Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Hidden Figures: Using Your God-given Talents

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Day 1: Read Ephesians 2:14. Why is prejudice such a barrier builder to relationships? Why is Jesus so passionate to make the two one?  

Day 2: Read Ephesians 2:13. Where have you seen Jesus at work across “cultural barriers”? What “cultural barriers” might Jesus want to make a bridge in your life?

Day 3: Read Ephesians 2:17-18. Jesus gets us there together or we don’t get there at all. How does knowing we don’t get there by effort, we get there by Jesus, motivating us to reach out to others? What’s holding you back from reaching out for Jesus?

Day 4: Read Ephesians 2:15-16. The color of Christ’s blood that paid for our sins is the same no matter what. Christ’s blood is our common bond. What “differences” do you need to see differently?

Day 5: Read Ephesians 2:21-22. God gave you talents to join people together in Christ. How have you used them? Are you using them? Will you use them in the week ahead?

Day 6: Read Ephesians 2:14. No matter the obstacles, run the race. Hidden Figures reminds us to overcome the obstacles before us because of the greater good. Paul, this week in Ephesians, has challenged us to overcome the obstacles that divide us, to be part of how Jesus desires to make us all one. As you look back over the past week, what hidden prejudices have been revealed? What hidden possibilities to be part of reaching people for Jesus have been revealed?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


Beauty And The Beast: Love’s Resurrection Power

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“What if all the great stories that have ever moved you, brought you joy or tears – what if they are telling you something about the true Story into which you were born, the Epic into which you have been cast?” – John Eldredge, Epic: The Story God is Telling

Day 1: Read 2 Corinthians 15:14. Beauty and the Beast speaks of the growing power of compelled love. What pulls you to live for yourself? How do you know Christ’s love compels you to live for God? For others?

Day 2: Read 2 Corinthians 5:15. Belle’s sacrifice to set her father free lets the Beast see that true love involves sacrifice. Along with Jesus, where have you seen examples of sacrificial love? How can you be an example of sacrificial love to “the beasts” in your life?

Day 3: Read 2 Corinthians 5:16. Belle’s sacrifice for her father moves the Beast to risk his life to save her, and later to risk his life never changing, by letting her go free. Sometimes love means letting go. Where might God’s love be calling you to let go? How do Paul’s words in this verse describe a love that let's go in his day and our day?

Day 4: Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Belle’s gift of love brings transformation to the Beast and to his enslaved servants. How have you seen love change someone? How has God’s love changed you?

Day 5: Read 2 Corinthians 5:20. How does the image of ambassador describe what God wants you to be and to do each day?

Day 6: Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. How does Paul answer the question – “who could ever learn to love a beast?” Where do you find it easy to love the beast? Challenging?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book Epic: The Story God is Telling by John Eldredge.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


Ruth - When To Work And Wait For God’s Will


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Day 1: Read Ruth 3:1-2.  Since their arrival in Bethlehem, Ruth has been the one taking the initiative. Naomi (bitter and empty at the end of Chapter 1) stays home throughout all of Chapter 2. Why does she start taking the initiative now in the story? What moves you to care for others?

Day 2: Read Ruth 3:3-8. Do you risk like Ruth in your obedience to God, or are you tempted to hold back? What might be becoming a holy risk taker, like Ruth, look like in your life?

Day 3: Read Ruth 3:9-10. Ruth changes Naomi’s plan. Why do you think Ruth jumped in with a marriage proposal instead of waiting on Boaz like Naomi advised? Where is God calling you to sacrifice to benefit another?

Day 4: Read Ruth 3:11-13. How does the celebration of Ruth’s character encourage you to be faithful in the quiet, small, everyday moments of life?

Day 5: Read Ruth 3:14-15. How is Boaz fulfilling Ruth’s desire by providing food for Naomi? How has God blessed you this week so that you can bless others? Who has God used this week to bless you? Have you given God and that person thanks yet?

Day 6: Read Ruth 3:16-18. How is waiting challenging for Ruth and Naomi? What helps you to get through times of waiting? Throughout this story of waiting, Ruth takes the initiative. If you are in a season of waiting, what action do you need to take? What action do you need to avoid?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the books The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Custis James and A Loving Life in a World of Broken Relationships by Paul Miller.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


Ruth: Stepping Into God’s Provision

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Day 1: Read Ruth 2:2-3. In Brazil, they use the term Jesusidencia. (zhaysoos-adencia), a combination of the words Jesus and coincidence. They use it to emphasize the idea that Jesus is really the One behind what we would typically consider a random event. It's not random, because He's in control. What Jesusidencia does Ruth experience? What has been your Jesusidencia moment in your life the past week? Who did you share your Jesusidencia moment with?

Day 2: Read Ruth 2:5-9, 15-16. When you take the first step, you also open the door to God bringing the right people into your life. How does Ruth step into this Jesusidencia? How is God’s love powerfully at work in her labor? His grace in her growth? What step is God inviting or challenging you to step out in love?

