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LIO 9/29 – Series: Becoming a Better Lover: Crazy Love

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

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

―Dr. Seuss

Have you ever wondered what makes some people run into burning buildings while everyone else runs out? A few weeks ago marked the thirteenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? Do you remember the aftermath and how you felt? Patriotism soared. Overnight the nature of the word “hero” changed. Americans were reluctant to call someone a “hero” because the bar had been raised.

Sports stars and celebrities bristled at the idea that they would be considered heroes. Budweiser changed their “Real American Heroes” radio advertisements to “Real Men of Genius” because they didn’t want to cheapen the word.

Firefighters and other rescue workers, who put themselves in harm’s way during the attacks, didn’t want to be thought of as heroes either. For them, the real heroes were those that gave up everything on that eerily beautiful September morning.

Men and women of the military are certainly no strangers to heroism either. What causes the soldier to endanger his or her life to make sure that no other soldier is left behind? What causes the family man with young children to say goodbye to his wife and kids for months at a time, to serve overseas? What causes the soldier to sacrifice himself so that others may live free?

Three words: Duty. Honor. Country.

General Douglas MacArthur said, “Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”

The soldier fights because he or she is bound by “Crazy Courageous Love”. Jesus Christ said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This is what compels a young soldier to jump on a grenade, sacrificing himself so that the others in his company can live. To the general population, selflessness like this seems crazy. It is not limited to the military by any stretch of the imagination, but those within the military see this type of love at work on a regular basis.

“Crazy Good Love” encompasses the softer side of love. It is all the warm and fuzzy things about love that make you feel good. This love is what drives people to do generous and wondrous things for others. Scripture is clear that this type of love should guide every human interaction you have. You should act lovingly toward all people, even the people who drive you a little nuts!

A third type of love was shown by Jesus Christ. That is “The Craziest Love Ever!” Jesus died not just for his friends, but for his enemies. Jesus died willingly. Think about that. The cross was a shocking, brutal and savage fate for the man who never sinned. Jesus, God’s one and only son, chose to die so that all people could live eternally.

Have you opened yourself up to Jesus’ Crazy Love? He doesn’t just love you, he’s in love with you! Once you experience his love, your life is never the same. You are called to love in a self-sacrificing crazy way, just like Jesus did.

THIS WEEK’S STUDY WILL FOCUS ON THE CRAZY SACRIFICIAL LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST FOR ALL PEOPLE, EVERYWHERE.

MONDAY–“Everyday Love” vs. “Crazy Love”
Big Point: God’s crazy love for His people stands out against a sinful world.

God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love.

—C.S. Lewis

In 1967, British pop band The Troggs released their hit “Love is All Around,” which climbed music charts in both the UK and US. The catchy lyrics of “I feel it in my fingers; I feel it in my toes; Love is all around me; And so the feeling grows” describes a man who is very consciously aware that he is deeply in love.

Love is definitely all around nearly 50 years later, but society is hardly conscious of what the word means. We love tacos. We love Saturdays. We love New York (at least according to the t-shirts). “I love you” is often said as a stand-in for “Bye” or “See you later.” Singer J. Lo even recently syllabically simplified the phrase to just “I luh ya,” but in a world of text messages, using actual words to express the idea of love can be far too cumbersome, the heart symbol “<3” works just fine.

In contrast, love was a very serious topic of study in the ancient world. In fact, the Greeks identified four different kinds of love and had a special word for each! Eros is romantic love (like what Lee talked about last week). Philia is a general loyalty or camaraderie shared between friends. Storge is the affection reserved for family members. Finally, Agape is a crazy, deep and inexplicable love in which someone would sacrifice their well being for the sake of another.

The Bible talks about a love that is greater than the genuine goodwill of friends and even greater than the all-consuming romantic love of the songwriter. This is Agape love, the love that Jesus showed by willingly enduring the cross for each of us. That is a crazy kind of love! Jesus summed up this divine love in John 15:13 when he said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
1. Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus is responding to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day, in their attempt to trip him up by asking him which of the Ten Commandments he thinks is the most important.

