Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Cultivate Community In A Culture Of Conflict

Helena-lopes-459331-unsplash

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Hebrews 10:14. When Jesus came, He came to die for our sins. He created community through His cross, by giving His life that we might have life.  Take some time today in confession of sin, especially those that are obstacles to community, and ask God's forgiveness.

Day 2: Read Hebrews 10:18. The writer to the Hebrews says that God eternally forgives you. Jesus has paid the price. The forgiveness is real, and it lasts for all eternity. What helps you to remember God's forgiveness?  Why is such forgiveness so important in overcoming the withdrawal and attack sins of the Porcupine Problem?

Day 3: Read Hebrews 10:19-22. In the American church we to often lose the "power of we" and focus on how Jesus only affects me.  That's one reason why I love these words from Hebrews 10. The writer could have targeted his words to individuals. Instead, he writes about us, he writes about the power of Jesus with us, not just with you or with me, but with all of us connected together in Jesus.  What does the writer of Hebrews say that "we" are to do?  How are the imperatives of this verse lived out in our life in a daily and weekly basis?

Day 4: Read Hebrews 10:23. I need you. You need me. We all need Christ. In the temple, the holy of holies was only accessible to one, to the priest. But in the blood of Jesus, the great high priest who became the sacrifice for us, not just one of us, but all of us with faith in Christ are invited to enter in together. Where have you experienced the "power of we," in living out the Christian faith with others?

Day 5: Read Hebrews 10:24. Jesus-centered Community is the one place where it is fully safe for us to take off our masks and to know the healing power of being known and loved - to stop hiding. Faith, hope, and love are experienced in a relationship with God and with other people.  That's why we gather in worship.  That's why we have Life Groups and Bibles Classes.  Where do you best experience Jesus-centered community that spurs you toward love and good deeds? How are you being spurred on to server with Christ's love? Who are you spurring on to live out Christ's love?

Day 6: Read Hebrews 10:25. When we experience the hot charcoal effect instead of the cooling one, here's what we're able to do. We spur one another on the good deeds. We encourage one another. In other words, we make each other better, and we make life better for one another. We cultivate community. Today, pray for the places and people that cultivate community with God in your life.  Thank God for those who encourage you.  Ask God to give you people each day you can encourage in living out their faith.


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

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


  Parking Update!

Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Self-Control In A Culture Of Out Of Control

Patrick-tomasso-122590-unsplash

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Titus 2:11. The Christian life flows out of grace, not guilt. Grace is not an excuse for lack of self-control. Grace is the power behind exercising self-control. How has God’s grace helped you when it comes to cultivating self-control? Where do you need to pray for His gracious power to be at work in your life?

Day 2: Read Titus 2:12. The ability to say no to sin is not the natural response, it’s the supernatural response. God’s grace opens our eyes to see what is right and what is wrong. God works not just back then, but His grace works now in the present age. Look back at the past 24 hours. Where did God provide His power to say no to sin? Where do you need God’s power to seek and receive His forgiveness?

Day 3: Read Titus 2:13. In this verse, Paul calls us to celebrate today what God is doing now and will do for all eternity through His lasting grace power. How does our future heavenly hope help you keep perspective amid our present out of control culture? Where do you sense God prompting you to pray for our world today? Why do you think He has placed such an issue, such a burden, on your heart to pray?

Day 4: Read Genesis 39:6-10.  And you thought sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement are new to our day? Notice that Joseph’s self-control is not rooted in his will power or in this case his won’t power, but in his relationship with God.  When have you seen God bring an out-of-control situation back in control? What happened? What lessons did He teach you? What out-of-control situation are you facing right now where you need to remember God is in control?

Day 5: Read Genesis 39:20-21. In a life that felt out of control, from favored son to slave to running the master’s business to prisoner, Joseph practiced self-control. Throughout his ordeal God was shaping Joseph’s character empowered by God’s grace and favor. How has God been cultivating your character throughout this Fruit of the Spirit series?  What has been your experience in praying the Cultivate Prayer (opening prayer on page 1) each day? What is one area of the Fruit of the Spirit blend, you hope God will continue to cultivate in the days ahead?

Day 6: Read Matthew 26:38-39. How do you sense Jesus getting ready for what the next 24 hours will bring as He prays to His Father? Where do you need to give up control, and say, “Father, not my will, but Your will be done”? What’s holding you back? How is God moving you forward?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

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


 Parking Update!

Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Gentleness In A Culture Of Aggression

Panagiotis-karagiannis-610373-unsplashPhoto by Panagiotis Karagiannis on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Proverbs 25:15. When you think of gentleness as "power under control”, who comes to mind? Where might God be calling you to bring the power of gentleness to transform a situation or relationship?

