Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

What The Church Means For Life Today

What-is-the-Church-Logo

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


Wisdom: The Power Of Perspective

GodsPlanOrBluePrint

Monday: Read Daniel 4:24-26. How does God provide warning signs in your life that you are headed down a wrong path? When have you missed seeing them ahead of time? Where might you need a wise word to guide you in your life today?

Tuesday: Read Daniel 4:2-3. Where have you been a student in the “School for Fools”? What wise lessons have you learned? Are still learning? With whom are you sharing those wise lessons?

Wednesday: Read Daniel 4:27. Who is a Daniel in your life who speaks humbly and forcefully when you are headed down a foolish path? For whom are you a Daniel? If you have no answer to either of these questions, pray today for a Daniel in your life and to be a Daniel in someone else’s life.

Thursday: Read Matthew 15:3 and Matthew 15:6.  The Pharisees have found loopholes to get them out of following God’s law, such as instead of caring for their parents’ needs they can use resources for their own benefit by claiming it will go to God.  When have you seen “traditions” used as a dangerous path that could lead against following what God says in His Word? What keeps you from falling into this “loophole” trap with God’s law and revelation for your life?

Friday: Read Daniel 4:1. Where and with whom are you sharing your story and experience of God’s great work in your life?

Saturday: Read James 4:6. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” How have you seen that Biblical truth work out in your life? Where might you need to ask for God’s grace to give you wisdom in decisions you are facing 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


Humility: How Credibility Is Earned

Humility-CS-Lewis1

Monday: Read Daniel 6:5. If you were attending a public event at which you felt that your Christian values were being compromised, what would you do? Why? How does Daniel’s example give you insight in how to respond?

Tuesday: Read 2 Timothy 2:25-26. Living with humility is not being a pushover, but being anchored in who God wants you to be; anchored to stand for what God says is right. How does humility play into Paul’s advice to Timothy and to us in dealing with conflict? How might such a humble approach point people to God more than the typical response of pride and anger?

Wednesday: Read Daniel 6:10. Like Daniel, when have you chosen to submit to God’s authority over you rather than obeying the laws of the land or the pressure of friends? Why is prayer such a vital part of Daniel’s faith life?

Thursday: Read Daniel 6:11. If you were being watched like Daniel was watched, what changes (if any) would you want to make in your present lifestyle? How have you found strength to stay the course with God when others are watching and pulling you away from God?

Friday: Read Luke 6:27-28. Humility serves others with God’s grace. Such humble service applies to friend and foe. When has an “enemy/foe” showed grace to you? When have you been the one bringing grace? What happened? Where might you need to show an intentional act of kindness today?

Saturday: Read Daniel 6 :25-27. How does Daniel’s faith move King Darius to praise the true God? Who, by their example of faith and humility, leads you to praise God? Who, by your example, are praising God because of His work through your life?

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


Hope: Where Courage Is Birthed

Eatyourveggies-300x285Monday: Read Daniel 1:8. Hope is more than an emotion you feel. Hope is an attitude the Spirit of God creates. Why is Daniel’s decision about his diet important for him to build hope in his life? What decisions have you made or need to make to live out the hope attitude the Spirit of God gives you?

Tuesday: Read Romans 8:26-27. How does knowing that the Holy Spirit prays for you in all of life, and especially during life’s challenges, influence your prayer life? Who prays for you? For whom do you pray on a regular basis? Why?

Wednesday: Read Daniel 1:9. The phrase “Now God” is the secret to Daniel’s hope. Daniel’s not banking on his eloquence or goodness, but God’s grace and favor. How have you experienced the what goes around comes around response in your life? When did God’s grace and favor show up and change the outcome? Where is God calling you to bring His grace and favor to change a situation in your life?

Thursday: Read Romans 8:38-39. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Paul gives a few examples in these verses to affirm God’s love never lets go. What examples might you add where God’s love has never let you go? Where do you need to ask God to remind you His love will never let you go?

Friday: Read Daniel 1:12. “Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” As people who live with a sense of eternity, we are better able to navigate life with God’s perspective of time. Where do you need to redeem your use of God’s gift of time? Where might you need a Daniel-type experiment with your time?

