Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

God's Epic Story In Movies

Risen: How We Know Easter Happened

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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

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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.


War Room: “It All Began with a Prayer and an Act of Faith”

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The movie War Room is the backdrop for this week's sermon based on Matthew 6:6 (NIV):

…When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Monday: Read Matthew 6:6. Where do you pray most often? Why?

Tuesday: Read Matthew 6:6. Do you have a special place for prayer and spending time with God? What makes that place so special?

Wednesday: Read Matthew 6:7. How do you pray? What do you find yourself praying the most about these days? How does your prayer life compare to a year ago? Five years ago?

Thursday: Read Matthew 6:8. Though we can (and should) pray about anything, is there a specific prayer request you find yourself praying or needing to pray at this point in your life?

Friday: Read Matthew 6:6-8. Where have you placed the “Pray for Community” handout from this past weekend? Are you praying each day for the seven requests? In addition to the first five requests, what is your specific problem and possibility you are praying for in the weeks ahead?

Saturday: Read Matthew 6:9-13. How has this week’s GPS helped you to appreciate and apply the Lord’s Prayer? How does the Lord’s Prayer help you in praying other prayers to God?

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.


Become The Hero God Made You To Be

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The movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the backdrop for the topic “Soul War” is an “Identity War.”

Monday: Read Jeremiah 17:9-10. Our identity in Jesus calls us to live a hero’s life, a life of high integrity. In light of what Jeremiah wrote, why is this a struggle? What fact in your life makes the struggle so intense? How does God work in your life to correct and guide you to the path on which He wants you?

Tuesday: As Children of God, God calls us to a life of holiness, but it is so easy to rationalize our behavior and compromise our identity and behavior. What are some ways we can be deceived?

  • By ourselves?: James 1:22,
  • By others?: Romans 16:17-18,
  • By Satan?: 2 Corinthians 11:3-4?

Wednesday: Read Romans 13:6-7 and Colossians 3:23-25. Our identity in Christ calls us to honesty in all areas of life. What are some of the areas of life mentioned in today’s readings? In these areas of life, is there such a thing as a “white lie?”

Thursday: Read 1 John 1:8-10. Of course, each of us falls as we try to walk with our new legs of faith. According to today’s reading, what are we to do and not to do? What is God, your Father, according to this passage? How does this impact you?

Friday: Read 1 Samuel 15:10-23. Was Saul’s statement honest? In what way did he disobey? What was Saul’s response to the accusation? How did he try to justify his disobedience? Have you ever used a similar method? According to v. 22, what does God delight in?

Saturday: Read Ephesians 4:29. Paraphrase this passage in your own words. Can you apply this verse to a relationship with someone you know? What will you do? When will you do it?

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


Inside Out: Wisely Living Out The Emotions God Puts In

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Monday: Read Ephesians 4:24. What role do emotions play in your walk with God? When are they a positive experience? When are they a negative experience? How is the Holy Spirit making your emotions like God’s?

Tuesday: Read Psalm 71:21-22. The psalmist is honest with his emotions and the impact they have on his life. When do you find yourself having a bad day emotionally? What happens when the brute beast comes out? Where might you need forgiveness for bad behavior driven by bad emotions?

Wednesday: Read Psalm 71:23. Emotions are a gift from God. The psalmist realizes the power of God’s presence in your life. How might you be honest with your emotions in a more healthy way by living aware of God’s presence as you express your emotions?

Thursday: Read Psalm 71:24. As you read God’s Word and spend time with God in prayer, how do you utilize the five emotions from Inside Out (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger)? What guidance and counsel have you been sensing the Spirit leading you as you spend time in God’s Word? What has your response been emotionally? How are you applying the truth God is teaching you?

Friday: Read Luke 15:4-7 and Romans 5:8. In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables/ stories of something lost being found. He wants to challenge the Jewish religious leaders who criticize Jesus for reaching out to sinners and tax collectors. Their emotional response is disgust. Jesus’ parables point to an emotional response of joy for people coming to faith. Romans 5:8 reminds us that the ultimate source of joy is found in Jesus dying for our sins. As you think about your life today, where are you missing God’s joy? Where are you finding God’s joy?

Saturday: Read Ephesians 4:22-24. Paul uses “old self” and “new self” language in these verses. As you think through your emotional responses this week, where have you seen them at work with God in the driver’s seat? Where have they had healthy expression? Not so healthy expression? As you think of what is inside your heart, what do you pray God will bring out in your relationships with others?

 

 You can Go Deeper this week by reading this book:

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


The Peanuts Movie: God Gives Grace To The Humble

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Monday: Read Proverbs 3:27-28. When has a neighbor helped you out in need? When was the last time you gave help to a neighbor?

Tuesday: Read Luke 6:31. Being Humble is putting others needs first. How does the golden rule tie into meeting needs?

Wednesday: Read 1 Peter 5:6. Why is it necessary that real, lasting humility comes supernaturally rather than naturally?

Thursday: Read 1 Peter 5:10. God is in the restoration business. That’s the beauty of the cross. Where do you need God’s restoring grace to touch your life right now?

Friday: Read 1 Peter 5:5b. How does the promise of the future give you power to live for God in the present today?

Saturday: Read 1 Peter 5:7. What anxieties do you have to turn over to God? Pray to let go of those anxieties and give them to God.

