Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

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September 2018

Cultivate Peace In A Culture Of Pieces

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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

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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

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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. 


 


Cultivate Abiding In A Culture Of Abandon

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Our new recommended 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.

Day 1: Read Ephesians 3:16-19. Great spiritual moves of God often begin with prayer that prepares our hearts. What do you notice about Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians that you desire for your life? Besides yourself whom will you pray this prayer for from Ephesians 3?

Day 2: Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you about you. Notice the four uses Paul shares with Timothy in verse 16, for the one purpose in verse 17. As you read God’s Word, pray “God, tell me what I need to hear in order to become more like Jesus.” What do you sense God telling you through His Word today?

Day 3: Read Psalm 19:7-8. Former NFL coach George Allen had a sign on his office wall that said: "Is what I'm doing right now taking me closer to my ultimate goal of winning?" This is the kind of question we ask when we're pruning our daily lives: Is this way of doing things taking me closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a spiritually mature follower of Jesus Christ?

Day 4: Read John 15:16-17.  We are saved by Jesus’ choice. Now as a child of God, we are invited to let the Spirit flow through our life. “Saved by Jesus’ choice” - the fancy theological term is called justification. That happens only by God’s gift. Part of that gift is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit as part of God’s blessing in your life. Growing up and maturing as God’s child, cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit - the fancy theological term is Sanctification, set apart for God’s purpose. We join the Holy Spirit in His work. The Fruit of the Spirit is the inner working of the Holy Spirit to bring Christ’s character in and through my life. How have you sensed the Holy Spirit working in your life in the past week?

Day 5: Read Galatians 5:22-23. So how does God produce such Fruit of the Spirit in our lives? Usually by putting us in the exact opposite circumstances! God teaches us to how to really love by putting us around unlovable people. God is far more concerned with our character than our comfort. Where has He been building your character this week? Where do you see some “future” work ahead for your character- building?

Day 6: Read John 15:5. Where do you find it easy to stay connected (remain/abide) with Jesus? Where do you sense a place of disconnect? Why?


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. 


 


2018 Mission Weekend

Gps

Day 1: Read Psalm 118:1. Do you know deep-down that God always (Siempre) loves you? That He is always with you?  Whom can you share that truth with today?

Day 2: The mission team share the Good News of the Gospel at VBS, vision clinics, door-to-door, a public school, and Children's Care Centers.  What is the Gospel? Read Romans 3:23.  What is our condition? Read John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9.  What has God provided? Give thanks today for His free gift.  We can do nothing to earn it.

Day 3: Read John 14:6. How many ways are there to God? If you received God's free gift and know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, give thanks.  If you have not, read the verses from yesterday and today again and ask Him today to come into your heart, to be your Lord and Savior.  Then share the Good News with someone.

Day 4: Members of the mission team demonstrated at the vision clinic in Paraguay.  Read Acts 26:17-18 and Ephesians 1:18.  Pray that not on the "eyes of your hear" would be enlightened, but someone you know would hear and receive the Good News of the Gospel.

Day 5: Read Acts 1:8.  Jesus didn't promise use success or popularity, but He did promise His "always" (Siempre) presence through the Holy Spirit. All the stories you heard from the mission team are a result of the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through them.  Where have you seen the Holy Spirit's power at work in your life?  Whom can you share your story with this week?  He does promise to always be with you!

Day 6: Read Matthew 28:19-20. Where do you sense God leading you to share and show the love of Jesus? In your home? To your neighbor? At work? In Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, or Burundi? Trust in His Word that He is always with you wherever you go.


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