Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Prayer. Not Despair.

Image-from-rawpixel-id-404533-jpegImage by rawpixel.com

Day 1: Read Matthew 7:7. Those verbs — ask, seek, knock — can be translated from the original Greek as "Keep on asking; keep on seeking; keep on knocking". It's not a one time request. It's a continual prayer.  What prayers do you find yourself persistently praying? What leads you to stop praying about something? What leads you to constantly pray for something?

Day 2: Read Luke 18:38-39. I don't know how much Bartimaeus knew about Jesus...what stories he had heard...but when Jesus came his way he made up his mind that he would not let this opportunity slip away. He immediately began to call on the name of Jesus, and he continued to call on the name of Jesus until Jesus heard him. When do you take opportunity to pray for God? Is there a scheduled time? A continual conversation? Last resort or first option? Why?

Day 3: Read Genesis 24:12-14. How does Abraham’s servant give details in his prayer? Why is he so specific? When do you find yourself praying in generalities to God? In detail? How might your prayers today have greater detail?

Day 4: Read Luke 18:41. Picture Jesus asking you, “What do you want me to do for you?” Spend some time pondering your answer. Be specific, not general. Then turn that answer into your prayer.

Day 5: Read Philippians 4:6. The greatest lesson I have learned in prayer is to pray God’s Word. Take time this day to personalize this verse into your prayer. Confess your anxieties and turn them over to God. Be specific in requests and petitions --  humble and detailed in your thanksgiving. Then as you turn all this over to God, ask for His peace, His presence and plan at work in your life.

Day 6: Read 1 Peter 5:7. I like that Peter used the word cast. It means to throwThat's a good idea. Intellectually toss your worries as far away from your mind as you can. Drop them into the sea of God's mercy and tender loving care. Perhaps you have 100 things to worry about right now. At least. 100 difficult situations — some of them are nipping at your heels, and maybe some of them have you by the throat. One by one, as these cares present themselves to you, you need to make a spiritual decision to cast them as far as you can into God's direction — He will take care of them for you, because he has promised to take care of you.


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the books: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.  and A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Contagious Calm

Ben-white-148435-unsplashPhoto by Ben White on Unsplash

We continue in our walk to learn to be C.A.L.M. (last week's message) -

  • Celebrate God’s goodness (Philippians 4:4)
  • Ask God for help (Philippians 4:6)
  • Leave our concerns with God (Philippians 4:6)
  • Meditate on good things (Philippians 4:8)

Day 1: Read Philippians 4:5. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “no gentleness” to 10 being “gentleness evident to all”, how would you rate your contagious calm the last 24 hours? With family? While driving? When the lawn mower wouldn’t start? When it finally did? Other?

Day 2: Read Proverbs 15:1. The volume and tone of your words can stir people up or calm them down. How have you noticed the impact of the volume and tone of words in what someone has said to you? In what you said to someone else?

Day 3: Read Philippians 4:5. You are not alone. You may feel alone. You may think you are alone. But there is never a moment in which you face life without help. God is near. God repeatedly pledges His proverbial presence to His people. Where have you sensed God being near in the past 24 hours? Where do you need to remind yourself God is near?

Day 4: Read Psalm 118:6-7. When are you tempted to fear people more or the things of this world than remember your faith in God? As you go throughout the day, pray this short prayer of assurance: “The LORD is with me!”

Day 5: Read Philippians 4:5. God asks you today, “Do you trust Me?” Contagious calm flows from a trusting relationship with Him and living with an awareness of His presence. How would you answer God’s question today, “Do you trust Me?”

Day 6: Read Psalm 118:1. Not “His love endures for a moment”, or “His love was present a long time ago”, not “His love present when everything is easy”. You can trust God because He is good, and His love endures forever. Write down five ways you have seen His goodness and experienced His enduring love this week.

  1. _______________________________________
  2. _______________________________________
  3. _______________________________________
  4. _______________________________________
  5. _______________________________________

 


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Rejoice Always

Cynthia-magana-110471-unsplash

Photo by Cynthia Magana on Unsplash

Learn to stay C.A.L.M. -

  • Celebrate God’s goodness (Philippians 4:4)
  • Ask God for help (Philippians 4:6)
  • Leave our concerns with God (Philippians 4:6)
  • Meditate on good things (Philippians 4:8)

Day 1: Read Isaiah 26:3. Anxiety spikes when we seek to be in control of our own lives. To rejoice always, we must trust that God is in control in a world out of control. Where does life feel out of control today? Spend some time in prayer turning any anxiety into a prayer to trust God and to receive His peace.

Day 2: Read Matthew 6:25-27.  A Swedish proverb says, "Worry often gives small things a big shadow." When we worry, we tend to over-emphasize the significance of less-than-significant things. Take a look at your worries. Write them down. Where are they casting a big shadow? How might you follow Jesus’ advice today to look at how God cares for a part of His creation as a reminder that He cares for you?

Day 3: Read Matthew 6:32-33. The Hawaiian word for anxiety means “no breath”. The Latin word for anxiety means “to choke” or “to squeeze”. What’s choking your life right now? What are you chasing that’s squeezing you tight and leaving you anxious? Why are you running after things God already knows you need? Where do you need to adjust your priorities to seek God’s Kingdom first?

Day 4: Read Matthew 6:34. I love this verse. You have enough going on today, you don’t need to worry or be anxious about tomorrow. Where have you seen God at work in your day for the past 24 hours? Where do you need to see Him at work in your life right now?

Day 5: Read Philippians 4:4. To rejoice is to return to the source of your joy. What is the source of your joy? How are you doing at returning to that source each day? What keeps you from rejoicing always?  What helps you to rejoice always?

Day 6: Read Philippians 4:5. The secret to joy is that the Lord is near. That means He’s coming back one day to take us to heaven. That also means He’s here with you right now. Where do you need to be reminded that the Lord is near? As you look back at the past week, how are you doing in rejoicing always? All the time? Most of the time? Once in a while? Today in prayer return to the source of your joy – Jesus. Share your worries and anxieties, your hopes and your dreams, most of all let Him share His great love for you.


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Growing Disciples

Jeremy-thomas-75753-unsplashPhoto by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Day 1: Read 2 Peter 3:18. In the past 12 months, how have you grown in your prayer life? Blessing others? Making your mark by serving others? What have your answers to the first three questions taught you about Complete Love?

Day 2: Read Philippians 4:6. Paul says do not be anxious about anything. What anxieties do you tend to hold tightly? From what Paul writes, what might help you let go of your anxiety?

Day 3: Read Galatians 5:22-23. When you think of the fruit of the Spirit, what comes to mind? Why? Take some time today to pray the excerpt from John Stott’s prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Day 4: Read John 15:5. When do your spiritual habits move from “routine” to “rut-ine”? What helps get you out of the rut or dry places in your spiritual life? How does God’s Word help you to grow on a daily basis and to live life each day?

Day 5: Read Luke 24:44-45. What Bible verses do you think Jesus used to explain who He is to the disciples? What Bible verses are guiding lights for your faith?

Day 6: Read 2 Peter 3:18. Who is discipling you? Whom are you discipling?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Make A Memory (Father's Day 2018)

Mike-marquez-573095-unsplashPhoto by Mike Marquez on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Deuteronomy 6:4-5. What example of following God did you experience growing up? What example of following God are you passing on to family and friends?

Day 2: Read Deuteronomy 6:6. What Bible verses are anchored in your heart? How did they get anchored there? Is there a Bible verse you need to add today to anchor your heart for the challenges you face and the memories you make?

Day 3: Read Deuteronomy 6:7. Moses reminds us that God’s Word is active in all of life, and that all of life is a teaching moment. Where have you learned some unexpected lessons about God and life in the past week?

Day 4: Read Deuteronomy 6:8-9. The movie War Room features a room with visual reminders to guide prayer. What are some visual reminders in your home, office, or car that remind you of who God is, what God has done, and what God desires to do in your life? Where might you need to add a visual reminder?

Day 5: Read Deuteronomy 6:1-3. Faith development in life is not automatic, it is acquired. What intentional plan are you using to grow in your faith? (Bible reading, GPS?) What intentional plan are you pursuing to develop the faith of the next generation?

