Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.15.12

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FRIDAY — It Begins and Ends with Love and Respect
Big Point: Though a husband may not deserve respect and a wife may not feel any love, contemptuous speech never touches the human spirit in a positive and lasting manner.

Mike and Lisa Shea were at a dark place in their marriage. Mike was even at the point of looking at apartments if they decided to go forward with their discussed separation. He was feeling that there was no one to talk to; no where to turn. Lisa felt much the same way. She was seeing a Christian counselor who advised her to throw her husband out of the house. The counselor explained that it was the only way for her to get the attention of her distant husband. Lisa was hurt and confused by this advice. If the Lord hates divorce, could this possibly be the path for her? No, this turned out to be an alarm. Lisa heard the voice of God loud and clear, “Be still. Stick with it.”

It was only a few days later that Lisa received a book in the mail from a mentor called, Motivating Your Man, God’s Way, co-written by Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs. Instead of Lisa’s throwing Mike out of the house, the book recommended a regimen of respect coming from Lisa. Instead of responding rudely to his taunts, she would only make loving replies. This got Mike’s attention right away. He thought, ‘Hey, what’s going on? Why is she being so nice?’ It was not long after this development that their marriage turned around. One day after he made a rude comment, and Lisa replied in her new way, Mike was convicted to make an apology. It was at this time that they each broke down the walls that were blocking their way to a better marriage.

So what’s so magical about the respectful response of a wife to a husband? Is a wife supposed to just sit there and take it when her husband refuses to communicate in positive ways in a marriage? According to Lisa Shea, “No, a wife does not need to be a doormat.” With a respectful response, Lisa affirms that a wife can be, “a welcome mat. You are a welcome mat to the Word of God and you’re a welcome mat to the power of God and in that truth you are set free.” The Shea’s communication and loving interaction improved through talking, questions and shared ideas. By living Ephesians 5:33 in their marriage, they saved it.

 

Consider reading a couples’ devotional together such as Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.
You might also consider attending the Love and Respect conference coming to Cedar Creek, October 19-20, 2012. Register at cedarcreek.tv/loveandrespect

 

 

LIVE … What will you do now?
Evaluate and describe your relationship with your spouse. Does any part of Mike and Lisa’s story sound familiar? Are you at a crossroads—ready to give up?

 

Are you and your spouse ready to move into a deeper, more fulfilling relationship—to fight for your marriage?

 

 

List out the couples that you know that have a loving, caring, long-lasting Christ-centered marriage that you can model your marriage after.

 

 

We’ve talked this week about being more respectful and loving toward our spouses. Take time to discuss the following questions with your spouse this week.

  • What is the number one way I can show you respect?
  • If you feel disrespected in our relationship at times, what behavior could I modify that would make that better?
  • What is the number one thing I can do to show you love?
  • If you’ve felt unloved in our relationship at times, what actions could I take to improve that aspect?

 

 

If you are not currently married, what four things will you be certain to take into consideration before getting married:

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

PRAY … God, what do you want me to know and do?
Spend some time evaluating your relationship. Ask God what He may be leading you towards as a next step in your relationship. What might help save your marriage? What may take your good marriage to a great marriage?

Weekend Updates!

  • Looking for a fun way to get involved and give back? Sign-up to run a 5k on Saturday, June 30th at 10am. The cost is only $16.00. Contact globaldistance@cedarcreek.tv. Perhaps golfing is your thing. Get a team together and golf in the CedarCreek golf outing on July 14th. Contact johnm@cedarcreek.tv for more information.
  • The Leadership Summit is coming to CedarCreek again. Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit will be held at CedarCreek Church on August 9th and 10th. The early bird special is only $75.00 and you can sign up online at cedarcreek.tv.
  • Interested in getting baptized? New Community is scheduled to take place at the West Toledo Campus on Sunday June 24th at 6pm. If you are interested in getting baptized, sign-up for any of the following baptism classes on June 16th at 5pm and June 24th at 4pm at the West Toledo Campus only. Or, you can attend a baptism class at any campus on June 17th at 10:45am.

