Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Red Letter Challenge: Being

Red-letter-challengeTIP! -- When you develop the habit of reading God’s Word, you can use these 3 questions that Pastor Burkey picked up from Pastor Tim Keller to go deeper in your study:

  • Adore: What did you learn about God for which you could praise or thank Him?
  • Admit: What did you learn about yourself for which you could repent?
  • Aspire: What did you learn about life that you could aspire to, ask for, and act on?

Monday - Day 7: Read Matthew 9:38 -- Pray earnestly.

Tuesday - Day 8: Read Luke 4:8 -- Worship the Lord your God.

Wednesday - Day 9: Read Mark 6:31 -- Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.

Thursday - Day 10: Read Matthew 6:17 -- And when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face.

Friday - Day 11: Read Luke 15:23 -- Let us eat and celebrate.

Saturday - Day 12: Read Mark 2:27 -- The Sabbath was made for man.

Sunday - Day 13 (Begin Week of Forgiving): Read Mark 1:15 -- Repent and believe the Good News.

More information about the Red Letter Challenge (RLC)!

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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: Construction is almost done! The grand opening celebration is planned for Sunday, February 9, 2019.

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Red Letter Challenge – Week 1: Why the RLC? 

Why-red-letter-challengeMonday - Day 0 (Start by Reading Introduction). By putting God’s words literally into practice, you will find the life God has made for you! 

Tuesday - Day 1. Read Psalm 46:10.Be still and know that I am God... 

Wednesday - Day 2. Read Ephesians 2:8-9.For by grace you have been saved through faith… 

Thursday - Day 3. Read 1 Peter 3:15.Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 

Friday - Day 4. Read John 3:16.For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son... 

Saturday - Day 5. Read John 20:21.Just as the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you. 

Sunday - Day 6 (Begin Week of Being). Read John 8:31.Abide in My Word. 

More information about the Red Letter Challenge (RLC)!

Red-letter-living


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of February 2020). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

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2020 Vision

Chase-clark-T69h1_YfR-w-unsplashPhoto by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Don't forget to sign up for the Red Letter Challenge (RLC)!

Day 1: Read Matthew 2:12. As you look at the year ahead, where do you believe God might want to work more closely in your life with Him and with others? 

Day 2: Read Hebrews 11:6. 2020 vision for the year ahead invites you to trust God to work it out. As you look back at 2019, how did you see God work things out in your life? 

Day 3: Read Matthew 2:2. In order to find Jesus, every one of us needs direction. The good news is that God gives it through His Word. What are your plans for spending time in God’s Word on a regular basis in 2020? (GPS and the Red Letter Challenge are 2 potential ways!) 

Day 4: Read Matthew 2:4-6. The wise men follow the star and that leads them to Jerusalem. But it took God’s Word to lead them to Jesus. What are some of the major life lessons you learned from God’s Word in 2019? Are you ready for the Red Letter Challenge? Do you have the book to start day 1 on January 14th? Have you chosen the service you will attend each weekend starting January 11th-12th? Have you joined a Life Group to attend? 

Day 5: Read Matthew 2:11. According to the gift giving practices of the day, gold was the gift for a king; frankincense was the gift for a priest; and myrrh was the gift for one who is to die — it was used to embalm the bodies of the dead. When the wise men brought their gifts to Jesus, they brought gifts that indicated who He truly is — the king of kings, the great high priest, the one who would die for the sins of the world. The wisemen’s gifts are an act of worship. Think of the gifts you give to Jesus of your time, talents and treasure, how do they declare who Jesus truly is? In what area might God be calling you to grow in giving gifts to Him in the year ahead? What will your next step be? 

Day 6: Read Matthew 2:10. Not just filled with joy, but the wisemen take joy to a new level – mega-joy. It turns out that worship is not just when you bow before the Christ child, but when you celebrate that God is leading you to Him each day and each moment. His signs aren’t to merely get you to the destination. His signs are to help you realize He is with you every day and every moment of the year ahead. When it comes to worshiping God, what filled your heart with mega-joy in the last year? As you look ahead to this year, what mega-joy do you anticipate? 

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ by Tim Keller.


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of January 2020). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

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Red Letter Challenge (RLC)

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2020 is almost here.
What can you do to make this year one to remember?
 
We have a suggestion: The Red Letter Challenge. Imagine a world where Christians take the words of Jesus and put them into practice. Wouldn’t our families, our communities, and our world look amazing?! That’s the goal of the RLC. To take the words of Jesus, those red letters in so many bibles, and put them into practice. 
 
Here’s my suggestion for your New Years Resolution:
  1. Commit to take the challenge. You can pickup a workbook in the Fireside Room on Sunday morning. 
  2. Worship with us every week of the challenge. Our message series will follow each week of the challenge. 
  3. Join a Life Group (or lead one). Life is better when you’re with others. 
Commit to this life changing journey at christlamesa.org/redletter.
 