Question: What does Jesus say is the greatest of the commandments? What does he say is equally as important?

Matthew 22:37-39 (New Living Translation)
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Answer:

 

 

2. 1 John 3 focuses on how believers can practice showing love in their everyday lives, and how that love will set them apart from those around them.

Question: What does real love look like? According to John’s example, what does Christ-like love not look like? What does he say we must do to express our love?

1 John 3:16-18 (New Living Translation)
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person. 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

While none of us will be able to demonstrate Agape love in the grand manner Jesus did, we can try to imitate the love of Christ by leading sacrificial lives. What are you doing to show the love of Christ to those around you? Where are some areas you can improve?

 

 

Love is an overused and misconstrued concept today. Fully understanding what the Bible means when it talks about love takes serious reflection and prayer. What is your current understanding of God’s endless love for you and the rest of humanity? How does that divine love impact your life each day?

 

 

How can you prepare yourself to try to explain God’s divine love to someone who is seeking? What might you say to them?

 

 

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

Thank God for the unbelievable, crazy love He demonstrated for you by sending His son to die in your place! Ask Him to help you be an example of that kind of love in your life. Ask Him to point out opportunities to give and serve sacrificially and how to cultivate the selfless mindset of Jesus.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

LIO for the Week of 9/29 – Series: Becoming a Better Lover: Crazy Love

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

LIO 9/26 – Crazy Love

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

FRIDAY – Crazy Love
Big Point: No love is greater than the love of self sacrifice.

What is the most heroic thing you’ve ever done? Does anything come to mind? Perhaps you stood up to a bully in school or made a public stand for a cause you believed in. Most people have trouble thinking back to a time they acted with courage for the sake of others, but we know courage when we see it.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “falling on a grenade”? The phrase refers to jumping onto a live grenade with one’s torso. Since the act is almost always fatal, it is considered one of the highest acts of individual sacrifice during wartime. More Congressional Medals of Honor have been given out to soldiers who threw themselves on grenades than for any other reason. What would cause a person to do such a thing? Duty? Yes. Honor? Of course. Love? Almost certainly.

Jesus Christ showed this same type of self sacrifice when he was crucified. If you remember, Jesus went to the cross willingly. He predicted that he would be killed and did not stop Judas’ conspirators from arresting him. He took the sin of the world upon himself because of an otherworldly love and self sacrifice.

Next weekend, Lee Powell will be talking about this type of self sacrificing love. We’ll do for some what we wish we could do for all: show people the love of God that was first shown to us. We hope you’ll join us next weekend at church!

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

Right before this passage, the Apostle Paul talks about being made right with God because of the sacrifice of Christ. Through Jesus’ forgiveness, we are able to live guilt free, pure, innocent and clean lives. This is only possible because of God’s amazing grace.

Question: According to Romans 5:6-8, for whom did Jesus come to die?

What do you find most amazing about Jesus’ sacrifice? Name a few examples of God’s love has changed your life.

Romans 5:6-8 (New Living Translation)
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Answer:

 

 

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

Thank God for His crazy, otherworldly love for you. Praise Him for loving you while you were still a sinner. Ask Him to reveal a few names to you of people who need to experience Jesus’ crazy love. Pray for those people!

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

1. Why is it important for single and married people to talk about God’s view of sex?

2. What typically causes passionate love to die down in a marriage? How can this be avoided?

3. How important is a healthy sex life to a marriage? How do you believe men and women differ on the topic?

4. Read Ephesians 5:22-25. What can couples do to keep their marriage strong for years to come?

September 2014 Memory Verse:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (New Living Translation)

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

 

Weekend Updates!
Saturday’s Daily Bible Reading Plan: Sept 27—2 Timothy 2:14-26

Next Weekend: Next week we continue with the series, “Becoming a Better Lover”. Lee Powell will be speaking about “Crazy Love”. We hope that you’ll join us at one of our five locations or at the iCampus at CedarCreek.tv

Missional Membership: Join our mission! Interested in becoming a Missional Member at CedarCreek? We have a ONE DAY CLASS at South Toledo Campus, October 4th from 9am—3pm. Sign up online at CedarCreek.tv/Membership