 

Living It Out: June 2012
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT)

 

Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.

Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the Bible in 1 year—Old and New Testament will alternate month to month.

Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others

Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.

We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.

 

RESOURCES:
Tim Butler, LPCC
www.tim-butler.com

Love and Respect
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

 

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Alyssa Baker
Cynthia Savage
Diana Patton
JoAnna Studer
Ryan Wilson 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.14.12

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THURSDAY – Take A Look in the Mirror!
Big Point: Stop spending time analyzing the areas in which your spouse needs to improve. Instead, spend time asking God to help you take care of your own soul, spirit and bodily needs!

“Man in the mirror.” “When you point your finger, you have four fingers pointing back at you.” “Put your mask on first.” What do all these phrases have in common? Each phrase begs a person to do a little self assessment—take a look at yourself and see what you are doing.

It’s so easy to point out someone else’s mistakes and what they need to change. On the opposite end, it’s often excruciatingly painful to look at what we need to do and how we need to manage ourselves. Sadly, when we occupy ourselves with managing others and focusing on things that just don’t matter, we start “letting ourselves go” and we lose sight of what we need to do to care for ourselves. If you find yourself in this category (unless you are a parent, manager or a coach), it’s time to stop managing others and start to manage yourself.

As we travel through this week’s Bible study, you’ll notice a certain trend that encourages us to look in the mirror and ask what we need to give up and allow God to do in our lives. Once we focus on God, He will give us the time necessary to keep ourselves healthy in our body, mind and spirit. Christ’s life taught us the importance of spending time refreshing ourselves. By taking time to refresh himself, others were drawn to him and wanted to be in deeper relationship with him. So why wouldn’t we do the same? Take the time to care for yourself— it is likely the most attractive feature that you will ever possess.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
What analogy does Christ want us to draw from Matthew 7:3-5?

Matthew 7:3-5 (New Living Translation)
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Answer:

 

What does Matthew 6:33 say that we need to do to get all that we need and to live righteously?

Matthew 6:33 (New Living Translation)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Answer:

 

What does 1 Corinthians 6:19 say about our body? Who do we belong to?

1 Corinthians 6:19 (New Living Translation)
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.

Answer:

 

What does 1 Timothy 4:8 say about our physical and spiritual training?

1 Timothy 4:8 (New Living Translation)
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
How often are you quick to analyze your spouse’s faults and not look at the things you need to improve? If you are not married, how often do you do this to other people in your life?

 

 

What efforts are you taking to remove the “log in your own eye”?

 

 

Do you view “training in Godliness” as an essential aspect of your life? If so, describe how you train in Godliness. How much time do you invest with Christ on a daily basis through Bible reading, memorizing scripture, meeting with others to study the Bible or asking people to keep you accountable?

 

 

 

 

Do you struggle with the belief that investing time with Christ is the best path to learn what he wants for your life?

 

 

 

Are you aware of the spirit of God in your life? How do you appreciate the Spirit of God that lives in you? Is the fruit of the spirit visible to others in your life (love, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control, as an example)?

 

 

 

 

Are you respectful of your own body? Do you care for it daily by getting appropriate exercise and eating properly every day? Do you make an effort toward keeping it Holy? Do you view your body as the temple of God?

 

 

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know and do?
Ask God to help you look in the mirror and to take the time to respect the Holy Spirit that lives in you by caring for your soul, spirit and body.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.13.12

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Wednesday: What’s Love Got to Do With It?
Big Point: According to the word of God, love has a lot (or everything) to do with marriage. 

Most people begin dreaming of a perfect mate in their earliest childhood and adolescent years. We fantasize and create the love of our life from what we see in the movies or read in fairy tales. Without intention and proper focus, it’s likely that what we seek does not always align with what God wants for us in a mate. Often, the furthest thing from our mind is how we are to love our mate as God wants us to.

