership opportunities in your daily life. Pray for Him to show you ways you are a leader and ask Him to help you show up appropriately in those moments.

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

1. How do you typically respond to someone who has caused a problem? Remember…is it about you or is it about them?

2. Why is it so important to separate stories from facts? Why do we have to be careful to avoid attributing bad actions to bad behavior?

3. Think back to the three key skills that Joseph Grenny gave us to use when discussing problems. How would your life be transformed if you always followed these skills? More importantly, how would that transformation spread to those around you?

4. Read Matthew 7:3-5. How can suspending our own judgment affect how we respond in these difficult conversations?

May 2014 Memory Verse:

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 (NLT)

 

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

Weekend Updates!

  • Saturday’s Daily Bible Reading Plan: May 24th, Acts 3:1-26
  • Next Weekend: Next week we will resume the Transformed series. Jason Tucker will be speaking about being “Transformed Emotionally”. Services are Saturday, May 24th—5:15 pm, 7:00 pm and Sunday, May 25th—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

Cedarville Image 21414

Esther 4:15-17
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Weekend Recap:

When things aren’t turning out the way we might like, we don’t have to worry. We can be brave and trust that GOD HAS A PLAN FOR ME!

Scripture:

The Book of Esther. Read the book of Esther together as a family.

Questions:

Why did Esther ask Mordecai to fast? How many days did she ask him to fast? What did Esther do that was against the law? What could have happened to Esther? How does this show Esther’s bravery and trust in God?

Family Activity:

Think about a time you were brave and asked/trusted in God to lead you. Share that time with your family. What did your prayer to God sound like?

Memory Verse:

As a family, memorize this month’s Memory Verse (the motions used in CedarVille are printed in the parentheses):

2 Corinthians 5:17 (sign “Jesus” by poking the middle of one palm, then the middle of the other) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ (sign “person” by holding out your pointer finger on each hand and sliding your hands down in front of you) has become a new person. (sign “former” by making a C with your right hand then making a circular motion over your shoulder) The old life is gone; (sign “new” be using the back of the right hand to make a scooping motion across the palm of the left hand) a new life has begun!

*Have your child memorize this verse and recite it to the room teacher for a prize.

Have some feedback? Email questions or comments to Lukes@cedarcreek.tv

RESOURCES:

Joseph Grenny – Leadership Summit Material
Axiom -by Bill Hybels
Developing the Leader Within You – by John Maxwell

This week’s Living It Out written by:

Lindsey Campos
Stephanie Coil
Becky Miller
Luke Shortridge
Kelda Strasbourg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIO 5/22 – Lead Something!

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

You are to follow no man further than he follows Christ.

–John Collins

THURSDAY—Lead Something!

Big Point: Jesus was action-oriented and you should be, too!

If you look at the three or so years that Jesus was in ministry here on earth, you will see a lot of action. He performed miracles, healed the sick, fought with the Pharisees, walked on water and more! It’s safe to say that Jesus was a man of action. He didn’t give his followers time to say goodbye to their families or bury spiritually dead relatives. He didn’t say, “Take some time to think it over.” He said, “Come, follow me.”

Bill Hybels first was given the vision of starting the Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Community church, located in the greater Chicago area, as a way to call people to action. When someone asks his advice on becoming a better leader, he says, “Outside of reading and learning about leadership, the best thing you can do is lead something!” In other words, the best way to become good at something is to do it. Practice. Even better, practice outside of your comfort zone. We learn best when we’re in the field, making moves and even mistakes. Hybels says that he is biased toward action and just doesn’t get inactivity. Why would someone rather atrophy than develop, or sit when he could soar?

Jesus asked his followers to step out in faith all the time. He got a group of twelve regular guys together and started the most ambitious church plant in history. In Jesus’ name, those guys performed miracles and walked on water, too! Jesus knows that we are capable of so much more than we think. He has given us amazing gifts and talents, however, we sometimes have to step out in faith and stretch ourselves in order to reach our full potential. So, don’t just sit there, lead something!

