Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Help Us To Receive And Give Forgiveness

Forgive
Day 1: Read Matthew 6:12. Do you find it easier to ask for forgiveness or to give forgiveness? Why? Why are both needed?

Day 2: Read Matthew 18:15-17. When wronged, notice Jesus’ progression to make a relationship right. Why do you think Jesus has that progression of involvement from one to many to resolve a disagreement or wrong? How has that worked for you in giving and receiving forgiveness? Where might you need to ask or give forgiveness? One more observation about these verses – when wronged, the temptation is to see this as how you break off a relationship, and yet to treat someone like a sinner or tax collector is to see them as someone Jesus wants to be in relationship with personally. Think of a relationship that has hit a wall and there is some distance. Take some time to pray for that person today for God to be part of his or her life, for God to bless, and for forgiveness in your heart for them.

Day 3: Read Matthew 18:21-22. In Peter’s day, “3” was a considered a generous number of times to forgive someone’s sins. Peter ups the offer to “7”, a biblical number of completion, but totally inaccurate to God’s desire that we “build bridges”, not score keeping walls. Do you ever feel like God is still keeping score of your sins? Where are you tempted to keep score in relationships? Spend time in prayer today, thanking God that He does not keep score, and asking God to help you not to keep score of your own sins He has forgiven or anyone else’s.

Day 4: Read Matthew 18:27. Where do we draw the line between forgiving others and becoming a doormat? Is there even a line to draw? Where does that line exist between you and God?

Day 5: Read Matthew 18:31-34. Does holding someone accountable for future actions place a limit on the extent of our forgiveness? Do you find yourself more often in the position of needing forgiveness or needing to forgive?

Day 6: Read Matthew 6:12. You will never be more like Jesus than when you forgive. Jesus came to build a bridge across the sin that separates you from God, and He is calling you to build a bridge across the conflict that separates you from others. Where do you need to ask for forgiveness? Who do you need to ask God to forgive and to give forgiveness today?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve by Lewis Smedes.

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


Teach Us To Trust You For Everything

Daily-bread

Day 1: Read James 1:17. God is the source of “every good and perfect gift”. What are three gifts He has given you in the last 24 hours?

Day 2: Read Mark 6:41. Is there a "loaves-and-fishes" area of your life where your current supply is less than your current demand? Have you expressed gratitude for the seemingly-to-small amount that God has provided?

Day 3: Read Matthew 6:34. What are some “tomorrow worries” you need to release to God? What are some “today troubles” you need to turn over to God in prayer?

Day 4: Read Mark 6:42-43. Where do you need to be satisfied with what God has provided? When will you slow down today and savor a gift God has given you in your food or other gift during the day?

Day 5: Read Proverbs 30:7-9. Where has being rich gotten in the way of your relationship with God? Where has being in need gotten in the way of your relationship with God? Take time to pray: Lord, keep my focus on my needs that You provide instead of my “greeds” I desire.

Day 6: Read John 6:35. Each weekend we feast on God’s Word on Sunday. What are you eating the rest of the week?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book The Great House of God by Max Lucado.

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


Thy Will > My Will

Thywill

In his message this week, Pastor Burkey introduced us to the concept of “are you living your life as a blueprint or as a game plan?”  One advantage of using a “game plan” is that it allows you to adjust as life changes from your will to God’s will.

Day 1: Read Matthew 6:33. START: What one step does God want you to begin this week?

Day 2: Read Mark 1:15. STOP: What’s one action is God telling you to stop right now?

Day 3: Read Ruth 1:16-17. STAY: Where does God want you to persevere?

Day 4: Read Matthew 26:39. SERVE: Who is God calling you to serve?

Day 5: Read Hebrews 10:24-25. CONNECT: Who is God inviting you to connect with face to face?

Day 6: Read Matthew 6:10b. What “clues” has God been laying out for you this week about His will for your life? Which of the five questions presents you with the biggest challenge? What is your biggest obstacle to doing this every day? Who benefited from your life -- from your actions -- today?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the books:

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


"Your Kingdom Come” - Make Up There Come Down Here

Thy-kingdom-come

Day 1: Read Revelation 7:9-10. When Jesus says the kingdom of God is near, He’s not saying it’s getting kind of close. He’s saying it’s now available.  What part of John’s vision of heaven in these verses resonates with you? When you think of life in heaven, is your focus more on life with God or something else?