 

What’s love got to do,
got to do with it?
What’s love
but a sweet old
fashioned notion?
What’s love got to do,
got to do with it?
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?
“What’s Love Got to Do with It?”
Tina Turner

 

One of the most commonly read scriptures for weddings is 1 Corinthians13:4-8 which describes the attributes of love (see below). Loving one another is a commandment from God. We are to love one another as we love ourselves.

For women, the need for “love” is amped up a few notches as we read in yesterday’s Bible study with reference to Ephesians 5:33. It makes one wonder why God commanded a man to love his wife. But let’s be real. It is extremely difficult to love someone who isn’t too loveable.

While the Bible makes references that men should love their wives, it also shows the difficulty one can experience by being around a woman who is unhappy and quite frankly, “unlovable.” Yes, love has everything to do with a man pleasing a woman, but it surely makes it a lot easier if a woman shows 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 love (and of course, this applies to men too).

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
What words does Paul use in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that show love? How long will love last if we do these things?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (New Living Translation)
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance … 8 but love will last forever!

Answer:

 

What knowledge can we gain from Proverbs 25:24?

Proverbs 25:24
It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

Answer:

 

Proverbs 31 describes the “virtuous woman.” Verses 11 and 12 describe how the husband feels about her but what must that woman be doing? What does verse 30 say about beauty and charm? How can a woman receive praise?

Proverbs 31:10-12, 30-31 (New Living Translation)
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life …

30Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. 31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Answer:

 

LIVE …What will you do now?
In terms of love, where are you in your relationship with your spouse, yourself, with God and others?

 

Would you say that 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes you? If not, what attributes do you need to work on to improve your lovability?

 

For the husbands: List out the specific ways you show love toward your wife. Show this list to your wife and see if she agrees. If she does not agree, list what areas you can improve on and write out an action plan on how you can show love on a daily basis.

 

For the wives: Would your spouse describe you as quarrelsome (as described in Proverbs 25:24) or would he describe you as virtuous (as described in Proverbs 31:10-31)? Have your husband describe what virtuous qualities you have and what quarrelsome qualities you have. Then make an action plan on how you can become more virtuous.

Quarrelsome:

Virtuous:

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know and do?
Ask God to help you become more loving and to truly live out 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in your daily life in order to fight for your marriage. Find ways to shower your spouse and others with love.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.12.12

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TUESDAY — R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Big Point: Though we all need love and respect, during conflict husbands feel more disrespected than unloved.

“Talk to me!” commands the wife. She and her husband are having a conflict but he exits the room. “I don’t want to talk about it.” She follows him to talk but he does not give her access to his heart. She is in disbelief. She thinks, “How can he be so unloving?” She is hurt, confused, angry and frightened.

The wife’s motivation is to increase the feelings of love between them but her husband does not seem to be motivated by her loving efforts in the way she expects. A husband does not lack the knowledge that he is to love his wife. She tells him that she needs to feel his love. What he lacks is motivation. The secret is this: a husband is motivated to love in response to a wife showing him unconditional respect.

Did you know that God does not command a wife to agape-love her husband? Only the husband is commanded to agape-love. Agape-love is that God-like unconditional love. Why is a wife not commanded to agape-love? God designed a wife to love. She loves to love. For this reason, a husband does not doubt his wife’s love. What he doubts is her respect for him.

The key to motivating any person is by meeting that person’s deepest need. A husband is best motivated when his need is met to feel respected for who he is, apart from his performance (1 Peter 3:1-2 NASB and Ephesians 5:33b NLT). When a wife comes across as despising who her husband is, as a human being, he loses his fond feelings of affection for her. He loses energy to emotionally connect. This is similar to a wife’s losing energy to positively respond when her husband is harsh, angry and unloving. Fighting for your marriage is being the kind of person your spouse would want to be married to. Respect is a powerful way to affect any male spirit.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
In Colossians 3:12-15, Paul lists qualities that Christians should possess in dealing with one another. Name these characteristics. Why are they commanded?

