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26 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 21 (21 Day Fast) January 26, 2014

No matter how deep you are now, wade in deeper still. Don’t worry about what’s going to get wet. Don’t stop at the point where you can keep your feet underneath you. Get swept away. What are you holding on to? What are your hesitations to living a more Spirit-led life of faith? What illusion of control are you clinging to? Go all in. Pray today that this fast will be just the beginning of a deeper relationship with God. Pray that He will continue to beckon you to dive in and let Him take complete control of your life.

Ezekiel 47:1-12

The River From the Temple
1The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
3As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubitsand then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

25 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 20 (21 Day Fast) January 25, 2014

Are you considering continuing your fast or maybe beginning new habits of regular fasting? In this chapter people are wondering if they should continue the fasting calendar they had kept and the Lord answers through Zechariah. Since Moses’ time, God instituted a whole calendar of fasts and feasts. Both were designed to draw His people closer to Him. If drawing closer to God is your goal every day, both times of fasting and feasting can be holy to the Lord. Take time to allow God to speak to you about your fasting experience. Ask God to help you reflect on the ways your fast has softened your heart and influenced you to treat others differently.

Zechariah 7

Justice and Mercy, Not Fasting
1In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. 2The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat the Lord 3by asking the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”
4Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: 5“Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? 6And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? 7Are these not the words the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’ ”
8And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah:9“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’
11“But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. 12They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.
13“ ‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty. 14‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’ ”

24 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 19 (21 Day Fast) January 24, 2014

Do your heart and flesh feel faint? As you near the end of your fast, think of the marvelous joy of spending this one day in His courts. Praise Him for the ways you are growing and seeking Him more. No matter where you are, read this psalm out loud today as your prayer to God. Personalize it or add to it. Sing it loudly or just whisper.

Psalm 84

For the director of music. According to gittith.Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord Almighty!
2My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
LordAlmighty, my King and my God.
4Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
 
5Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
 
8Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
9Look on our shield,O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
 
10Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
 
12Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.

23 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 18 (21 Day Fast) January 23, 2014

Tear your hearts instead. You can finish strong by making sure you are weeping and mourning and tearing your heart open wide to allow God’s power and presence to sweep across the landscape of your life. Tell God today that you are baring your heart before His mercy, compassion, and unfailing love. Ask Him to give you the courage to join His advancing army. Ask Him to open your eyes to dreams and visions.

Joel 2:12-32

12“Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
14Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the Lord your God.
15Blow the trumpet in Zion,
declare a holy fast,
call a sacred assembly.
16Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
17Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”
The Lord’s Answer
18Then the Lord was jealous for his land
and took pity on his people.
19The Lord replied to them:
“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.
20“I will drive the northern horde far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land;
its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
And its stench will go up;
its smell will rise.”
Surely he has done great things!
21Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things!
22Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
25“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —
my great army that I sent among you.
26You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.
The Day of the
Lord
28“And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
32And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,
as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
whom the Lord calls.

22 January 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Four Days and Counting

I can’t wait for this Sunday.  We’ve been talking about Momentum for several months and now it’s finally here.  While I’m very excited to have Rachel Ramsey Cruze as our guest speaker this weekend, I’m even more excited to see how God is going to use the next nine weeks to begin bringing hope, healing and peace to so many of us here at Cedar Creek and throughout our communities.

The two main questions I’ve been asked over these last few months are “What is Momentum?” and “Why are we doing it?”  Those are great questions.  For twenty years Cedar Creek Church has focused on providing practical Biblical teaching that people can use in their daily lives and on being a blessing to our community and the world.  Momentum allows us to bring both of those core values together.  Using Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University study, we can help teach people in simple and practical ways how to honor God with their finances and in doing so, we will be unleashing the generosity of Cedar Creeker’s to radically impact the lost and hurting people all around us for years to come.  Imagine what the people of God could do for the Kingdom of God if they were financially free.

The video below gives a great example of how the FPU principles can change lives and leave a legacy for generations.  I want everyone to be a part of this.  It doesn’t matter what age or season of life you’re in or what your current financial situation is, this stuff will impact your life.

That’s why I’m asking you to make three commitments for Momentum.  First, join us at one of our three campuses this Sunday (January 26th) for the kickoff service.  Second, begin praying that God would move in your life and in our community over these next nine weeks.  And third, get plugged into Home Group or FPU class at your campus to begin the road to financial freedom.

For more information, check out www.momentum.cedarcreekchurch.net.

See ya Sunday!

Phillip

 

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22 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 17 (21 Day Fast) January 22, 2014

This is one of the most dazzling stories in the Bible. You can surely relate to the situation these three young men faced–when facts fly in the face of truth. The facts were that they had broken the law, the punishment was death, Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man in the world, the fire was hot enough to kill a nearby guard, there were plenty more guards to throw them in, and they were either going to bow or burn. Period. But the truth opposed those facts, and truth was what the three men stood upon. The truth was that either their God was going to deliver them or they would willingly die in His service. The truth is that the Son of God walked with them through the flames. What facts are you facing that defy God’s truth? Take the facts to God in prayer today and believe with boldness that your God will be with you in the fire.

Daniel 3

The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace
1King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
4Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do:5As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
7Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8At this time some astrologerscame forward and denounced the Jews. 9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.12But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
13Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?15Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver usfrom Your Majesty’s hand. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
19Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
25He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

21 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 16 (21 Day Fast) January 21, 2014

The title of today’s reading is A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God. It talks about seeking one thing. During this time of seeking, it’s easy to focus on seeking things from God instead of just seeking God–to seek His hand and not His face. Think of the difference between approaching a king to kiss his hand and approaching a loving father to kiss his face. God is both our King and Father. He is capable of meeting your needs and answering your prayers. But He also loves you more deeply than you can ever know. When you seek His face, you end up in a much closer posture to Him. Pray today that you will seek God’s face and get closer to Him than you ever have before.

Psalm 27

Of David.
1The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lordis the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
 
2When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
 
4One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
 
6Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
 
7Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lordwill receive me.
11Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
 
13I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

20 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 15 (21 Day Fast) January 20, 2014

You’re starting the third and final week of your fast. If you’re fasting with a group, take time to reflect together and celebrate what God has begun. If you’ve been fasting alone, be sure to write down your experiences. Even though you may feel like you’re in a groove now, for many this final week will be harder than the others. Ask God to search you and begin to shine a light on all the dark corners of your heart. Ask Him to use this last week to refine you and cleanse you.

Psalm 51

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
5Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17My sacrifice, O God, isa broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
18May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

19 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Kidz Creek Parent Connection Jan. 19th

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19 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

Day 14 (21 Day Fast) January 19, 2014

Blessed are those who hunger… If you can relate to that, spend time meditating on this passage called the Beatitudes or Blessings. Make a point today to count your blessings. Keep a journal with you all day to write down the blessings that God brings to your mind. Pray to thank Him for the blessings, even the ones that come as a result of enduring hardships or trials.

Matthew 5:1-14

1Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them.
The Beatitudes
He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.