Day 2: Read Revelation 7:16-17. In John’s vision of heaven in these verses, what do you long for the most? How do you see what John describes for heaven coming down here for life on this earth?

Day 3: Read Matthew 13:31-32. What small change do I sense God making in my life to make up there come down here? There’s a big difference between planting a mustard seed and a grain of sand. You plant a grain of sand it’s not going to grow. Plant a mustard seed, you get some action. The seed has life in it. And who puts that life in? Its creator, God. That’s why the question you ask is not what small change do I make, but what small change do I sense God making in my life?

Day 4: Read Matthew 13:33. How has God been feeding His change into your life? How does His mercy, love and grace permeate your day? How is up there in heaven influencing your life down here on earth? What changes are you noticing? What changes do you need to pray that He makes?

Day 5: Read Micah 6:6-7. Firstborn children pay close attention to these verses, yet the only firstborn sacrifice that could pay for our sins is Jesus. Everyone can go to heaven, but Jesus is the only way to heaven. Pray today for someone you know to come to faith in Jesus.

Day 6: Read Micah 6:8. To act justly: Have I committed to match my life with God’s standards? To love mercy: How am I doing loving others with God’s heart? To walk humbly with God: Where do I need to learn to follow God’s direction?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book God is Closer Than You Think by John Ortberg.

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


“Hallowed Be Your Name” - Live Aware Of Who God Is

Hallowed

Day 1: Read Psalm 19:14. Pray this verse to start your day. At the end of the day, reflect on how you “spoke” God’s name in your life. How was He the God who Provides (Jehovah-Jireh), or your God of Peace (Jehovah-Shalom), or your God who Heals (Jehovah-Raphe)?

Day 2: Read Ephesians 4:29. We hallow God’s Name not just when we talk to God. We hallow God’s Name when we talk about God to others and when we let our relationship with God influence our conversation with others. Where do you find it easy to hallow God’s name in your conversation with others? Where is it challenging for you? Take time in prayer today to ask God to say: “only what is helpful for building others up”?

Day 3: Read Psalm 9:10. We hallow God’s name when we trust Him to be our Provider, our source of Peace, and Healing. What holds you back from trusting God in challenging times? What draws you closer to trusting God when the storms of life come?

Day 4: Read Psalm 20:7. King David, the most successful King in Israel’s history in the Old Testament, recognizes his military might is not the focus of his trust, but the name of the Lord. David is not degrading military might, he’s affirming the greater power is God. What in your life seeks to move God from being the source of your trust? Where might you need to recalibrate your priorities of trust to stay aligned with God in the challenges you are facing now?

Day 5: Read Matthew 5:16. We do good deeds not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify God. When has someone acted in your life and led you to thank God for them? (If you have never thanked God for someone in your life, today’s a great day to start!) Who might be thanking God for providing someone like you in their life?

Day 6: Read Psalm 115:1. We hallow God’s Name when we honor Him with our actions. For God desires our good deeds to lead others to praise Him. As you look at the days ahead, how is God prompting you to serve in a way that will lead others to praise God?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler.

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


Our Father In Heaven: Our Good, Good Father

Praying-hands

Day 1: Read Matthew 6:9. What does the name “Father” mean to you? For your understanding of God? For the way you approach Him?

Day 2: Read James 4:8. What habits and practices help you to come near to God? What hinders your drawing near to God? How can you become more intentional to open space in your life to come near to God today?

Day 3: Read Psalm 103:13-14. How has God been like a good father to you in the past week? How does your relationship with your earthly father influence your relationship with your Heavenly Father?

Day 4: Read 1 Peter 5:7. Cast means to let go, you just drop it. What anxiety, fears, worries are you holding on to? Why? As you pray today, take time to let go specifically of any anxiety, worries or fears.

Day 5: Read Luke 11:11-13. When I start my prayers with God as my Father, He brings His heavenly power for everyday earthly living. I welcome Him to act in the everyday events of my life and of those I pray for. Where can you invite God to act in your life today? I need God, my good Heavenly Father, to…

Day 6: Read Matthew 6:9. Jesus is the One who makes God “our Father” and not just “His Father”. In what ways do you try to work for your “sonship” rather than just accepting your adoption into God’s family? What are some advantages of being God’s child rather than just His creation?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book "The Praying Life" by Paul Miller.

