Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

God's Epic Story In Movies

GREEN BOOK - HOW CAN WE ALL GET ALONG?

Green-book-mahershala-ali-top-10-movie-performance-best-of-culture-2018The G.P.S. this week uses the movie "Green Book" to tell God's Epic Story In Movies.

Monday – Read Ephesians 2:14. Where in your life do you see divisions with other Christians? How can you focus on similarities, acknowledge differences, and be friends?

Tuesday – Read Genesis 1:27. God made people. Period. Everyone you see around you was knitted in his/her mother’s womb by God. How does that affect how you treat them?

Wednesday – Read 1 John 2:11. Whom do you hate? Scripture calls us to pray for our enemies. Think, pray, and ask God to change your heart. 

Thursday – Read 1 Samuel 16:17. God looks at hearts. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. How can we teach the next generation to live out this truth of looking towards people’s hearts?

Friday – Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. How do you define love? Does your love towards others reflect 1 Corinthians 13:1-13? If yes, how? If no, how can that change by the power of the Holy Spirit?

Saturday (As you prepare for weekend worship) – Watch any of the “Mary Poppins” movies -- “Mary Poppins;” or “Mary Poppins Returns;” or “Saving Mr. Banks.


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of August 2019). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


The Incredibles 2: Your Family Fully On Mission

Incredibles-21

Day 1: Read 1 Peter 4:10-11. Consider your life at this time – what gifts has God given you? How can you put those gifts to use to serve others? 

Day 2: Read 1 Corinthians 12:27. Playing off Paul’s image of you being part of the Body of Christ, what part of the Body do you see yourself being? What are some other gifts you see working in people you know? How have you seen the Body of Christ work well together? How can your part help us serve our community better?

Day 3: Read Acts 4:19-20. When have you faced a “we must obey God rather than men” moment? Where do you feel pressure to go against God’s will? What keeps you connected to Him?

Day 4: Read Luke 8:21. As part of Jesus’ family, you not only hear God’s Word, you put it into practice. How have you put God’s Word into practice the past week? Where do you find putting God’s Word into practice challenging?

Day 5: Read Colossians 3:20. How are you doing at “obey your parents in everything”, at this point in your life? What life lessons have your parents taught you? Which ones are you passing on to others?

Day 6: Read Colossians 3:21. How does your family encourage you? How do you encourage your family? What intentional act of encouragement can you do in the next 24 hours?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp.


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of August 2019). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


Imagine The Faith Force God Makes You

I-Can-Only-Imagine-1

Today’s GPS is based on the movie (and book) I Can Only Imagine and Matthew 5:9.

Day 1: Read Matthew 5:3. Every day we must approach God with two things in mind: 1.) We must approach God fully aware that we have nothing to offer.  2.) We must approach God fully aware that He has everything that we need.   When we begin our day with these two truths, we place ourselves in a position for God to continue redeeming our lives. We no longer are trying to restore ourselves, but we relinquish control so that God can do what only He can do. Where do you need to relinquish control to God in your life today? Why do you keep holding on instead of letting go?

Day 2: Read Matthew 5:7. There is a distinction between mercy and grace. Mercy is not getting what we deserve, but grace is getting the generosity of God we do not deserve. In your relationship with God, do you tend to seek more His mercy or His grace? In your relationships with others, are you more likely to extend mercy or grace?

Day 3: Read Matthew 5:5. There may be someone you love in life, who you know is on a bad path. You may wonder what you can do. Where’s the line between helping them get up, and enabling them to stay in their problem? The one thing you can do from start to finish is to pray. Throughout the movie when Bart reaches out to Shannon with the ups and downs of his career and his relationship with his dad, he always reminds her and thanked her for her commitment to pray. You can pray for people in the best times of their lives, you can pray and be there for people in the difficult times of their lives. Who is God prompting you to pray for today?

Day 4: Read Matthew 5:4. Some people assume Jesus is simply speaking about mourning due to sad circumstances. However, He is speaking more about mourning sinfulness and brokenness, which result in sad circumstances. What sin in the world leads you to mourn the most – poverty, illnesses, abuse, etc.? What sin in you leads you to mourn the most?