Colossians 3:12-15 (New Living Translation)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Answer:

 

What are the key differences in how a husband and wife are to treat each other?

 

Ephesians 5:33 (New Living Translation)
So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Answer:

 

What does the following verse say is more influential than a wife’s respectful word to her husband?

1 Peter 3:1-2 (New Living Translation)
1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Read the qualities you listed that were given in Colossians 3:12-15 about how to treat each other as Christians. How well do you feel you do at following these guidelines? Is there an area you struggle with?

 

 

What are some ways you can show respect for others (your spouse, if married)? If you are married, when was the last time you told your spouse you respected him/her? Better yet, ask the other person to list the ways you show respect toward them.

 

 

Wives: Make a list of your husband’s qualities that you value. Challenge yourself daily to tell your husband what you appreciate about him. Tell others what you appreciate about him as well.

 

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know and do?
Pray that God will open up opportunities for you to demonstrate your respect to others, especially to your husband (if applicable). As a demonstration of respect, pray for spiritual maturity, guidance, wisdom and security for your husband and trust God for answers.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.11.12

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These days, when you hear of a fight breaking out as it relates to one’s marriage, you likely think the worst. Why wouldn’t you? Approximately 50% of all marriages in America end in divorce. Most television and movies portray marriages in disarray, fighting over petty things and damaging families. Our court system keeps a steady stream of cases trying to juggle the many complaints for divorce that come through their doors. Sadly, some divorcees think that the issue was solely their spouse and simply turn around and get remarried. That’s where we see an even steeper downward cycle because 60% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

What gives? Think about it. How easy is it for someone to get married? You don’t have to pass any tests, take any classes, abide by any specific mandated guidelines or principles. We just simply say I love him, he loves me … I love her, she loves me, we’ll make a perfect family—let’s get married. Getting married is one of the easiest things to do. It’s much more challenging to get a driver’s license than it is to get a marriage license. You may say “well, yes, people are more likely to get in an accident and lose a life so they need to learn to drive.” We contend that there is much more lasting damage caused by people not taking the time to learn what it takes to stay in a loving marriage and to take the time to fight for their marriage.

 

“Ask Not what Your Spouse Can do for You
But what You Can do For Your Spouse”
Matthew Ziegler
(paraphrased John F. Kennedy quote)

 

This weekend we heard from Tim Butler on how we should fight for our marriage. Tim mentioned that “It’s likely God intended two very different people to be tethered together for life as a very good thing. It is those differences that will shape us (or maybe grind us) into who God wants us to be. God wants us Holy, like Him. If we keep Him in the center of our marriage, all those differences will make us Holy.” Instead of keeping God in the center of our marriage, most keep the world’s standard in the center of their marriage by asking “what about me?” It’s likely Christ’s standard for marriage would reconcile with a very familiar John F. Kennedy quote, paraphrased for marriages that would read, “Ask not what your spouse can do for you but what you can do for your spouse.” Tim said, “Marriage is less about finding the right person and more about being the right person.”

It seems other well renowned authorities agree and have written books about the subject, like Andy Stanley who wrote Staying in Love and Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect. This week, we will spend time reviewing what fighting for our marriage means by being the kind of partner a spouse would want to be married to in times of conflict, in how we generally treat one another, and how we take care of our own needs. This study will not only help those that are married but also those who may contemplate marriage. So, be unusual, fight for your marriage!

 

MONDAY — Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong?
Big Point: Sometimes tension in a marriage cannot be solved – although an opportunity presents itself in the way it is managed.

It is not a surprise to find out that men and women view many things in this world differently. In these differences, God created something beautiful—His final creation when two become one flesh. Marriage is the final masterpiece of God’s creation. The “becoming one” is what God did in Genesis 2.The very next thing that happens is the attack of the serpent dividing the man and the woman and causing them to rebel against God. Without God in the center of our marriages, our differences will grow; separating us and bringing rebellion towards one another. Distinguishing who is right or who is wrong fuels the idea of separation and rebellion. Most times it’s not about who is right or who is wrong. Rather, it’s about how we handle our differences and the growth opportunities that follow. Managing our differences (which sometimes results in persistent tension) can lead to extraordinary results.

