Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Draw On Your Baptismal Power

Rachael-cox-TkVY_BngXkQ-unsplashPhoto by Rachael Cox on Unsplash

Day 1: Read John 3:3. When you think of your baptism, what images, stories, memories and special moments come to mind? What does it mean for you to be part of God’s family? -- If you haven’t been baptized, what are you waiting for?

Day 2: Read Galatians 3:26-27. Where in your life right now, do you need to remember your identity as a Child of God

Day 3: Read Psalm 32:1-2. In baptism, in an instant, God washes away our sins to reveal the masterpiece He has made us to be. Because of our baptism and what Jesus has done on the cross, God stands ready to forgive our sins. Where do you need to take the psalmist’s advice and confess your transgressions and sins to the Lord?

Day 4: Read Acts 2:38-39. Forgiveness is a daily gift from God. How can you remember each day that your sins are forgiven?

Day 5: Read John 3:14-15. When we hear the words eternal life, most of us tend to interpret that as “a life waiting for eternity.” But eternal means, “unending,” not “later.” In baptism, eternal life starts now because of what Jesus came to do. How does eternity being part of your life right now as a Child of God, change your perspective on the past day? On the day ahead?

Day 6: Read Romans 6:4. A daily return to baptism is not that we are baptized anew each day, but each day we remember our baptism as Paul speaks of dying and rising again. Let each day begin with the strength of God's forgiving love and power for facing life. How can you remind yourself each day you are baptized – a Child of God, forgiven, and living with an eternal dimension to life?

You can Go Deeper this week by:

  • Reading Martin Luther’s Small and Large Catechism
  • As you get ready to wash up for the day, pray this prayer …
    • “Lord, as I wash up to face the day ahead, I remember my baptism. Wash me in your grace. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your Spirit. Renew my soul. I pray that I might live as your child today, and honor you in all that I do. Thank you for making me your child now and always! Amen.”

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.

Where-to-park-at-church


I BELIEVE ... IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY, AND THE LIFE EVERLASTING. AMEN

Believe

Monday – Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-52. Our bodies serve as a constant reminder of the law. Even before we were obsessed with our weight, our health, our hair color, or our cuticles, no man or woman escaped the realization that his/her flesh was leading them straight to the grave. Our bodies are the vehicles of our demise.

Tuesday – Read 1 Corinthians 15:54-58. Death will one day be swallowed up in victory – but the pain of death still haunts us on this side of paradise. People will still be sad until that last day when all things are made right. That said, what are some things you should avoid saying to those who are mourning death?

Wednesday – Read Revelation 21:1. The vision does not necessarily suppose the annihilation of the old creation, but only its passing away as to its outward and recognizable form, and renewal to a fresh and more glorious one. What are the specific things you’re looking forward to seeing “refreshed”?

Thursday – Read Revelation 21:2. The Church is seen as a bride adorned for her husband. But what about the churches that are straying from the Lord? The church that strays from the Lord that seeks her is not the bride of Christ, but more like a Harlot (See the book of Hosea). Where have you seen churches not seek the Lord?

Friday – Read Revelation 21:4. Though Jesus is preparing a place where there will be no more tears, mourning, death, or sadness, that day hasn’t happened for us yet. Until the day where we are all in this new heaven and new earth, our job is to wipe the tears, be there for people, etc. Whom do you need to be this for in your life right now?

Saturday – Read Revelation 21:7-8. Jesus makes it clear that there are two places to exist in eternity: with Him in paradise, or apart from Him in hell. How does this change your sense of urgency regarding the work God has called you to in the world, to be a beacon of hope pointing people to the cross? How can you become more intentional about testifying to Christ in what you say and do?

Two things to consider before next Sunday --

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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.

Where-to-park-at-church


As We Talk About The Eternalness Of Our Life

The message for this week included this excerpt --

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As we talk about the eternalness of our life, reflect on what C.S. Lewis says in his book The Weight of Glory:

“It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. 

The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. 

All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other [to one of two destinations: heaven or hell]. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. 

There are no ordinary people. 

You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. 

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. 

Next to the [Holy Communion] itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

The Grow Pray Study (GPS) Guide for this week is also available for a deeper study on this topic over the next week.


I BELIEVE ... The Communion Of Saints, The Forgiveness Of Sins

Believe

Day 1: Read 1 Peter 2:4-5. Where do you see Jesus building your life to be like His? Where would you like His construction work to happen? 

Day 2: Read Matthew 16:17-19. The foundational faith statement about Jesus by the disciples is: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” That statement is the rock Jesus uses as the foundation of our faith. What does it mean to you that Jesus is not just another man, or even just a gifted man, but is the Son of the Living God? With whom can you share the good news of who Jesus is this week? You can start by praying for that person by name today!

Day 3: Read Revelation 7:9-10. A Faith Hero inspires others to follow Jesus. Who are some of your faith heroes who inspire you to follow Jesus? Who might consider you to be their faith hero?

Day 4: Read Hebrews 12:1-2. What hindrances and entanglements in your life cause you to take your eyes off Jesus? Where do you need to realign your life for the race Jesus has laid out for you? Ask the Holy Spirit to help move you in that direction. 