Day 6: Read Deuteronomy 6:0-12. What seeds of faith are taking root in your life so that you do not forget all that God has done for you? As you look back over the last week, month, year, decade, how has God been at work in you that you do not want to forget and that you want others to remember?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Overflow - The Christian Brand

Ben-white-128604-unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Day 1: Read 2 Corinthians 4:13. Think of five beliefs you have that help clarify your faith in Jesus. How do such beliefs give you assurance in turbulent times?

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

Day 2: Read 2 Corinthians 4:13-14. One reason we're sometimes reluctant to witness is that we don't feel completely confident in our knowledge of the basics of our beliefs. Look at your life with God and what it was or what it might have been without Him. Share your story of the difference Jesus has made in your life and can make in someone else’s life too. If you don’t have anyone to share your story with, pray for God to provide the opportunity to tell someone about Jesus!

Day 3: Read 2 Corinthians 4:15. When have you witnessed something done that has led you to thank God and tell others about the overflow of His goodness? When have you done something that has led others to thank God and tell of His name?

Day 4: Read Psalm 130:7-8. Full Redemption – Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that paid for your life, for my life, for all lives, is the greatest act of suffering that leads us to give God glory. And yet, the end of the story is not the cross, but the empty tomb. What does the cross of Jesus mean to you? Why is it important to remember the empty tomb as well?

Day 5: Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-17. Everything we deal with day in and day out tempts us to focus on the temporary: money problems, health problems, relationship problems, and so on. But if we can look beyond these things, and focus instead on the presence of God, we can experience the renovating work of His Spirit. What causes you to lose heart? What helps keep your heart grounded in God during tough times? How can you share such solid hope with others?

Day 6: Read 2 Corinthians 4:18-5:1. Never underestimate the power of sharing Jesus’ love in your works and words with others. How has Jesus’ love been shared with you by somebody’s works or words? Whom might Jesus be calling you to share His with love through your works and words?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: UnChristian - What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity … and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Treasure In Jars Of Clay

Quino-al-101314-unsplash

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Day 1: Read 2 Corinthians 4:7. God is the source of our treasure. We think life consists of accumulating the stuff; we think the answer to fulfillment is somewhere out there. But it's already in your possession. When does stuff get in the way of following your Savior? Where do you find yourself more driven by greed than grace?

Day 2: Read 2 Corinthians 4:5-6. The light is not the outside jar of clay, but the glory of Jesus shining through. Think of a challenge or problem you faced (or are facing in life). How is Jesus’ light shining through? Where, in the problem, have you found the power of His presence?

Day 3: Read 2 Corinthians 4:7. Jars of clay would be the least valuable in an ancient Greek or Jewish household. They are considered fragile and easily broken. They are common and ordinary, but with the treasure of Christ at work, you become extraordinary. How have you seen God make the ordinary be extraordinary in someone’s life? In your own life?

Day 4: Read 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. Linda Poindexter puts it, “One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” Paul has his contrasting phrases of life’s problems and God’s possibilities. Which one sticks out for you? How might you describe life’s problems and God’s possibilities at work in your life?

Day 5: Read 2 Corinthians 4:7. We have been given treasure in jars of clay. Why? The world focuses on the jars of clay. How might you focus (like Paul does) more on the treasure inside the jar, inside of you?

Day 6: Read 2 Corinthians 4:10-12. No matter your past, or you present, God desires to give you an incredible future. Jesus came and died for our sins that we might have the treasure of life He brings. How has Jesus’ story of death and resurrection been shared with you recently? What story of God at work in your life can you share with others?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind, Move Forward in Faith, Embrace the Adventure by Christine Caine.  You can also listen to a recent Relevant Podcast with Christine Caine.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Who God Is, Drives Everything.

Davide-cantelli-143765-unsplashPhoto by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Genesis 1:1. In Genesis 1, we learn life is not an accident, but God created it from a divine plan. As you read the opening chapters of the Bible, you find thought and order in creation. You find love and community. You find purpose and destiny. Why did God create people? Why did God create you?

Day 2: Read Romans 8:14. God creates, not just to make a world, or a universe, but to build a family. Why is it important to see our relationship with God as being like a family? Why not a farm or a business or a sports team? What makes a relationship with God as being one of His children special to you?

Day 3: Read Genesis 3:9-11. God created a perfect world, and then Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and then discovered the pain sin brings. What pain does sin bring to your life? What pain does sin bring to God? Why do we need God’s help to get out of this sinful mess?

