Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

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December 2017

Jesus Makes All Things New Again

Happy-new-year

Monday – Read Ecclesiastes 3:14. How does your belief in God’s eternity affect your daily attitude and faith walk?

Tuesday – Read Matthew 25:34. Are you on his right because of what you do, or do you do what you do because you are on his right?

Wednesday Read Ecclesiastes 3:1. Are you fearful about the future? Impatient? Angry about how things are going right now? How does God help us to cope and better understand his timing?

Thursday – Read 2 Peter 3:8. Ponder this verse and see if it can help you let go of any anxiety you have about time – running out of time, waiting, being in a hurry – let God have control of your time resource, and see how he can make enough time for you to praise Him, and do those other things.

Friday – Read  Psalm 40: 1-2. The Psalms are rich with passages about waiting on the Lord – how can waiting strengthen our faith? What can we do while waiting on the Lord to glorify Him?

Saturday – Read Romans 5:6-8. How has God’s timing affected your life? Think about the people and circumstances that lead you to Jesus, and how He does not wait for us to come to Him or to change – he saves us when we are most unable to do anything to save ourselves – but what comes afterwards.

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


Christ Gives The Gift

Christmas
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. -- 
Luke 2:11

Day 1: Read Luke 2:11. Where have you gotten caught up in the hype of Christmas this year? Where do you need to hold on to the hope of Christmas in the year ahead?

Day 2: Read Luke 2:17. What Christ gives, the Shepherds give – they share the good news, they are generous with the story they share. How did the Christmas story about Jesus’ birth become real in your life? With whom are you sharing the Jesus Christmas story this year? For whom will you pray for today to come to know Jesus in the days ahead?

Day 3: Read Titus 3:4-5. When Jesus Christ gives us new life. He saves us from our Christmas of past mistakes. He gives power for facing life in our Christmas present. He guides us to a Christmas future with Him in heaven. Such is the generous heart of our God, our Heavenly Father who sends us all that God desires to give. As you look at the power of Jesus at Christmas in your life in your past, present and towards the future, how would you describe His saving work in your life? How can you share such a great gift with others?

Day 4: Read Titus 3:6-7. A simple 4-word phrase in Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol is often missed in its description of the change in Ebenezer Scrooge that Christmas Day. That 4-word phrase? “He went to church.” How does gathering for worship each weekend help you keep Christmas all year long? As you look at the year ahead, how will living out Paul’s words to Titus of “being heirs having the hope of eternal life”, influence your worship habits in the year ahead? How have you seen the overflowing generosity of Jesus at work in your life? How do you hope to see it work in the year ahead?

Day 5: Read Titus 3:8. When Paul says that we are to devote ourselves to doing what is good, he's saying that we need to -- like the shepherds on Christmas night -- share with others what we have seen. He's saying that we need to -- in the words of Dickens -- keep Christmas all year. What physical reminder can help you keep Christmas year-round? What value might such a Christmas approach to life bring to each day?

Day 6: Read Matthew 10:8. What you get from God, you give to others. That's because one of the greatest gifts that we have received through Jesus Christ is the gift of passing it on, growing generosity, the gift of giving back, and watching God transform lives with generous hearts including our own. As you look back over the past year, what have you freely received? How has that inspired you to freely give this past year and in the year ahead?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the Bible's Christmas Story (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-20, John 1:1-17), and Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ by Tim Keller.

Next Week: New Year’s Eve Services on December 31 at 8 and 10:30 a.m.

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


Unwrap The Gift Of Christmas: The Gift of Purpose Filled Living (Part 3)

Do-what-is-right
Day 1: Read Luke 19:10. Jesus shares His purpose in coming to earth in this verse. As you get ready for Christmas, how can you remind yourself of Jesus reason for coming? How can you share that news with others? Whom can you pray for today for Jesus to seek and to save? Make time to pray for that person daily, now until Christmas.

Day 2: Read Isaiah 61:1. God places all of us here for His purposes to be fulfilled. As you think about your purpose, and what on earth you are here for, what do you sense your God-given purpose to be? What difference is that making today in your life?

Day 3: Read Acts 1:1. What Jesus “began to do” He continues through us. God will use you, wherever you are, whoever you are. God can use you in a great way. How did you see Him using you in the last 24 hours? What do you hope the day ahead holds for God using you as part of His mission to accomplish?

Day 4: Read Luke 1:49-50. You have a message to proclaim. Like Mary in her song about Jesus coming, what are some of the great things God has done for you this week? Where have you seen His mercy at work in your life? Whom are you sharing these great things and mercy moments with in your life?

Day 5: Read Isaiah 61:3-4. Notice Isaiah’s three R words in verse 4 – rebuild … restore … renew. If we set our hearts on people who are hurting, and if we look for ways to inject hope into their lives, the result is we fulfill God’s purpose for us. Where has God been working in your life to rebuild, restore, and renew? Where is He using you to rebuild, restore, and renew in someone else’s life?

Day 6: Read 2 Corinthians 9:7-9. Why do you give gifts at Christmas? Is that more something you have to do, or have you discovered the joy this is something you get to do? As you think about our Christmas Offering: Christ Gives, what excites you? What brings you joy? What is God saying to you as you pray to Him about what to give this Christmas?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book: Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren.

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


Unwrap The Gift Of Christmas: The Gift Of Spirit Filled Living (Part 2)

Earth-wind-fire

This week each day before you do the Bible reading and answer the question, use a Holy Spirit breath prayer to start your time with God.

  • When you inhale, pray: Holy Spirit, fill my soul.
  • When you exhale, pray: Holy Spirit, guide my day.

Day 1: Read Mark 1:4. You can’t un-sin. You can only re-pent. You can’t change the past, but you can remember your baptism, repent, and receive the forgiveness God desires to give. Where do you need to repent and be washed clean of your sins?

Day 2: Read Acts 2:38. The image of water for the Holy Spirit reminds us the Holy Spirit washes away our past. How can you embrace the truth today that God preempted your past faithlessness in your life with His past faithfulness on the cross?

Day 3: Read Luke 4:1-2 & Luke 4:14. These verses bracket three temptations of Jesus by Satan. Notice how the Spirit led Jesus into the temptation zone of the wilderness and then back to Galilee. Think of two places in the past 24 hours where the Holy Spirit has led you? What’s the same? What’s different? What’s the lesson you’re learning about the wind of the Spirit guiding you each day?

Day 4: Read John 14:26. The image of the wind reminds us the Holy Spirit leads us where we need to go, much like the wind leads a tumbleweed. So, if you were a tumbleweed, what direction is the Holy Spirit leading you in the past day and the day ahead?

Day 5: Read Matthew 3:11 and Mark 1:8. Matthew has a longer version of what Jesus says than Mark does in Mark 1:8. How does the image of fire help you understand the life-changing work of the Holy Spirit?

Day 6: Read Acts 1:8. Jesus reminds His disciples of all ages how much we need the fire power of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, a good deed is most often not much more than a good try. Take time today to yield this day to the fire power of the Holy Spirit. How have you sensed the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you have used a breath prayer for the Holy Spirit this week?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book: Embraced by the Spirit: The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with God by Chuck Swindoll.

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