Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

Maximum Joy

Praying for Others


Today’s message (1 John 5:14-15) was focused around teaching us to pray for others:

  1. Pray with the confidence of an eternal perspective. (1 John 5:13-14)
  2. Pray to align your will with God’s will. (1 John 5:14-15 )
  3. Pray for others to align their will with God’s will. (1 John 5:16-18)
  4. Pray from what you know about God and pray to know Him more. (1 John 5:19-20)
  5. Pray for God to be the top priority that guides and directs your life. (1 John 5:21)

This can be accomplished using the T.A.P. Prayer method: Thanksgiving + Ask + Praise with a STRONG “Amen.”

Martin Luther felt there were four parts of prayer in his own personal prayer life.  

  • Instruction – What the Lord calls me to do.
  • Thanksgiving – What the Lord has blessed me with and how I respond.
  • Confession – Where I have failed and ask forgiveness.
  • Petition – Where I need God’s provision and guidance.

A bit of a different Personal GPS this week as we use Luther’s explanation of the Lord’s Prayer from the Small Catechism as our guide for prayer and weaving through these four parts each day – seeking God’s instruction, expressing thanksgiving, honest confession and asking God’s provision and guidance.

Monday: The Introduction: Our Father who art in heaven. What does this mean? With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.

The First Petition: Hallowed be Thy name. What does this mean? God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also.

How is God’s name kept holy? God’s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God’s Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!

Tuesday: The Second Petition: Thy kingdom come. What does this mean? The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.

How does God’s kingdom come? God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.

The Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done? God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.

Wednesday: The Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread. What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

Thursday: The Fifth Petition: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. What does this mean? We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Friday: The Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation. What does this mean? God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.

Saturday: The Seventh Petition: But deliver us from evil. What does this mean? We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.


We Can Overcome


Monday: Read 1 John 5:4-5. What does it mean to overcome the world with victorious faith? Where are some places in your life where there is a need for victory? How does keeping one’s focus on Jesus help you overcome?

Tuesday: Read 1 John 5:1. How does a confession of Jesus as the Savior help with assurance in the Christian life?

Wednesday: Read 1 John 5:2. How does love for God lead you to love others? How are you doing with love for God? Love for others?

Thursday: Read 1 John 5:3. When do you find God’s commands not a burden to live? When do they feel quite burdensome? Why the difference between the two in your life? How might Christ’s love motivate changes for your life? Where have you seen this at work in the past? How might the Holy Spirit be filling you with His love to live out God’s commands today?

Friday: Read 1 John 5:6-10. The heretics of John's day taught that the divine Christ descended on Jesus at his baptism but left before his death. What is wrong with this view? How does the fact that Jesus Christ came by water (symbolizing his baptism) and blood (symbolizing his death) refute that heresy? How does each witness John lists affirm who Jesus is? How does your own experience confirm the truth that eternal life is found in Jesus?

Saturday: Read 1 John 5:11-12. Why is it vital to remember that eternal life is God’s gift for life today, not just when we die and go to heaven? Take time to thank God for his Son, and for the victory and eternal life we have in him. Take time to pray for those who do not have the Son of God and the gift of eternal life He brings. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead them to Christ. Pray to be part of the Holy Spirit’s work in sharing Jesus with others. What do you sense He is leading you to do?

The Meaning of Sacrifice

Fruit-of-the-spiritAs we dig deep into the sermon this week with 1 John 4:10 we learn of: Christ's love in us (FOUNDATION); God’s work in us (FUEL); and reaching out to others (FRUIT).

Monday: Read 1 John 4:7-8. How would you explain the meaning of "love" to a child in a way that child could understand? Why does love have its origin in God? How is the love shown by those born of God different?

Tuesday: Read 1 John 4:9-10. How is the supernatural love of God different from the superficial idea of love that we so often hold?

Wednesday: Read 1 John 4:13-16. How has your increasing love for God increased your understanding of God's love for you? Who are you praying for to know and experience God’s love in Jesus Christ?

Thursday: Read 1 John 4:18-19. What happens if love does not begin with God? Why does love cast out fear? What fear do you need to let God’s love cast out from your life?

Friday: Read 1 John 4:11-12. What would Christian love look like if Christ's example was truly followed? How can you follow the example of love He displayed on the Cross?