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


Church Work – It’s Not Just For Church Workers

Servering

Monday – Read Psalm 90:17. How do we know if our work is actually in favor with God? Pray about your job right now. Ask God to establish that He is to be the Giver of the work you do.

Tuesday – Read Exodus 34:21. Do you have a rhythm of life that includes regular rest? How did God set an example for us in this regard in Genesis?

Wednesday - Read Romans 12:4-5. We work best when we work together – in the Body of Christ and when we represent the Body of Christ to the world. How do you look for opportunities to represent Christ and the church in your work life?

Thursday – Read James 2:18-19. This passage goes on to say “faith without works is dead”. How does your faith reflect in your work – and in your works? What role does the Holy Spirit play in how your work life is impacted by your faith?

Friday – Read Matthew 28:19-20. The Great Commission is considered to be the job description for all believers. This is our part in the work of the gospel.  How do you participate in it?

Saturday – Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Why do you think that verses 8 and 9 go together?  Do you ever find yourself wondering if the work you are doing is “good”? How can you tell?

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


Special Video - Andy Stanley "Not In Vain"

This week's message was from this video by Andy Stanley entitled "Not In Vain."

After watching the full video, here are some questions to think about this week.

Day 1: What do you think of Andy's key point? Is there a way to share that key point with someone today?

Day 2: Was there some point or piece of information that you reacted to with - "I've never thought about that before in that way?"

Day 3: What part of the message really challenged you?  Is there something you might be able to do today to overcome that challenge?

Day 4:  Was there a part of the message that made you think - "I really wish I could talk to Andy about XYZ.  I think I understand what he is saying but I'm still a little confused."  Since you probably can't talk to Andy, is this a good topic to discuss with your Life Group?

Day 5: Andy's message was built around 1 Corinthians 15:58.  As you re-read the verse what stands out to you?

Day 6: Where do you think in today's modern world the Cross of the Church will be displayed in the same way the Cross of the Church is being displayed at the Roman Colosseum?

Andy Stanley's North Point Community Church is based near Atlanta, GA.


Risen: How We Know Easter Happened

MC_Risen_fb

Day 1: Read 1 Corinthians 15:3. As Paul says, “Christ died for our sins.” What if Jesus’ death is the end of the story? If there is no resurrection? What does that mean for the Christian faith today? For your faith? (SPOILER ALERT: He did rise again!)

Day 2: Read 1 Corinthians 15:4. Risen suggests this problem with the empty tomb on the first Easter. Where’s the body? Everyone saw Him die. The body was put in a tomb; a tomb that was sealed, no less. The problem is now that tomb is empty, and there are some who say He’s risen from the dead. The facts are clear; the man was dead, He was buried in the tomb, and now the tomb is empty.

How does Paul’s story bring clarity to the Risen movie problem of an empty tomb?

Why is “according to Scripture” such an important part of the Easter story?

When did you first come to know the Easter story? What does that story mean for your life today?

Day 3: Read John 20:18. Mary Magdalene is the first of Jesus’ followers to see Him. In the movie, Risen, she says, “I’m already free.” How does Jesus resurrection set you free today? What situation are you facing today that you need to remind yourself that Christ has set you free?

Day 4: Read 1 Corinthians 15:20. If Jesus is the firstfruits of those raised from the dead, what does that mean for our lives? For Bartholomew in Risen, part of that fruit is joy! How does Easter bring you joy? What other fruit does Jesus’ resurrection bring to you today? What do you need it to bring to you today?

Day 5: Read 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. Eternal life is the gift. Joy is the byproduct of that gift. Guilt does not get the final word, Jesus’ grace does. Shame does not get the final word, our Savior does. He who died and rose again paid for our sins and gives us life. Adam brings sin and death. Jesus brings salvation and life. Take time today to give thanks to God for the gifts Jesus brings, especially the great gift of Himself!

Day 6: Read John 20:30-31. John describes why we have the 4 gospel accounts in these verses. Clavius in Risen telling the story of his experience with Jesus says that he will never be the same. His life has been changed. How has Jesus changed your life? How is He changing your life? Who are you praying for to know this great message of eternal life Jesus brings? .

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel.

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


Hidden Figures: Using Your God-given Talents

Hidden-pictures-movieposter

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.