So excited to join you in this!
 
Pastor Travis Ferguson

The Angel Speaks To Mary’s Heart 

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You are invited to our Christmas Services!!


Day 1: Read Luke 1:31-33. What do you learn about Jesus in these verses? Which of the phrases and statements made by the angel stands out for you? 

Day 2: Read Luke 1:34. Zechariah asks the same question (Luke 1:18) Mary does. Zechariah’s question comes out of his weakness and doubt, Mary’s from her heart and faith. Why the difference? What draws you to doubt in your response to God? What draws out your faith in God? 

Day 3: Read Luke 1:35. What do you learn about Jesus in this verse 

Day 4: Read Luke 1:37. We do not have a problem discovering what seems impossible in life, whether it be in our family, at our work, or in our daily existence. What we discover with the angel's words are that, the impossible begins to become possible when God's grace is given. Where do you need to remind yourself that God makes all things possible in your life today? 

Day 5: Read Luke 1:38. Mary didn’t just choose to serve. She chose to be a servant. What have you done in the last 24 hours that nobody but a Christian would do? What keeps you from being all-in with God? Are you ready to make “I am the Lord’s Servant” your automatic response to what you face in the day ahead? 

Day 6: Read Luke 1:38. Mary prays, “Thy will be done” instead of “Thy will be changed”. Where are you tempted to pray to God, “Thy will be changed”? Where is God calling you to pray, “Thy will be done”?  

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book The Real Mary by Scot McKnight.


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of January 2020). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

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THE ANGEL SPEAKS TO JOSEPH’S CONFUSION

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Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash


You are invited to our Christmas Services!!


MondayRead Matthew 1:19. Even as Joseph considers divorcing Mary, he wants to do so quietly so as not to ruin her reputation. This, as odd as it sounds, is a compassion. Where do you need to find more compassion in your life?

TuesdayRead Matthew 1:20. Angels seem to say “do not fear” a lot throughout Scripture. How do those words of God speak to you and what you’re fearing right now? What fear do you need to let go of?

WednesdayRead Matthew 1:24. Joseph heard the urging of God and obeyed. Where are you disobeying God’s Word right now? Pray for the Holy Spirit to grant you the gift of obedience in those areas of your life. 

ThursdayRead Isaiah 11:1. A branch will come up from a stump. Life will come from death. This is what is foretold to us about Jesus. Jesus rises from death and gives life. What relationships do you regard as dead in your life right now? How can new life come from those relationships?  

FridayRead Isaiah 11:5. In Scripture we hear that “no one is righteous”. But Jesus is. Jesus imparts to you His righteousness. Take time to thank Him for this today. 

SaturdayRead Isaiah 11:6-9. We are pointed to the day when all things will be made well again - when peace will come. Where does peace need to come in your life right now?  

You can GO DEEPER this week with these two suggestions:

  1. 90 Seconds Challenge -- Every day from now until Christmas, Pastor Burkey is inviting us to sit silent before God for 90 seconds. Amid the chaos of the Christmas season, find His calming voice to prepare you. Each day before you sit in silence for 90 seconds simply pray: “Lord, Your work is greater than my perspective. Open my heart to leave room for You to work. In these 90 seconds of silence, realign the chaos in my life to the calm and peace you bring.”
  2. Need to make a decision? Use Pastor Travis OODA Loop suggestion!

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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of December 2019). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


The Angel Speaks To Zechariah’s Prayer

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90 Seconds Challenge -- Every day from now until Christmas, Pastor Burkey is inviting us to sit silent before God for 90 seconds. Amid the chaos of the Christmas season, find His calming voice to prepare you. Each day before you sit in silence for 90 seconds simply pray:

“Lord, Your work is greater than my perspective. Open my heart to leave room for You to work. In these 90 seconds of silence, realign the chaos in my life to the calm and peace you bring.”

Day 1: Read Luke 1:18. Zechariah speaks from his own perspective. He doubts what God has said He will do. Where do you find yourself doubting what God says He will do? How have His answers surprised you in the past? Where do you long for Him to surprise you in the day ahead?

Day 2: Read Luke 1:34. Mary prays for clarity. She doesn’t doubt God, (like Zechariah) instead she asks for clarity for how this will happen. Where do you know what God wants you to do, and you need His clarity for the next step to take? (HINT: That next step usually involves sacrificial love!)

Day 3: Read Luke 1:5-7. If you could pray only one prayer to God, what would that prayer be? How long have you been praying that prayer? What kind of answers have you received?

Day 4: Read Luke 1:8-10. Teresa of Avila observed: "All difficulties in prayer can be traced to one cause: praying as if God were absent." What prayer request do you find challenging to pray? Where in your life are you doubting God’s presence? Where do you need to remind yourself, “God is with me! He’s got this!”?