Day 5: Read Matthew 26:28. You are part of the “many” that Jesus died for to forgive your sins. As you look back over the past 24 hours, where do you need to ask and receive Jesus’ forgiveness? 

Day 6: Read 1 Peter 2:6-7. C.S. Lewis observed, “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” Whom do you need to forgive today? What’s holding you back from extending forgiveness? What next step might God be prompting you to take to forgive someone?

You can go deeper by reading Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve by Lewis B. Smedes.Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 19.32.18


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.

Where-to-park-at-church


I BELIEVE ... In The Holy Spirit, The Holy Christian Church

Believe

Day 1: Read Ephesians 4:4-6. If God desires His Church to be one, where do you see that unity happening? Where is it hindered? Where is God seeking to use you to make His Church one in Jesus?

Day 2: Read Ephesians 4:1. For Paul, the calling he emphasizes is not being an apostle, but being a prisoner of the Lord. Where has the Holy Spirit called you to serve in your work/career, family, community and Christ Lutheran Church?

Day 3: Read Acts 2:44-45. American Christians fear the early church was a bunch of communists! Selling stuff and giving it away! They weren’t communists, they were sacrificial Christ-followers. They realized they were not just part of a Church. They were part of God’s family. Where have you seen such sacrificial love at work in your life? When and where have you been part of such sacrificial giving? What led you to such a sacrifice? Where is God prompting you to give what you have received from Him to help others through His Church?

Day 4: Read Ephesians 4:2-3. In addition to Jesus, whom do you think of when you read such qualities that Paul describes? Where do you see the Holy Spirit cultivating such qualities in your life? Where might He need to do some deeper work? 

Day 5: Read Ephesians 4:7. One phrase Christians like to share about calling is: “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called!” That’s different than what some say in our day, when asked to serve they reply – “I’m just not gifted to do that. I don’t feel qualified at all.” Where is the Holy Spirit nudging you to step out of your comfort zone and serve others? What is holding you back? When will you step forward?

Day 6: Read John 16:7. The word for the Holy Spirit in the New International Version 1984 is “counselor”. In the original Greek the word is Parakaleo - tough for translators to find the exact meaning. If you break the Greek word up, you discover that it’s made up of 2 Greek words – Para – means to “stand beside”. Notice its “beside”, not way behind or way in front, but the Holy Spirit is right beside you in living life. And then Kaleo, which means “to call, to prod, to urge on, to encourage”. Where have you experienced the Holy Spirit standing beside you to encourage you this week? Where do you need to see His presence beside you to encourage you to walk boldly with Him? Where does He desire to use you to stand beside someone to encourage them?

You can go deeper by reading The Apostles’ Creed by Raymond F. Cannata and Joshua D. Reitano.Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 19.32.18


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.

Where-to-park-at-church


I BELIEVE ... AND SITS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD ...

Believe

This week's GPS is a deep dive into these words:

“... AND SITS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY.

HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD.”

Monday – Read Revelation 4:9-11. One image that describes Jesus’ role is a crown. He is the Ruler. In Revelation, all those around Jesus throw their crowns at His throne. What’s an area of your life where you need to take off your “I Rule This” hat and throw it down at the feet of Jesus?

Tuesday – Read 1 Thessalonians 5:2. The Coming of the Lord will be like a thief in the night. Does that scare you? If so, why? If not, why not?

Wednesday – Read 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Where do you think people find “peace and security” outside of Jesus? Is there a way you can guide them to the only true peace and security? 

Thursday – Read 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Paul encourages us “not to fall asleep.” What are some areas of your faith journey where you have “fallen asleep” or let things slip through the cracks? Can you develop a plan for re-discovering those practices?

Friday – Read 1 Thessalonians 5:9. God does not want wrath for us – which is why Jesus came. Do you want wrath for people in your life? How can you take that emotion and desire good for people?

Saturday – Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11. How can you encourage someone this week? Who can you reach out to and be encouraged yourself?
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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.

Where-to-park-at-church


I BELIEVE “THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD. HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN…”

Believe

MondayRead 1 Corinthians 1:12-14. St. Paul says that “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” Why does our faith hinge on the Resurrection? How is the Resurrection good news for you?

TuesdayRead 1 Corinthians 1:50-58. This verse is often read at funerals. How does this verse make you feel about those in your life who have died and had faith in Jesus Christ?

WednesdayRead John 11:25-26. Very few things in our life have eternal impact. How does Jesus’ statement impact the way you spend your time?

ThursdayRead 1 Peter 3:21. There is a huge connection between Baptism and the Resurrection throughout Scripture. How can you remember your baptism each day?

FridayRead Acts 1:7. Jesus didn’t give His disciples all the answers. How is Jesus’ statement both comforting and scary for you?

SaturdayRead Acts 1:8. How can you live as Christ’s witness day in and day out?

You can go DEEPER this week by checking out:


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.

