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30 Second Theology week 2

30 Second Theology_blog

“What happens here stays here” is a repeated phrase that advertising has made famous. While most of the time it’s said in fun, the fact is all of us have acted like if people didn’t know or wouldn’t find out about it, I could do something and it wouldn’t have any impact or consequence. When I leave, whatever I did would just stay there. Sounds good. It just doesn’t work that way.

The truth is concealment cannot cancel consequence. It never does. It didn’t work for Adam and Eve. It didn’t work for King David, in spite of his extravagant attempts to hide his sin. The bible assures us, “you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). That happened with David and there were consequences to his action that unfortunately an entire nation suffered.

While David might not be the model when it comes to concealing sin, he did set the example for us when it comes to confessing sin. After being confronted, David eventually takes responsibility for his sin and comes clean with God. Just a reminder: The pain of your sin being exposed isn’t as great as the damage unconfessed sin causes in your relationship with God. While we’re more concerned with getting caught, God loves us and is more concerned about our relationship with him.

If you missed this message, you can view it below or at cedarridgecc.com.

30 Second Theology week one

We launched a new series this past weekend called, 30 Second Theology. It’s about the messages we receive from commercials and advertising. While we may not overtly believe those messages, our lifestyles sometimes make it look like we do.

“Obey your Thirst” has been around for about 20 years marketing the soft drink, Sprite. The message implied is that one’s thirst, hunger or passion always has to be fulfilled. We can’t help but obey our instincts; it’s human nature and inevitable.

Genesis 25 records the story of Esau, whose life reveals the fallacy of the “obey your thirst” mentality. Esau came in from the outdoors, maybe from a long hunt, and was famished. He needed to eat, now! His twin brother had stew on the stove (or the campfire) and they made a deal; Esau’s birthright for a bowl of Jacob’s stew. Esau gave up future finances, family authority and God’s blessing for an appetite that would return in just a few hours. Who would do something like that? Well, we all would if the right appetite comes along. The choice is, you can cave in to an appetite that will keep coming back OR when those appetites come, you can consider what future is at stake and refrain. Don’t give up your preferred future to obey a simply thirst today.

If you missed this message, you can view it below or at cedarridgecc.com.

Outliers Conlusion

Outliers

We concluded our Outliers series from the book of 1 Peter last Sunday. We’ve been answering the question: How do followers of Jesus respond to a culture where we are increasing becoming the minority? In week four we talked about the challenge of being prepared and prayerful.

Over and over again, Peter warns his readers to be prepared for the hostility that will come. “So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too” (1 Peter 4:1 NLT). Unfortunately, there have been many people who have ascribed to another gospel than the one the bible speaks of where Christians actually struggle. It’s been termed Moral Therapeutic Deism. It’s defined as worshiping a creator god who blesses people who are good, nice and fair and helps believers be happy and feel good about oneself. Nothing about suffering or pain. God’s purpose is only to be here for your convenience and to make life better.

Not only does Peter refute that. He adds that there is blessing when we’re insulted (1 Peter 4:14). We should be glad when we suffer because it partners us with Christ (1 Peter 4:13). Why would we expect anything else?

You can look around at the increasingly hostile culture around us and cry “foul” and bemoan the church is losing ground. Or like Ed Stetzer, you can see, “the church isn’t dying off. It is just being more clearly defined.” And that’s not a bad thing.

If you missed week 4 or any of the messages from our Outliers series, you can view below or at cedarridgecc.com.

Marriage by Design – Week 3

marriage by design

If there is an area in which our culture has messed up God’s design for marriage, it would have to do with the permanency of marriage. And we have suffered because of it. Emotional pain, Insecurity of children and lower financial status are just a few of the byproducts of divorce.

Marriage was designed by God to be a permanent relationship. According to Jesus, it is God who does the joining of a husband and wife. “What God has joined together…” (Mark 10:9a). While the bride and groom have a significant role in the marriage ceremony, evidently God is the main player. Jesus goes on and says, “…let no one separate” (Mark 10:9b). In other words, don’t try to un-one what God has made one. A marriage begins when God joins two people together. A marriage survives when two people refuse to give up. Let’s recommit to building strong covenantal marriages where the good of the relationship takes precedence over the immediate needs of the individual.

If you missed the message last weekend from our series, Marriage by Design, you can view it below or at cedarridgecc.com.

Marriage by Design – Week 2

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife…” (Genesis 2:24). It’s the “leave and cleave” principle (from the KJV). It means that when two people get married there is to be a shift in family loyalty from the family-of-origin to our new immediate family. But the principle extends far beyond just the family in which we grew up. I stated it this way last weekend in the message: Marriage was designed in a way that your spouse would be your principle earthly relationship. When you marry your spouse, that relationship must supersede all others. Your spouse must become the number one priority in your life. Your spouse is to be the primary person in your life; more important than anything else. No other human being should get more of your love, energy, industry and commitment than your spouse.

If you missed the message last weekend from our series, Marriage by Design, you can view it here or at cedarridgecc.com.