TONIGHT! Celebrate Recovery: Worried about making bad choices tonight? Find support and encouragement at Celebrate Recovery tonight at 7pm at all campuses. (And you won’t have regrets tomorrow morning!) For more information, set your web browser to: CedarCreek.tv/celebraterecovery

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

RESOURCES:

Fireproofministries.com

Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman

army.mil/medalofhonor

This week’s Living It Out written by:
Ashlee Grosjean
Luke Shortridge
Kelda Strasburg
David Vernier
Jackie Williams

LIO 9/25 – Privately and Publically Praise Your Spouse

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

THURSDAY– Privately and Publically Praise Your Spouse
Big Point: Your words have an incredible effect on our spouse.

Good words are worth much and cost little.

—George Herbert

Love and Respect. Two very important words. There is even a book entitled, Love and Respect. The basic premise of the book is that women crave love while men seek the respect of their wives. In reality, however, both sexes could greatly benefit from a dose of each once in a while.

Ladies, your man would love to hear that you are proud of him. Perhaps he fixed the upstairs faucet, or he looks great in his new jeans. Maybe you could just sidle up next to him in public to show everyone that you are proud he is your husband. Men, your bride needs to know you love her. She needs to hear that you love her. And the next time another little hottie crosses your path, show your wife that you respect and love her by looking at your shoes…or a dog that someone is walking… or a tree. Just don’t let your gaze fall upon another woman. It’s a bad idea! Your wife noticed her before you did. Better yet, make it a habit to look away from other women even when your wife is not with you. Then you won’t have to worry about slipping up when she is around.

An old childhood retort states, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” In the immutable words of Colonel Sherman T. Potter, a character from the 1970’s T.V. show, M*A*S*H, “Horse hockey!” Words can and do hurt. And words left unspoken can hurt just as badly. Not only should we praise and compliment our spouses often, we need to choose very carefully our words during the inevitable argument. It’s okay to disagree, but do so respectfully. Many an unseen scar has been left by cruel words launched carelessly during a marital spat.

Use your words not to tear down or hurt your spouse, but to encourage and build up. He or she is the closest confidante you have in this world, and your best friend. Treat them lovingly, not only physically, but verbally as well.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. Peter, a disciple of Jesus, wrote the words below. Peter wasn’t perfect—sometimes he was brash and often spoke without thinking first. Yet, Peter scripts an important reminder of how we can treat others.

Question: How are we supposed to treat people who are not kind to us according to this passage? Why are we supposed to treat them in this manner? And how will we benefit if we behave this way?

1 Peter 3:8-9 (New Living Translation)
8Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

Answer:

 

 

2. Paul wrote to a church in the city of Colossae because worldly philosophies and other religious beliefs were being intermingled with and corrupting Christian truth. Additionally, Roman custom during this period of time afforded the head of the household unlimited power over the rest of the family.

Question: How was the head of the household instructed to behave?

Colossians 3:19 (English Standard Version)
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

Answer:

 

 

3. Paul had received a good report about the believers in Thessalonica prior to writing this letter to them. He told the church in Thessalonica that they were a constant encouragement to him.

Question: What does Paul advise the believers in Thessalonica (and us) to do? What example is Paul modeling in this verse since he already knew of their good behavior?

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (New Living Translation)
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

When are you most likely to not speak so kindly to your spouse? When you first wake up or at the end of your work day or…fill in the blank. How can you be ready for those times and what can you do differently?

 

 

Try jotting down three things a day that you like about your spouse for one week. Tell them about these observations and see how they respond. (HINT: You can put these in your phone and, at the end of the day, you can look your spouse in the eyes and say: “Today, I was thinking about you. Did you know how much I like/appreciate/love it when you…?”)

 

 

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

Thank God for giving you a spouse. Ask God to show you how you can love and respect your spouse in a manner that will be evident to them. Then ask Him for words to say to your spouse that will build them up.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

LIO 9/24 – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

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WEDNESDAY – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Big Point: Some things are just not worth a fight with your spouse.

