Comfort is an Excuse for Less – The Adventure of You

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

My cousin said, “We’re going skateboarding down Danger Hill.” My brothers and I were up for the challenge, but before long, I limped back to the house with a bloody knee, a chipped tooth, and a scratched-up pair of new glasses, all courtesy of a parked car. Not bad for my first trip to Washington, D.C. The nickname given to the street is the first indication of trouble to an adult, but kids only see the adventure that awaits them.

This weekend, Pastor Ben defined adventure this way.

Adventure: A bold undertaking, usually involving danger and unknown risks, that leads to exciting new experiences.

My adventurous nature continued through my adolescent years—up to the moment I had a fully developed frontal lobe. Some antics will remain unspoken, while others are looked back on with Kevin Harlan’s voice in my head saying, “with no regard for human life.” But something happened. I got older and lost my desire for the hero’s journey.

There was comfort in my complacency. Whenever fate suggested something more, I made excuses to hold onto my comfort. I hid from the idea of needing more, allowing others’ expectations of me to disqualify my capacity of God’s intended purpose. Years spent hesitating out of fear and a lack of self-worth kept me from jumping into God’s adventure.

That all changed when, as an adult, I reacquainted with a friend who became my wife, and together, we started the best adventure. I finally had the courage to continue the story God planned for me. I erased the fear of discomfort by leaving my job, getting married, becoming an instant father, and moving from Ohio to D.C. (the place of one of my favorite childhood adventures). Everything happened in less than five months!

Our new series teaches us to push past the voice in our heads that demands comfort and questions our capacity to get to the next step in our lives. Adventures aren’t easy, and sometimes, we need to step out in faith to get started. Eight moves and 13 years later, my wife’s and my adventure continues through our trust in God.

Questions:
Read Luke 5:1-11. When do you see Peter step out of his comfort zone in this story?

What’s keeping you stagnant in your life, or what has kept you in the past? Are you ready to surrender to God? Do you know what God is asking you to do?

Next Steps:
Stop making excuses for not growing in faith and life. Pray for guidance if you aren’t sure what’s next. Take GrowthTrack to help discover your purpose. Retake it if you’re stuck in a season of uncertainty.

Prayer:
God, thank you for keeping me safe when I was reckless with the trust you had in me. I pray that I continue to move forward with faith when the uncertainty of the present pulls me back. Remind me that great things may result from taking risks, and that I’m not alone should I stumble. Amen.


This post was written by Jaron Camp, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Series Theme Verses
LivingItOut Podcast
RightNow Media
John Reading Plan


Give It (Control) Up! – The Adventure of You

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It is impossible to fully know the adventure God has planned when stepping onto a path he has arranged. Were the entire adventure revealed upfront, the likelihood is great that many would choose to take a seat and wait for another option. No doubt, I have cowardly failed to experience some adventures he planned, but I do vividly recall several life-changing adventures he arranged.

One such adventure began in 1998—his answer to one simple, heartfelt prayer offered upon my graduation in 1996. It clearly was according to his timetable, not mine. In record time, the wisdom in fastening my spiritual seatbelt and fully placing my trust in Jesus became apparent—no doubt about it. There was no room for fear or doubt on this trip, only faith—genuine, unwavering faith in God.

Were it not for the assurance that he had arranged the career path I entered, the adventure would have easily ended before its time. Much like Peter availing his boat to Jesus, there was no way of knowing the adventure God had in store for me. Yet, knowing he was with me in the adventure made it possible to stay for the long haul, even in the midst of intense discomfort.

Had I bailed on this adventure, I also would have abandoned many opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. A quick look in the rearview mirror brings into clear focus that his plan for me was good—in every challenging situation that arose! Leaning into the reality of needing God’s strength daily is never wasted.

This weekend Ben Snyder shared 4 things that kill our adventures. These “Adventure Killers” include: complacency, control, comfort and capacity.  Focusing on the second one, control, it indeed can be deadly. Giving up control and trusting him daily became my defining moments. Often, it was only when I gave up control and got out of his way that he led me to the path I never noticed. At times, that path required me to respect, honor, and follow direction, even when I disagreed. Other times, that path required me to speak up, making known the obstacles around the bend. I can honestly say there was never one moment of boredom on that adventure—for that I give him praise! When the time came for it to end, he made it abundantly clear. My last weeks of employment were bittersweet as I reflected, with deep appreciation, on the amazing adventure God had arranged!