Day 5: Read Luke 1:20 and Luke 1:22. What most people see as punishment for Zechariah’s doubt, I see as God’s discipline for Zechariah’s growth. More than punishment the 9-month silent treatment develops a discipline in Zechariah where he not only finds his voice, he finds his faith. How has your experience of 90 seconds of silence before God been this week? What has God been speaking to your heart? From His Word?

Day 6: Read Luke 1:68 and Luke 1:76-79. Zechariah embraces the discipline of silence and when his son John is born, he sings a powerful faith song. What resonates with you from Zechariah’s faith song? From your one prayer? From your 90 seconds of silence today? As you pray today, follow Andrew Murray’s advice: “Let this be your chief objective in prayer, to realize the presence of your heavenly father.”

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller.


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of December 2019). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD

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Monday Read Exodus 12:3-6. What does the word “sacrifice” mean to you? Where have you seen “sacrifice” in your life or in the lives of others?

TuesdayRead Exodus 12:7-11. After the blood of the lamb was spread over the doorway of the houses, the Israelites were commanded to cook and eat the meat. In doing this, they remembered that this animal took the brunt of their problems. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther called communion “food for the soul.” How have you seen the body and blood of Jesus be that for you?

WednesdayRead John 6:51-59. Jesus had just fed over 5,000 people (not including women and children) using five loaves of bread and two fish. After He fed them, He went to the other side of the sea. The crowd followed Him. He knew they were after more food. He said to them: “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you” (John 6:27). He goes on to talk about eating His body and drinking His blood. If Jesus was talking metaphorically, why would people get so mad about His words? How do these verses point towards the cross? How do these verses point towards the sacrifice that Jesus makes?

ThursdayRead Mark 14:22-25. On the night that Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, He turns the tables. St. John says that Jesus washes their feet. Matthew, Mark, & Luke all record Jesus instituting Holy Communion. He points out, in a very real way, that He is becoming the Passover Lamb – the perfect sacrifice without blemish. Notice that Jesus does not give any additional explanation on His use of the word “is.” Neither does He say that what’s before Him is no longer bread. How can we believe that what we eat and drink in Communion is His body and blood while simultaneously being bread and wine? Do you ever struggle in this belief?

FridayRead Isaiah 53:5. In what areas of your life do you struggle to believe that Jesus died, and therefore forgave, all that you have done? Where are you experiencing a problem in embracing the forgiveness that comes through Jesus?

SaturdayRead John 6:33. Jesus, the Bread that comes down from heaven, gives life to the world. Pray to God about those areas of life where you need Him most right now.

You can read more about Communion here!


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of October 2019). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

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COMMUNION: A FURTHER EXPLANATION

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther said: “The bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ.”  He went onto say: “Such a mystery cannot be grasped except by faith and is revealed alone in the Word.”1 To say more than the Word indicates is to step out-of-bounds. We embrace the mystery every time we take Communion. 

Some other helpful points as we think about this:

  • We take Jesus at His word.  “This is my body.” “This is my blood.”  The context in which Jesus spoke these words and ate this meal was His last meal with His disciples before He would be crucified.  The mood is somber and serious, with little room for jokes or riddles. Here we take Jesus literally.  
  • God uses created elements to convey His mercy.  God is in the business of creating and re-creating.  Jesus is God “incarnate,” in the flesh. In the same way, He likes to convey Himself in real things.
  • As God and man, Jesus’ divine nature is shared with His human nature, allowing a supernatural presence whenever and wherever He wills.

In Christianity, there are typically three prevalent views of the Lord’s Supper: 

  • Transubstantiation/Consubstantiation: The bread and wine become the body and blood, leaving no trace of bread and wine. This understanding is held by the Roman Catholic Church. 
  • Remembrance Meal: The bread and wine stay the way they are, and the meal is simply remembering the Last Supper. This understanding is held by many Reformed Churches, including Baptist and Non-Denominational Traditions. 
  • Real Presence: The bread and wine, after the Words of Institution have been said, become the body and blood of Christ while still being bread and wine. Jesus is truly in the Sacrament, just as He said, but wine and bread are still there as well. 

As Lutheran-Christians, we believe in the “Real Presence.” One Lutheran theologian said: “The Lutheran teaching does not make the bread imaginary bread, nor does it make the body of Christ an imaginary body. It teaches a true, essential bread and the true, essential body of Christ in the Sacrament because the Words of Institution state both.”2 He went onto say: “As water and the application of water are a part of Baptism, so bread and wine and their reception are the earthly element of the Lord’s Supper. As we do not venture to substitute some other fluid for water in Baptism, so neither in the Lord’s Supper do we dare to substitute for bread and wine.”3

SOURCES:

  1. Robert Kolb, Timothy J. Wengert, and Charles P. Arand, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000), 508.
  2.  Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, electronic ed., vol. 3 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), 298.
  3.  Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, electronic ed., vol. 3 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), 353-354.