Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

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September 2021

October 2021

Life Building Words

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Before you speak this week -- T.H.I.N.K. --

  • T – is it Truthful?
  • H – is it Helpful?  
  • I – is it Inspirational?  
  • N – is it Necessary?  
  • K – is it Kind?

In addition, consider using this prayer this week:

“Lord, do something with my words this week.  Instead of me trying to control my tongue, I’m trusting you to guide my words.  I’m asking for your help.  I’m asking for your strength.  Jesus, guide me into honest words.  Honest words of love.  Guide me into careful words of love.  Guide me into building words of love.  I’m asking for your help because I know you love me. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”  

Day 1: Read James 3:1-2. Rabbi Joseph Telushkin asks “Can you go 24 hours without saying (or thinking) any unkind words about, or to, another person?” What words have you spoken in the last 24 hours that built someone up?  

Day 2: Read James 3:7-8. You wonder why you and I get in trouble with our words, we are sinners. Sinful words slip out because sin slips out, stumbles out. Words once spoken don’t automatically come back. Where do you need to ask for forgiveness today from God? From someone else?

Day 3: Read James 3:3-4. James wants us to understand the tongue directs where your life goes like a bit on a horse or a rudder on a ship. Look over the past day what direction do your words have you going toward building relationships or away from them?

Day 4: Read James 3:5-6. When have you been “burnt” by someone’s words? Whose words encouraged you to move forward in life? What kind of fires did your words start yesterday? To help or hurt others?

Day 5: Read James 3:9-10. When you speak words that bless or curse, God is always there, always hears? Take time now to praise God with your words in 4 specific statements of praise. Set aside today to repeat this exercise!

Day 6: Read James 3:11-12. Think through 2 sets of words you spoke to someone yesterday? Evaluate them in the T.H.I.N.K. paradigm. Were they Truthful, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind? Why or why not?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • “Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World” by Craig Groeschel (Amazon Kindle #ad)
  • “Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just” by Timothy Keller (Amazon Kindle #ad)
  • “Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road” by Timothy Keller (Amazon Kindle #ad)

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


Works

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Day 1: Read James 2:14-16. James understands God gives faith to be lived out, God’s love experienced and expressed to the world around us. Where is God providing you the opportunity to experience and express His love to others? 

Day 2: Read James 2:17-20. James says not only is faith more than your feelings, it’s also more than an intellectual exercise in what you think. Faith is meant to change our lives to live with compassionate generosity. How has your life been changed by someone’s compassionate generosity? Who might claim their life has been changed by your compassionate generosity? Why?

Day 3: Read James 2:21-22. Our faith is not determined by what you do, it’s demonstrated by what you do. How do you see that at work in Abraham’s life in these verses? What might others understand about your faith based on the way you demonstrate it?

Day 4: Read James 2:23-24. Only time in the Bible someone is called God’s friend. Thanks to Jesus that’s what God calls you, God’s friend, even better God’s child. As God’s friend and as God’s child, God challenges us to sacrificial obedience not to see how much we love Him but for you and me to discover how much we love Him. As you look at your life, how are you showing God you love Him? Where are you seeing God loves you?

Day 5: Read James 2:25. Rahab risks protecting the Israeli spies so that her family will be spared. She trusts their God is more powerful, is to be believed and so she takes a risk to put God’s love in action. Where is God calling you to take a calculated risk to put His love in action?

Day 6: Read James 2:26. For James doing good, loving others is like breathing, it feeds your body with the good stuff and lets out the bad stuff with each breath. Such love builds community. Take time today to a breath prayer – As you breathe in pray, “Thank You Jesus for loving me” and pray as you breathe out “So I can love others.” Pray this at least 10 times and then at different times throughout the day.

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • “Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just” by Timothy Keller (Amazon Kindle)
  • “Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road” by Timothy Keller (Amazon Kindle)
  • “Now You’re Speaking My Language: Honest Communication and Deeper Intimacy for a Stronger Marriage” by Gary Chapman (Amazon Kindle)

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


Mercy And Love for All

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Day 1: Read James 2:1. We are to treat everyone with the same respect. We know this, but we often fail to do it. Why? 

Day 2: Read James 2:2-4. When have you been a victim of discrimination? Seen someone discriminated against? What led to such discrimination? What lesson did you learn to next time it happens to treat others with respect?

Day 3: Read James 2:5. We get in trouble when we think earthly wealth is the goal, that is ours by our hard work and not by God’s gracious hand. What is the advantage for James in being poor? How has God made you wealthy? How are you putting that wealth to a godly use?

Day 4: Read James 2:6-7. How have  you seen or experienced the poor being dishonored? What might you do to show honor to those in need? Where do you need to ask God for forgiveness?

Day 5: Read James 2:8-11. According to James if you break one law, you break them all. Favoritism is as sinful as adultery. How does love fulfill the law? Why is God’s love and forgiveness so essential for such a life of love?

Day 6: Read James 2:12-13. We tend to be selective in our mercy. If someone is "one of us" we'll overlook an offense, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. But if someone is an outsider (different political views, COVID response, social standing), we tend to judge them more critically. How might you learn to reach across the divide our world makes and have Jesus as the bridge of connection?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road” by Timothy Keller (Amazon Kindle)
  • Now You’re Speaking My Language: Honest Communication and Deeper Intimacy for a Stronger Marriage” by Gary Chapman (Amazon Kindle)
  • Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back: Persevering Through Pressure” by Charles R. Swindoll (Amazon Kindle)

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