Where-to-park-at-church


I Believe … He Descended Into Hell

Believe

Day 1: Read Acts 2:23. When you know the whole story, it’s easy to call the day between Good Friday and Easter “Holy Saturday”. For Jesus’ disciples that Saturday was “a hold on to your faith with all you’ve got Saturday”. When have you been disappointed in how God acted in your life, and your best response was to “hold on to your faith with all you’ve got”? What happened as you look back at that time? How did you grow? How did God act? How is He still acting today in that situation?

Day 2: Read Matthew 12:40. Martin Luther said Saturday was the day God himself lay cold in the grave. Friday was death, Sunday was hope, but Saturday was that seemingly-ignored middle day between them when God occupied a dirty grave in a little garden outside Jerusalem. Saturday is about waiting, about uncertainty, about not knowing what’ll happen. Saturday is ambiguity. It’s about, as one theologian put it, “muddling through” when the future isn’t clear. Where do you find yourself “muddling through”? How is God helping you to persevere? Why is Jesus’ death, laying in the tomb and resurrection, so important to you when you muddle through the challenges of life?

Day 3: Read 1 Peter 3:19. Before this weekend, what did you think it meant about Jesus when you say in the Apostles’ Creed, “He descended into Hell.”? What do you believe today that statement means for Jesus? For you?

Day 4: Read Revelation 1:18. When we say, “He descended into hell”, we believe Jesus proclaimed His victory, His mission accomplished. How does Jesus’ words in Revelation 1:18 help you to see the victory Jesus has won for His followers? Where do you need to trust Him in your life today to see you through?

Day 5: Read Matthew 27:62-64. Jesus’ disciples have lost hope. Jesus’ enemies seek to prevent a hoax. They both agree Jesus is dead. Game over. Yet God is still at work. Death will not have the final word. Where have you tried to box God in, and He has broken through? Where do you need to “roll the stone away” and let God have free access to your life?

Day 6: Read Psalm 139:8. David discovered God in the depths, in Hebrew, that’s Sheol – the place of the dead. Go high, go low, God is there. In life, in death, God is there. There’s nowhere you can go in this life, where God is not already there. He descended into Hell means there is no suffering you go through that Jesus has not endure in order to save you. Take time today to thank Jesus for His presence in any suffering (or success) you are facing in life. Turn your suffering to Him and ask Him to make you aware of His presence today, for He is with you no matter where you go or what happens in life!

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book The Apostles’ Creed: Rooted by Raymond F. Cannata and Joshua D. Reitano.Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 19.32.18


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.

Where-to-park-at-church


I Believe … Suffered Under Pontius Pilate, Was Crucified, Died, And Was Buried

Believe

Day 1: Read Luke 23:33. Pontius Pilate’s name in the Apostles’ Creed reminds us Jesus death is an actual event in time and space. Why is it important to know that the Jesus story is not just a great mystery, but actually happened? 

Day 2: Read Isaiah 53:3-4. Isaiah writes as if we were there at the cross, because we were. My sins, your sins, everyone’s sins, put Jesus on the cross. Take time today to confess your sins and ask God for His forgiveness. Even more, take time to thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made to be your Savior.

Day 3: Read Luke 23:34. Where do you need to hear Jesus’ words of forgiveness today? With whom do you need to share words of forgiveness today? 

Day 4: Read Isaiah 53:5. Consider the price Jesus paid to bear our sins. What words/phrases from this verse touch you with what happened to Jesus on the cross and what that means for your life? Take time to turn those words and phrases into a prayer of Thanksgiving for what Jesus has done and continues to do in your life.

Day 5: Read Philippians 2:6-8. Right before Paul writes these words, he tells us to have the same attitude of Jesus. What attitude of Jesus do you notice in these verses? What does that say to the attitude God wants you to have with others?

Day 6: Read Luke 23:46. The Greek word for commit means to yield, to entrust, and to commit. But the way it’s used most often it means to deposit, especially to deposit something for safekeeping. In this verse Jesus commits His life to God. What do you need to entrust, to deposit for safe keeping with God today?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado.Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 19.32.18


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.

Where-to-park-at-church


AN EXPLORATION OF THE APOSTLES’ CREED

Believe

MondayRead Luke 1:34-37. The angel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to a son, even though she was a virgin. Her response? “HOW CAN THIS BE?!” Gabriel responds, “nothing is impossible with God.” How have you seen impossibility overcome in your life?

TuesdayRead Luke 1:39-45. Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, is carrying a child as well: John the Baptist. When Mary tells Elizabeth the news, the pre-born John leaps in the womb. How does this impact your view of life and how precious children, even the unborn, are?

WednesdayRead Luke 1:46-47. Mary sings a song about the news she has received. How does your soul magnify God? How do you rejoice in the Savior?

ThursdayRead Luke 1:54. Mary says in her song that the Lord has “remembered Israel in His mercy.” When God remembers, He acts. Is it hard for you to remember mercy (and act in mercy) in your everyday life? Where do you want to work on this?

FridayRead Luke 2:14. The heavenly host sing with joy as the shepherds hear about the Christ-child. How can this song be sung in your words and actions at work? At home? At school? 

SaturdayRead Luke 2:19. As Mary sat with her newborn child, she “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” How can pondering the greatness of God influence the way you live day by day?

Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 19.32.18


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.

Where-to-park-at-church