Saturday: Read 1 John 4:20-21. Why does John combine loving God with loving your neighbor? How does loving one influence your love for the other? Where might you need God to fill your loving cup to overflowing in loving your “neighbor”?

You can even GO DEEPER this week by reading the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.

Who is Jesus? - Not A Cheap Imitation


As we celebrate our Veterans & Service Members who made the ultimate sacrfic this Memorial Day weekend, the sermon this week focuses us on “the real Spirit that empowers life” (1 John 4:2).

Monday: Read 1 John 4:1. John places great importance on recognizing the Spirit of God. How do you determine what is “garbage” and what isn’t? Where is the danger of garbage getting in your soul? Where are you putting God’s grace in your soul?

Tuesday: Read 1 John 4:2. How does John tell us to determine whether a spirit comes from God? Why is that important still today? (See John 1:14)

Wednesday: Read 1 John 4:3. Why is the spirit of the antichrist against Christ? John says such a spirit is active in our world. Where do you see such an antichrist spirit at work? How are you working for Christ? What impact is that making in your life and others? How does that lead you to pray for Christ to be at work through your life today?

Thursday: Read 1 John 4:4. John says in the “southern paraphrase” of this verse “the One who is in you all is greater than the one in the world”? Why is being in community so vital to battling with the one who would pull us away from God and such a part of the One who builds us in our faith? As you look at your faith community of “you all” where are you connecting with other believers to develop adult faith relationships that prepare you for life’s battles?

Friday: Read 1 John 4:5. Why are false teachers so popular? Where do you find yourself needing to be on guard against the voice of the world guiding your life? How is building on knowing who Jesus is providing a truth perspective for your life?

Saturday: Read 1 John 4:6. Use John’s framework of the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood to evaluate the influences in your life. Where should you exercise concern about the influence of what is false? Where should you expect to experience growth from the Spirit’s power in what is true?

  • Books: ______________________
  • Podcasts: ______________________
  • TV shows: ______________________
  • Friends: ______________________
  • Music: ______________________
  • Movies: ______________________

True Love

Caution hazardous material

This week’s message from Pastor John focused on how to live an “Inside-out Life” (1 John 3:11-16) with trust in Jesus’ Love and not the “Toxic Dump” of today’s world.

Monday: Read 1 Peter 5:8. This is a powerful passage in which we see the crouching Toxic Dump waiting to overtake and fill us, but we also see God’s response. He graciously calls us to himself through Jesus. What does this passage say we need to do? How will you do that today?

Tuesday: Read 1 Peter 4:7-11. Just as God told Cain to rule over the toxic sins that tempted him, so too this passage (v. 7) guides us to rule over those things in our lives. What do you do to be “clear minded” and “self-controlled?” We also “love each other deeply” as we serve according to the gifts God has given us. Which of the gifts of God that you have received are the easiest for you to use in service?

Wednesday: Read Galatians 2:20. This is a mighty passage in which we see the beautiful renewing of our lives through Jesus. By faith we are carried to the crucifixion of Christ so that our lives are renewed and lived for Christ. How do you see Christ’s life being lived in your life?

Thursday: Read Psalm 4:4-8. We are called to be in silence, searching our hearts, offering sacrifices, and trusting in God. God calls us to daily silence before him and then through His Word (the Bible) He speaks into our lives. Pray that God gives you the desire to be still before Him every day.

Friday: Read John 15:1-4. Jesus is the Vine. God the Father is the gardener. You and I are the branches. How does this passage say that you, the branch, are made clean from the toxic dump of sin (v. 3)? As a living branch, abiding in the Vine, what is produced? Where is the fruit in your life? In what area of your life is there a scarcity of fruit? Pray for God to get busy pruning in your life so that all areas are bearing fruit.

Saturday: Read John 15:5-9. What insight does Verse 7 give to you about abiding/remaining in the Vine? According to Verse 8, what has to happen in your life so that God is glorified? What is a sign of being Jesus’ disciple? Where in your life is God being glorified? Thank God in prayer for that area of your life.