Day 4: Read Romans 8:15. God selects you to be a part of His family.  “I know your problems, your sins, but I choose you to be part of My family. You are special to me.” What is your greatest joy in being a child of God? For whom are you praying to be part of God’s family? Pray for them today!

Day 5: Read Romans 8:16. God sends the Holy Spirit so that you can grow as His child. Where have you seen yourself growing as a child of God since the start of 2018? Where do you sense God desiring for you to grow in the next month?

Day 6: Read Romans 8:17. Your inheritance as an heir in God’s family is not only what you get in heaven one day, but you can live out that inheritance in the world right now…God is with you. Where do you need to remind yourself of God’s presence, power, and peace at work in your life?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Great Churches Serve With Christ’s Works & Words

Randy-fath-531056-unsplashPhoto by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Acts 2:17-18. Notice who makes up “all people”. What do the contrasts tell you about who makes up “great churches”? Luther believed all of us in our work, our vocation, were called to glorify God and serve our neighbors. Baker, shoemaker, prince or peasant, God calls all of us to glorify God and serve others. That’s why all people are needed. As you look at your day ahead, how might God use you in your work and leisure today?

Day 2: Read Acts 2:21. Whom are you praying for that doesn’t know Jesus? Write down specific names of those you know who need to know Jesus.If you don’t have any names, pray for a specific country (in addition to America) to come to know Jesus.

Day 3: Read Acts 2:6-7. If you think this verse is a put-down comment about the disciples, it is. Their understanding of people keeps their eye on people’s background more than the power of the Holy Spirit coming down and stretching these ordinary disciples and filling them with extraordinary power. Where have you seen God stretch your capacity to see what people can do? Where do you underestimate His hand at work in someone’s life? Where might you be underestimating the super- powerful work of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Day 4: Read Acts 2:4. With the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gives, the power doesn’t come from you, but from the Holy Spirit within you. Have you discovered your spiritual gifts? How are you putting them to use this week?

Day 5: Read Acts 2:1. The early church accomplished great things because they did things together. That’s true for us as well. Where have you seen God work through a “team effort” to make a difference in our church? Where might God be calling you to join a team in active service inside or outside of our church?

Day 6: Read Acts 2:42. Andrew Carnegie observed: "It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you could do alone.” Together we can do great things when we work together as a team empowered by the Holy Spirit. What are some of the spiritual habits you noticed that the early church followed in this verse? How do they line up with your spiritual habits in following Jesus on your own and with others?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book Servolution: Starting a Church Revolution through Serving by Dino Rizzo.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Fulfill Your Destiny

  Rawpixel-661925-unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Acts 1:8. What does the Holy Spirit's power look like? We may think in terms of laying on of hands and performing miracles, but His power in your life is often so much subtler than that. It's a gentle nudge to give a person a hand, or to speak a word of encouragement. It's a quiet whisper that gives you the right words to say in a given moment. How have you seen such power of the Holy Spirit at work in the last 24 hours in your life and in others’ lives?

Day 2: Read John 17:6-7. The truth we learn about Jesus and the power we receive to serve like Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit. What “truths” about Jesus have you learned in the past week from your study of God’s Word, worship services, Life Group or Bible classes? How has the Holy Spirit empowered you to serve others in the past 24 hours?

Day 3: Read Acts 1:8. How did you come to faith in Jesus? What have been some significant faith growing events in your life? With whom are you sharing the story? (Your answers to the first two questions.)

Day 4: Read John 17:8 and John 17:17. When have you sensed the Holy Spirit prompting you to say something about your faith story? What happened when you followed or failed to follow that prompting? Whom are you praying for to hear God’s story and join God’s family? Pray for them today! Pray to share your God story today!

Day 5: Read Acts 1:8. The hardest part of serving is starting where you are. Where do you sense the Holy Spirit is calling you to serve? What is one step you can take to make that service happen?

Day 6: Read John 17:18. As you look at the day ahead, think through how Jesus might be sending you into your work, your school, your leisure, your shopping, your driving? Pray for the Holy Spirit to keep you aware of His sending you forth this day.


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book Improve Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living by Charles R. Swindoll.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.