Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

The Lion Saves The Day!

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The Sermon for this week and this week's GPS is based on the movie "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Day 1: Read Genesis 3:6-7. What does Satan use as “bait” to trip you up in your walk with God? What sins do you need to confess to God and hear His words of forgiveness?

Day 2: Read Colossians 1:21. How would your life be different if you have life with God or life without God?

Day 3: Read Colossians 1:20. To reconcile, to pay our sin debts in full, past, present and future. Jesus dies for us that we might have life. Jesus dies that you might live. Take time to thank Jesus for such a tremendous gift of love in your life. 

Day 4: Read Colossians 1:22. Satan’s name means Accuser. Jesus sets us free from accusations. Where have you sense Satan accusing you in life, filling you with guilt and shame? Give those accusations to Jesus. Ask Him to set your heart free!

Day 5: Read Colossians 1:18. Jesus has supremacy. He’s the one in charge. He turns messes into masterpieces. As you look at your life in the past year, where has Jesus turned a mess into a masterpiece? What mess do you need Him to do His masterpiece work in your life today?

Day 6: Read 1 Peter 2:9. “Chosen. Royal. Holy. God’s special possession.” That’s not Satan’s destiny for you. That may not be the destiny you would describe your life. But that is God’s plan. Those are God’s Words. Pray to see clearly how God can use you today to declare His praises to others.

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C. S. Lewis (Amazon Kindle)
  • "The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath" by Mark Buchanan (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lead Like It Matters to God: Values Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World“ by Richard Stearns (Amazon Kindle)

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


What Christians Need To Know About Luther

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Monday: Read Philippians 3:7-9. Once he knew Jesus Christ and His free salvation, Paul threw away those accomplishments, confessed his sin and guilt, and depended on Jesus’ gift of righteousness alone. Why does Paul consider his accomplishment in the flesh “loss” and “rubbish” instead of something he can add to Jesus’ merits? Why do you think we are so inclined to put the focus on ourselves and our works rather than focus on Jesus and His works for us?

Tuesday: Read Matthew 28:20. From a Law point of view, what are the times you wish God wasn’t looking? From a Gospel point of view, what are times you’re glad He is always there? How is your perception of God affected by the good events in your life? The bad ones?

Wednesday: A few years after visiting Rome, Martin Luther was in the process of studying the original texts of the Bible, when God truly transformed his life of faith. Looking back, what events has God used to transform your faith life? Would you describe your coming to faith as being an extended process like Luther’s or more like a transformative moment?

Thursday: Read Romans 8:35-39. Reflect on the knowledge that there is NOTHING that will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. How is this freeing?

Friday: As you rise and get your day started, pray Luther’s morning prayer --

I thank you, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As you end your day and prepare for sleep, pray Luther’s evening prayer --

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

“Then go to sleep at once and in good cheer.” - Martin Luther

Saturday: Consider starting to read "Through Faith Alone - 365 Devotional Reading" (Amazon Kindle) from Martin Luther or "Luther’s Small Catechism" (Amazon Kindle). You can also watch the 2003 move "Luther" directed by Eric Till and Marco Canosa.

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath" by Mark Buchanan (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lead Like It Matters to God: Values Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World“ by Richard Stearns (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural“ by Ronald C. White Jr. (Amazon Kindle) (YouTube Video)

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


How Can I Hear God Speak Into My Life Today?

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The following is from Ruth Haley Barton's book Sacred Rhythms - Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation (Amazon Kindle) from pages 59-61:

Preparation/Silencio: With your eyes closed, let your body relax, and allow yourself to become consciously aware of God’s presence with you. Express your willingness to hear from God in these moments by using a brief prayer such as “Come Lord Jesus” or “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Read/Lectio: Listen for the word or phrase that is addressed to you. Turn to the passage and begin to read slowly, pausing between phrases and sentences. As you read, listen for a word or phrase that strikes you or catches your attention. Allow a moment of silence, repeating that word or phrase softly to yourself, pondering it and savoring it as though pondering the word of a loved one.

Passage to be read is: __________________

The word/phrase is: __________________

Reflect/Meditatio: How is my life touched by this word?

What is it in my life right now that needs to hear this word?

If the passage is a story, perhaps ask yourself: Where am I in this scene? What do I hear as I imagine myself in the story or hear these words addressed specifically to me? How do the dynamics of this story connect with my own life experience?

Respond/Oratio: What is my response to God based on what I have read and encountered?  Consider the S.P.A.C.E. questions?

