It’s Well Worth the Time – I Said This, You Heard That

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In this last message for our series, we welcomed Joel Thomas, lead pastor at Mission Community Church in Phoenix, AZ. Joel shared with us that the things we hold onto in our hearts are reflected outwardly in the words we choose to use during our conversations. Throughout Joel’s talk, he shared the importance of storing up good things in our hearts, and memorizing scripture is one of the best ways to do that.

The meaning of change in the dictionary is “to transform or convert.” If you’re serious about being spiritually strong and mature, the greatest habit you can develop is memorizing Scripture.

When I served on the DreamTeam as a greeter, my team lead was a stickler on memorizing the theme verse and would often ask for a volunteer to repeat it to the group. Most of the time, people did not know the verse, or even know what it was, so he would remind us about the importance, as believers, to have God’s word in our hearts and minds.

From that day on in 2010 until now, memorizing and repeating the theme verses everyday has been important to me. I have found that in everyday situations, it has helped me combat the evil one from my thoughts. Knowing and sharing scripture also gives hope, comfort, and courage to people in your life. Personally, I have found that scripture comes  to light from my committed memory in times when I need it most.

You can search and find different methods to memorize scripture, but for me, I relate the verse to the military clock. For example Lead Pastor Ben asked us to memorize the theme verse:

Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Using my method, 4:29 in military time is 0429 hours, then I add the book (in this instance Ephesians), and commit it to my memory. Next, I print or write the scripture out, place it on my vehicle’s dashboard, and text it to myself for a quick reference while I’m memorizing it. Finally, I say the verse before bed and first thing in the morning. Repetition is key.

C.H. Spurgeon once shared that we should carry the truth of God within ourselves, in our hearts; so that if we were dissected, there would be found the truth of God in our innermost being. Remember what the Psalmist said, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalms 119:11).

I also like to research the scripture I’m memorizing when time allows to better understand what is speaking to me about it. Making sure that I understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to me in the verses helps strengthen my memory.

When you commit scripture to memory you are equipping your heart and mind to battle against Satan’s attacks. Recalling scripture and praying it over our circumstances grows our faith, reminds us of our hope, and keeps the enemy from us.

In Matthew 4, it says that after his baptism, Christ was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Jesus handled this temptation by quoting scripture because Satan knows the Bible as well, and knows how to distort it. But Jesus was not fooled, because Jesus not only knew the scripture but also knew how to correctly handle it.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20
“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them 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. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Questions:
The Word of God is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training others in righteousness. Do you want to memorize as much of it as you can? How well are you doing at hearing God’s word and DOING what it says? Are you allowing God’s advocate, the Holy Spirit, guide your words toward others? When was the last time you memorized a verse in the Bible?

Next Steps:          
Memorize scripture and spend more time with God, getting to know what is on his heart. He said in John 10:27 (NIV): “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Whether you use flash cards, notes, or download an app, take the time to research what you’re memorizing to find its meaning. Attend church and join a Group with other Christ followers  to support your memory.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your Word. Help us to take time to prepare our hearts not only to read your words but also to understand how to apply them to our daily lives. Help us also to shed our old ways and be truly transformed by memorizing your Word! We thank you for being the living word and for giving us the Holy Spirit to help guide us. In Jesus’ name, amen!


This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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A Reflection of Your Heart – I Said This, You Heard That

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Our words are so powerful. They can lift people up, or they can tear them down.

I was having a bad day at work. I was stressed and had a headache. A co-worker gave me some ibuprofen, and I was counting down the minutes until my shift was over. I love my job, and this was the first  bad day I’d had in a long time.

I am a RN. I spend a great deal of time talking to patients on the phone. Shortly after taking the Motrin, my phone rang. I answered it and was having a productive conversation with the patient, when all of a sudden, the patient became angry and started complaining and cursing at me. I tried to use my words to show empathy and compassion to the patient, but she just didn’t hear them. I hung up the phone stunned. I remember thinking, “My brain is fried—how am I going to go home and write my submission for the LIO?”

On the way home from work, I called a dear friend and asked her to pray for me. She reminded me of God’s perfect timing. She told me, “You have a choice to make, you can go home and be grumpy to your family, or you can use this as an example in the LIO of how words can really affect others.”

I thought, “OK, God, couldn’t you have just given me the words to write without me having to experience the effects of unkind and nasty words?” I decided I should pray for the patient and surrendered the whole incident to God.  I made the decision to  go home and be sweet and kind to my husband. I chose not to let hurtful words ruin my day.

Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

When our hearts are full of love and kindness, our words will reflect our hearts. Likewise, if our hearts are full of bitterness and anger, our words will reflect our hearts. I have to be really careful about what I focus on. When I focus on everything that irritates me and angers me, I become bitter and angry. My words and behaviors reflect what is in my heart, and it isn’t pretty. I do not want to live my life this way.

I want my words and my life to honor God.  I have learned that my quiet time with Jesus and focusing on all his blessings helps me to live a life that honors God. My time in the Word, praying, and praising him puts my heart in the right place. It draws me closer to Jesus, fills me with gratitude, and gives Jesus time to work on my heart. In other words, time with Jesus helps me to use my words in a kind and loving way.

Questions:
How has this series helped you to reflect on your words before you speak? How can time with Jesus affect your words?

Next Steps:
Read and meditate on Luke 6:45. Read it in several different Bible versions. Spend time with Jesus daily and ask him to help your heart be full of love and peace. Ask for your words to reflect his love.

Prayer:
Jesus, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that the God of the universe wants to have a relationship with me. I am so grateful that I can sit in your presence and be changed. Help me, Lord, to have a heart full of your love and goodness. Help my words to reflect your love for others. Help me control the words that come out of my mouth. Please forgive me when my words hurt others and dishonor you. Lord, help me to live a life that brings you glory. Amen.


This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.


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.


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More Resources

Series Theme Verses
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John Reading Plan


What Do You Need to Hear? – I Said This, You Heard That

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This weekend, we wrapped up our series I Said This, You Heard That with guest speaker Joel Thomas. He is the lead pastor at Mission Community Church in Phoenix, AZ, and one of the collaborators on the content of this series.

This series has really resonated with me. As a parent and a manager, knowing the temperaments of others is beneficial so that I’m able to speak to the innate needs of my kids and personnel instead of speaking the language of my own needs.

God has wired me as a strong Red with Blue influence, which explains my temperament perfectly. As a Red, I can be a dynamic leader who excels at managing tasks and projects. I’m responsible, decisive, and good at delegating. With these powerful strengths also come powerful weaknesses. I can argue, dominate, and use a harsh tone, and I tend to be bossy, impatient, and intolerant.

If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach, or a leader, take note: Your unhealthful words are disproportionality weighted to helpful words. Be careful to store godly instruction in your heart and guard it. If you do, your words will be life-giving to others.

Proverbs 4:23 NIV
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Joel instructed us to guard our hearts because not everyone is guarding their own heart. We may have stored harmful things because of what others have said to us—or we may be using unhealthful self-talk—that has caused harmful things to take root in our hearts.

We need to replace the lies that we have heard, or are telling ourselves with God’s truth. God wants to speak his grace to the harmful things, set us free, and live with us day after day. HE LOVES US JUST THE WAY WE ARE!

John 1:12
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

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

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Questions:
What are you storing in your heart? What has taken root? Are the words unhealthful?

Are you guarding your heart?

What do you need to hear to heal the hurt and brokenness that has taken up residence inside you? Has God placed someone in your life that may be speaking to this?

Next Steps:
Reflect on John 1:12, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Romans 8:28. Allow the biblical truths spoken in these verses to be stored in your heart.

Prayer:
Please, dear God, hear my prayers. Cleanse me of the harmful things that I have allowed to reside in my heart. Open my ears so I may hear you speak healing words of grace. Please heal the hurt and brokenness I have allowed in my heart from others and my own negative self-talk. Grant me wisdom to know that I am truly a child of yours, and that I am loved just as I am. In your son’s name I pray, amen.


This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She is enjoying retirement and feels blessed to be writing for LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.


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!


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More Resources

Series Theme Verses
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RightNow Media
John Reading Plan


What Are You Storing in Your Heart? – I Said This, You Heard That

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You wouldn’t think that a small person like me could have an angry heart. I remember a time when I was a child that I got so mad, I slammed my door. I can’t remember what upset me, but I was mad—I yelled and stormed up the stairs. Perhaps I said, “I hate you,” to my parents. I was told that if I slammed my door again, my bedroom door would be removed.

You guessed it … I stored anger in my heart and did it again. For a few days, I felt the guilt as I got ready in the bathroom (since I had no door).

This silly story from my childhood tantrums reveals a bigger picture—that words can be used as weapons. Out of my anger, I didn’t just react by slamming doors and saying hurtful words to my parents, my actions reflected what was stored in my heart. In this week’s message Joel Thomas talked about “what you let outside your mouth reveals what’s inside of your heart” and “what comes out of you is an indicator of what’s stored inside of you.”

