Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Defining Moments

Living In The Present Tense

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Day 1: Read John 12:14-15. What message does Jesus send to the crowds with His entrance? How does He fulfill their desires and their needs? How does He fulfill your desires and needs today?

Day 2: Read Zechariah 9:9. Besides Jesus’ “entrance animal” for Palm Sunday, what do you learn about Jesus’ purpose for coming then and now? Why do you think Jesus comes into Jerusalem that Sunday knowing exactly what they will do to Him on Friday?

Day 3: Read John 12:13. Jesus received the praise of the crowds in the moment, knowing that crowds are fickle, and He remains faithful. Where are you finding it challenging to remain faithful to God? How might Jesus’ example, and even more His presence, bring you peace in a tough challenge you are facing to remain faithful?

Day 4: Read Philippians 2:8. On Palm Sunday, the people came to praise for a moment, Jesus came to pay for our sins for eternity. Even though the crowd proves to be fickle during Holy Week, Jesus proves to be faithful. What do you learn about Jesus’ love for us in this verse? Since Paul says we are to have the same attitude as Jesus does (see verse 5), how does Philippians 2:8 apply to how you are living in the present tense?

Day 5: Read John 12:16. On that first Palm Sunday, the disciples knew it was an exciting moment, but didn't understand all the implications. Although we may not fully understand the significance of everything that happens in our lives — we can learn to be observant. We can learn to pay attention to each and every moment, each and every day of our lives. Looking back at the last 24 hours, what lesson has God been teaching you? Looking back over the past year, what lessons are you learning?

Day 6: Read Philippians 2:5. Paul goes on to write some of the most powerful words about the meaning of Jesus’ death, and yet notice how he prefaces those words with a call for us to live in the present tense: to live with the same attitude of Jesus. Where do you especially need to approach the day ahead with an attitude of Jesus?

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book Jesus: A Theography by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.

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

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Facing Life’s Most Difficult Challenge

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Day 1: Read John 12:25. The greatest challenge that you and I will face is the challenge that we face day after day after day: Who's the boss today? Who's calling the shots today? Where do you find it challenging to make God number one in your life? How do you best keep God as your boss each day?

Day 2: Read Hebrews 5:7-9. What lessons have you learned from suffering that have helped you to grow in your relationship with God and others? Where is your heart crying out in prayer today?

Day 3: Read John 12:26. There's a difference between saying, "God, this is what I'm going to do; please bless my plans," and saying: "God, what is it you want me to do? Where do you want me to go?" Where do you sense God leading you today? Why?

Day 4: Read Psalm 119:9. Living according to God’s Word is God’s game plan. That’s true for young and old. The path of purity, of eternal purpose, everlasting power, puts Jesus in the pilot seat and follows the path of God’s Word. Besides using the GPS, how else do you put God’s Word as the game plan for your life?

Day 5: Read John 12:27-28a. Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell said, "There are two great moments in a person's life: the moment you were born and the moment you realize why you were born." Have you realized why you were born yet? What have others affirmed God doing well in and through your life? How did you fulfill God’s purpose for you yesterday? For your life today?

Day 6: Read Luke 22:42. Jesus prays and teaches us to pray a prayer for life’s defining moments. What “cup” are you asking God to take from you? What “cup” is God asking you to drink?

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee.

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

What Are You Looking At?

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Monday: Read Psalm 107:1. Take a moment right now to thank God for His earthly and heavenly provision.

Tuesday: Read Psalm 107:2-3. What is your story? Consider how your testimony would bless others, and ask God for opportunities to share it. How does telling your story help keep you looking in the right direction?

Wednesday: Read Matthew 14:29:30. Think of a time in your life when you lost your focus on Jesus. How did you recover? How did Jesus reach out and catch you?

Thursday: Read Hebrews 10:23-25. How do you use the opportunities at Christ Lutheran Church to stay connected to the Body here? List all that you can think of and see if there are some ways you can spur others on.

Friday: Read John 3:3. What does it mean to “see” the Kingdom of God? What do you see?

Saturday: Read Ephesians 2:8-10. How does the reality of this passage help you to keep your eyes on Jesus, and off of the worldly things that would distract you from Him?

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels.

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

Courageous Leadership


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Day 1: Read James 4:17. Where have you felt like Popeye, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more”? How does this verse in James guide you to respond?

Day 2: Read John 2:13-14. Courageous leaders don’t look the other way, they look at what’s needed. As you look at God’s Word and our world, what do you see that’s needed?

Day 3: Read Galatians 6:2. Feeling compassion for others and feeling outrage at injustice are both good, but only as a start. Speaking out and speaking for others are both good, but only as a first step. At some time, courageous leaders must be willing to take that most crucial step of hands on involvement — even though it may cost you your time, or your money, or your position and prestige. There is a time when it is necessary to get fully involved in doing something about the situation. Who has helped carry your burdens? Who is God calling you to help carry their burdens?

Day 4: Read John 2:15. Courageous leaders don’t sit idly by. Courageous leaders act to make a difference. Jesus in this verse taps into “righteous anger”. Why? And where can your righteous anger be turned into a positive action for God?

Day 5: Read John 2:16. Jesus is offended by what’s going on, because His Heavenly Father’s offended by what’s going on in the Temple. Courageous leaders won’t say, “It’s not my problem.” Courageous leaders become part of the solution. Where have you seen a leader become part of the solution to a problem? (This is rare, give thanks to God for such a leader.) Where is God calling you to become part of the solution? (This is needed and transforms families, communities, countries for God.)

Day 6: Read John 2:17. When people look back at your life, for what do you think you will be remembered? For what do you want to be remembered? If your two answers are different, what can you do to make the second answer happen?

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book Holy Discontent: Fueling the Fire that Ignites Personal Vision by Bill Hybels.

Screenshot 2018-03-04 at 08.54.02Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 

Beyond The Sandlot



Day 1: Read Mark 8:31-32. God's game plan is about a different kind of success: it's a life of sharing the wealth, taking the calculated risk for the benefit of others, loving your enemies, and living a life of strategic self-denial — a life in which you say, "Hey, it's not all about me. I'm here to make a difference in this world." Why does Peter push back against what Jesus says here? Why are you tempted to push back against what God clearly says to do?  

Day 2: Read Mark 8:33. Peter's mistake here was that he was still hanging on to the world's plan for success: let's accumulate wealth and power, let's conquer our enemies, let's live the good life. And he was missing out on God's plan: We're not here to the live the good life, we're here to live a great life — to change the world, no matter the cost. In every endeavor we need to ask ourselves what do we savor? The world's model of the good life? Or God's model of a great life? When have you followed God’s plan instead of the world’s plan? What happened? Why don’t we follow God’s plan all the time?

Day 3: Read Mark 8:34. Denial has nothing at all to do with beating yourself down, but building yourself up. Such building up, Jesus has said, is the path of self-denial, putting your wants and needs on the back burner, and considering those around you.What is God calling you to deny and to build others up? What’s holding you back?

Day 4: Read Mark 8:35. The ready-for-the-Big-Leagues believer is the one who says, "Lord, it's not about me and what I want for me; it's about you and what you want to do through me, to be a blessing to others, and to bring glory to your name." This is an obstacle that every serious disciple must confront: Is my commitment to doing God's will greater than my desire to live a life of comfort?

Day 5: Read Mark 8:36. How does God influence how you use your time each day, your money, your talents and gifts? What do you need to transfer from the what matters most in the moment to what matters most in eternity?

Day 6: Read Mark 8:37. Truth is, you can give nothing, but God gave everything. Our heavenly Father put His Son’s life on the cross to have an eternal relationship with you. Take time to thank God for His great gift to you in what Jesus has done for you.

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg.

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

No Short Cuts


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Day 1: Read Mathew 7:13-14. When have you been burned by taking a perceived short cut? When have you found taking the longer way, the road less traveled, is the better way?

Day 2: Read Mark 1:10-11. Jesus' journey on the road less traveled launches from a place of blessing. These verses not only mark the commencement of His public ministry, but also the culmination of years of preparation. As Robert Breland says, "In order for God to use you publicly, He must first tutor you privately." Consider the three initial steps of preparation for your spiritual growth:

  1. Become a student of the Word.
  2. Commit to pray.
  3. Be faithful in the little things.

Which one do you do well? How can it be improved as a strength of preparation? Which one do you need to shore up a bit to improve?

Day 3: Read Matthew 25:23. Every time you obey - even in the smallest way - you take one more step up the ladder of preparation. Such steps don't save you, they live out the life of salvation God gives you. We are saved by grace, but there's no shortcut to being used by God; there is no shortcut to spiritual maturity; there is no shortcut to becoming a seasoned follower of Jesus Christ. Where have you found your spiritual muscles getting stronger when you have walked in obedience?

Day 4: Read Mark 1:12-13. When have you traveled in life with a "season in the desert?" What lessons did you learn in that difficult time? How do those lessons help you now in living life?

Day 5: Read Matthew 4:10. In effect, Jesus was saying, "I refuse to take a short-cut. I will do this God's way." In your life, where do you sense a need to say that no matter the cost, I'm living my life God's way?

Day 6: Read Mark 1:14. What's you "come what may" moment? Where is God calling you take no shortcuts but to be all in with Him? How has praying daily, "Holy Spirit, in the moments that define my day, lead me to follow You, come what may" influence your life this way.

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book All In: You Are One Decision Away From A Totally Different Life by Mark Batterson.

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