The Puritan ethic of marriage was first to look not for a partner whom you do love passionately at this moment but rather for one whom you can love steadily as your best friend for life, then to proceed with God’s help to do just that.

-J.I. Packer

It’s easy to get annoyed with someone’s habits or tendencies when you spend a lot of time with them day in and day out. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Is this annoyance worth fighting over?” Is it worth a fight or should you just let it go? In most cases, it is better to overlook something small unless it will continue to bother you.

If you find that you cannot let go of something, you should first pray about how to best communicate it to your spouse. Don’t just confront them in anger, but seek God’s counsel. When you bring the problem to them, do it with as much love and kindness as you can. The way in which you discuss a problem can be just as important as the words you choose. If your attitude is one of derision, sarcasm or hostility, you may lose your partner’s willingness to listen.

The biggest mistake one can make in a marriage is to build up walls of resentment, especially over petty annoyances. Since men generally seem to be better at compartmentalizing than women, women are sometimes more apt to build these walls, but men do this, too. This is disastrous for a relationship!

Communication is intrinsic to a healthy marriage. Remember that the conversation you avoid is probably the one you most need to have and, for the most part, the talk is never as bad as one anticipates. It may not be easy, but it is rarely as difficult as we imagine. Talk, listen and then listen some more. Just make sure that the things you discuss are worth discussing. If it’s something insignificant, let it go!

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs during the middle years of his life. It is a collection of wise sayings, given to him supernaturally by God. It speaks of how to relate to others, especially one’s spouse.

Question: What happens when we forgive and let things go?

Proverbs 17:9 (New Living Translation)
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
but dwelling on it separates close friends.

Answer:

 

2. The “foxes” described in Solomon 2:15 might be sins in our life or the small battles we have with our spouse.

Question: Why was Solomon worried about the little foxes as opposed to big ones?

Song of Solomon 2:15 (New Living Translation)
Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!

Answer:

 

3. In Ephesians 4, Paul gives very explicit directions on how to live in unity with one another. Look at Ephesians 4:31 for the list of all the attitudes and emotions we should not have towards one another.

Question: What are the words that should describe how we interact with each other? What example did God set for you in overlooking another’s offense?

Ephesians 4:32 (New Living Translation)
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Answer:

 

LIVE… What will you do now?
What are the little things that drive you crazy? Make a list of your top three here:

 

If you’re married, list some of your attitudes/behaviors that drive your spouse nuts. When your spouse mentions your attitude/behavior, how do you receive this feedback? What do you need to think about or do differently?

 

 

Let’s say you’re married and your spouse has just done something that really bothers you. You know you need to talk to them about it, but what is the best way to go about bringing it up? What does that process look like for you?

 

 

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

Praise God for showing you the steps necessary for pursuing a deeper relationship. Thank Him for the amazing gift of forgiveness given to us through His Son. Ask Him for grace to forgive and let things go, and for strength to communicate with love and kindness when you have a problem.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

LIO 9/23 – Pursue Your Spouse

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

TUESDAY – Pursue Your Spouse
Big Point: Dating becomes even more important after marriage.

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.

– Noah Calhoun

When a man and woman are initially attracted to each other, the relationship is fun and exciting. Many times both parties are actively pursuing each other. They try to find out what the other likes, and they do everything they can to impress and flatter each other. But what happens to a relationship after marriage? Husbands and wives often get caught up in busy lives. Children, jobs and busy schedules seem to take precedent and we can forget something important: dating our spouse.

Husbands and wives need to plan time spent together, especially when kids are in the picture. Dating is essential for learning about the individual your spouse is, rather than who they are as Mom or Dad. Think back to when the two of you were dating. What were your go-to moves? Did you buy her a romantic card? Did you rent his favorite movie? A small act can show your spouse you are still just as interested as during your dating days. This may trigger them to pursue you, too. Remind yourself what attracted you to him/her in the first place and try to rekindle your early passions.

