As we continued our “Faithful” chapel series, we looked together at Nehemiah 2:1-8, where we observed Nehemiah as the king’s cupbearer nervously approaching the king. We’ve probably all felt that kind of fear when delivering big news or making a large request to someone. But from Nehemiah we learn that when God calls us to something, He also provides the way.
In the text, Nehemiah provides us with three positive examples to follow when faced with a difficult circumstance:
- Dependent Prayer: Nehemiah practiced habitual prayer. He walked with God because he talked with God.
- Deliberate Plan: Before approaching the king, Nehemiah put in the work of developing a well-thought out plan.
- Directed Praise: In humility, Nehemiah gave the credit for his success to God.
When we serve an audience of One — the one true King — we don’t have to be afraid. In faith, we can take our concerns to God, trust Him to help us accomplish His plan with excellence, and then give Him the glory.
Join us as we walk through Nehemiah 2:1-8.
Dean Inserra, Lead Pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Florida, was the featured speaker for this year’s Fall Bible Conference. Dean themed this year’s conference “The Process,” focusing on 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:3. He challenged all of us to continue in Christian growth and maturity, highlighting clear markers that indicate if we are advancing through the process. There was an amazing moving of the Spirit in our midst as hundreds of students made decisions to grow in their walk with Christ, including many who accepted His free gift of salvation for the first time. You can listen to Dean’s powerful conference messages in our chapel archive.
Yesterday we began our 2019-20 chapel series in Nehemiah — “Faithful: A Journey Through the Book of Nehemiah.” Looking at Nehemiah 1:1-11, we discovered how Nehemiah is seeking to serve God and others. Specifically, we learn how Nehemiah:
- Realizes the situation (1:1-3) – Nehemiah shows genuine, ministerial concern for the people and the circumstances they are in.
- Repents of sin (1:4-7) – Nehemiah wept, mourned, and fasted for days in anguish over the sins of the people.
- Remembers God’s Word (1:8-10) – Nehemiah leaned into God’s promises, recognizing His faithfulness.
- Requests mercy (1:11) – In a position of power as a cupbearer to the king, Nehemiah humbly asked for God’s favor.
So, how can we apply this passage to our lives? I encourage you to consider the following questions, as I consider them for myself:
- Are we seeking to serve God and others?
- What is our reaction to trials? Do we go to God first?
- How do we pray?
- Do our prayers line up with God’s Word?
- Do we put more faith in “this man” of the world than in the great and awesome God?
Join us as we begin our journey through Nehemiah and discover what God wants us to “Remember.”
It was a joy to welcome our students back for our first chapel of the academic year, especially the more than 1,000 new students who have joined us this year. I am excited for what God is going to do in their 1,000 days on our campus. God has indeed been gracious to Cedarville University.
As we kicked off the new year, I took some time to catch the students up on what has been happening with construction on campus this summer and previewed the next phases of our campus master plan. Along with many new outstanding facilities on campus, we are at the beginning stages of launching a comprehensive fundraising campaign that includes student scholarships and a Global Outreach endowment that will make it possible for students to serve on short-term missions trips overseas. It is my heart’s desire that every student be able to take at least one Global Outreach trip during their 1,000 days at Cedarville, and this endowment will be a big step in making it possible.
I also introduced our goal this year to become a more prayerful campus. I want Cedarville to be known as a campus where prayer is a priority. Every Friday morning from 7-7:50 a.m., we are inviting the campus community to come together in prayer. We are enjoying a season of God’s blessing and success. Now is the time to double down in dependence on Him.
Finally, we looked ahead on our upcoming chapel series on the book of Nehemiah, “Faithful.” We will see how even when we are faithless, our God is faithful. We have a promise-keeping God who is ready to forgive and restore. I challenged the students – as I do myself and each of you – to seek Him as we start out this new academic year. I am praying for a revival on our campus like we have never seen before. Won’t you join me?
Watch yesterday’s chapel for more updates from campus, along with a preview of this year’s sermon series. Then, I hope you join us each week as we walk through Nehemiah to discover more about our faithful God.
In chapel Monday, we came to the final verses in the book of Ephesians, wrapping up our ID:in Christ series as Paul concludes his letter to the church in Ephesus. Often, we skip through these kinds of passages, but there is rich truth here if we stop to examine it.
First, we learn about a genuine friend, Tychicus (Eph. 6:21-22), whom Paul calls a faithful servant. Are we intentionally looking for and becoming a selfless, faithful friend like this? Are we faithful in completing the small tasks so God will entrust us with larger ones?
Finally, Paul concludes the letter the way he began it, by sending grace and peace to the brothers and sisters whom he loved so much (Eph. 6:23-24). No two words sum up the book of Ephesians better than “grace” and “peace,” for it is only through the grace of Jesus Christ that we will ever experience true peace with God. Our response should be to love God with a love that is incorruptible.
As we concluded the ID: in Christ series, I challenged our students — and each of you as well — to remember that what describes us does not define us. Our identity lies only in the work of Jesus Christ. We are chosen, adopted, and redeemed. Never forget that you are loved by God for all eternity and that your identity is found in Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Last Friday in chapel we welcomed hundreds of guests for our final CU Friday of the academic year. As we near the conclusion of our ID: in Christ series, we came to Ephesians 6:10-20. While volumes have been written on this powerful passage, we only had time to skim the surface.
The Apostle Paul begins with the presupposition that there are evil, supernatural forces at work in the world. It was true in his day and is still true today, even though our society may not want to believe it. The devil — the prince of darkness, the father of lies — is actively roaming, seeking to destroy us. The Christian life is a battleground, not a playground. We battle against the evil around us and the sin nature within us.
But the good news is this: The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in those who follow Him. In Christ, we are equipped to stand against evil. Part of being in genuine Christian community — whether at Cedarville University or your local church — means we lock arms together and do battle.
So, how do we live a victorious Christian life amid the evil around us? We:
- Stand against evil in Christ (10-14a)
- Put on the armor of God (14-17)
- Pray always in the Spirit (18-20)
Watch as we discover that, in Christ, we can live in victory.
Yesterday we returned to our ID: in Christ series in chapel, arriving at the last chapter in the book of Ephesians. Ephesians 6:1-9 continues the focus we started last week around relationships within households. Last week we explored the responsibilities for husbands and wives in a Christ-honoring relationship. Yesterday, we studied Paul’s instructions to parents and children and masters and slaves. In all of these relationships, God calls us to faithfully obey and exercise human authority in ways that glorify God.
- Children obey and honor your parents.
- Parents do not provoke but train your children.
- Slaves obey and respect their masters.
- Masters do not threaten and treat their slaves well.
Join the Cedarville University family for this week’s sermon, “ID: We are Submissive in Christ.”
Today we were honored to welcome more than 200 members of next year’s incoming freshman class and their families to chapel as part of their All-Access orientation visit.
We continued in our ID: in Christ series, coming to Ephesians 5:22-33 where we discover God’s perfect design for marriage. This is a difficult passage for some, and it’s no coincidence that it follows one about being filled with the Spirit. It is only through the Spirit that we can live out God’s plan for a Christian marriage. Ultimately, our earthly marriages should reflect the greatest love story ever written — the love that Jesus Christ has for His bride, the Church.
Join us as we explore how marriage represents the beautiful mystery of the Gospel.
Dove Award-nominated singer and songwriter Andrew Peterson blessed us with two days of inspiring messages and music on February 12-13, which reminded us that our brokenness is the place where God pours out His grace. Andrew’s rendition of Is He Worthy?, which is based on the throne room vision of Revelation 5, was a powerful reminder that Jesus alone is worthy to rule and rescue His people. We are very grateful for Andrew’s ministry to Cedarville University. To watch both of his messages in full, visit the chapel archive.
This week on President’s Day, we had the privilege of welcoming more than 800 guests to CU Monday. At each visit event, our goal is to “lift the hood” for prospective students and their parents to be able to experience what Cedarville University is really like, including chapel.
So Monday, as is our pattern each week, we returned to our Identity: in Christ series and looked together at Ephesians 5:15-21. In this section, the Apostle Paul begins another transition. He has already informed us of our identity — who we are in Christ — and instructed us on the things we should do, which are the will of God for our lives.
Now, he warns us to look carefully at how we walk, or live, not as unwise but as wise. Paul encourages us to choose every day to walk in wisdom, filled with the spirit. We should daily walk in a way that shows that we are indeed “in Christ.”
Join us as we continue our walk through Ephesians.