 

Choosing not to forgive is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick.

 

Forgiveness is the most important component in any lasting relationship. Sin, selfishness and the lack of forgiveness will devastate any marriage. The power, freedom and blessing in forgiveness are the greatest tools we have to fight for our marriage. Forgiveness is the model God has given us to live by. Forgiving one another is being obedient to God’s design. That obedience is promised to produce great blessings in our lives. The alternative to forgiveness is holding onto resentment—that’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick. It is just not a logical way to live. When we follow God’s example, life works out the way God says it will. The tension is the differences God created in the way we view love, respect and many other things in life. The opportunity is allowing God’s grace and forgiveness to use those differences to make His final creation, a whole you.

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
What does Romans 12:18 encourage us to do?

Romans 12:18 (New International Version)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Answer:

 

Why is it important not to hold resentment towards your spouse? After reading the following verses, how quickly does God want you to resolve conflict in your life? Why do you think God wants no time wasted?

Matthew 5:23-24 (New Living Translation)
23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Answer:

 

How does God describe a man being alone in Genesis 2:18? Also, knowing the differences we see daily between a man and a woman, how does God describe His creation?

Genesis 2:18 (New Living Translation)
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Pastor Greg Laurie jokingly once said, “Marriage is like a three ring circus: “engagement ring, wedding ring and suffering.” Perhaps the suffering is the sacrifice spouses must endure to understand how God wants them to work through their differences. If married, do you view your differences as ways that God can bring you closer together?

 

Putting God at the center of our marriage brings a forgiving heart and an understanding and celebration of our differences. Can you think of an instance where your first reaction was to get defensive and then later realized you would have not gained insight and wisdom into your mate’s way of thinking if not for that emotion?

 

Look for the longing in your spouse’s complaint to work through your differences.

 

Tension and conflict are different. Sometimes tension in marriages and in relationships with others just needs to be managed. Conflict needs to be resolved. Write out the tensions that exist in your marriage that simply need to be managed. Then write out the conflicts that must be resolved.

Tensions:

Conflicts:

 

How can you begin to soften your heart so that God can mold it into the heart He has made for you?

 

Write your mate a note thanking him/her for your differences.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know and do?
Ask God to help you fit the puzzle pieces of your differences together to make two into one. It starts with you and the first step is to come to Christ with humility.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.08.12

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FRIDAY — How will you Fight for your Faith?
Big Point: Devise a plan to fight for your faith and allow God to do the rest! 

Be honest, when you heard the title “Fight for your Faith,” did you think “okay, let’s put on the full armor of God, go out and fight the good fight. Let’s tell everyone about who God is and slash through the devil’s lies and schemes.” While it is that, we learned this week that we must learn from Christ on what he did to prepare to fight for his faith. Christ breathed God in and taught us what it is like to know God. There is a certain peace about Christ that we should all want to strive for. Christ only had this type of peace by spending an inordinate amount of time with God.

How do we mere mortals gain this peace? How do we gain a strategy to fight in a world and a culture that begs for our attention to do anything but fight for our faith? We learn the same tried and true principles that Christ taught us long ago. It all starts with gazing upon the stars, as Kyle ever so eloquently encouraged us to do in his weekend message.

So now how do you feel? You can be sure of this—your faith will grow when it is challenged. Prayerfully, as you begin to spend time with God and know who Christ is, you will be prepared to take on the challenge. But what comes up, at times, is fear. One anonymous author has this to say about “faith”:

  • Faith gives life to the invisible, impossible, and improbable.
  • Faith transforms the ‘could happen’ into the ‘did happen’.
  • Faith changes your possibilities into realities.
  • Faith empowers you to find a way or make a way.
  • Faith propels your pursuits, but fear paralyzes your passion.
  • Faith ignites your imagination, but fear immobilizes your initiative.
  • Faith causes you to fight, but fear causes you to falter.
  • Faith frees your mind to focus on fantastic feats instead of futility and failure.