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. Romans 12 is a great outline for living life as Jesus’ disciple. In it, Paul explains how to be transformed by Christ in everything you do!

Question: According to Paul, how should you use the gifts God has given you? If you have leadership ability, what does God expect from you?

Romans 12:8 (New Living Translation)
If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Answer:

 

 

2. This passage occurs after Jesus’ resurrection. He has appeared to the disciples several times already, restoring them and reminding them of their mission. Here Jesus gave Peter a very specific task and he calls believers to act in accordance with the gifts he has given them.

 Question: What is the task that Jesus has presented to Peter and what all did that entail?

John 21:17 (New Living Translation)
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”

Answer:

 

 

3. Proverbs 20 talks about living a life of integrity for all to see because God detests double standards. Your life speaks louder than your words. Your actions should back up your theology.

Question: According to Proverbs 20:11, what influences and defines a person’s reputation?

Proverbs 20:11 (New Living Translation)
Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

What have you done lately to stretch your leadership abilities?

 

 

Have you heard from God lately? Describe a recent prompting from God. If you have trouble thinking of one, describe a time your faith and actions were working together in unison.

 

 

In what ways have you acted in service to God that have stretched your faith?

 

 

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

Praise Our Heavenly Father for His amazing gifts to you. Thank Him for giving you the ability to act and to step out in faith for His kingdom. Ask for forgiveness for any fear or unwillingness to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Ask Him for courage and strength to use your talents in any way that He sees fit.
Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

 

 

 

LIO 5/21 – Fundamental Attribution Error

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

The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.

–John Stott

WEDNESDAY—Fundamental Attribution Error

Big Point: Learn to control your anger, listen to understand not to respond, and forgive as you have been forgiven.

 

We often have an angry, knee jerk reaction when someone acts differently than we think he or she should. We justify our anger by projecting impure or even evil motives onto the other person.

Joseph Grenny believes that when faced with bad behavior, many people follow a typical course of action. First, we personalize. We make the problem about us. Instead of breaking a rule, they broke my rule. Instead of being late for a meeting, they are disrespecting my time.

Next, we tell a story. We add mental pictures and our brains fill in the gaps about the places in the story that are unknown. Anytime you feel triggered to anger, you’ve told a story. Most of your upset comes not from their actions, but from your shame.

Finally, you villainize the person: “They did this because they are a bad person, operating under less than pure motives.” Grenny says that when you attribute bad behavior to bad motives, you provoke your own anger and give yourself a 6% chance of actually influencing change—change being a healthy solution to your problem.

This is called the Fundamental Attribution Error. It occurs when someone places an undue amount of emphasis on internal characteristics instead of considering external factors. For example, when someone cuts you off in traffic, you assume he is a jerk or rude. However, you do not know that his wife went into labor and he’s desperate to get to the hospital in time to see his new baby’s birth.

How do you put a stop to always assuming the worst in people? First, don’t allow your anger to get the best of you. Second, become a better listener. Finally, forgive others as you are forgiven. In Stephen Covey’s best selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit #5 says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Communication is the most important skill in life and it includes both speaking and listening.

The best leaders listen patiently and ask questions to uncover both internal AND external reasons for a particular behavior. They are quick to extend grace because they realize just how much they have been forgiven themselves.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. The following passage is given at the beginning of Jesus’ parable about the unforgiving debtor—a parable on forgiveness.

Question: To what extent does Jesus ask us to forgive one another?

Matthew 18:21-22 (New Living Translation)
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”

Answer:

 

 

2. King Solomon was known for his wisdom. In the following passage, he says only fools blurt out opinions on matters they have not taken the trouble to hear carefully.

Question: What do you think the lesson is in this verse?

Proverbs 18:13 (English Standard Version)
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

Answer:

 

 

3. In Ephesians 4:25-5:5, Paul outlines six concrete ways in which Christians must remove their old lives and put on life in Christ. In verse 29, he specifically discusses moving from harmful to helpful speech.

Question: Why is it important to avoid foul or abusive language? What is the significance of the words we choose to speak?

Ephesians 4:29 (New Living Translation)
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

Do you struggle with the Fundamental Attribution Error? How often do you attribute bad behavior to a person’s internal characteristics before considering external factors?

 

 

 

Where are you when it comes to communication? Do you let your anger speak? When you listen, do you listen to understand or to respond? Do you extend grace and forgiveness?

 

 

 

How can you improve your understanding and communication—speaking, listening and forgiving—skills this week?

 

 

 

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

Praise God for His incredible gift of forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Confess those times when you have sinned in your anger, failed to listen or extend forgiveness to others. Ask God to help you to stay away from the Fundamental Attribution Error and to help you learn to better communicate with fellow believers. Pray for His will in your life and His presence in your daily walk.

 

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

LIO 5/20 – Look for Moments of Disproportionate Influence

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

Never when in authority rebuke any one in anger, but only when anger has passed away; and so shall the rebuke bring forth good fruit.

 

–Teresa of Avila

TUESDAY – Look for Moments of Disproportionate Influence

Big Point: Use others’ bad behavior as an opportunity to correct, encourage and teach them.

Joseph Grenny is a researcher and highly sought after business consultant who regularly speaks to the leaders of Fortune 500 companies. Over the past year, his company, VitalSmarts, asked the question, “Are there key moments in which leadership is more important than at other times?” Grenny’s company found that these moments do indeed exist and they named these opportunities “Moments of Disproportionate Influence.”

They occur right after someone behaves badly. When someone breaks a rule, violates an expectation or does something wrong, how does everyone else react? VitalSmarts found that 95% of people say they have coworkers that behave badly. While many people say they would speak up or try to seek a resolution after the bad behavior occurs, few actually do. Sometimes these behaviors are repeated for years without being corrected. Grenny says, “The health of a relationship, team or organization is a function of the average time lag between identifying and discussing problems.”

So, how does one address these teachable moments? Grenny outlines three key skills when addressing bad behavior:

1. Suspend judgment— Try not to jump to conclusions. Don’t attack the person you’re trying to correct, but choose to act only after you have fully researched the problem.

2. Describe the gap (facts first)— Describing the gap means filling in the gap between what you know and what you think you know. Try not to create a story of what you think caused the behavior. Try to get all the facts of what actually occurred. It may help to interview several sources.

3. Get curious— Ask a lot of questions. Get curious about the underlying issues that might have caused the behavior. Seek to understand before giving advice.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. The following passage is a template for how Christians should handle personal conflict. It comes from a sermon Jesus gave to his disciples directly. After explaining God’s great love for His lost sheep, Jesus begins teaching about how Christians should forgive each other when sinned against.

Question: What four steps does Matthew 18:15-17 outline concerning how to approach someone that has sinned against you and is unrepentant? List all four in your own words.

Matthew 18:15-17 (New Living Translation)
15 If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

 Answer:

 

 

2. The book of James is just five short, powerful chapters. It is almost entirely application, teaching those within the church how to live pure, blameless lives.

Question: What connection is there between speaking too quickly and being angry? What is the result of not following James 1:19?

James 1:19 (New Living Translation)
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

Do you tend to shy away from personal conflict or confront it head on? What are the dangers of avoiding confrontation and how might you improve in regards to keeping others accountable?

 

 

 

Do you struggle with anger when others fall short of your expectations? What could you do to become slow to anger when these moments occur?

 

 

 

Think about the past few weeks. Have you hurt someone recently or been hurt by someone else? If so, what do you need to do in order to come to forgive the other person?

 

 

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

Ask God to search your heart for anyone that you may be harboring bitterness toward and therefore need to forgive. Thank Him for forgiving you first and showing you the true meaning of grace. Ask Him to guide you the next time you have the opportunity to seize a moment of disproportionate influence.

 

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

 

LIO 5/19 – Summit Sunday: 2014 Global Leadership Summit

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

A spiritual leader will, first and foremost, have a calling from God. His work will not be his profession, but his calling.

–Zac Poonen

Many Christians have reservations about aspiring to leadership. They struggle with the pride that is seemingly inherent in wanting to be a leader. After all, hasn’t ambition caused the downfall of many great leaders in the church?

In his play, Henry VIII, Shakespeare expressed a profound truth when his character, Cardinal Wolsey said, “Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambitions. By that sin fell the angels; how can a man then, the image of his Maker, hope to profit by it?” Ambition led to Lucifer’s fall from heaven, so how can we hope to gain anything from it?

While it is true that Christians need to resist a certain kind of ambition and attempt to rid ourselves of it, we must also acknowledge some ambition as noble, worthy and honorable. In 1 Timothy 3:1, Paul says, “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position.”

The church needs leaders! Bill Hybels has famously said, “The local church is the hope of the world.” The church is God’s agent of change in the world and has been entrusted with the message of hope. In order for the church to operate as it should, leaders must be identified, grown to full maturity and challenged to one day replace themselves. Hybels also said, “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.”

Leading in the church has always required strength and faith beyond the average. Every generation faces the stringent demands of spiritual leadership and welcomes the few who come forward to serve, but our need for leaders is greater than a few candidates can manage.

If the world is to hear the church’s voice today, leaders are needed who are authoritative—because people desire leaders who know where they are going and are confident of getting there—spiritual—because without a strong relationship to God, even the most attractive and competent person cannot lead people to God—and sacrificial—because this follows the model of Jesus, who gave himself for the whole world and who calls us to follow in his steps. Spiritual leaders are not elected, appointed or created by synods or church assemblies. God alone makes them.

It’s time to start thinking about attending the Global Leadership Summit! The Summit is a world-class experience for leaders who want to get better. Everybody has influence and the responsibility to lead well. When cultivated in a culture of Christ-centered leadership, your influence can change lives and the organizations in which you lead. Leaders worldwide leverage the Summit to sharpen their skills and to unleash the full potential of their teams.

You don’t have to lead within a church to make an impact in the kingdom of God. Everyone is called to lead right where they are because we all have influence with the people around us. Anytime you make a positive impact on someone else in the name of Jesus Christ, you are leading for God! And God needs more leaders! He needs the church to be the church. He needs you!

THIS WEEK’S STUDY IS ABOUT LEADERSHIP IN THE CHURCH AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

MONDAY — Leaders are Influencers

Big Point: Yes, YOU are a leader, too!

 

Don’t assume you have to be extraordinary to be used by God. You don’t have to have exceptional gifts, talents, abilities, or connections. God specializes in using ordinary people whose limitations and weaknesses make them ideal showcases for His greatness and glory.


—Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Christian Radio Show Host and Author

John Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach and author who has sold over 19 million books. In his book, Developing The Leader Within You, Maxwell addresses the mysteries surrounding the topic of leadership. “Everyone talks about it; few understand it. Most people want it; few achieve it. There are over fifty definitions and descriptions of it in my personal files. What is this intriguing subject we call ‘leadership’?

Ask ten people to define leadership and you’ll probably receive ten different answers. After more than five decades of observing leadership within my family and many years of developing my own leadership potential, I have come to this conclusion: Leadership is influence. That’s it. Nothing more; nothing less. My favorite leadership proverb is: He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.”

People mistakenly think that leaders are appointed and that if they don’t have positional leadership, then they aren’t a leader. This is not the case! Titles don’t make leaders. Titles buy people time to gain influence, but if subordinates do not respect the person with the title, they won’t really follow him or her.

According to Maxwell, “Sociologists tell us that even the most introverted individual will influence ten thousand other people during his or her lifetime!” Each one of us is both influencing and being influenced by others, which means that all of us are leading in some areas, while in other areas we are being led. No one is excluded from being a leader or follower. Realizing your potential as a leader is your responsibility.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. The book of Acts describes the beginnings of the Christian church and the men who became its leaders. The disciples of Jesus were ordinary men, but they had a very extraordinary chance to spend three years personally learning from Jesus.

Question: Why were the council members so amazed by Peter and John? Didn’t learning from Jesus count as training for ministry?

Acts 4:13 (New Living Translation)
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Answer:

 

 

2. Paul’s letter to Timothy was written to give encouragement and leadership guidelines to this young pastor in Ephesus.

Question: How does this verse encourage all believers, young and old?

1 Timothy 4:12 (New Living Translation)
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Answer:

 

 

3. Paul’s second letter to the young pastor was written to give direction to Timothy and to urge him to visit one last time. 2 Timothy is the last known letter of Paul and contains presumably his last words to his disciple, Timothy.

Question: What is the principle that Paul is trying to pass on to Timothy here and how does it relate to leadership?

2 Timothy 2:15 (New Living Translation)
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

Over whom in your life do you currently have influence? List five people you are influencing on a regular basis.

 

 

 

Thinking about those that you are leading, what is it that you are leading them toward?

 

 

 

In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about being a leader? What qualities do good leaders possess and how can you develop those qualities within yourself?

 

 

 

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

Ask God to help you be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity. Ask for His guidance as you lead others and are led by others.

 

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

 

 

 

LIO for the Week of 5/19: Summit Sunday

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

LIO 5/16 – Transformed: Focus Your Mind on The Right Things

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

FRIDAY – Focus Your Mind on The Right Things

Big Point: Choose to set your thoughts on Jesus, others and eternity.

If you want to rid your mind of negative or evil thoughts, you will not succeed by telling yourself not to think about them, says Pastor Rick Warren. If you tell yourself, “Don’t think about lust, don’t think about lust,” what are you doing? Thinking about lust! No, the answer is not in the “not thinking” about it; it’s about replacing those thoughts with good. Fix your eyes on that which is pure and holy, and those negative thoughts will be defeated! Here are three things on which to keep your thoughts focused:

1) Think about Jesus. Rick Warren says, “You’ve heard about the old cliché: you become what you think about most. If you think about Jesus, guess what you’re going to become like? Like Jesus.” Whenever you get down or depressed, close your eyes and picture Jesus sitting right in front of you. Talk to him and give him your struggles. Think about what he would want you to do. Then do it!

2) Think about others. In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren makes a bold statement, “It’s not about you.” Think about how counter-cultural that statement is! It’s true; life isn’t all about you. It’s all about God and it’s about serving others. Focus on God and put the needs of others before yours, and you’ll find your life.

3) Think about eternity. This will make the biggest difference in your mental state, according to Rick Warren. Society today suffers from short-term thinking. When that happens, the promises of eternity are forgotten and the sufferings of today quickly take over. Colossians 3:2 says, “Let heaven fill your thoughts.” Thinking about heaven puts the disappointments of earth in proper perspective. God always keeps His promises; heaven is one you should not forget.

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

Despite being imprisoned, the Apostle Paul wrote a joyful letter to the Philippians. His bleak circumstances did not take his focus off of Jesus and, because of that, he was able to continue using his gifts to encourage other believers.
Question: Why do you think Paul addressed the thoughts of believers? How might this advice have helped the Philippians? How does it help you?

 

 

What happens when your thoughts stray from Christ, the needs of others and eternity? Are there certain practices that help you in getting refocused?

 

Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Answer:

 

 

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

Take some time and thank Jesus for setting the example of how to keep your mind focused on the good, even when circumstances seem impossible. Thank him for putting others in your life to serve and for the promise of eternal life in heaven. Ask God to help keep your focus on Him so that you can lead others to do the same.

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

1. Why is your thought life so important to God? What are the dangers of allowing destructive thought patterns to remain unchecked in your life?

2. Read 2 Corinthians 10:5. What are some negative thoughts you previously believed about yourself that you need to make captive to Christ?

3. Read Philippians 4:8. What are three praiseworthy things that you will commit to focusing on during the remainder of the Transformed series?

4. This weekend, Tim Butler talked about the importance of putting God’s truth in your mind. There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible. Which one of God’s promises is the most meaningful to you and how will you commit to keeping it on the forefront of your mind?

 

May 2014 Memory Verse:

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 (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: May 17th, John 18:1-40
  • Summit Sunday: Next weekend is what CedarCreek affectionately calls “Summit Sunday”. You will experience an example of the powerful messages you’ll hear at this year’s 2014 Global Leadership Summit. Best selling author and researcher Joseph Grenny will be featured. Services are Saturday, May 17th—5:15 pm, 7:00 pm and Sunday, May 18th—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

Cedarville Image 21414

Weekend Recap:
If we want to live the best kind of life, we need God’s help! When we read God’s Word and spend time getting to know Him more, we become wiser, and as we put that wisdom into practice, we can FOLLOW GOD!

1 Kings 3:10-13
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— 12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame!

Scripture:
Solomon Asks for Wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15). Read the verses together as a family.

Questions:
King Solomon asked God to let him be wise. Being wise means that you make good choices, the choices God wants you to make. Does God want us to hit our friend or hug our friend? How can you show wisdom?

Family Activity:
Based on the answers to the last question (How can you show wisdom?), think of a way to depict showing wisdom. What does wisdom look like? Feel like? Sound like? As a family, discuss the answers to these questions.

Memory Verse:
As a family, memorize this month’s Memory Verse (the motions used in CedarVille are printed in the parentheses):

2 Corinthians 5:17 (sign “Jesus” by poking the middle of one palm, then the middle of the other) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ (sign “person” by holding out your pointer finger on each hand and sliding your hands down in front of you) has become a new person. (sign “former” by making a C with your right hand then making a circular motion over your shoulder) The old life is gone; (sign “new” be using the back of the right hand to make a scooping motion across the palm of the left hand) a new life has begun!

*Have your child memorize this verse and recite it to the room teacher for a prize

Living It Out:
Have some feedback? Email questions or comments to Lukes@cedarcreek.tv

RESOURCES:
Change your Life by Changing Your Mind By Rick Warren

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:

Alyssa Baker
Allison Frye
Ashlee Grosjean
Becky Miller
Kaila Mugford
JoAnna Studer

 

 

LIO 5/15 – Transformed: Free Your Mind From Destructive Thoughts

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

When a Christian does not repel the thoughts which originate with evil spirits, he affords them a base for working.

-Watchman Nee

THURSDAY—Free Your Mind From Destructive Thoughts
Big Point: Allow your new nature in Christ to control your thoughts.

Daily, there is a battle fought over territory around the world. This war is not fought for buildings, borders or artifacts. It is much more personal than that. The prize for the winner of this particular battle is control over your mind. That’s right; you have three main enemies that are not going to give up ground easily because they know you will act according to what you believe, whether or not they are lies.

Your first enemy as a Christ follower is yourself. Your old nature keeps you in mental bondage. It will fight your good intentions in this battle for control of your brain.

Your second enemy is Satan. He is a real being, but he is not God. He cannot control your thoughts or force you to do anything if you have the Holy Spirit within you, but he sure can be suggestive! From the moment your feet hit the ground in the morning, he is on the attack, looking to trip you up. Satan works to keep you in bondage with resentment and bitterness so he can keep his foothold on your mind.

The third enemy fighting for your thoughts is the most subtle. It is the culture and value systems of the world around you and it has its own ruthless marketing scheme. Movies, songs, commercials and celebrities promote instant gratification to your desires instead of self-discipline.

This war over your thoughts is brutal and often discouraging, but you are not left without weapons with which to fight! Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

Did you catch that? Every stronghold the three enemies have over you can be captured and made obedient to Christ. You can win this war over your mind!

READ and THINK…. What does the Bible say?

1. Paul longed to visit the church in Rome, but his travels to other churches forced him to share the grace of the gospel in a letter. The following verse is found among his descriptions of life in the Spirit.

Question: Describe the characteristics of the battle over thoughts between “old” and “new” natures.

Romans 8:5 (New Living Translation) Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

Answer:

 

2. The Apostle John describes being a follower of Christ as living in the light and he warns the early Christians about wrongdoings that keep them in the darkness.

Question: How do thoughts fed by the world keep Christians living in the dark?

1 John 4:4 (New Living Translation) But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Answer:

 

 

3. In this passage, John describes the three aspects of sin that recall the first sin in scripture, in Genesis 3:6. The disobedience of Eve was the result of her yielding to the same three temptations John recalls here.

Question: How can Satan use the enemies of self and the world to tempt believers?

1 John 2:16 (English Standard Version) For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

A spiritual stronghold is a lie you believe. What are some strongholds you are currently hanging onto? Can you identify which enemy fights to keep these destructive thoughts in your mind?

 

 

 

 

How do you do with capturing and making rebellious thoughts subject to Christ? What is your biggest challenge in attacking destructive thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Plan your attack below to make future damaging thoughts captive and obedient to Christ. How could your life be transformed if you follow through with this plan?

 

 

 

 

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

Pray for discernment to uncover from where your destructive thoughts are coming. Praise God for capturing these strongholds and making them obedient to Christ. Thank Him for filling you with the Holy Spirit to win the battle over your mind.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew 6:33 (New International Version)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

Answer:

 

3. In Philippians 3:8-9a, the apostle Paul describes how he ruthlessly deals with the things in his life that could threaten to take Christ’s place. He gladly removes those influences from his life to gain something of much greater value.

Question: In Philippians 3:8-9a, what has infinite value? What is everything else compared to this?

 

Philippians 3:8-9a (New Living Translation)

8Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9and become one with him.

 

Answer:

 

LIVE …What will you do now?

The wealthy young man in Matthew 19:16-23 was distracted from pursuing Jesus by his love of money. What are some distractions you’ve discovered are keeping you at a distance from Jesus?

 

 

 

 

 

Who are the people in your life who could be a source of loving accountability? How could being accountable to them about your “spiritual weeds” help you to follow through on uprooting them?

 

 

 

 

 

Referring back to Philippians 3:8-9a, how could your life change for the better if you uprooted and “discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage” so that you can “gain Christ and be one with him”?

 

 

 

 

 

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

Ask God to help you identify everything that distracts you from a whole-hearted walk with Him. Ask Him to give you the courage and strength to uproot these things from your life. Thank Him for loving you so much that He wants to occupy your whole heart and mind and to give you the treasure of an eternity with Him in heaven.

 

 

Answer:

 

 

Joshua 1:9 (New International Version)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

Question: What did God command? Why should we be courageous?

 

Answer:

 

 

LIVE … What will you do

 

Look at the 1John verse again. How can absolute trust in that verse change your perspective on living in fear?

 

God did not just say to Joshua, “hey, it’s ok, don’t be scared…”

He COMMANDED Joshua to be strong and courageous, because God was always with him. Can you envision God being with you wherever you go? How would believing that God always had your back make you more courageous?

 

Pray … God what do you want me To know And do?

Thanks God for His remarkable love that is with you wherever you go. Ask His forgiveness for any fear that lives in your heart where His perfect love should be. Tell Him that you are ready to be strong and courageous and to step out in faith because of His astounding and unfailing love.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories

2014 Memory Verses

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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