Day 3: Read Ruth 2:10. Commentator Warren Wiersbe writes, If our circumstances change for the better, but we remain the same, then we will become worse. God's purpose in providence is not to make us comfortable, but to make us conformable...conformable to the image of his Son.” As your life has changed in the past year, how is God shaping you to the image of Jesus?

Day 4: Read Ruth 2:13. When we go through difficult times we have a habit of asking, "Why me?" When we go through blessings, we should also remember to ask, "Why me?" It helps us to remain humbly grateful for all God has done. As you consider your life in the past 24 hours, where are you humbly grateful?

Day 5: Read Ruth 2:11-12. Why is Boaz so moved by Ruth’s work? Who has moved you by his or her work? Who might say they are closer to God because they saw God’s love at work in and through your life?

Day 6: Read Ruth 2:17 and 2.23. God wants you to develop the quality of consistent persistence. You live each day to the best of your ability, day-after-day-after-day, and you stay with it till the very end. The result for Ruth is God’s blessing. Her faithful expression of God’s love brings God’s blessing and care. How have you seen the value of consistent persistence at work in your life? His love producing your labor to bless others as Ruth blesses Naomi?

 You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the books The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Custis James and A Loving Life in a World of Broken Relationships by Paul Miller.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


Ruth - The Journey From Bad To Better

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Day 1: Read Ruth 1:1-5. What does your name mean? If you were to give yourself a name for this season in your life, what name would you give yourself? What might be a new name God wants to give you as you move from bad to better?

Day 2: Read Ruth 1:7. When has God used suffering in your life to get you on the road from bad to better? What lessons of endurance did you (are you) learn(ing) along that road? What steps do you need to get back on, or continue, along the road that brings you closer to God?

Day 3: Read Ruth 1:9-10. Why are some friendships strengthened or weakened by being on the road from bad to better? What friend has stood by you in tough times? (Thank God for him or her!) What friend needs you to stand by them? What will you do to help? (Start with prayer!)

Day 4: Read Ruth 1:16-17. Ruth makes six commitments to Naomi in these verses. She locks herself into a relationship of unconditional love towards Naomi. Besides God, who shows you such unconditional love? Why? Who do you show such unconditional love towards? Why?

Day 5: Read Ruth 1:20-21. Is there (or has there been) an area of your life where you have let bitterness take root? How does the story of Naomi and Ruth show God might have a bigger plan in mind than bitterness?

Day 6: Read Ruth 1:22. A seed of hope is planted in this verse. After a time of famine and tragedy, a harvest has begun. As you look at your life today, what signs do you see of God moving you along a better road in life? Yesterday we looked at bitterness, today what blessings do you see God beginning to work in your life?

 You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Custis James.  You can also learn more about Biblical names from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS


What To Do With Your Freedom - Live Free Or Die

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We begin our Complete Love (Summer) journey with 1 John 4:16-17. We will be looking forward this summer to scripture, experiencing activities together (PDF), and improving our facilities .  Future series will be focused on: Love God (Fall), Love Your Family (Winter), and Love Your Neighbor (Spring).

Day 1: Read Galatians 5:1. When you were first on your own, what did "freedom" mean to you? Free to do what? Free from what? How do you need Christ to "liberate you into freedom" in your spiritual growth?

Day 2: Read Romans 6:14. What kind of legalisms do Christians get caught up in? What motivates you to live a good life?

Day 3: Read James 1:23-24. What do you use a mirror for during the day? How is the Bible like a mirror for us? As you look into the mirror of the law, what do you see about yourself? As you look into the eyes of Jesus, what do you see about yourself?

Day 4: Read Romans 6:20-22. “Everybody’s gotta serve somebody.” What’s the difference in your life between being a slave to sin and being a slave to God? If we realize sin is no longer our master, how is your life different?

Day 5: Read Romans 6:23. If you try to earn your relationship with God, you are doomed. Life with God is a gift from God. It’s very important that we understand that we live by grace. How do Paul’s words in this verse give you comfort and hope? Take time today to thank God for His incredible gift.

Day 6: Read John 14:6. How does Jesus describe the great path of freedom in this verse? Since this is the only way to freedom, why do we stray off this path? How have you grown in your relationship with Jesus in the past year? What steps in freedom can you take in the week ahead?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS


From ‘Create For Community’ To ‘Complete Love’

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We begin our Complete Love (Summer) journey with 1 John 4:16-17. We will be looking forward this summer to scripture, experiencing activities together (PDF), and improving our facilities .  Future series will be focused on: Love God (Fall), Love Your Family (Winter), and Love Your Neighbor (Spring).

For this week’s GPS time, we emphasize “Pray the Six Prayers” from our Create for Community Prayer book earlier this year. Take time to read the passage, pray the prayer for the day and any other areas of life God leads you to pray. One of the great blessings of our journey of generosity this past year was the daily time in prayer.

Day 1: Read 1 John 4:16-17. Lord, help me to love and be led by God’s Word.

Day 2: Read 1 John 4:19. Lord, help me to receive God’s generous love.

Day 3: Read 1 John 4:10. Lord, help me to live sacrificially to love and serve others.

Day 4: Read 1 John 4:16. Lord, help me to love and bless my community.

Day 5: Read 1 John 4:11-12. Lord, help me to love my neighbor.

Day 6: Read 1 John 4:16-17. Lord, help me to hope in God for my future and our church’s future.

 You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS


Raising The Value Of Fathers

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NOTE: The sermons this week cover Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday services (June 15-18, 2017) and the G.P.S. is now order by Days since the last sermon you heard.  So, if  you go to Thursday service you start Day 1 on Friday.  If you go to Saturday service you start your Day 1 on Sunday.  And guess what?  If you go to Sunday service you start your Day 1 on Monday!  Pretty simple right?!?

Day 1: Read Ephesians 6:4. What three words or phrases would you use to describe your Dad? How do those words or phrases influence your understanding of your Heavenly Father?

Day 2: Read Luke 15:20b, 22-24. What fills your child’s or friend’s love bucket? What sacrifice might you need to make to have that bucket overflow?  

Day 3: Read Luke 15:12-14, 31-32. How does the father show both love and discipline with both of his sons? How do you see God showing both love and discipline in your life? Why are both needed and valuable in your life?

Day 4: Read Proverbs 22:15. How do you know when discipline is needed in a child’s life? In your life? What is the difference for you between “right size” discipline and wrong-size discipline?

Day 5: Read Luke 15:17. Who has been a positive example of the Christian faith in your life? What lessons did he or she teach you? What example are you giving to your family? To your friends? To your co-workers?

Day 6: Read Psalm 68:5. Where do you need to remember God’s fatherly love and care in your life today? Where can you bring that love and care of your Heavenly Father into someone else’s life today?

You can GO DEEPER this week by:

 You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS


All-in God! All-in People?

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This week we are completely focused on Matthew 28:19-20.

NOTE: As we transition to the summer we are adding Thursday night services in addition to our existing Saturday night and Sunday services.  So during the summer the GPS will be published on Thursday and can be used the 6 days after you attend worship as part of your daily devotional time.

Monday (Day 1): Pronounce it! Read Matthew 28:19-20 aloud more than once. How does emphasizing different words change the focus?

Tuesday (Day 2): Picture it! Imagine how you would feel in the situation described in Psalm 1. What would you do and say?

Wednesday (Day 3): Probe it! (SPACEPETS) In Matthew 28:19-20, does it suggest a:

  • Sin to confess?
  • Promise to claim?
  • Attitude to change?
  • Command to obey?
  • Example to follow?
  • Prayer to pray?
  • Error to avoid?
  • Truth to believe?
  • Something to praise God for?

Thursday (Day 4): Paraphrase it! Put Matthew 28:19-20 into you own words. How do translations vary (e.g., word-for-word vs. paraphrase)?

Friday (Day 5): Pray it! Read and pray Matthew 28:19-20 aloud to God. What fresh insights do you receive?

Saturday (Day 6): Personalize it! Insert your name in place of any first-person pronouns in Matthew 28:19-20. What additional insights do you get?

You can GO DEEPER this week by:

 You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS


What The Church Means For Life Today

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Pastor Burkey outlined three images to visualize "What the Church Means for Life Today":

  1. Wind & Fire
  2. One Body 
  3. Living Water 

Monday: Read Acts 2:12. When does the church amaze you showing its beauty? When does the church perplex you showing itself as a beast? How might God use you to bring out more “beauty” than “beast” in our church?

Tuesday: Read Acts 2:17, 21. Where have you seen God’s power working in the lives of people of all ages? How do you sense the Holy Spirit being poured out in your life and in our life together as Christ Lutheran Church?

Wednesday: Read 1 Corinthians 12:12. If the church is the body of Christ, who does Christ Lutheran Church look like to you? Why?

Thursday: Read 1 Corinthians 12:7. Do you know your spiritual gifts? (If not, go to this online tool version of the ELCA Spiritual Gifts assessment). If you know your gifts, how are you using them at this point in your life?

Friday: Read John 7:37. Where do you see our community “thirsting for God”? Where do you find yourself “thirsting for God”?

Saturday: Read John 7:38-39. Where do you see the Holy Spirit “making waves”? Where is the Holy Spirit inviting you to join Him in making the church beautiful? What holds you back from joining the Holy Spirit’s work? What draws you to the amazing work God wants to do through you and through us as Christ Lutheran Church Ministries?

You can GO DEEPER this week by:

 You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS