Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

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November 2021

Zechariah: Hearing God In The Silence

Aaron-burden-lPCu8HnGU2E-unsplashPhoto by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Pastor Burkey would like you to take 90 seconds every day from now until Christmas to sit silent before God for 90 seconds. 

Amid the chaos of the Christmas season, find His calming voice to prepare you. 

Each day before you sit in silence for 90 seconds simply pray:

 “Lord, Your work is greater than my perspective. Open my heart to leave room for You to work. In these 90 seconds of silence, realign the chaos in my life to the calm and peace you bring.”

Day 1: Luke 1:8-9. Zechariah’s name means “God remembers”. God remembers why Zechariah became a priest to serve God. God remembers His people under Roman occupation, longing for a Messiah to come. What does God remember about you? What do you want to remember about God? 

Day 2: Malachi 3:1. That messenger in one sense is Jesus, but before Jesus comes John the Baptist. God remembers His promise and Zechariah will be John the Baptist’s father. Today our extraordinary God doesn’t forget the ordinariness of our lives, but that He is with us. He reveals Himself to us. He guides us in life. Where do you need His guidance today?

Day 3: Luke 1:13. What prayers do you know God has heard? How are His answers impacting you? Where do you need to His answer?

Day 4: Malachi 3:2-3. Malachi says that God will be like "launderer's soap." This is what God wants to do with his people. He wants to get the dirt out of our lives. He washes away the stain that sin leaves behind. Everything that we have done in the past that has made our lives so ugly and unclean, He washes away. Where do you need to confess your sins and be made clean by Him?

Day 5: Luke 1:18-20. Most people see that time as silence as punishment for Zechariah’s unbelief. It might be that, but in that silence, God will work in Zechariah’s life and build a deeper faith that eventually becomes a song of praise (See Luke 1:64-80). In your silence, what song has God been teaching you to sing?

Day 6: Luke 1:24-25. Sometimes God has to be quiet so we can hear Him. Sometimes we have to be still so we can see Him move and do the work He wants to do through us. Sometimes our words and busyness get in the way of our faith. Where and when do you need to make a time of silence? Maybe even more than 90 seconds?

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Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • “Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence” by Ruth Haley Barton (Amazon Paperback #ad)
  • "Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God" by Timothy Keller (Amazon Kindle #ad)
  • “The Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World” by Paul Miller (Amazon Kindle #ad)

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

Kingdom Made

Randy-fath-ymf4_9Y9S_A-unsplashPhoto by Randy Fath on Unsplash

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Day 1: Revelation 1:4. In this verse, John doesn’t use the word faith, he uses words about faith as he describes how we are kingdom made. What “faith” words do you notice? What does it mean to have God working those words in your life? 

Day 2: Revelation 1:5. Jesus frees us from our sins ... from the past ... and has made us into something new ... and right now we are a kingdom made for such a time as this. Take time to confess your sins to Jesus and receive the forgiveness He gives!

Day 3: Revelation 1:6. Our purpose in life is to serve. Where can you start? God does not call us to do everything. But He does call you to do your particular part (not to earn His love, but to express His love) in His work in this world. What is one way God has gifted and made you so that you can contribute to His plan for the church and this world?

Day 4: John 18:37. Jesus invites us into this kingdom work of listening to truth and living His truth. Some might summarize that as simply following the rules, I’d say Jesus even more invites us into a living life changing relationship of a kingdom made living just for you. What has Jesus been saying about your life in the past week?

Day 5: John 18:36. Jesus calls His church, you, and me, to combat greed with contentment, lust with love, brutality with kindness, and power-grabbing with humble service. Where do you find it challenging to combat our world’s culture with the way of Jesus? Pray for an extra-measure to serve Christlike today.

Day 6: Revelation 1:8. The joy of kingdom made is you are not alone. Jesus is with you every step of the way, every step of your day and of your life. You are a kingdom made with Christ. You are a champion who serves with Him in this world. How are you experiencing and expressing His joy in your life?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

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

Prayer Power


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Day 1: Read James 5:13-14. Powerful prayer warriors are powerful prayer warriors for one simple reason, no matter what they pray. Consider your prayers the past week, what have you prayed the most for? Most of all, take time today to pray!

Day 2: Read James 5:15-16. Who is a prayer warrior that you know? Why do you consider that person a prayer warrior? How might you follow their example? Most of all, take time today to pray!

Day 3: Read James 5:17. When I read that verse, I am fascinated with that word earnestly. The phrase gets translated that he prayed “earnestly” or “fervently”. But do you know what it actually says? “He prayed with prayer.” It just repeats it. “Elijah prayed, praying!’ Most of all, take time today to pray!

Day 4: Read James 5:18. As you have prayed this week, have you been praying “The 5 Prayer Challenge”? If not, do so today. If you have, thank you, stay calm and keep on praying! Most of all, take time today to pray!

Day 5: Read James 5:19. Prayer is not just about you and God being on the same page but realizing together we are part of God’s family. What affects one, affects us all. Who are you praying for to come to know Jesus? Most of all, take time today to pray!

Day 6: Read James 5:20. I think of that verse as I pray when I pray that 5th mission petition from the Prayer Challenge: God, I pray _____ becomes part of your family. With some of the names I pray, I pray they come to know Jesus for the first time. But for some of the names I pray, I pray they come back to God’s family. Never give up praying for people you know and love to come to know Jesus. Most of all, take time today and all your days to pray!.

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

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

Long Fuse Living In A Short Fuse World


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The Patience Formula - “Be patient.” (James 5:7a):

Troubles + Time x Trust = Patience

Day 1: Read James 5:7. We think of patience and just sitting passively waiting and wondering. James doesn’t see the long fuse of patience working passively, that’s why he uses the example of the farmer. The farmer waits patiently for the land to yield its crop, waiting for the rains only God can bring. Where is God calling you to wait patiently? What next steps is He inviting you to take while you wait?

Day 2: Read James 5:8. For long fuse patience James adds stand firm with determination. The word for stand firm means strengthen your heart. How has God strengthened your heart? Where do you need that strength as you face the day ahead?

Day 3: Read James 5:10. James tells us about the prophets so that we build our lives on words that last. Think of the words those prophets spoke for God of “do not be afraid.” Or “God will never leave you nor forsake you.” When suffering comes what words from God do you hold on to as you face the problem?

Day 4: Read James 5:9, 12. You might call these verses warning signs that our patience is waning, and our impatience is leading us to worrying. What warning signs do they trigger as you seek to respond with patience? Where do you need to pray for God’s help as you face problems?

Day 5: Read James 5:11. Job’s patience power is his perseverance. He never let’s go of God. He never gives up his faith, no matter how many troubles he faces or how horrific the losses he experiences. How has God been developing your patient perseverance muscle? Where might He be stretching you to hold on to Him?

Day 6: Read Job 13:15. Job never gets the answer to the why question. You may or may not either. What Job does get is Job gets that God knows him intimately. Even more Job gest a deeper faith because Job’s perseverance leads to a patient hope that God is Job’s redeemer, and that Job will see God. No matter the suffering that has come, no matter even death calls, God gets the final word and that gives Job perseverance, patience, and hope. How do you remind yourself that God knows you intimately? That you can trust Him? How has your faith grown in challenging times?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • “Great Lives: Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance” by Charles R. Swindoll (Amazon Kindle #ad)
  • “Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life” by Craig Groeschel (Amazon Kindle #ad)
  • "The Best Question Ever" by Andy Stanley (Amazon Kindle #ad)

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