It’s All In The Attitude

The sermon message for this week was a big attitude adjuster. We celebrated Mother's Day and learned some key things (1 John 3:1):

  • Remember who you are: a Child of God.
  • Remember who you are becoming: Reflections of God.
  • Remember what breaks up the family: Sin destroys!
  • Remember what builds the family: Jesus saves!

Monday: Read 1 John 2:28. As John writes of continuing in Jesus, he says this leads to confidence and not being ashamed. How is your confidence level in walking with Christ? What knocks you off your confidence in remembering you are a child of God? Why is it essential that the attitude of Christ be the key to building our confidence? Where do you need to grow in that attitude this week?

Tuesday: Read 1 John 3:1. In what ways are you like your mom? In what ways are you like Christ? How does the love God gives change your life each day as His child?

Wednesday: Read 1 John 2:29. John declares that because Jesus is righteous that flows through God’s children. When do you sense that God is living through you? Where do you need to pray for God to work His righteousness in your life today?

Thursday: Read 1 John 3:2. When Christ appears is a reference to His Second Coming, how does Jesus’ return give you a sense of urgency in how you live life today? 

Friday: Read 1 John 3:3-6. Although Christians can and do sin, how does knowing Christ change our relationship to sin? Where do you need to confess sin and ask God for a new beginning?

Saturday: Read 1 John 3:7-10. John often writes with dramatic contrasts. What contrasts does John draw between God’s work and the Devil’s work? Children of God and Children of the Devil? How do you see the difference at work in your life? Why is the appearance of the Son God essential to destroying the Devil’s work in this world and in your life?

 If you would like to Go Deeper this week then:

  • Take time to remember your baptism. What it means to be forgiven. What it means to be God’s child.
  • When we serve, we bring Christ’s love to others in deeds and words. How can you reflect
  • God’s love to others, with powerful mirror moments? Where can you be more intentional in reflecting Christ’s love to others this week?
  • Continue (or begin) to use Lectio Divina this week

 You can also answer these core questions:

  • Where can I make God’s love visible this week?
  • Where do I need to remind myself that I am part of Gods’ family? 
  • What sins do I need to confess and receive God’s cleansing and forgiveness?
  • Since God has planted His seed in me, what is His Holy Spirit reproducing in my life?

It’s The Truth


This week's sermon had four main themes (you can listen here):

  1. Know the Truth: Jesus is God’s Son (Human and Divine) who died, rose again and gives us life.
  2. Know the Time: View your life from God’s eternal perspective.
  3. Know the Problem: Faith off track from God is a dangerous track to travel.
  4. Know the Power: The Holy Spirit makes truth up close and personal in relationship with Jesus Christ.

A very practical example of this is Pastor Paul Willweber's testimony on local TV channels in San Diego sharing his personal and family's grief in losing their son Ryan, and how Cory is recovering from the crash last Thursday: NBCABC, & CBS.

Monday: Read 1 John 2:18. “Anti” can mean to “be against” and/or “instead of”. Why is it important to remember that Antichrist can involve principles, practices and people? What are some “antichrist” attitudes and actions common in our culture? How does that give a last hour feel to your life? Why?

Tuesday: Read 1 John 2:19. What does John tell us about the connection between our presence in the church and perseverance in the faith? Why is church membership important? 

Wednesday: Read 1 John 2:20-21. What does John say his readers have? What do they know? How is that working in your life today?

Thursday: Read 1 John 2:22-23. To deny that Jesus is the “Christ” for John is to deny that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. Why is John so rough on those who deny Christ? Why is such a clear understanding of who Jesus is vital to John? To you?

Friday: Read 1 John 2:24-25. How much of a priority is it for you to remain in Christ? How can you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in that connection? John affirms our connection with Jesus which leads to the promise of eternal life. What are some glimpses of eternity that you have recently seen of God at work in your life today and for eternity?

Saturday: Read 1 John 2:26-27. Describe a time you struggled to determine what the spiritual truth in a situation was. How did the Holy Spirit guide you through? Where do you need the Holy Spirit’s guidance at this point in life? Take time to pray (speak and listen) to His guidance for your life.

You can Dig Deeper by checking out the books:


Worldly Wise

This week as we celebrate personal Bibles given to 3rd Graders, Pastor Burkey gives us a lot to praise God for the great adventure we are on in this weeks message:

The Big Story from The Gospel Project | LifeWay on Vimeo.