If you are feeling a bit of a challenge as it relates to fighting for your faith, you won’t want to miss the teaching topic on “Fighting Your Fear.” But before we close out this week, let’s take some time to devise a plan on how you will effectively fight for your faith.

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
What did you learn this week that you had not thought about before as it relates to what it takes to fight for your faith?

 

 

How equipped do you feel to clearly articulate the vastness of God to someone? If you are struggling and want to learn more about God and the cosmos, consider taking a field trip this summer to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, just seven miles outside Cincinnati—www.creationmuseum.org. Or, simply go to www.youtube.com and watch the videos on the “Created Cosmos.”

 

 

Where and when do you feel the most challenged to share your faith?

 

 

How compelled are you to fight for your faith while simply living in your own community and our country as a whole?

 

 

After learning all that you learned this week, write out the five steps that you will to take to fight for your faith—take time to review the past few days:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know and do?
Thank God for who He is and for helping you devise a strategy to fight for your faith. Ask Him to help you live out your strategy every single day!

 

Weekend Updates!

  • Looking for a fun way to get involved and give back? Sign-up to run a 5k on Saturday, June 30th at 10am. The cost is only $16.00. Contact globaldistance@cedarcreek.tv. Perhaps golfing is your thing. Get a team together and golf in the CedarCreek golf outing on July 14th. Contact johnm@cedarcreek.tv for more information.
  • The Leadership Summit is coming to CedarCreek again. Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit will be held at CedarCreek Church on August 9th and 10th. The early bird special is only $75.00 and you can sign up online at cedarcreek.tv.
  • Interested in getting baptized? New Community is scheduled to take place at the West Toledo Campus on Sunday June 24th at 6pm. If you are interested in getting baptized, sign-up for any of the following baptism classes on June 10th at 10:45am, June 16th at 5pm and June 24th at 4pm at the West Toledo Campus only. Or, you can attend a baptism class at any campus on June 17th at 10:45am.

 

Living It Out: June 2012
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT)

 

Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.

Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the Bible in 1 year—Old and New Testament will alternate month to month.

Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others

Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.

We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.

 

RESOURCES:

The New Living Translation Bible

Emotionally Healthy
Peter Scazzero

 

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Becky Miller
Diana Patton
Emily Francis
Rebecka Blevins
Ryan Wilson
Stephanie Coil

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.07.12

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THURSDAY – Get Away
Big Point: Jesus understands first-hand what life in this world is like. He had to take time away, by himself, alone with God, to remain charged up to do God’s will. 

In the book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero shares the following story to illustrate our need to get away and to rest in God, “[Years ago] farmers in the Midwest would prepare for blizzards by tying a rope from the back door of their house out to the barn as a guide to ensure they could return safely home. These blizzards came quickly and fiercely and were highly dangerous. When their full force was blowing, a farmer could not see the end of his or her hand. Many froze to death in those blizzards, disoriented by their inability to see. They wandered in circles, lost sometimes in their own backyards. If they lost their grip on the rope, it became impossible for them to find their way home. Some froze within feet of their own front door, never realizing how close they were to safety.” Scazzero’s point is that the busyness and stress of work and family life can become a whiteout in our lives. We lose track of where we were headed in the first place. And even though we know we need to rest and recharge to be at our best, many of us have no idea what that really means or how to do it. Scazzero adds, “Add to this the storms and trials of life that blow into our lives unexpectedly and catch us off guard, and we wonder why so many of us are disoriented and confused…We live in a blizzard. And few of us have a rope…We need a rope to lead us home.”

Does this sound familiar?

Scazzero goes on to suggest that God gives us the rope we need to remain tethered to Him in the fourth commandment to keep the Sabbath, one day out of seven for remembering God, and in the example of Jesus’ life and how even Jesus had to take time consistently to check in with God and stay connected to Him. When we offer the sacrifice of our time to God, we are holding the sturdy rope that helps us hang on to God, no matter what is happening around us.