  • Sins to Confess?
  • Promises to Claim?
  • Actions to Avoid (or Attitude to Adapt)?
  • Commands to Obey?
  • Examples to Follow?

Read the passage one more time, listening for your own deepest and truest response. In silence after the reading, allow your prayer to flow spontaneously from your heart as you enter a personal dialogue with God.

Rest/Contemplatio: Rest in the Word of God. In this final reading you are invited to release and return to a place of rest in God.

Resolve/Incarnatio: Incarnate (live out) the Word of God. As you emerge from this place of personal encounter with God to life in the company of others, resolve to carry this word with you and to live it out in the context of daily life and activity.

Practice Lectio Divina this week with the following scriptures (steps outlined above):

Day 1: Mark 10:46-52

Day 2: Joshua 1:5-9

Day 3: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Day 4: Psalm 23:1-6.

Day 5: Psalm 46:1-6.

Day 6: Psalm 46:7-11

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath" by Mark Buchanan (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lead Like It Matters to God: Values Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World“ by Richard Stearns (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural“ by Ronald C. White Jr. (Amazon Kindle) (YouTube Video)

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


How Can I Find Rest In A World That Wears Me Out?

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Day 1: Read Exodus 20:10. What do you need to put in “the box” each Sabbath?  Each night?

Day 2: Read Exodus 20:11. Why did God rest? What does that mean for our need to rest? To spend time with Him?

Day 3: Read Exodus 20:8. Mark Buchanan, in his book "The Rest of God" (Amazon Kindle) writes, “To remember is to literally put broken pieces back together, to re-member. It is to create an original out of what has become scattered fragments.” Where do you need to have God put broken pieces back together? Where do you need Jesus’ forgiveness this day?

Day 4: Read Matthew 11:28. What burdens have you been carrying that you need to let go and give to Jesus? Why have you been holding them? Take time to give each one to Jesus in prayer.

Day 5: Read Mark 2:23-24. As you plan your sabbath time this weekend, how do you answer these 3 questions?

  1. Does it cause you to feel calm?
  2. Does it bring delight?
  3. Does it inspire wonder?

Day 6: Read Matthew 11:29-30. To take upon us the yoke of Christ is to enter His school, become his disciple, bringing every part of our life under His control.  And the lesson of life Jesus teaches? Love! Love God, love others, love yourself. What are you learning about loving God, others and yourself?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath" by Mark Buchanan (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lead Like It Matters to God: Values Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World“ by Richard Stearns (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural“ by Ronald C. White Jr. (Amazon Kindle) (YouTube Video)

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


How Can A House Divided Be United Again?

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“With malice toward none, with charity toward all.” - President Abraham Lincoln (2nd Inaugural Address)

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In addition to the standard daily G.P.S. scripture reading and reflection, Pastor Burkey invites us to start each day this week reading the “I” paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

"I am patient, I am kind, I do not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud. I do not dishonor others, I am not self-seeking, I am not easily angered, I keep no record of wrongs. I do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere."

Day 1: Read Mark 3:25. Where have you sensed a “house divided” in your life? How do you believe Jesus can heal the division and unite that “house”?

Day 2: Read 1 Timothy 2:1-2. From now until the end of the year we are praying for God to raise up Christlike servant leaders in godly character and godly principles. Paul reminds us today of the need to pray for all leaders to lead wisely among us. Today take time to pray for all leaders to know Jesus so that we live peaceful and quiet lives.

Day 3: Read: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. What do you learn about love in these verses? How about when you use the Jesus paraphrase? Or the “I” paraphrase each day?

Day 4: Read Ephesians 4:29. How are you doing with the “talk” that comes out of your mouth? Where do you need to ask for forgiveness? Where do you need to pray to use “helpful” words? When are such helpful words easy or hard?

Day 5: Read Matthew 5:43-45. Where is a relationship strained in your life? How can you pray for God to bless that person today??

Day 6: Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. As you have read the “I” paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13, what do you sense God saying to you? How has love become more challenging? Easier? Drawn you closer to God?