Monday: Read 1 John 2:15-17. Why can there be no middle ground between our love for God and our love for the world? What forces pull you the world's way? Why? What forces pull you God's way? How?

Tuesday: Read 1 John 2:15. Why can't we love both the world and the Father? How does the Bible help clarify the issue of understanding the difference between the two? What verses in particular guide you to stand alone on the Word of God?

Wednesday: Read 1 John 2:16. John argues that the pleasures of this world are fleeting. How do you see this in today's culture? In your own life? Which of these three most clearly motivates the people you know and live near: (1) the drive to meet their physical needs, (2) the drive to get things, or (3) the drive to succeed? Which one is most tempting for you?

Thursday: Read 1 John 2:17. How does te realization that the world is passing away lessen its appeal in life? Where do find the "eternal" perspective driving your your you life?

Friday: Read 1 John 2:15-17. John places a great emphasis on knowing and doing (living out) God's will. How will you do the will of God today? How will you know that it is God's will that are doing? Have you taken time to make sure you are doing you God's will and not the world's will in living life each day?

Saturday: Read 1 John 2 How do these verses help us gain a better understanding of our spiritual battle? How has the Bible, as the "sword of the spirit" kept you well armed for the battle ahead? Where would like to grow in your wisdom from you the Bible? Why?

You can Go Deeper you can check out:

Something Old, Something New

What Quadrant Are You In
This week’s sermon message from Pastor John is part of the Maximum Joy series, and it shows us the signs of God that are all around us: sacrifice, faith, life, love, and grace.

These signs help us in our pathway to engagement (see below) as we growth as dynamic disciples (with high knowledge and high obedience).

Pathway to engagement

Monday: KNOWLEDGE - Read Proverbs 4:5 and Jeremiah 9:24. What do these two passages tell us about our pursuit of knowledge? What kind of knowledge does the Jeremiah passage say we can boost of? Name all the avenues that you weekly use to gain this “boost-worthy” knowledge?

Tuesday: OBEDIENCE - Read John 7:16-19. What does this passage say is the key to grasping spiritual knowledge? What would you assess that needs to be done differently in your life to better understand Jesus’ teaching?

Wednesday: WORSHIP - Read Psalm 27:4-6. This is a beautiful passage that speaks of worshiping God. How does it describe worship? How does it describe the blessings of worship? Identify how (or if) these blessings come to you through your worship experience.

Thursday: CONNECT - Read 1 John 1:3. This short passage from 1 John gives great nuggets of insight about Christian fellowship. Name at least three insights or truths about Christian fellowship from this passage. Where does your fellowship occur?

Friday: LEARN - Read Acts 3:22-27. This passage gives us a short, but rich glimpse into the life of the early church. What role did “learning” play in the lives of the early Christians? In verse 22, what does the word “devoted” tell us about their pursuit of spiritual learning? Where does this happen in your life?

Saturday: SERVE - Read Matthew 5:14-16. Our service allows others to see the light of Jesus and it is a praise of the Father in heaven. Does this passage recommend or command acts of service? Pray that God would bless you with a heart that desires to serve.


In The Light - What Drives My Life?


You can listen to this Sunday Message series online.

Monday: Read 1 John 1:5. In what way is God similar to light? In what way are we similar to darkness? What does that mean for our relationship with God? Why is light key to John’s message to us?

Tuesday: Read 1 John 1:6-7. What does a person walking in the light still need from Jesus? What do you need from Jesus today?

Wednesday: Read 1 John 1:7. How important is fellowship with other believers to you? How does that fellowship happen in your life? What are some steps you could take to grow in this area of your life with God and others?

Thursday: Read 1 John 1:8-10. Why confess our sins? What is the result if we or if we don’t confess? How is confession of sin part of your daily life? How might this spiritual habit grow in your life?

Friday: Read 1 John 2:1-2. What difference does it make that you have an Advocate (Jesus) with the Father? What area of life do you need Jesus to intercede for you with God? Why?

Saturday: Read 1 John 1:5-2:2. How does John avoid being too lenient with sin? How does he avoid being too severe with sinners? How do you maintain such a balance in your life?

You can Go Deeper this week with: