Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Previous month:
December 2013
Next month:
February 2014

January 2014

God is Speaking: Are You Listening?

Listen-speaker-icon This week in THE STORY we examine Chapter 15 entitled “God’s Messengers.”

Monday: Read 1 Kings 18:17-21. Can you think of a time when you ignored a warning and had to face the consequences? Why do we tend to ignore some warnings? What does Israel’s penchant for idolatry say about their attention to God’s warnings?

Work through the following questions to identify “idols” seeking to replace God in your life --

  • What are you most disappointed with?
  • What do you sacrifice your time and money for?
  • What do you worry about?
  • Where do you go when you hurt?
  • What makes you mad?
  • What brings you the most joy?
  • Whose applause do you long for?
  • Is the path I am following in life, following where God is leading?

Tuesday: Read 1 Kings 18:22-39. The Canaanites believed Baal was a storm god who controlled rain, gave life through rain, spoke through thunder, and used lightening as a weapon. What was Elijah’s message designed to prove? If you compare the Baal’ prophet’s prayers in 1 Kings 18:26-29 with Elijah’s prayer in 1 Kings 18:36-37, what do you learn about prayer from these passages?

Wednesday: Read 1 Kings 18:31. Elijah builds an altar of 12 stones, a reminder to a kingdom that God has made a covenant with all 12 tribes and still desires a relationship with them. Where have you gotten off track with God and His plan for your life? Are you ready to make a U-turn (repent) and get back to God?

Thursday: Read 1 Kings 19:1-8. Elijah experienced a great miracle (1 Kings 18) defeating the prophets of Baal – but then he began to fear for his life. Why do you think he was so afraid after being so victorious? How does God replenish Elijah? How are you replenishing your life to live with faith instead of fear?

Friday: Read 1 Kings 19:9-12. After a dramatic series of events, God reveals Himself to Elijah in an undramatic way. Why would God choose to dwell in the whisper? When have you experienced God’s whisper in your life? When do you take time to unplug from the world and give God your undivided attention?

Saturday: Read 2 Kings 6:8-17. Where do you need God to open your eyes to see His hand at work in your life? What is holding you back from stepping out in faith?

The Bible passages covered in Chapter 15 of The Story are excerpts from the following chapters: 1 Kings 17-19, 2 Kings 2, 4, 6, Amos 1, 3-5, 9, and Hosea 4-5, 8-9, 14.


THE STORY: Chapter 14 - A Kingdom Torn in Two

This week in THE STORY we continue with the series “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” by examining Chapter 14 entitled “A Kingdom Torn in Two.”

Kings-split

 

(photo credit)

Monday: Read 1 Kings 11:9-13. Life changes drastically for Israel after Solomon died, but the problem started while he was still alive. Why is it so difficult to see the long-term consequences of our decisions?

Tuesday: Read 1 Kings 12:4-14. Rehoboam’s father, Solomon, was the wisest man who ever lived. What does Rehoboam’s rejection of the wise counsel tell us about Solomon? About Rehoboam?

Wednesday: Read 1 Kings 11:38 and 1 Kings 12:26-29. During Solomon’s reign, the prophet Ahijah had told Jeroboam that God was going to take 10 tribes away from Solomon’s son and give them to Jeroboam to rule. How does the prophet’s promise in 1 Kings 11:38 compare with Jeroboam’s leadership in 1 Kings 12:26-30? Why does Jeroboam make such a decision? What safeguard can you put in place to help you make God honoring choices in the future?

Thursday: Read 1 Kings 13:1-3. The very steps Jeroboam took to secure a dynasty was also its demise. What is the long-term result of not keeping God at the center of His reign? How would others describe the place God has in your life? How can you show that God is at the center and core of how you live life today?

Friday: Read 1 Kings 14:27-28. For Solomon the guards’ shields shine with gold, for Rehoboam they shine with bronze. Though Israel now has reduced wealth and military might, how is God still building their character? When has God led you through a tough time? How was your character revealed and molded?

Saturday: Read 1 Kings 15:11-14.  In the midst of these stories of conflict and falling away from God, God still relentlessly pursues His people. How does Asa change the trajectory and direction of his family from the days of Solomon and Rehoboam? What are you doing today and how do you pray God will use to impact future lives in your family and beyond?

The Bible passages covered in Chapter 14 of The Story are from the following chapters: 1 Kings 12:1-33; 13;1-6, 33; 14:1-18, 21a, 22-28, 30-31; 15:1-6, 8-24, 16:29-34.

 


The King Who Had It All

Solomon_Sheba

This week in THE STORY we examine Chapter 13-"The King Who Had It All" from the "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" series.

Monday: Read 1 Kings 3:5-9. God appeared to Solomon in a dream and offered to give him anything he asked for. If God made you the same offer, what would you ask for?