We hold things in our hearts: anger, envy, insecurity, guilt, and shame. When we store harmful and toxic things inside our hearts, the bottom line is that we have the potential to weaponize our words.

We weaponize our words when we’ve been hurt. As the saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.” In feeling hurt as a child, I stored anger and as a result had the potential to hurt my parents because I was angry at them. There are other reasons that we weaponize words.

  • We weaponize our words when we’re discontent and store up envy in our hearts.
  • We weaponize our words when we don’t feel safe and store up insecurity in our hearts.
  • We weaponize our words when we’re hiding something and store up guilt and shame in our hearts.

Matthew 15:17-19
17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For

from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

In a world of endless hand washing, we also need to be mindful of what is contaminating our hearts. We need to not only be mindful of what can defile us physically but also spiritually.

As a blue, a perfectionist, I need a safe space to share what it is I’m holding on to. It is easier at times to store things in my heart rather than bringing them to the light, but then I am only living in darkness. When I do that, I don’t allow God to work in those areas where I need his healing hand. And in doing so, I let what is stored in my heart potentially weaponize my words instead of using words for good.

Questions:
Think about your temperament and what you have recently learned about it. What might someone with your temperament tend to store up in their heart? What are you storing in your heart?

What do you need to do spiritually so God can bring healing to your heart and/or relationships?

Next Steps:
Have a conversation with your family about your temperament and what it is that you store in your heart.

Be more aware that your words reflect your heart. What can you do to restore your heart from those harmful things?

Keep reading the LivingItOut this week.

Prayer:
God, you gave us the gift of words. I pray that you would reveal to me what I am storing in my heart. Whether that is anger, envy, insecurity, guilt and shame. Speak to me about what I need to do so you can bring healing to my heart and to my relationships. Words can be used as weapons, and I pray that I am not using words to hurt people but to bring healing. Amen.


This post was written by Rebecca Roberts, 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


Words Hurt – I Said This, You Heard That

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WORDS HURT.

Does that statement bring back a bad memory? Do you remember the hurt or frustration surrounding the situation?

It does for me. A misunderstanding led to me becoming the target of some verbal accusations and insults. That was not fun. Although I was on the receiving end of that particular unpleasant attack, I have, unfortunately, also been the deliverer of verbal explosions a time or two (or three).

We’ve all heard that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” and we all know that it’s a LIE. The truth is sticks and stones may break my bones but words CAN REALLY HURT ME.

Early on in this series, I Heard This, You Said That, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder talked about unhelpful and unhealthful words—a concept brought to us from Ephesians 4:29:

Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Last weekend, Joel Thomas, lead pastor at Mission Community Church, expanded on the concept of unhealthful words and where they come from—the heart.

The heart stores good—and evil. What you let outside your heart reveals what’s inside your heart. Luke 6:43-45 (NIV)  explains it this way:

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (emphasis added).

The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What is my heart full of?” Is it full of the fruit of the spirit: “love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control” (Gaatians 5:22-23)? Or is it loaded with harmful ammunition that becomes a weapon when it leaves our mouths as words?

As followers of Jesus, if we want to be more like him, we need to be filled with him. We need to surrender to him. We need to fill our hearts and minds with his truth by spending time with him daily in the Bible and prayer, attending church, fellowshipping with other believers, etc. As we do, the work he does in our hearts will become reflected in our words and our actions.

Questions:
What is the condition of your heart? If you’re not content with that condition, what steps can you take to fill it with “good” things, godly things,  to make it more like Jesus?

Next Steps:
Pray and ask God to show you anything in your heart and life that is not pleasing to him (the bad fruit). Once you identify the bad fruit, confess and repent. Turn from it, and surrender to Jesus. Ask for his help and be intentional about filling up with things that will help you grow good fruit. Psalm 119:11 shows us that God’s word has the power to help us not to sin (or sin as much): “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Guard your heart and fill it with the Word so that your words may be helpful and healthy.

Prayer:
Lord, I confess that too often my words have become weapons that have defiled me and devastated others, reflecting areas of my heart that are not pleasing to you. Show me the bad fruit in my heart and life so that I may repent and surrender that to you. Help me to be intentional to fill my heart with more of you. May my words and my actions be a reflection of the work that you have done IN me. And, Lord, please heal my heart from the wounds of others. Thank you for being a Great Comforter. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.


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