Day 2: Read Philippians 4:13. Too often people think this verse means, “Lord, give me the power to do what I want.” Could it be that God wants to give you the power for what He wants you to do? Where do you need God’s power in your life today to do His will? Where have you seen His power at work in your life in the past 24 hours?

Day 3: Read 1 Timothy 6:12-13. Where are you feeling pushed to fight the good fight of faith? What are some key convictions of the Christian faith that you believe are foundational for your life?

Day 4: Read Matthew 11:28-29. Where do you need Jesus to provide some rest in your life? Where is Jesus calling you to pick up His yoke (His teaching, His purpose) for your life?

Day 5: Read Proverbs 15:1-2. If God gave you a “gentleness gauge”, where would you most likely need to place it? In your car as you drive? At your computer screen in responding to email? In your children’s bedroom? At the dinner table? At your child’s sporting event? At your workplace? Where would you need such a gauge in your life? Where does your “gentleness gauge” run in the danger zone? In your sweet spot?

Day 6: Read Proverbs 25:21-22. Gentleness balances being “tough with convictions” and “tender with people”. Sometimes though, we get those backwards: tough on people and tender with convictions that can quickly change. In the scales of gentleness, do you tend more on the tough on conviction side or the tender with people side? What helps you maintain the proper balance to keep gentleness as “power under God’s control”?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

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


 

Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Faithfulness In A Culture Of Broken Promises

Faithfulness

Remember the Faithfulness of God:

  1. God is faithful to Himself. (Psalm 89:8)
  2. God is faithful to His word. (Psalm 145:13)
  3. God is faithful to His people. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

This will require you to bring a “Semper Fi” approach to faithfulness:

  1. Find a key Scripture that reflects God's faithfulness in your life.
  2. Remember God's faithfulness in your past.
  3. Identify the area in which you most struggle with faithfulness.
  4. Ask God to give you daily opportunities to grow.
  5. Track your progress through the eyes of grace.

Day 1: Read Psalm 89:8. God is faithful to Himself. He never does anything inconsistent with His character. How does God’s faithfulness provide a foundation upon which to build your faithfulness?

Day 2: Read Psalm 145:13. God is faithful to His word. He keeps his promises. What promise of God do you need to remember for your life today? Why?

Day 3: Read Proverbs 3:3. Remember ways that God has been faithful to you in the past 24 hours. Write down such simple things as food to eat and air to breathe. As you consider God’s faithfulness in the small and larger details of life, take time to thank and praise Him for His faithfulness. Does any particular detail or event stand out as you ponder God’s faithfulness? Why or why not?

Day 4: Read Matthew 25:14-15. God will never call you to be faithful with what He hasn't given you. He only expects you to be faithful with what you have. As you consider the past day, what is one area where God called you to be faithful? What happened? What did you do with what God gave you today? What lesson of faithfulness did you learn?

Day 5: Read Matthew 25:21. If you want to cultivate faithfulness, you begin today with what you have — even if it doesn't seem like much. When you're faithful with what you have, God opens the door for greater opportunities. Where do you see God opening opportunities for His faithfulness to work through you?

Day 6: Read Lamentations 3:22-23. In the past week, where have you seen God’s great faithfulness at work? How have His mercies been new to you each day?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Divine Direction: 7 Decisions that Will Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel.

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


Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Goodness In A Culture Of Evil

Ludovic-francois-2182-unsplashPhoto by Ludovic François on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Psalm 23:6. This Psalm contains two promises. One is for now and the other is for later. How does the "for now" promise make you feel about the "for later promise?"

Day 2: Read Romans 15:14. Paul explains one important, expected quality of goodness. What is it? How do you see our church meeting up to that expectation? How does your participation add to our realization of that expectation?

Day 3: Read Ephesians 5:1-7. The instruction here is to "follow God's example." How can we as families and individuals use this passage to understand and apply what "God's example" is?

Day 4: Read Luke 6:43-45. What are some examples of "recognizing" good fruit and bad fruit?  How would you explain to a new Christian, or seeker, the difference between good fruit and bad fruit?

Day 5: Read Acts 10:30-48.  What are the "Godliness" qualities that Peter explains in his testimony? Notice how effective Peter's simple Gospel message is. See if you can put together your own simple Gospel message.

Day 6: Read Luke 6:45. What are some ways that you know of the help ensures that what comes out your mouth reflects the goodness in your hear?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

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


 


Cultivate Kindness In A Culture of Indifference

Sandrachile-686986-unsplash

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Jeremiah 31:3. Where in your past has God shown you loving kindness? Where have you seen God’s loving kindness at work recently in your life or someone else’s life? Spend time giving thanks to God for His loving kindness to you.