Tuesday: Read 1 Kings 3:10-14. God liked Solomon’s answer so much that He gave Solomon wisdom, fame and money. What’s the best reward you’ve received for a good answer? How does Solomon’s life end so disastrous after such a great beginning? He had it all but what was he missing?

Wednesday: Read Proverbs 1:7. What does this mean to you? How are you developing wisdom in your life? Look back over three decisions you’ve made – how were they foolish? How were they wise?

Thursday: Read James 1:5. When was the last time you asked God for wisdom? How did that work out? Where do you need God’s wisdom for your life today?

Friday: Read Psalm 1:1-3 and Proverbs 3:5-6. What key word or phrase pops out in your mind as you read these verses? What might be your phrase of the day to meditate on throughout the day? What are these verses telling you that God wants you to do?

Saturday: Read Proverbs 27:17.  Who influences the decisions you make, the life you are living? How does this draw you closer to God and His will for your life? What connection group or small group are you a part of that connects you with wisdom and doing life together with God? (If you don’t have a connection group, check the inside cover of next weekend’s bulletin and ask God to guide you to the group He wants you to join.)

The Bible passages covered in Chapter 13 of THE STORY are excerpts from the following chapters from the Bible: 1 Kings 1-4, Proverbs 1-3, 6, 20-21, I Kings 5-8, 2 Chronicles 5-7, and 1 Kings 10-11.

If you would like to Go Deeper you can: read the Book of Proverbs (1 chapter a day over the next 31 days); read the book entitled "The Best Question Ever" by Andy Stanley; and watch Casting Crowns’ “Slow Fade” music video.

 


God Reveals Himself To The Magi

Epiphany

Monday: Read Matthew 2:9-10 and Psalm 16:11. As God revealed Himself to the Magi He was also working in their hearts. We can see this by the joy they experienced as they came before Jesus. Have you experienced joy as you came before Jesus? Pray that God would work in the journey of your life filling your heart with overwhelming joy.

Tuesday: Read Matthew 2:11 and Psalm 27:4. As God continued to reveal himself to the Magi He transformed their hearts. We can see this in how they entered Jesus’ house and bowed down and worshiped Him. As we encounter Jesus, coming into God’s presence He creates within us the desire to worship Him. What does it mean to you to worship Jesus? Where do you experience the presence of God?

Wednesday: Read Matthew 2:11. As the Magi’s journey continued God filled their hearts with gratitude. We see this as they give gifts to Baby Jesus. We do not give gifts to Jesus to impress him or to assure His goodness to us. Rather, our gifts to Jesus are an expression of our gratitude for his gifts to us. Our generosity begins with the giving of ourselves to Jesus. What is one way that you can “give yourself to Jesus” this week?

Thursday: Read Philippians 4:8. The journey of our life is never simple. It’s always filled with dead-end roads, forks in the road where we need to make a choice, and of course park benches that invite us to stop the journey and just sit it out. Successful journeys require God to work in our hearts, focusing our thoughts on that which is good. What are distractions in your life? How can you keep your journey focused on things that are worthy of praise?

Friday: Read Luke 2:10-11. When we receive good news of great joy it is impossible to keep it to ourselves. As we share God’s joy in the birth of Jesus our natural reaction is to share it and watch it multiply. Who are some of the people in your life who share God’s joy with you? Who is someone with whom you can share God’s joy?

Saturday: Read Revelation 3:20. Standing at the door implies acting and waiting and every journey involves a rhythm of seeking and waiting. This rhythm is ours to embrace and live into. This rhythm gives shape to our journey. How do you respond to times of seeking and to those times of waiting? How have you seen God work in your life through seeking and waiting?


Live With Purpose

Read Hebrews 2:17-18. What sufferings are you facing that lead you to pray like Joni Eareckson Tada, “Oh God, if I can’t die, show me how to live”?

Where is a place or a person that you can shine forth God’s power under fire?

If you want to Dig Deeper you can check out these additional resources: Life without Limbs by Nick Vujicic; and Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story by Joni Eareckson Tada and Ken Tada.


New Year Preparations - Special Message

There are three main take-a-ways that you can use to prepare for 2014 (all Scripture is from The Message):

  1. Life is a gift from God. [Ephesians 2:8]
  2. Life is not something you earn from God. [Ephesians 2:9]
  3. Life is something where you get to express God’s love to others. [Ephesians 2:10]

So, Quo Vadis? (Where are you going?) and what are you doing to get there?


Sharing Jesus

Read Hebrews 2:12. To declare God’s name is also to reveal His character. In our connection groups, we ask the question each week: “What is God been doing in your life?”

As you look at your life, what has God been doing?

Where are you declaring His name?

How does your story of God at work in your life, reveal His character?

Whom are you sharing that story with this week?

If you want to Dig Deeper you can check out these additional resources: Life without Limbs by Nick Vujicic (www.lifewithoutlimbs.org); and Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story by Joni Eareckson Tada and Ken Tada (www.joniandfriends.org).