 You can Go Deeper this week by reading these books by Robert Short:

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


McFarland USA: Find Your Calling In Your Greatest Failure

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This week we examine Hebrews 12:1 through the lens of the movie McFarland, USA. The message focused on you to find our calling in your greatest failure by: preparing, persisting, and pursuing.

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

Monday: Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (New Century Version). Who is God using to make my faith sticky? Who does God want me to help to make their faith sticky?

Tuesday: Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (Contemporary English Version). What hinders and entangles my life? Who will show me?

Wednesday: Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (New International Version 2011). How am I developing perseverance for the race of my life?

Thursday: Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message). Where do I see the course leading in the race God has asked me to run?

Friday: Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (New Living Translation). What takes my eyes off Jesus?

Saturday: Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (GOD’S WORD Translation). Where have I grown weary in life’s marathon? How can I fix my eyes on Jesus once again?

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book The Colson Way: Loving Your Neighbor and Living with Faith in a Hostile World by Owen Strachan.

 


Finding Nemo: God Never Gives Up

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This week’s sermon message and GPS examines Matthew 18:14 as it is highlighted in the movie “Finding Nemo" (Can you find Nemo above?).

Monday: Read Romans 3:22-24. What does verse 23 say that we all have in common? Why is this important to remember each day? How do verses 22 and 24 tell us of God’s better gift and how His “never give up attitude” finds us and saves us? How do these verses teach us the good news of Jesus? How is your life different today because of God’s “never give up love” in Jesus?

Tuesday: Read Jeremiah 14:7. What is the basis of Jeremiah’s plea for God to act to save Israel? Jeremiah is not asking for justice, but pleading for mercy. Where do you need God’s mercy today?

Wednesday: Read 1 Timothy 2:3-4. What do these verses tell you about God’s heart? About how He feels towards you? About how He wants you to pray today?

Thursday: Read Matthew 18:12-14. Ever lost something or someone? What was that experience like? What drove you to keep searching? When have you felt like you wandered away from God? How did you get back? What “wandering sheep” will you pray for today?

Friday: Read 1 Timothy 1:14. Paul recognizes that his life and ministry flows out of God’s gift, God’s grace. How is God’s grace influencing how you live life today? How is that lived out with faith and love?

Saturday: Read 1 Timothy 1:12. Paul affirms that God has given him strength. Where do you feel a need for God’s strength? Who can you pray for today that they would be aware of God’s strength?

Next Week’s Movie: McFarland, USA. This PG movie from earlier this year and now on DVD, speaks of how out of our failures we often find our purpose. The cross country running is also a great picture of Hebrews 12 and running the race. The movie is based on a true story. If you watch the movie, make sure to watch through the credits!

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


Les Misérables: Amazing Grace

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Monday: Read Hebrews 6:19-20. Life situations can change on a dime and where there was once hope, we can be left feeling hopeless. What does this reading say about this feeling? What is hope compared to in this passage? What can you do today to help remind you that Jesus is your sure and certain hope?

Tuesday: Read 1 Thessalonians 5:15. When was the last time in your life you felt the harsh, bitter winds of life blowing over you? What was that situation? How would the sudden appearance of kindness have helped you in that situation? Our faith in Jesus leads us to a life filled with acts of kindness. Pray that God would lead you to a day overflowing with kindness.

Wednesday: Read Romans 6:1-4. This was Sunday’s Epistle reading. It wonderfully describes the grace saturated act of baptism. Your baptism carried Jesus’ saving and forgiving death to you, which means that by grace, you will be raised from death to life everlasting. That is GRACE. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for His grace.

Thursday: Read Philippians 2:3-4. By God’s grace we are given life in Jesus and again by grace we are sent into the world to be Jesus’ light of grace. How does this passage exhort us to live as Jesus’ light of grace? What can you do today to humbly serve the needs of another?

Friday: Read John 15:9-11. Who doesn’t want joy in their life? Everyone wants it and is on a constant search for it. Where and in what have you and others searched for joy? In this reading, Jesus tells us that he loves us. That fact is our source of joy. Why should this bring joy to you today? Also, note that the joy He gives is complete. Praise God for that good news!

Saturday: Read 1 John 4:10-12. Why is it so significant that Jesus first loved us? How does this passage say Jesus first loved us? What does Verse 12 say happens when we love? When we love, God lives in us and so that means that our lives are giant billboards showing God’s amazing grace to the world. Go and bring that grace into the world!!

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


Star Wars: Discover The Real Force With You

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Monday: Read Ephesians 6:12. In what way is the Christian life like a battle? Why is the Christian life like a battlefield? How can you lean on the Holy Spirit’s help in doing battle for the kingdom of God each day?

Tuesday: Read Romans 8:26-27. What do we learn about God’s love for us when we realize that the Holy Spirit helps us even when we cannot pray? In what circumstances of your life do you need to wait patiently for God to act? For what can you ask the Spirit’s help this week?

Wednesday: Read John 16:13. How does the Holy Spirit teach believers? About what truth is the Holy Spirit presently teaching you? What area of life do you need the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you?

Thursday: Read Hebrews 3:12. What circumstances or situations in your life are currently fostering an attitude of unbelief toward God? Where do you need to get your heart and life right with God?

Friday: Read John 1:4-5. What do the images of life and light tell you about why Jesus came to earth? How is Jesus bringing those images alive in your life? Who do you need to pray for God to bring life and light today?

Saturday: Read 1 Timothy 1:15. Why did Jesus come into the world? When you realize the price Jesus paid for you to be in His family, how is the Holy Spirit leading you to respond today?

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