Lincoln2

“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray.” - President Abraham Lincoln (2nd Inaugural Address)

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • Lead Like It Matters to God: Values Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World“ by Richard Stearns (Amazon Kindle)
  • Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural“ by Ronald C. White Jr. (Amazon Kindle) (YouTube Video)
  • Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise” by Horst Schulze (Amazon Kindle)

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


Take Heart

 

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“Be strong and TAKE HEART, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)

Each day this week and through the end of the year, I invite you to pray the 5 prayer petitions each day:

  1. Gratitude: Heavenly Father, thank you for … << insert your blessings here >>.
  2. Pastor Travis Deployment: Lord, watch over Pastor Travis and his family today.
  3. Servant Leadership: Holy Spirit, raise up Christlike servant leaders of godly character and godly principle.
  4. Community: Jesus, heal what divides us and make our community and country united and strong in You.
  5. Mission: God, I pray … << insert names here >>> ... becomes part of your family.

The G.P.S. this week:

Day 1: Read Psalm 31:24. When you think of “Take Heart”, what images come to mind? What does that phrase tell you about your relationship with God? What do you want your relationship with God to be?  

Day 2: Read Psalm 31:1. When have you taken God as your refuge? Where do you need Him to be your refuge today?

Day 3: Read Mark 12:29-30. What does being all in with all your heart, soul, mind and strength in your relationship with God look like for you? Where do you need to ask for forgiveness? For strength to keep on loving God?

Day 4: Read Psalm 31:2-3. How are you doing in praying the 5 prayers each day? What other daily prayer request might you add to your own list to pray daily?

Day 5: Read Psalm 31:23. To love others (especially those who drive you crazy), you start with love for God. When you take heart, you love God. How is that going for you? How do you express your love to God?

Day 6: Read Mark 12:31. Jesus is saying if you really want to show your love to God, then love your neighbor. That’s not just the neighbor you like but the one that drives you crazy. Ultimately your neighbor is the person you come across each day in your life. Who do you need to show God’s love to today?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise” by Horst Schulze (Amazon Kindle)
  • "The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance" by John Trent, Gary Smalley, & Kari Trent Stageberg (Amazon Kindle)
  • "A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World" by Paul Miller (Amazon Kindle)

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


Benediction: Taking God With You Wherever You Go

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Day 1: Read Numbers 6:24. Please note that the “you” is personal. You might think God is telling Moses to give the blessing to everybody, and yes it does apply to everybody. But even more when He says, “The Lord bless you.” He means you personally. Take time to thank God today He knows what you are facing and ask for His blessing in what you face in the day ahead.  

Day 2: Read Psalm 121:5-7.  We are blessed because Jesus pays a price we could never pay and gives us a relationship we could never earn. As we begin our worship services in God’s name, the benediction reminds us God goes with us to not only bless us, but to keep us, to watch over us all our days. Looking back over the past couple days, how has God been watching over you? Where do you pray for Him to watch over in the day ahead?

Day 3: Read Numbers 6:25. In our worship services we take time to confess our sins and hear God’s word of forgiveness. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper and receive the body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. As a final personal reminder for you Moses reminds us that the LORD is smiling on you, He’s gracious to you. He has not only forgiven you for the sins of the past week. He’s ready to forgive what the future holds. He will never give up on you. What sins do you need to confess from the past day and receive the forgiveness Jesus gives?

Day 4: Read Psalm 67:1-2. The psalmist having experienced God’s forgiveness recognizes the purpose of living the blessed life is to make God known to all people. No one is too far from God. Jesus died for the sins of all the world. Our Heavenly Father wants everyone back in the family. He offers a life of forgiveness and blessing and sends us forth with His smile on us and His forgiving love over us. Who will you pray for today to know God’s forgiveness and love? 

Day 5: Read Numbers 6:26. For God’s face to be turned to you and to shine upon you means to have an intimate, personal relationship with God. When the benediction says, “the Lord turn his face toward you”. That means He’s paying attention. His eyes are on you. He’s ready to help. Where do you need to ask Him for help today? Where do you need to praise Him for helping you yesterday?

Day 6: Read Psalm 29:10-11. God’s end game is peace, life working together, whole and complete. We think of peace as the absence of conflict or war. God thinks peace is a whole lot more. The Hebrew word Shalom has the idea of life working out. How have you sensed God working out your life this week? This year? Where do you pray for His hand of peace, of life working out in your life this summer?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance" by John Trent, Gary Smalley, & Kari Trent Stageberg (Amazon Kindle)
  • "A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World" by Paul Miller (Amazon Kindle)

  • "Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids" by Kara Powell & Chap Clark (Amazon Kindle)


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


Prayer: The God Who Hears And Answers

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Day 1: Read 1 John 5:14. John uses the word “confidence” in approaching God in prayer? What word(s) would you use to describe your approach to God in prayer? 

Day 2: Read 1 John 5:14. We believe when we pray God listens. God acts. God responds. Think through a recent prayer request, how has God responded? What holds you back from believing God is listening? What affirms your belief God listens to your prayers?

Day 3: Read 1 John 5:14. Most people like to focus on the “if we ask anything” part, and you are allowed to ask anything. But John’s wise focus is on the second part of our asking, “according to His will”. What are some of your according to God’s will prayers you are praying?

Day 4: Read Mark 14:36. How do you know you have moved from praying “my will be done” to “Your will be done” when praying to God? 

Day 5: Read 1 John 5:15. John tells us when we pray, God answers. It might take a bit of time to see the answer, but God answers immediately. He answers: No, Slow, Grow, Go. How have you seen God answer in all 4 ways to your prayers? What has been His most recent answer to your prayer request? 

Day 6: Read Matthew 6:9. Martin Luther explained this petition by saying we know that God’s will, will be done with us or without us. We pray in this petition that God’s will is done with us. Where are you praying to join God in His will being done?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World" by Paul Miller (Amazon Kindle)

  • "Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids" by Kara Powell & Chap Clark (Amazon Kindle)

  • "The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Selections from the New International Version)" by Randy Frazee & Max Lucado (Amazon Kindle)


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


Offering: The Grateful Response

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If you are not regularly tithing, then please consider joining the "90 Day" giving challenge -- starting next Sunday, June 13 through Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 by giving any amount you feel comfortable as a regular Sunday worship offering. 

After 90 days, count your new blessings -- "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." - Malachi 3:11. If you think you need a refund, then please contact Pastor Travis.

Day 1: Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. What can you do today to 'sow generously' as a 'cheerful giver'?

Day 2: Read 2 Corinthians 9:8-9. As God blesses you, how are you blessing others?

Day 3: Read 2 Corinthians 9:10-11. How are you celebrating God's thanksgiving and sharing these thanksgivings with others?

Day 4: Read 2 Corinthians 9:12-13. Service to others is a genuine gift to give generously.  Where could you provide those with a service they desperately need? 

Day 5: Read 2 Corinthians 9:14-15. Prayer is also a genuine gift to give generously. Please continue to pray for those in need, and thank God for the grace He has abundantly poured out to for you.

Day 6: Read Mark 12:41-44. What might you be holding on to that you could give like the 'poor widow who put in everything -- all she had to live on.' Trust the Lord!

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids" by Kara Powell and Chap Clark (Amazon Kindle)

  • "The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Selections from the New International Version)" by Randy Frazee & Max Lucado (Amazon Kindle)

  • "Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God" by Mark Batterson (Amazon Kindle)


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


Preaching: Thoroughly Equipped

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Day 1: Read 2 Timothy 3:10. Paul doesn’t write these words out of arrogance, but out of care. He has tried his best, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to live a life of example for others. Whose example have you followed in recent days? What example have you set for others?

Day 2: Read 2 Timothy 3:11. Paul has been faithful to God, even while enduring persecution. He focuses the attention on God when he says, “from them all, the Lord rescued me.” Take time to ask God to rescue you from whatever situation or idol is holding you captive.

Day 3: Read 2 Timothy 3:14. Paul admonishes us to “continue in what we have learned.” In what ways are you continuing to learn about the Bible, faith, Jesus, etc.? What goals do you need to set in your continuing journey as a dynamic disciple of Jesus?

Day 4: Read 2 Timothy 3:15. Paul speaks of how childhood is when we start to learn about salvation. In what ways have you mentored the next generation, or participated in their ongoing learning about the faith? Take time today to pray for all the children and parents in our school and church, that they may grow in faith and love towards God and others.

Day 5: Read 2 Timothy 3:16. All of scripture is profitable for teaching. This means that everything in the bible can contribute to how we look at life. Consider starting a daily devotional that takes you through various parts of scripture.

Day 6: Read 2 Timothy 3:17. God wants to equip us for every good work. What growth opportunities do you have in life right now? If you need to work on anger, search for what scripture teaches on anger. If you need to work on loving others, focus on scripture that teaches about what love is.

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids" by Kara Powell and Chap Clark (Amazon Kindle)

  • "The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Selections from the New International Version)" by Randy Frazee & Max Lucado (Amazon Kindle)

  • "Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God" by Mark Batterson (Amazon Kindle)


 

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