Day 5: Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. What does Christ’s love compel you to do? What impact did you see His love have in your life in the past week? As you look at the week ahead?

Day 6: Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. What does it look like for you to embrace your calling as a minister of reconciliation (an ambassador of forgiveness) to the world? What people or relationships come to mind?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book I Can Only Imagine: A Memoir by Bart Millard and Robert Noland.


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


CREATE FOR COMMUNITY PRAYER REQUESTS: For patience with parking challenges during construction (currently estimating completion by the end of August 2019). For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


The Greatest Showman: God’s Creation Masterpiece

Showman

Three Biblical truths that we are all God’s creation masterpiece (based on Ephesians 2:10):

  1. Every one of us is special. (Psalm 139:13-14)
  2. God has created you to do something only you can do. (Psalm 139:15-16, John 8:10-11)
  3. We are most alive when we do what we were created to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Day 1: Read Psalm 139:13. When God created you, He had only you in mind. His love for who you are is so great. He paid the ultimate price with His Son’s life because He considers you so special. As you consider who you are, take time to thank and praise God for the person He made you (and is making you) to be.

Day 2: Read Psalm 139:14. In this world, we often see differences and turn them into put downs. David sees his differences and praises God. Where has the world seen you different? Where have you been tempted to see others’ differences as a negative? Take time to thank and praise God for at least one person today (besides yourself) whom God has made (and is making) special.

Day 3: Read Psalm 139:15-16. I believe what God has placed in you matters. I believe the things He calls you to do matter. I believe He will use them to bring joy to your heart, to make His name known, and to help others to know God. What is one of the dreams God is calling you now to pursue in your life? (If your answer is “none”, this is now your high priority prayer item!)

Day 4: Read John 8:10-11. At one point in the Greatest Showman, PT Barnum is talking with his greatest critic, journalist James Gordan Bennett. Bennett makes perhaps the churchiest observation of the whole movie: “You are putting folks of all kinds on the stage with you, presenting them as equals.” How do these verses from John 8 remind you that all people matter to God?

Day 5: Read Ephesians 2:8-9. Why is it so important to remember we are saved by grace. How does God’s grace help you to come alive in living life each day?

Day 6: Read Ephesians 2:10. What are some of the good works you have discovered God has made you to do? When do you feel most alive when following God’s will? Why?


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


 


Up: When Grace Lifts Your Life Out of Grief

Up

Use 1 Corinthians 13:7 to triumph over Sheryl Sandberg: 3 Traps in Grief:

  • Personalization: Blame yourself.
  • Pervasiveness: Everything in life is bad.
  • Permanence: Life will never change.

Day 1: Read 1 Corinthians 13:4. How do Paul’s words help navigate the path of grief with the grace of God’s love? How have you seen that in the life of someone you love? In your life?

Day 2: Read 1 Corinthians 13:5. In the movie Up, Carl’s grief leads him to be rude, self-seeking, and a keeper of the record of wrongs. These should have been warning signs that his grief was destroying relationships and himself. What are the warning signs your grief or in your life that are destroying your relationships with others and yourself?

Day 3: Read 1 Corinthians 13:6. Our world does a great job of pointing out evil. Where are you rejoicing in the truth these days?

Day 4: Read 1 Corinthians 13:7-8. The love Paul writes about is not our love, but Jesus’ love working for us, in us, and through us. Take a moment to reread these verses (and verses 4-6 as well), putting “Christ” in place of the word “love”. After you do that, take time to thank Jesus for His great love for us through His grace and especially in our grief. Pray for a grieving friend to experience the love of Jesus today.

Day 5: Read Matthew 13:45-46. C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “Pleasure, money, power and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much.” What other “pearls” get in the way of the “pearl of great price”? Where do you need to be careful to put the higher priority on God things rather than good things? What in life distracts you and potentially drives you away from the “Pearl of Great Price” in Jesus?

Day 6: Read Genesis 22:1-2 and 8. Verse 2 is the first mention of love in the Bible. As Abraham faithfully follows God’s command and takes Isaac to the top of the mountain to sacrifice, Isaac asks where the animal is for sacrifice. “God Himself will provide,” Abraham answers. And God indeed does for Abraham, Isaac, and us. Where do you need God to provide in your grief? In your life? In the lives of someone you know?