Day 2: Read 2 Samuel 9:3. Kindness is deeply rooted in the character of God. When you are living a Spirit-filled, Spirit-controlled life, you will be willing to show others, the same kindness that He has shown you. To whom is someone God is calling you to show His kindness?

Day 3: Read Luke 6:35. To whom do you find challenging to show love and kindness? Why?

Day 4: Read Luke 6:36. Don’t be a jerk for Jesus. Instead be kind like Christ Jesus. When life squeezes you by friend or foe, ask yourself: How would Jesus respond in this situation? As you have asked that question this week, what kindness response has God led you to follow?

Day 5: Read Matthew 25:40. Consider the people you came across in the past 24 hours. If these people were Christ Jesus himself, how would you respond? How have you responded to others like Jesus? Where might there be room for improvement in the day ahead?

Day 6: Read Colossians 3:12. Paul describes the heavenly wardrobe for facing life each day. As you consider the past day, how have you seen the heavenly wardrobe Paul describes at work in your life in the following areas:

  1. Conversations with friends and family
  2. In every online post and comment
  3. In traffic
  4. When doing business
  5. To those who need your help

How might your response bring more of the attitude to serve like Jesus to others?


Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

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


 


Cultivate Patience In A Culture of Anger

Daniel-mayovskiy-303666-unsplash

Photo by Daniel Mayovskiy on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Proverbs 14:29. Andy Stanley says, “We tend to look at the clock, but God looks at the calendar”. How is your perspective on life – driven by the clock or the calendar? What leads you to lean into one more than the other? How does wisdom help you live a life of patience?

Day 2: Read James 5:7-8. How do farming and the Lord’s coming both teach you how to be patient? What holds you back from waiting just a little bit longer for God to act?

Day 3: Read Ephesians 4:2. When you’re in a heated discussion with your temperature rising, do you know how to cool off? When you don’t get your way, are you prepared to walk God’s way?

Day 4: Read Psalm 37:7-8. Back in the sixties people would wear buttons that said: PBPGIFWMY. It stood for Please Be Patient. God Isn't Finished With Me Yet. With whom is God calling you to be patient this week? Take some time in prayer to bring that person’s life to God for His blessing and your patience.

Day 5: Read Proverbs 24:16. Where is God calling you to get up again when life has knocked you down?

Day 6: Read Philippians 1:6. God has begun a mighty work in you, that you should be conformed to the image of His son Jesus Christ. He will finish what he started. Look back over the past month, the past year, how have you seen God at work in your life to make you more like Jesus? How would you like God to work in the week ahead to form you to be like Jesus in living life?


Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion by Gary Chapman.

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


 


Cultivate Peace In A Culture Of Pieces

Rawpixel-743066-unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Day 1: Read John 14:27. Jesus speaks these words the night before He dies. His followers in the years ahead, these very men He is talking to, would be torn apart by lions in the gladiator pits, they would be burned as human torches in Nero's gardens, they would be crucified upside down, but they weren't to worry. They weren't to be troubled or afraid. He would give them peace. Their world would fall apart, but Jesus would keep them together. Where have you experienced Jesus holding life together? What pieces of life do you need to give Him today? Whom can you pray for today to have a sense of Jesus’ peace and presence with them?

Day 2: Read Romans 5:1. As the Spirit works such peace in our lives, we recognize the power of God’s love at work. I experience peace when I find peace in the Source of Peace. How does faith fuel your peace-perspective in life?

Day 3: Read Psalm 34:14. Dr. John Schindler wrote that of 500 people admitted to one clinic, 77% were suffering emotionally from what he called the C.D.T.’s, by which he meant the Cares, Difficulties, and Troubles of Life. Do you have the C.D.T.s today? The Psalmist’s remedy for such peace amidst the C.D.T.s of his life is to surrender life’s pieces and pursue God’s peace. What C.D.T.s do you need to offload to God today?

Day 4: Read Numbers 6:22-26. These words are frequently used at the end of our worship service. What do they mean for you when you hear them each week? How do all the phrases piece together to give you peace?

Day 5: Read 1 Peter 3:9. When life squeezes you, whatever is inside comes out. That sounds like a bad thing, but it can be something quite good. In a culture of intolerance, how does Peter describe a better way? How can such an approach transform a relationship, a family, or a friendship?