Our Story Final

Our Story blog

We concluded our series on the book of Acts we called, Our Story, this past Sunday by attempting to fill in some of the gap between Acts chapter 28 and the church today. With almost two thousand years separating us, it can seem like a huge disconnect. But rest assured there have been faithful followers who have been passing on the torch of faith. We told stories of some of those “in-between” people on Sunday and had it not been for them, we might not be believers today. If you could somehow trace your spiritual lineage, it’s possible that one of the people we talked about would show up in your spiritual family tree.

Of course, the name itself, Our Story, requires some ownership. You’re a part of the church of Jesus Christ because of a line of people who have continued to share the gospel with others. Will you show up in the spiritual lineage of followers to come. Or does the story stop with you?

If you missed last weekend’s message from Our Story, you can watch it here.

Our Story Week 18

Our Story blog

Disciples take every opportunity to share their story. That’s what Paul did according to Acts 22. A rioting mob in Jerusalem wanted to kill the Apostle. After being rescued by Romans soldiers with impeccable timing, Paul requested to speak to the crowd. He stepped up on a make-shift platform and proceeded to tell his story; his testimony of how life had changed since he had come to faith in Jesus.

That’s just what disciples do. They take every opportunity to share their story. Your story is unique. it’s not better than anyone else’s. Nor is someone else’s better than yours. it’s your unique story of the transformation you’ve experienced since following Jesus. Your story is needed. There is someone like you or like you used to be and your story is just what they need to hear. Because of that your story is powerful. It can change someone’s eternal destiny. But your story has to be shared. It’s not enough to live out the gospel. As important as that is, to make the gospel known, at some point we have to use words.

So let me ask you – have you shared your story recently? Have you ever shared your story? Last Sunday, I asked you to, sometime this week, write out your story and then pray for an opportunity to share it. That is the kind of prayer God loves to answer. Let me know what happens.

If you missed last weekend’s message from Our Story, you can watch it or share it here.

Our Story Week 15

Our Story blog

The early church wasn’t afraid to engage the culture around it even when that culture was unfriendly to its biblical worldview. In fact, unfriendly turned hostile was more the norm in the first century. Athens was a junkyard of pagan idols. Sexual immorality in the Roman world would make Las Vegas blush. Thought this licentious climate “greatly distressed” the Apostle Paul, he wasn’t afraid to engage that culture. He “reasoned” with them, using their language and quoting their poets. Paul built bridges to infiltrate the culture around him.

Unfortunately too many Christians are more interested in building forts to protect themselves and their values from the culture around them. The problem with that is that God’s plan for redeeming the evils of our world are His people contaminating it with the good news of a kingdom not of this world. Being a follower of Jesus isn’t about extracting ourselves from the culture for the sakes of our values. It’s about engaging the culture for the sake of bringing our values into it.

So, are you going to build a fort? Or are you going to build a bridge?

If you missed this message out of Acts 17 from Our Story, you can watch it here or at cedarridgecc.com.

Our Story Week 14

Our Story blog

Disciples are known for giving up something they personally value for something of God they value more. That was certainly the case for Paul and Silas in Acts 16. Though they had been miraculously freed from their prison cell, they chose not to escape. They voluntarily relinquished their freedom for something they valued more. Though they were Roman citizens guaranteed due process, they deliberately withheld that information and took a beating (and subsequent imprisonment). They relinquished their comfort and rights for something they valued more. What was it that they valued more than their personal comfort and individual liberty? Being obedient to Jesus by being his witnesses. They sacrificed greatly for the privilege of sharing the good news with someone who desperately need to hear it; the very same person who was holding them captive. That Philippian jailer would go on to believe in Jesus and he and his entire house would be baptized!

Wealthy businessman and renowned athlete turned missionary C.T. Studd said, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” Paul and Silas would echo that. C.T. Studd is also known for this quote which really describes his heart, “Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell.” It’s no surprise that C.T. Studd died on the African mission field known for his sacrifice. Disciples are known for giving up something they personally value for something of God they value more. What are you known for?

If you missed this message out of Acts 16 from Our Story, you can watch it here or at cedarridgecc.com.

Easter Sunday

What ignited the early church was not the miracles of Jesus, or the teachings of Jesus, or even the righteousness of Jesus. It was his resurrection. They were fueled by what they had witnessed – a resurrected Lord. And so that became the central message of the early church. Peter spoke it to a crowd at Pentecost, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it” (Acts 2:32). And it’s that very message that distinguishes the church from every other religious movement in the world. Like every other spiritual leader, Jesus died and was buried. But unlike the others, Jesus was not contained to the grave. He conquered death as a confirmation that he is the Son of God and that he is able to forgive the sins of those who believe in him.

So, what do you believe about the resurrection of Jesus? With the factual information we have, believing in the resurrection is not an extraordinary leap. The more difficult question is – has the resurrection moved you to action? The bible tells us that even the demons believe. In other words, intellectual assent is not enough. Movement is required. It’s not enough to hear the story of the resurrection and give it a polite golf clap. Sincere belief in the resurrection necessitates action.

Don’t let this Easter pass by as just another excuse for a family dinner and a new outfit. Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, make sure the resurrection has propelled you into taking action.

Don’t know where to start? It’s not too late to come work right alongside of us at Sunset Bible Camp this Saturday. Call the church office for details. Let the resurrection move you!

If you missed the message from Easter, you can watch it here or at cedarridgecc.com.

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