You can Go Deeper this week by check out this resource GriefShare.org (Christian-based support group for processing grief), and by reading this book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg (not a Christian based resource),

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


 


Wonder Woman - When Goodness and Evil Collide

Landscape-1496413875-wonder-woman-movie-artwork (1)

Day 1: Read Matthew 4:5-7. When you take that step into no man’s land, isn’t that when Satan shows up, to offer the easy way out? Where are you finding Satan tempting you? What do you notice in how Jesus handles this temptation? How might Jesus’ approach help you when Satan is offering you the easy way out?

Day 2: Read Matthew 4:8-10. Satan offers Jesus a refined view of the truth. In other words, he’s lying. He seeks to trick Jesus, but Jesus finds His power, and we can as well by knowing and living out God’s word. What is one lie Satan is tempting you to believe? Where do you need to realign priorities to make sure God is the number one priority in your life?

Day 3: Read Romans 5:6-8. Jesus came to earth and was born in the flesh for the very purpose of defeating sin, death, and the devil at the cross, and one day He will return to put an end to evil and death forever. While Christians wait for Jesus’ return and the new heaven and earth to come, they should take every opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where is God leading you to share the story of Jesus? Where is God calling you to stand up against the evil darkness of this world?

Day 4: Read Colossians 3:15. We might translate Paul’s phrase “rule in your hearts” to a more modern translation of “Let the peace of Christ umpire in your hearts.” Let Him call the shots, direct the peace. Where is God directing your steps toward His plan for peace in the world? Where do you need to be reminded that you are not alone, and that God is with you in the battles of life?

Day 5: Read Colossians 3:12-14. Our power flows from God’s love, not vengeance. Where have you been tempted to respond with vengeance? How do Paul’s words guide you to a better response with love?

Day 6: Read Colossians 3:16-17. Every good word you speak, every act of kindness, every expression of mercy brings more light into the darkness that surrounds “no man's land”. Where have you seen others bring God’s light into the darkness of this world in the past week? Where are you bringing God’s light into this world?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the books: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.

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


 


The Case For Christ: Prepared To Give An Answer

The Case For Christ

Day 1: Read Jeremiah 29:12. I love the quote from C. S. Lewis: "If Christianity is true there's nothing more important in the entire universe." Where do you find it easy to seek God’s heart? Where is seeking God’s heart a challenge? Why?

Day 2: Read 1 Peter 3:18. This is Peter’s story of what he experienced, of the truth he knows, and wants all the world to know. God’s truth is worth a deeper look; dig deep into that truth. What is your story of God at work in your life?

Day 3: Read John 19:32-34. As Lee Strobel seeks to disprove Christianity, he identifies the key issue – the death and resurrection of Jesus. Disprove that truth, and you have hit the heart of the Christian faith. Why is it significant that John shares the details of his death? What does it mean for you to know Jesus died and rose again?  

Day 4: Read John 20:25. One of my favorite authors, John Ortberg, wrote a book called, “Faith and Doubt. His point? What if the most important word is the one in the middle? We often think of doubt as the opposite of faith, but could it actually strengthen our relationship with God? According to Ortberg, the very nature of faith requires the presence of uncertainty. Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope. Today, take some of your God questions to Him in prayer.

Day 5: Read Matthew 5:14-16. Where have you seen people shining the light of Jesus in your life? Where is God calling you to shine His light in someone else’s life? What “good works” is God calling you to shine forth for His glory?

Day 6: Read John 1:12. We understand “Believe + Receive = Become” to be a great work of the Holy Spirit as people hear the message of God’s Word, prompted often by the light of faith they have seen lived out in others. Such light leads them to wonder who this Jesus is and worship Him once they realize He is their risen Lord and Savior. Whom will you commit to pray for to come to know Jesus as his/her Savior?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the books: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.

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


 


Risen: How We Know Easter Happened

MC_Risen_fb

Day 1: Read 1 Corinthians 15:3. As Paul says, “Christ died for our sins.” What if Jesus’ death is the end of the story? If there is no resurrection? What does that mean for the Christian faith today? For your faith? (SPOILER ALERT: He did rise again!)

Day 2: Read 1 Corinthians 15:4. Risen suggests this problem with the empty tomb on the first Easter. Where’s the body? Everyone saw Him die. The body was put in a tomb; a tomb that was sealed, no less. The problem is now that tomb is empty, and there are some who say He’s risen from the dead. The facts are clear; the man was dead, He was buried in the tomb, and now the tomb is empty.

How does Paul’s story bring clarity to the Risen movie problem of an empty tomb?

Why is “according to Scripture” such an important part of the Easter story?

When did you first come to know the Easter story? What does that story mean for your life today?

Day 3: Read John 20:18. Mary Magdalene is the first of Jesus’ followers to see Him. In the movie, Risen, she says, “I’m already free.” How does Jesus resurrection set you free today? What situation are you facing today that you need to remind yourself that Christ has set you free?

Day 4: Read 1 Corinthians 15:20. If Jesus is the firstfruits of those raised from the dead, what does that mean for our lives? For Bartholomew in Risen, part of that fruit is joy! How does Easter bring you joy? What other fruit does Jesus’ resurrection bring to you today? What do you need it to bring to you today?

Day 5: Read 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. Eternal life is the gift. Joy is the byproduct of that gift. Guilt does not get the final word, Jesus’ grace does. Shame does not get the final word, our Savior does. He who died and rose again paid for our sins and gives us life. Adam brings sin and death. Jesus brings salvation and life. Take time today to give thanks to God for the gifts Jesus brings, especially the great gift of Himself!

Day 6: Read John 20:30-31. John describes why we have the 4 gospel accounts in these verses. Clavius in Risen telling the story of his experience with Jesus says that he will never be the same. His life has been changed. How has Jesus changed your life? How is He changing your life? Who are you praying for to know this great message of eternal life Jesus brings? .

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


Hidden Figures: Using Your God-given Talents

Hidden-pictures-movieposter

Day 1: Read Ephesians 2:14. Why is prejudice such a barrier builder to relationships? Why is Jesus so passionate to make the two one?  

Day 2: Read Ephesians 2:13. Where have you seen Jesus at work across “cultural barriers”? What “cultural barriers” might Jesus want to make a bridge in your life?

Day 3: Read Ephesians 2:17-18. Jesus gets us there together or we don’t get there at all. How does knowing we don’t get there by effort, we get there by Jesus, motivating us to reach out to others? What’s holding you back from reaching out for Jesus?

Day 4: Read Ephesians 2:15-16. The color of Christ’s blood that paid for our sins is the same no matter what. Christ’s blood is our common bond. What “differences” do you need to see differently?

Day 5: Read Ephesians 2:21-22. God gave you talents to join people together in Christ. How have you used them? Are you using them? Will you use them in the week ahead?

Day 6: Read Ephesians 2:14. No matter the obstacles, run the race. Hidden Figures reminds us to overcome the obstacles before us because of the greater good. Paul, this week in Ephesians, has challenged us to overcome the obstacles that divide us, to be part of how Jesus desires to make us all one. As you look back over the past week, what hidden prejudices have been revealed? What hidden possibilities to be part of reaching people for Jesus have been revealed?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


War Room: “It All Began with a Prayer and an Act of Faith”

War-room

The movie War Room is the backdrop for this week's sermon based on Matthew 6:6 (NIV):

…When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Monday: Read Matthew 6:6. Where do you pray most often? Why?

Tuesday: Read Matthew 6:6. Do you have a special place for prayer and spending time with God? What makes that place so special?

Wednesday: Read Matthew 6:7. How do you pray? What do you find yourself praying the most about these days? How does your prayer life compare to a year ago? Five years ago?

Thursday: Read Matthew 6:8. Though we can (and should) pray about anything, is there a specific prayer request you find yourself praying or needing to pray at this point in your life?

Friday: Read Matthew 6:6-8. Where have you placed the “Pray for Community” handout from this past weekend? Are you praying each day for the seven requests? In addition to the first five requests, what is your specific problem and possibility you are praying for in the weeks ahead?

Saturday: Read Matthew 6:9-13. How has this week’s GPS helped you to appreciate and apply the Lord’s Prayer? How does the Lord’s Prayer help you in praying other prayers to God?

You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the books:

You can also listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.