Saturday: Read Daniel 1:15. Ray Johnston in his book, The Hope Quotient, shares various tools for building hope. One tool he shares is the need for a soul-sharpener in our lives. Based on Solomon’s wise words in Proverbs 27:17“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” A soul-sharpener helps you develop spiritually and is willing to push you to be your best in the spiritual arena of life. Who are your soul-sharpeners? Who inspires your hope to give birth to courage? Where does God want to use you as a soul sharpener for someone else?

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


Prepare For Babylon - Boot Camp For Life's Battles

Bootcamp-logo

Monday: Read Daniel 1:6-7. When you live in Babylon, you will not survive and thrive outside community. Who can you name (by name) as part of your community of faith that keeps you connected to Jesus and growing in your faith? Who might name you as part of their community of faith building up their faith? 

Tuesday: Read John 14:19. Jesus is our connecting point. He brings us together. We need times of solitude with Jesus and times of community. When do you invest time alone with Jesus? Time with others with Jesus? What benefits are there to time with Jesus alone and time with Him with others?

Wednesday: Read Daniel 1:8. Daniel resolved in his heart he would not get tangled up with anything that would cause him to betray his deepest values. He resolved in his heart he would honor God. Where have you had to stand your ground to stay true in your faith in  God? What area of life do you need to clarify your values in work, home, or friendships?

Thursday: Read John 14:15-16. When Jesus calls us to obedience, what does that obedience look like? How does the Holy Spirit guide you in such obedience? If you could ask the Holy Spirit one question about a situation you are facing, what would it be? Then go ahead and ask Him in prayer.

Friday: Read Daniel 1:9. Daniel knew that in order to maintain his commitment to obedience, he needed God's help to do it. Where do you affirm and thank God for His favor, His grace, at work in your life? Where do you need that favor at work in your life?

Saturday: Read 1 Peter 1:6-7. Researches say that the factor that causes people to give up most often is not when their suffering gets more intense, it's when they believe their suffering has no meaning or purpose.  How does your relationship with God get you through tough times? Why are His grace and favor so important for you to remember when tough times comes?

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


Daniel’s Story - Thriving In The Backwash Of Tough Times

Backwash

Monday: Read Daniel 1:3-4. Where does life feel out of control? Do you see God at work? He is always present. He is always working to bring good even in the worst of situations. In what area of life do you need to ask to sense His presence and work in your life?

Tuesday: Read John 16:33. Sometimes we find ourselves thrust into Babylon, not by our choice, but because of the actions of others. Jesus predicted such trouble in our world, bad things happening to good people. He faced His own Good Friday. Where in your life do you need to affirm that we are Easter people in a Good Friday world? Where is God calling you to bring His peace in a world filled with trouble?

Wednesday: Read Daniel 1:7. Being in Babylon often causes us to question everything about life, and even about ourselves. Daniel even gets a name change, but never forgets his God-given name. What nicknames are you known by? What name has God given you to describe your life and purpose

Thursday: Read Daniel 1:21. When you find yourself in Babylon, don't forget who you are or whose you are. Daniel will remain in exile through multiple regime changes, and will still define himself by his name. What pulls you away from your identity as God’s child? Today take time to remember your baptism. You are His child. Thank God for the gift of being in His family.

Friday: Read Daniel 1:1-2. God allowed this to happen. He was in control of what seemed to be an out-of-control situation. God had a plan for Daniel, even in the courts of the enemy. Where do you feel life is out of control? Where do you need faith that God is in control?

Saturday: Read Hebrews 12:4. We may not have shed blood for our faith, but perhaps you have shed tears or you have faced social pressure. What pressures you to move against your faith in God? What empowers you to live in tough times with faith that God is in control?

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’s Your Babylon?

The_City_Of_BabylonMonday: Read Daniel 3:16-18. Consider and pray for the persecuted Christians around the world. Consider how you would react if forced to do – or not do – something that you knew was against God.

Tuesday: Read Hebrews 11:1-3. Think of some things that you have faith in for which you have no solid physical evidence. How is God glorified when we have faith in that for which we cannot proof?

Wednesday: Read James 1:2-4. If your faith has been tested think of how God was revealed in your passing or not passing the test. How did God bring you to the test? How did God bring you through the test? How were you different afterwards?

Thursday: Read James 2:14-17. Faith is needed in times of trial and in other times – when else do we need faith? What is one of the outcomes of our faith?

Friday: Read Colossians 3:12-14. Some of our most difficult trials are those of broken relationships. What is (supposed to be) different about how believers process relationship problems? Think of a broken or strained relationship that you can apply this verse to.  Pray and go act.

Saturday: Read Romans 5: 1-5. What is the relationship between faith and suffering? How can we possibly “glory in our sufferings”? What must we believe? What happens when “God’s love has been poured into our hearts”?

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


Easter Hope: See, Bring, Meet

Easter_Hope

Monday: Read John 20:1-2. What if Jesus' body is missing instead of resurrected? What happens to the Christian faith? What happens to your faith?

Tuesday: Read Romans 8:28. Easter hope sees good news in what seems like bad news because God is present. Where have you experiences the good news of Easter hope amid bad news? Where could you use Easter hope awareness today?

Wednesday: Read John 20:3-8. Fast John beats bold Peter to the tomb. At first, John is curious, Peter theorizes and wonders, and then John sees again and gets it. When did Easter come true for your life.

Thursday: Read John 20:9. Easter brings God's promise into the present. Part of the disciples challenge that first Easter is they forgot Jesus' promises of His death and resurrection.  What Easter appearance questions do you have?

Friday: Read John 20:10-15? Mary couldn't see Jesus because of her focus - she's looking for a dead body, not a risen Savior. What hurts your focus on Easter hope? What helps you focus on Easter hope?

Saturday: Read John 20:16-18. As you have read the Easter story this week, what have you heard God speak into your life? How does it feel to have Jesus as your Brother.

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


Obedient Faith In Times Of Trial

Palmsunday

Join Christ Lutheran Church in La Mesa, CA for Easter Services this year (pdf).

Monday: Read John 12:12-13. When are you tempted to tell God what to do? What helps you to keep God in the chair to call the shots in your life?

Tuesday: Read Revelation 7:9-10. How does this glimpse of heaven inspire you for your future life in heaven? How does this glimpse of heaven inspire you for your life here on earth?

Wednesday: Read Psalm 118:25. Hosanna means us “save us now” and “grant us success”. Where are you praying for God to save in your life today?

Thursday: Read Luke 19:41. Why does Jesus weep over Jerusalem? What leads you to weep for our world today? Why? How can you turn those tears into prayers?

Friday: Read John 12:14-15. What message does Jesus send to the crowds with his entrance? How does He fulfill their desires and their needs? How does He fulfill your desires and needs today?

Saturday: Read Philippians 2:6-8. Why was Jesus willing to be thoroughly humiliated? Why did Jesus have to die? In what specific ways is this a gift to receive? An example you can apply? A life changing story you celebrate and share with others?

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


Resurrection Faith In Times Of Grief

I_Am_The_Resurrection
Monday
: Read Psalm 130:1. God is big enough to handle our emotions. When have you cried out to God from the depths? What did God do? Where might you need to cry out of the depths to God in prayer today?

Tuesday: Read John 11:21-22. In verse 21, Martha seems to blame Jesus – “if you had been here”, then in the next verse she holds on to hope with “even now” faith. What leads you to question God’s presence in your life? Where do you need an “even now” faith in God in your life today?

Wednesday: Read John 11:35. Jesus has told Martha that Lazarus will rise from the dead. He has already made his “I am the resurrection and the life” declaration, yet when he gets to the tomb, He weeps. Why? How does Jesus’ grief help you deal with your own grief?

Thursday: Read John 11:25-27. The power of the resurrection is not an event, but a person – Jesus. It’s not just what Jesus does. It’s who He is. What does it mean for your life today that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life? What does it mean for your life eternally that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life? Is there a difference in your answers to both questions? Why or why not?

Friday: Read Psalm 130:7-8. When you think of God’s hand toward you – is it more of an iron fist or an open hand? As you walk through the process of grief, where is your fist closed (hurting yourself and others) and where is your fist open (healing yourself and others)?

Saturday: Read Romans 8:11. When and how do you see the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead living in you? When and how do others see the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead living in you?

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