Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

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February 2014

Rebuilding: Realigned to Return Home

This week in THE STORY we examine Chapter 19 entitled “The Return Home.”

Returning-to-build-the-temple

Monday: Read Zechariah 8:14-16. How was God like a parent reassuring a child that’s just been disciplined? What were the people to do? How can you apply this message to your life today?

Tuesday: Read Ezra 1:1-4. After 70 years in exile, how does God arrange for His people to return home? What does this tell you about one way God fulfills His promises? How does God provide for their needs as they return home? How have you seen God’s provision at work in your life this past week?

Wednesday: Read Zechariah 8:7-8. What is God’s generous promise to His people? How have you witnessed God being faithful in your life?

Thursday: Read Zechariah 8:20-21. Zechariah claimed that people of other nations would see the Lord’s work through the Israelites and would then seek out the Lord themselves. Jesus calls this being “light of the world” in Matthew 5:13-16. How is your life a sign, a light, for others to see God’s work in this world?

Friday: Read Ezra 3:10-11. The people make a great start in rebuilding God’s temple and recognizing His rebuilding of their lives. Where are you grateful for God’s work in your life? How has He been good and shared His love with you? How are you sharing His love with others?

Saturday: Read Ezra 6:14-15. What began as a great start in building the temple will go through a period of delay as you will read in The Story this week. Eventually under the prodding of prophets like Haggai, the people finish the work God had told them to do first. What is God saying in your life to do first? What are you doing about what He is saying?

The Bible passages covered in Chapter 19 of The Story are excerpts from the following chapters: Ezra 1-6, Haggai 1-2, and Zechariah 1 & 8.


Daniel in Exile - An A.L.I.E.N.

This week in The Story we examine Chapter 18 entitled “Daniel in Exile” that is part of the series “God is Speaking: Are You Listening”.

Daniel-in-the-lions-den

Daniel while in Exile lives his life as an A.L.I.E.N = Associations; Live Peaceably; Identity; Engage in culture; and Non-negotiable.

Monday: Read Ephesians 4:1-7. Associations: This passage is a picture of the Body of Christ, that is of the church. What does the apostle Paul urge us to do as a part of God’s family? What binds us together in oneness? What does he imply we are not to do?

Tuesday: Read Proverbs 15:18 and 1 Peter 3:4. Live Peaceably: What response does a hot-tempered person get compared to one who patiently replies to difficult situations? What was a situation in your life when a gentle and quiet spirit/response helped calm a difficult situation?

Wednesday: Read Romans 8:15-17. Identity: How might a person with a spirit of fear respond to a hostile challenge to identity as compared to the response of a person who has a spirit of being God’s child? How might a spirit of being God’s child help to stabilize your identity and your response to challenges?

Thursday: Read Acts 5:12-21. Engage in culture: When threatened it is tempting to withdraw and to hide, yet we see the exact opposite with the apostles and later with the church as it was scattered. How did the early church engage its world? How is God calling you to engage in the world?

Friday: Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-5. Non-negotiable: What matter of faith did the apostle Paul state was non-negotiable? What are your “non-negotiables” and your negotiable items?

Saturday: Read Galatians 1:6-9. Non-negotiable: What did the people of the Galatian church give up? What was Paul’s reaction 1) to the Galatians and 2) to the teachers who led the Galatians away from the Gospel message that says, we are not saved by works, but by faith in Jesus? How do you see the Gospel being threatened today?

The Bible passages covered in The Story’s Chapter 18 include:  Daniel 1-3; 6;Jeremiah 29-31.


If You're Feeling Hopelessness -- God is Speaking, Are You Listening?

 This week in The Story we examine Chapter 17 entitled "The Kingdoms’ Fall."

Destruction_of_Jerusalem

Monday: Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 & Lamentations 3:32. How do these passages describe God? What is a tough situation you are now facing? How do these passages give you hope in your situation?

Tuesday: Read Hebrews 6:19-20. This entire passage refers to our hope in Jesus as our anchor. What good qualities does an anchor have that we also see in our hope in Jesus?

Wednesday: Read Psalm 42. This psalm directs us to put our hope in God. As you read this psalm what stood out to you? What traits of God are mentioned in this passage that is a reason for you to have hope?

Thursday: Read Romans 15:13. The prayer of this passage is for the God of hope to fill you with joy and peace. How are joy and peace the opposite of hopelessness? How much hope does God desire to give you? How does knowing that help you?

Friday: Read 1 Thessalonians 1:3. The passage refers to our work, our labor, and our endurance. NONE of these are easy. They all involve toil and perhaps even difficulty. How do faith, love and hope work together?

Saturday: Read Psalm 146:3-10. Verse 3 tells us not to put our trust in princes. These princes are what the message referred to as “attachments.” What attachments do you see in your life, and how do they impact your relationship with God? What promises of God are found in this passage that can give hope to the hopeless? Which promise speaks loudest into your life?

The Bible passages covered in The Story from Chapter 17 include: 2 Kings 21:23-25; 2 Chronicles 33; 36; Jeremiah 1-2; 4-5; Lamentations 1-3; 5; Ezekiel 1-2;6-7; 36-37.


The Prayer of Hezekiah - God is Speaking: Are You Listening?

This week in THE STORY we examine Chapter 16 entitled  "The Beginning of the End."

Hezekiah-Prayers

Monday: Read 2 Kings 17:1-2 and 2 Kings 18:1-3. Have you ever noticed, that our introductions to the various kings of Israel and Judah usually include a one-sentence resume: “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord,” as was the case of Hoshea, or “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord,” as was the case of Hezekiah. If your life was summed up in one sentence, what would it be? How would your relationship with God be referred to? How can you keep God at the center of your life? How can everyone give Him, glory for the lives we live?

Tuesday: Read 1 Kings 18:28-32. The Assyrians tried to convince the people of Judah not to trust God. Whose “voice” is most likely to cause you to doubt in God? To whom do you listen when you feel surrounded by stress or fear?

Wednesday: Read 2 Kings 19:15. How does Hezekiah describe God? How does recalling God’s attributes in prayer help us to trust God? As you pray today, take time to fill your faith tank by remembering, who God is. What attributes of God will you lift up? Remember the times in your life where God has acted for you. What acts of old (such as Jesus giving His life on the cross) will you remember?

Thursday: Read 1 Kings 19:14-19. How does Hezekiah, in word and deed spread out his request before God? Has there ever been a time where you have physically laid out your request to God? How might you do so today? What prayer request is most on your heart today?

Friday: Read 1 Kings 19:19. How does the “so that” approach Hezekiah uses change the focus and direction of his prayer? How might your prayers change if you added a “so that,” God might be glorified and/or, the world would know God is the Lord?

Saturday: Read 2 Kings 19:14-19. Think of a situation in your life that you need to entrust to God. What attributes of God will you affirm? How will you spread out your request(s)? How do you put a “so that,” component in the prayer to seek God’s glory? Then pray to Him!

The Bible passages covered in Chapter 16 of THE STORY are excerpts from the following chapters: 2 Kings 17-19, and Isaiah 3, 6, 13-14, 29, 53.