Day 6: Read Ephesians 2:14. In a world that builds walls, we are invited to build the bridge of the cross, for Jesus is the key to make us one. No matter how diverse we are, we all have a common need for a Savior. We all need His peace, and we all need to share the peace that makes each other whole. Who is someone of an opposite viewpoint, background, life experience, that you need to remember God wants to use to build a bridge instead of the world’s walls? Pray a prayer of blessing for that person(s) today.


As shared during this week’s message -- THE SERENITY PRAYER (Part 1) starts off with: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  This is what is usually shared.

However, THE SERENITY PRAYER (Part 2) continues with: “Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,. Taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next.  Amen.” -- Reinhold Niebuhr


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following books: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

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


 


Cultivate Joy In A Culture Of More

Image-from-rawpixel-id-413799-jpeg

Image by rawpixel.com

Day 1: Read Philippians 4:4. “To rejoice” is to return to the source of your joy. What happens when Jesus isn’t the source of your joy? How long does such joy last? What happens when Jesus is the source of your joy? Take time to flip worries into prayers that you take to Jesus.

Day 2: Read Habakkuk 3:17-18. Scientists call this reframing: when you cast negative events in a positive light, and see the silver lining, you can turn a bad situation into a joyful one. That’s why I like the brief prayer by Leslie Weatherhead, O God, take all our sorrows and use them to show us the nature of Your joy.If you were to make a list like Habakkuk, what are some of life’s challenges on your list that lead you to still praise God and find your Joy in Him? Take time to flip those worries and wounds into prayers that you take to Jesus.

Day 3: Read Proverbs 11:25b. When you’re feeling down, the best way to feel up is to bring the joy. When you lift others up, you will find yourself lifted. How has someone lifted your spirits in the past day? Who might you lift today, to refresh their soul?

Day 4: Read Philippians 2:1-2. Instead of being a VDP, a Very Draining Person, Paul says be a VBP, a Very Being Person – who being like-minded, who being alive in the Spirit, brings, love, joy, peace, encouragement, and comfort. When do others drain you? When do they share the joy? When do you find yourself draining others? How have you discovered sharing the joy lifts you up when you feel down?

Day 5: Read Psalm 16:8-9. We are not just called to work for God, we are called to work with God. As you consider the past 24 hours, where have you seen God bringing you joy in living out your day? As you look at the day ahead, where do you need such joy to be present?

Day 6: Read Luke 15:10. When you come to faith in Jesus, when He is real in your life, Jesus rejoices and all of heaven rejoices. They hear God rejoice and the angels join the divine voice in singing. Such joy is not just when you come to faith, but each day as you live out your faith in Jesus. Each day as you find God’s voice in your life -  belt it out. What brings joy to the life you live? Where are you rejoicing with heaven in someone coming to know Jesus? Whom will you pray for today that heaven will rejoice for tomorrow?


“To miss the joy is to miss everything.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

"Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose." - Viktor E. Frankl


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following books: Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears by Margaret Feinberg.

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


 


Cultivate Love In A Culture Of Self-Centeredness

Gift-habeshaw-735512-unsplash

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

The primary scripture for this week's Message was 1 John 3:11 (NIV) "This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another." and our new recommended daily prayer this week is:

Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Day 1: Read Galatians 3:27-28. How does God cut across cultural and human distinctions in the family of faith? What do we all have in common, no matter our background?

Day 2: Read 1 John 3:16. Love is sacrifice. Your life has great value because Jesus sacrificed His life that you might be part of His family. In addition, you have never locked eyes with someone God does not love. When are you tempted to look down at, or see yourself better than, others? How can you remind yourself today when such thoughts come, to treat others as equals?

Day 3: Read 1 John 3:17. Frederick Buechner defined compassion this way: “Compassion is the sometimes-fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.In the last week, how has someone shown you compassion? Whom have you shown compassion?

Day 4: Read 1 John 3:14. A significant fact in the church’s growth in the world in the first century was the love lived out by the early Christian communities: Jews and Gentiles living together in authentic community. That kind of love got the world’s attention. In what ways might love lived out in the church today get the world’s attention? In what ways might love lived out in your life today get your world’s attention?

Day 5: Read 1 John 3:11. Love has no fear of taking the first step. Love is not a feeling, it’s an action - not a reaction, it’s a pro-action. When have you been the recipient of someone taking the first step to express love in the past week? How have you taken the first step in loving others this week?

Day 6: Read 1 John 3:18. The power to love God, others, and myself flows out of my relationship with God. John says that means putting love into action with truth. Pray for where God is leading you to take the first step in loving others. 


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following books: Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus by Paul Miller and Book: Love Beyond Reason: Moving God’s Love from Your Head to Your Heart by John Ortberg.

Also another good quote this week is "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson. And the following songs were referenced in this weeks message:

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