 

Read and Think…Find Answers in the Bible
Read the Bible verses below that describe Jesus’ habit of spending time with his heavenly Father—what do they have in common? What times of day do they describe Jesus praying alone? Why do you think Jesus devoted these times to being alone with God? How might this time have helped his ministry on earth?

Mark 1:35 (New Living Translation)
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

Matthew 14:23 (New Living Translation)
After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Luke 9:18 (New Living Translation)
One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

Matthew 26:36 (New Living Translation)
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”

Answer:

 

What invitation does Jesus give in Matthew 11:28-30?

Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Answer:

 

Isaiah 58:11 describes the benefits of remaining close to God. Re-write this verse in your own words. What do you think it means to be “like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring”?

Isaiah 58:11 (New Living Translation)
The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What Will You Do Now?
It may seem a little strange that in a message about Fighting for your Faith, we are thinking about the daily and weekly habits that make up the rhythm of your everyday life. Fighting seems extreme or temporary. But the fact is that fighting for our faith is an everyday, sometimes every minute, fight. We build these habits so that we are always holding on to the rope. We know where we are and where we are going.

 

Where in your day or in your week do you feel the most connected to God?

 

 

Where in your day or in your week do you feel the most stressed out or distracted by all the things you have going on around you?

 

 

What is one thing you can do during that time to help you re-connect with God and get re-charged? Be specific. What will you do? What time? Where?

 

PRAY…God, what do you want to know & do?
Take a minute and thank God for caring for you so personally and deeply. He knows everything you need and He has a perfect plan to take care of all of it. Thank Him for the answers He has already worked out for you, even if you don’t know them yet. Then spend a few minutes in silence, just listening, feeling God’s strong arms around you so that you can always be prepared to fight for your faith.

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.06.12

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Wednesday: Charge up Your Faith
Big Point: Stay plugged into God so that your faith is constantly charged.

It’s happened! You come to a slow roll in your car, and watch as the red light comes on and then fade out. Over and over you try to turn the engine, maybe winking at God, asking “please, please, please!” Then, nothing. The battery on your car is dead. When a car battery dies, it is worthless, and its death makes your car worthless. Car batteries don’t simply recharge if you let them sit awhile; it’s not automatic. In the same way, your faith can die, or fizzle out, if you don’t recharge it. We need to plug into God and boost our faith.

Many times in our lives we will be faced with struggles. It may be that: your car never seems to be at 100%; your marriage lacks a once held passion; your school work is never done; your finances are a wreck; you can’t find a job; or your depression makes it hard to get out of bed. Pick one or check them all at any given time, but if we hope to overcome these battles and others, our faith must be fully charged. Peter had strong and sure faith when he concentrated on Jesus. However, when the wind blew, he stopped focusing on his faith in Jesus and sank.

We are like Peter. We need to stay zeroed in on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in order to maintain the battery life of our faith charge. Although you may be surrounded by raging waves, hold onto what God has promised. When you fear the battle, plug into God and strengthen your assurance that He is there to hold you up, protect you and fight with you!

 

28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Matthew 14:28-30 (NLT)

 

Read and Think…Find Answers in the Bible
Often we are wading through difficult struggles, and it can feel as though God isn’t there. We cannot see Him and are uncertain of His plans for us. Read Hebrews 11:1. What does it say about faith? If you plug into God, what does He charge your faith with?

Hebrews 11:1 (New Living Translation)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Answer:

 

Many people wade through the Bible thinking, “When I know everything and understand it all, then I will have the strongest faith. Then, I will be able to _________.” Fill in the blank. Read 1 Corinthians 13:2. What does it say is truly necessary to make your faith, biblical knowledge and actions worthwhile?

1 Corinthians 13:2 (New Living Translation)
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

Answer:

 

When we are fully charged and our faith is strong, it can act as protection in the fight. Read Ephesians 6:16. What description does it give of faith? Against who can this protection defend?