Husbands have a biblical responsibility to lead their wives, but this doesn’t just mean in everyday life. It includes the bedroom. Craig Gross of Fireproof ministries says that the longer men go without sex, the more they desire it; whereas, the longer women go, the less they need it. This obviously causes trouble. Because of this, he tells husbands to stop keeping score of who initiates and just lead. He also says, when she initiates, never turn her down. He tells wives to stop waiting for him to notice you and try initiating things, too. Your husband may be pursuing you less for fear of rejection or criticism.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. The following verses describe the roles of husbands and wives. Wives are called to respect their husbands, while husbands are called to love their wives. It is important for both parties to understand they are called to submit to one another.

Question: What analogies does Paul use to explain the responsibilities of husbands and wives? How do these analogies drive home the importance of the assigned roles in marriage?

Ephesians 5:22-25 (New Living Translation)
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For 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. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.

Answer:

 

 

2. It should be the goal of the husband and wife to fulfill each other’s sexual needs.

Question: How might Satan take advantage of a situation where a married couple is not fulfilling each other’s sexual needs?

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (New Living Translation)
3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

The following questions are directed at married individuals but if you are single, try to answer them to the best of your ability, thinking about your attitude towards marriage.

What are some things you and your spouse did to pursue each other before marriage? How can you incorporate these things into your current lives?

 

 

If you could rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, how would you say you rate when it comes to respecting your husband or loving your wife? What can you do to increase your score? (If you aren’t sure, ask your spouse to rate you.)

 

 

Do you feel that you are fulfilling your spouse’s sexual needs? What are the barriers that prevent you from fully giving yourself (body) to your spouse?

 

 

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

Ask God for guidance in pursuing your spouse or your future spouse. Thank Him for creating sex. Ask Him to give you the words to discuss your needs with your spouse. Ask Him to help you love your wife like Christ loves the church and to submit to your husband like the church submits to Christ. Praise Him for giving us marriage and a way to experience love like He intends.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

LIO 9/22 – Series: Becoming a Better Lover: Passionate Love

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

Contrary to what some believe, sex is not a sin. Contrary to Hugh Hefner, it’s not salvation either. Like nitroglycerin, it can be used either to blow up bridges or to heal hearts.

—Fredrick Buechner

So how did our ancestors make sure enough children lived into adulthood in order to keep our species going? They had to have a bunch of kids. And what’s the only way to have a bunch of kids? To have a lot of sex! And how could God ensure that men would want to have a lot of sex in order to keep mankind alive? For starters, He made sex feel incredibly good – essentially the best natural sensation one can have. And then, to top it off, He placed a deep, driving urge within a man to look at and appreciate women.

This is the underlying structure of the man’s brain, and it is a gift from God. Now, does that mean he can go sleeping around or leering at every woman who wanders in front of his eyes? Of course not! God also gave men and women the ability to bond with one another in order to create a stable family of care and nurturing, as well as to reveal Himself to us in ways we can understand Him. He gave us a way to recognize our differences and meet in the middle.

He called it love.

The mutual care and love we feel for our spouse is a sacred reflection of one of the many types of love God feels for us. Sex is a big part of the marriage relationship. No, it’s not the only part, but it is an important facet to creating the lifelong love and intimacy you need to make a marriage work.

“God is smart, and He knew what He was doing when He made men and women,” explains Craig Gross of Fireproof ministries. God had to make us with certain drives in order to get all of our daily problems solved so that we could grow up, thrive, have our own kids, raise them, and so on, continuing the circle of life.

So what did He do? God gave men and women different tendencies. Since day care and baby formula didn’t yet exist at the beginning of creation, women had to stay home to care for and feed their babies – a task that men are ill-suited for without a bottle and a microwave. But, if the women were caring for the babies, who was caring for the women? Men, that’s who! Men had to provide food to solve the calorie problem, and since that food didn’t grow at their feet or wander willingly into their camp, the men had to leave home and go out to find it.

Some may feel that it is sexist to identify women by certain roles and men by other roles, yet God created men and women according to His grand design and purpose. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage because marriage is dear to the heart of God. Yet, too many couples enter into marriage without understanding God’s perfect plan for marriage. How many of us have been impacted by the fallout and devastation of a broken marriage? The answer: Way too many!
Whether you are married, single or single again, you will benefit from learning about what the Bible has to say concerning sex, love and marriage. God created sex, He knows what He’s talking about and He certainly isn’t silent on the topic!

THIS WEEK’S STUDY WILL SHOW HOW HUSBANDS AND WIVES CAN SPARK, REKINDLE AND MAINTAIN PASSIONATE LOVE.

MONDAY–Study Your Spouse
Big Point: Find out how your spouse best gives and receives love.

The biblical union of two people into one flesh did not involve the annihilation of personal identity. The unity of marriage is not to be monistic, but a unity in duality.

—R.C. Sproul

How well do you really know your spouse? You may know what makes them tick, but do you know what his or her deepest desires are? Lee jokingly mentioned that all men need a good attitude, a good meal and a good sex life. Women, on the other hand, are more complex. What worked once may not work a second time. Understanding your spouse begins with knowing the “Love Languages”. Gary Chapman, who developed these, believes that knowing your spouse’s love language will help you identify how to best communicate love to your spouse.

Words of Affirmation: If your spouse’s primary love language is words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation will fall like rain on parched soil. Before long, you will see new life sprouting in your marriage as your spouse responds to your words of love.

Acts of Service: Do you remember the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? For some people, that is particularly true of love. If acts of service is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing will speak more deeply to him or her emotionally than simple acts of service.

Receiving Gifts: If you’re married to someone whose primary love language is gift giving, you will make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and “no occasion” days. The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it’s the thought that counts. Little things mean a lot to a person whose primary love language is receiving gifts.

Quality Time: If your spouse’s love language is quality time, giving him or her your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love. Men, if you really want to impress your wife, the next time she walks into the room while you are watching a sporting event, put the television on mute and don’t take your eyes off her as long as she’s in the room. If she engages you in conversation, turn the TV off and give her your undivided attention. You will score a thousand points and her love tank will be overflowing.

Physical Touch: In marriage, the love language of physical touch includes everything from putting a hand on your mate’s shoulder as you walk by, touching his or her leg as you’re driving together and holding hands while you’re walking, to kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse. If physical touch is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing communicates love more clearly than for you to take the initiative to reach out and touch your mate.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?

1. Peter encourages husbands and wives to treat each other with love and respect. He goes into detail on how this should be done and the blessings that come from it.

Question: Why is it important for husbands to treat their wives with understanding? What are the consequences if this is not done?

1 Peter 3:7 (New Living Translation)
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

Answer:

 

 

2. Paul also addresses the dynamics of a marriage from the husband’s perspective and gives a great analogy on how this should be done.

Question: What comparison does Paul make as to how husbands should love their wives? Why do you think he uses this analogy?

Ephesians 5:28-30 (New Living Translation)
28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?

Think about a time you felt deep love from someone else. What was the occasion and circumstance? How does feeling another’s love impact your life?

 

 

Now that you have an overview of the Five Love Languages, what is your love language? If you are married, what is your spouse’s love language? How do you know that’s the case? (If you aren’t married, think about the love languages of other family members and close friends.)

 

 

In honest reflection, in what ways could you better communicate love? Does there need to be more respect or tenderheartedness? How does Christ’s example of love help in your relationships?

 

 

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

Take time today to pray for your spouse and for your marriage as a whole. If you are not married, pray for God to reveal Himself to you in your singleness. Ask Him to bless your future spouse (if He so desires that for you). Ask God to help mend any broken or hurt areas in your life.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

LIO Weekend of 9/20 Family Activity: Cedarville Recap

Cedarville Image 21414

Click here to download a printable version of the Family Activity for this weekend.

Luke 19:6
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

Weekend Recap:
There is nothing more important than asking Jesus to be our Forever Friend and to love him.

Scripture:
Jesus and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). Read this together as a family.

Questions:
What was Zacchaeus’ job? What did Zacchaeus do to see Jesus? Why did Zacchaeus climb the tree? What did Jesus say to Zacchaeus while he was in the tree? Did other people like that Jesus was going to Zacchaeus’ house? Did Jesus love Zacchaeus?

Family Activity:
Zacchaeus wanted to have Jesus as his Forever Friend, so he happily allowed Jesus into his house. Talk to your family about what you can do to show Jesus you want to be his friend.

Memory Verse:
As a family, memorize this month’s Memory Verse (the motions used in CedarVille are printed in the parentheses):(cross arms over chest) Love is patient and kind. (count 1, 2, 3, 4 on fingers) Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. (wave hands back and forth in front of you) It does not demand its own way.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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

 

LIO for the Week of 9/22 – Series: Becoming a Better Lover: Passionate Love

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

LIO 9/19 – God has Called You to be a Matchmaker

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

FRIDAY – God has Called You to be a Matchmaker
Big Point: We get to help people meet Jesus. He’s a perfect match!

No one really respects the matchmaker. Finding the perfect person is easy for some folks, but not for everyone. Matchmakers simply help two love-seeking people meet at the same place at the same time.

In some ways, God wants YOU to be a matchmaker. Now, just to be clear, God doesn’t actually need you to be His matchmaker, but He knows how much fun it will be for you to tell others about how God has transformed your life and invite them to meet God as well. You’ve got some great stories about what it’s like to experience God’s love and forgiveness and those stories are most powerful!

We know that last weekend’s service seems like forever ago, but remember how Lee called us “ambassadors”? Just as a governmental ambassador travels to other countries carrying the message of their president or king, we are God’s ambassadors in a world that is far from Him.

How can YOU be a great ambassador for God?

Always have an invite card in your wallet, purse or car. You never know when an opportunity to invite someone to church will come up. Be prepared!

Pray for everyone you know who is far from God. Imagine how cool it would be for heaven to shout their name one day. Let that dream motivate your prayers!

Make the ask! Be on the lookout for opportunities to invite people THIS WEEKEND to our new series, Becoming a Better Lover.

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

Our role as an ambassador was given to us the moment we came to faith in Christ. This matchmaking role came along with our conversion.

Question: God doesn’t need us to serve as His ambassadors. Yet, He calls us to do this important task. What personal message can you share about God’s desire to bring lost people back to Him?

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (New Living Translation)
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Answer:

 

 

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

1. Take a few minutes and read Luke 15. What stands out to you in this chapter? What do these parables reveal about Jesus’ mission?

2. What do the three parables of Luke 15 all have in common? What do they tell us about the heart of God?

3. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. What does it mean to be Christ’s ambassador? How are you actively seeking to spread the Gospel?

4. Who are you inviting to the Big Invite next week? Pick three names and take some time to pray for them.

September 2014 Memory Verse:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (New Living Translation)

 

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

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

  • Saturday’s Daily Bible Reading Plan: September 20th—1 Timothy 3:1-16
  • Next Weekend: IT’S THE BIG INVITE STARTING TOMORROW! Our new series, “Becoming a Better Lover” officially kicks off AND our NEW Findlay Campus opens at the Findlay Village Mall. Don’t miss this epic weekend at CedarCreek—and bring a friend along! Service times are Saturday, Sept. 20th—5:15 pm, 7:00 pm and Sunday, Sept. 21st—9:00 am, 10:45 am, 12:30 pm. We hope that you can join us at any of our FIVE locations or on the iCampus at CedarCreek.tv
  • TONIGHT! Celebrate Recovery: Worried about making bad choices tonight? Find support and encouragement at Celebrate Recovery tonight at 7pm at all campuses. (And you won’t have regrets tomorrow morning!) For more information, set your web browser to: CedarCreek.tv/celebraterecovery

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

RESOURCES:
NewYorkTimes.com
Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice
Biblegateway.com

This week’s Living It Out written by:
Stephanie Coil
Barb Roose
Luke Shortridge
Kelda Strasburg
Penny Taylor

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2014 Memory Verses

December, 2014
“The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.’”
Luke 1:35 (NLT)

November, 2014
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

October, 2014
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

September, 2014
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past Memory Verses

Click here to download the 2013 Memory Verses.

Click here to download the 2012 Memory Verses.

Click here to download the 2011 Memory Verses.

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