It is my sincere hope that you, too, can embrace this week’s bottom line: See YOUR PLACE in GOD’S STORY.

Questions:
Read Luke 5:1-11. At what point in the story did Peter give up control to Jesus?

What keeps you from trusting God with your future? Are you afraid to relinquish control to him?

Next Steps:
Choose to consider opportunities to step into the adventure God has planned for you. Participate in GrowthTrack to understand how God has wired you for his purpose. Attack any “control” factor by renewing your mind with the Bible and its truths/promises. Increase your trust in him and the plan he has for your life by growing your relationship with him. Surrender to him and trust him in all things!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for always being available when I come to you in prayer. Forgive me for taking a step toward you and then taking two or three steps away from you. I choose, this day, to trust that you have another adventure for me to take. Give me the courage to leave my ideas and plans at your feet, trusting you will reveal the next adventure you have planned for me. Give me clearness of vision as you reveal your perfect will and perfect plan for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Karen Peck. Karen retired in March 2018 from Lucas County Information Services. She has been married over forty years. Karen rejoices over God’s faithfulness and God’s patience in her life and in her marriage. Nothing matters more to Karen than her relationship with God and her entire family. Her immeasurable faith in Christ and His ability to restore the broken runs deep within.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Series Theme Verses
LivingItOut Podcast
RightNow Media
John Reading Plan


Never Too Late – The Adventure of You

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

So far this week, we have learned about what a life adventure with God is. Today, I want to explore when Simon Peter first met Jesus—what seemed like a small request turned into a life-changing adventure Simon Peter could never have imagined (Luke 5:1-11). And I’d like to share my own story as well.

Jesus was preaching at the Sea of Galilee when he saw a couple empty boats and thought he could best address the crowd from the water. When Jesus first stepped into Simon Peter’s boat and asked to be pushed out into the water, Simon Peter had no idea what he was saying “yes” to. As Jesus finished teaching, he told Simon Peter to go to the deeper water and let down his nets. He followed Jesus’ instructions, and his nets overflowed with fish. At that moment, his eyes were truly opened to who Jesus was.

Luke 5:8
When Simon Peter realized what had happened he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.”

Luke 5:10b
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”

And just like that, Peter stepped into the adventure of God’s story. Note that it was not Peter inviting Jesus into his life, but rather, Peter left everything behind to follow Jesus and take on the life-changing adventure that God had planned for him.

I have no idea how old Peter was when this event took place, but it was truly a line in the sand moment from which he never looked back. All along the way, God kept inviting Peter to participate in his story.

He is asking you too. You see, the opportunity hasn’t passed no matter your age. Lead Pastor Ben Snyder referred to it this weekend as, “If you’re not dead, you’re not done.” This brings me to my story.

I was raised in an Evangelical United Brethren Church. I first accepted Christ into my life at age 10, and I spent most of my life afterward kind of going through the motions of being a Christian, with maybe a small adventure here and there. It wasn’t until after I started attending CedarCreek that I began to realize what a true life-changing adventure with God was. Now, at the age of 67, I have completed GrowthTrack, joined a couple of Groups, been baptized, joined the Prayer Team, and write for LivingItOut. Next, I’m planning to lead a Group! I never saw myself doing most of these things, and even though I am occasionally taken outside of my comfort zone, I have never felt more connected in my faith. And I am enjoying the peace that comes from stepping into the story that God had planned for me all along.

He is calling you too, inviting you to discover the Adventure of You and the purpose he has for you. How you respond to the invitation will make the difference between living the adventure God has for you or missing out on it.

Questions:
Have you truly stepped into a life-changing adventure with God? If so, are you living that adventure to its fullest challenge?

Next Steps:
Continue engaging in this new series, The Adventure of You. Share your adventure story with others.

Prayer:
Loving God, I am so thankful and grateful that you openly invite me into a full, life-changing adventure with you. Thank you for never giving up on me and keeping your invitation open at all stages of my life, no matter my age. God, open my eyes so that I might see all you have in store for me and encourage me, as Peter did, to say “yes.” I know that what may seem small at the moment has the potential to lead me into the purpose you have planned for me—all for your honor and your glory. Amen.


This post was written by Ned Miller, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Series Theme Verses
LivingItOut Podcast
RightNow Media
John Reading Plan


Everything You Need – The Adventure of You

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

All through the Bible, we see the story of God’s love for humanity. He created us, invited us to be in relationship with him, rescued us when we strayed away, and now he’s inviting us to play a part in his story of love for the world.

That’s right. No matter who you are or what you have done, you have a place in his story. We were created on purpose for a purpose.

Personally, God has placed me in the role of father to three beautiful little girls that are growing up quickly. As their dad, it’s my place to teach them about God, share his love with them, continually point to him, and show them what it looks like to follow him.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Often, I feel like I don’t have enough time, wisdom, or energy to teach my girls well, and I start to believe that I can’t live up to what the role of a parent requires. This past weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder shared an encouraging verse to help us see that God doesn’t just give us a place in his story and say, “Good luck with that.” He wants us to succeed and gives us everything we need to accomplish what he asks us to do.

2 Peter 1:3
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

No matter what place God has given you in his story, he gives you divine power to live a life that will point others to him. You can know and live out the purpose he has for your life by knowing him.

As a dad, all my successes come from knowing God. As I understand who he is and the love he has for me, I am able to show my girls who God is and the love he has for them. And as I know him more, I can have the power to live a life that points them to him.

Questions:
Do you know your place in God’s story?

How does knowing that God gives you the power to live out the life he calls you to live change your perspective?

Next Steps:
Take one of these next steps to know God more: Attend the weekend service each week. Commit to reading the LivingItOut regularly. Read your Bible daily. Have intentional conversations with others about what you’re learning.

Share your story of what God’s been doing in your life! Go to CedarCreek.tv/adventure for more information on how to share your story with us.

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for giving me a place in your story and for giving me everything I need to live out the adventure you have for me. Help me to know you more and grow closer to you today. Reveal the next steps I need to take on my adventure and help me love others well along the way. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Series Theme Verses
LivingItOut Podcast
RightNow Media
John Reading Plan


Living the Adventure – The Adventure of You

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Our mission at CedarCreek Church is to introduce people to Jesus and the life-changing adventure with him. Maybe you’ve been around CedarCreek for a while and that sentence has become familiar. Or maybe that word “adventure” catches you off guard—you don’t really associate Jesus and church with adventure.

At CedarCreek, we truly believe the Christian life is meant to be an adventure—that God has a wild, exciting, fulfilling story he wants you to be a part of. So I want to ask:

Are you living that adventure right now? And if you aren’t, why not?

Many of us don’t want to step into God’s adventure because we’re scared. One way to define adventure is “a bold undertaking, usually involving danger and unknown risks, that leads to exciting new experiences.”

That’s right—sometimes the life God calls us into is risky, maybe even dangerous. And to some of us, the risks just don’t seem worth taking. So we run from the life God is calling us into. We tell ourselves God’s adventure isn’t for us. We look for adventures without risks, sometimes trying to live vicariously through someone else’s adventure …

… And we miss the deep, bold, fulfilling, exciting story God wants us to experience.

I truly believe God has a life-changing adventure he wants you to be a part of, but you’ve got to have the faith and courage to take the first step. Some of you aren’t scared, but you’re not really sure how to step into this adventure. If that’s you, start by engaging with the weekend message and reading the LIO. Over the next four weeks, we are going to continue unpacking the adventure God wants to invite you into.

But first, you must decide if you’re ready to step into it. Are you?

Isaiah 43:19
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Questions:
Do you feel you’re living the life-changing adventure God has for you? If you are, what does that look like? If you aren’t, why not? What would stepping into that adventure look like?

Next Steps:
If you’ve never taken that first step in your adventure by accepting Jesus Christ as your savior, now may be your time!

If you’ve been on this adventure for a while, consider sharing your story of what God’s been doing in your life! Go to CedarCreek.tv/adventure for more information on how to share your story with us.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful for the adventure you call each of us into. Thank you for the bold, exciting, purpose-filled life you want me to experience! Help me to step into that adventure, overcoming my fear through my trust in you. May your will be done in me and through me. Amen.


This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Series Theme Verses
LivingItOut Podcast
RightNow Media
John Reading Plan