Ephesians 6:16 (New Living Translation)
In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

Answer:

 

Live…What will you do now?
We often try to lean on our own understanding, instead of placing our trust in God. Maybe you try to recharge yourself with energy drinks or self-help books. You might even have some pride in your ability to maintain a stoic presence in the face of adversity. But, when we draw only from ourselves and societal charge-ups, we quickly run out of perseverance. We tire and start to feel hopeless or defeated. God’s cup of love is never-ending and He offers it to us. All we have to do is come before Him and fill up.

 

Have you ever felt your faith fizzle out? Describe it.

 

In the words of Tina Turner, “What’s love got to do with it?” Well, apparently to God, love has everything to do with faith. Describe how deep your love is for others.

 

Is it time to recharge your faith and establish a perpetual plug into God so that you remain charged? What will you do to charge your faith? Make a plan. Write down three things you could try to charge up daily (we will explore one possibility tomorrow).

 

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2.

3.

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know and do?
God is the master battery, the energy source that never dies. Ask Him to fill you up and spark the flame inside of you that will fire you up to fight for your faith. Ask Him to help strengthen your faith and show you how to keep it charged.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 06.05.12

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TUESDAY — Gaze Upon the Face of God!
Big Point: We can gaze upon the face of God by learning and following Christ’s ways and reading the Word in order to fight for our faith and be a world changer.

Imagine gazing on the face of God. When Moses was on Mount Sinai and in the presence of God, not face to face, Moses’ face was so radiant to look at that the children of Israel were frightened (Exodus 34). If merely being in God’s presence can cause one’s face to become so radiant that it is frightening, what would being face to face with God be like?

Gazing on the face of God does not mean we can literally see God’s face. God and His kingdom are not a part of this world. How then do we gaze upon the face of God? Through His Word we can know Him as if we are face to face. We will find that behind every truth in His Word we will know the very character, nature and being of God. By proclaiming the truth in His Words He is giving us a reflection of His character and His nature.

Jesus came into this world to proclaim the truth of his Father and his life is a direct reflection of the face of God. Jesus taught that he and his Father were one and sought to do his Father’s will even though it meant crucifixion and death.

You cannot gaze upon the face of God and not be deeply affected. When we gaze upon the face of God three things can happen: it exposes us; it exposes our culture; it turns us into a world changer. Jesus is a world changer whose sole purpose was to fight on behalf of our faith. By following Jesus’ example we can also be world changers and learn how to effectively fight for our faith.

 

READ and THINK…Find the answers
Read John 18:33-38. What did Jesus tell Pilate about his kingdom?

What did Jesus say was the purpose of him being born? Who listens to Jesus?

John 18:33-38 (New International Version)
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.

Answer:

 

In John 1:17 we are told that the law was given through Moses. What comes through Jesus Christ?

John 1:17 (New Living Translation)
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 

Answer:

 

Colossians 2:2-4 states we can be encouraged in heart and united in love. What understanding will this give us? What is hidden in Christ? Why are we told these things?

Colossians 2:2-4 (New International Version)
2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 

Answer:

 

LIVE ….What will you do?
Describe what you think gazing upon God’s face would be like.

 

 

We’ve learned that we can gaze upon God’s face by reading His word. Describe how coming face to face with God through His Word has changed your life. Has reading God’s Word exposed things about you or your culture? How so? Has reading His Word turned you into a world changer? If so, how?

 

 

Describe how your relationship with Christ has helped you to understand the characteristics and nature of God as described in Colossians 2:2-4.

 

 

Do you feel confident of the truth that you live by—just as Christ did when Pilate was questioning him? How far are you willing to go to testify to this truth? Do you feel you are willing to fight for it?

 

Pray … God what do you want me to know and do?
Praise God for His Word and for revealing Himself through His Word and His son Jesus Christ. Ask God to use His Word to expose areas of your life and culture that you need to know about. Ask God to help you become a world changer to fight for your faith!