Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

2018 Mission Weekend

Gps

Day 1: Read Psalm 118:1. Do you know deep-down that God always (Siempre) loves you? That He is always with you?  Whom can you share that truth with today?

Day 2: The mission team share the Good News of the Gospel at VBS, vision clinics, door-to-door, a public school, and Children's Care Centers.  What is the Gospel? Read Romans 3:23.  What is our condition? Read John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9.  What has God provided? Give thanks today for His free gift.  We can do nothing to earn it.

Day 3: Read John 14:6. How many ways are there to God? If you received God's free gift and know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, give thanks.  If you have not, read the verses from yesterday and today again and ask Him today to come into your heart, to be your Lord and Savior.  Then share the Good News with someone.

Day 4: Members of the mission team demonstrated at the vision clinic in Paraguay.  Read Acts 26:17-18 and Ephesians 1:18.  Pray that not on the "eyes of your hear" would be enlightened, but someone you know would hear and receive the Good News of the Gospel.

Day 5: Read Acts 1:8.  Jesus didn't promise use success or popularity, but He did promise His "always" (Siempre) presence through the Holy Spirit. All the stories you heard from the mission team are a result of the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through them.  Where have you seen the Holy Spirit's power at work in your life?  Whom can you share your story with this week?  He does promise to always be with you!

Day 6: Read Matthew 28:19-20. Where do you sense God leading you to share and show the love of Jesus? In your home? To your neighbor? At work? In Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, or Burundi? Trust in His Word that He is always with you wherever you go.


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


 


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

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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. 


 


God's Peace, Your Peace

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Day 1: Read Philippians 4:8. Is this a habit for you?  If not, how can you make it one?

Day 2: Read Galatians 5:22-26.  Is peace a fruit of the Spirit in you? Look at the other "fruit of the Spirit," and think of how each of them creates peace.

Day 3: Read Hebrews 12:14. What do you think of when you think of holiness? How does peace go with holiness?

Day 4: Read Romans 12:18. What does it mean to take this instruction seriously? Do you take it seriously?

Day 5: Read Matthew 11:28-30. What kind of attitudes reside in a heart for God?

Day 6: Read Philippians 4:7. Is your heart and mind protected by peace of God? If not, what can you do to step in that direction? 


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the books: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado  and A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller.

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


 


Prayer. Not Despair.

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Day 1: Read Matthew 7:7. Those verbs — ask, seek, knock — can be translated from the original Greek as "Keep on asking; keep on seeking; keep on knocking". It's not a one time request. It's a continual prayer.  What prayers do you find yourself persistently praying? What leads you to stop praying about something? What leads you to constantly pray for something?

Day 2: Read Luke 18:38-39. I don't know how much Bartimaeus knew about Jesus...what stories he had heard...but when Jesus came his way he made up his mind that he would not let this opportunity slip away. He immediately began to call on the name of Jesus, and he continued to call on the name of Jesus until Jesus heard him. When do you take opportunity to pray for God? Is there a scheduled time? A continual conversation? Last resort or first option? Why?

Day 3: Read Genesis 24:12-14. How does Abraham’s servant give details in his prayer? Why is he so specific? When do you find yourself praying in generalities to God? In detail? How might your prayers today have greater detail?

Day 4: Read Luke 18:41. Picture Jesus asking you, “What do you want me to do for you?” Spend some time pondering your answer. Be specific, not general. Then turn that answer into your prayer.

Day 5: Read Philippians 4:6. The greatest lesson I have learned in prayer is to pray God’s Word. Take time this day to personalize this verse into your prayer. Confess your anxieties and turn them over to God. Be specific in requests and petitions --  humble and detailed in your thanksgiving. Then as you turn all this over to God, ask for His peace, His presence and plan at work in your life.

Day 6: Read 1 Peter 5:7. I like that Peter used the word cast. It means to throwThat's a good idea. Intellectually toss your worries as far away from your mind as you can. Drop them into the sea of God's mercy and tender loving care. Perhaps you have 100 things to worry about right now. At least. 100 difficult situations — some of them are nipping at your heels, and maybe some of them have you by the throat. One by one, as these cares present themselves to you, you need to make a spiritual decision to cast them as far as you can into God's direction — He will take care of them for you, because he has promised to take care of you.


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the books: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.  and A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller.

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


 


Contagious Calm

Ben-white-148435-unsplashPhoto by Ben White on Unsplash

We continue in our walk to learn to be C.A.L.M. (last week's message) -

  • Celebrate God’s goodness (Philippians 4:4)
  • Ask God for help (Philippians 4:6)
  • Leave our concerns with God (Philippians 4:6)
  • Meditate on good things (Philippians 4:8)

Day 1: Read Philippians 4:5. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “no gentleness” to 10 being “gentleness evident to all”, how would you rate your contagious calm the last 24 hours? With family? While driving? When the lawn mower wouldn’t start? When it finally did? Other?

Day 2: Read Proverbs 15:1. The volume and tone of your words can stir people up or calm them down. How have you noticed the impact of the volume and tone of words in what someone has said to you? In what you said to someone else?

Day 3: Read Philippians 4:5. You are not alone. You may feel alone. You may think you are alone. But there is never a moment in which you face life without help. God is near. God repeatedly pledges His proverbial presence to His people. Where have you sensed God being near in the past 24 hours? Where do you need to remind yourself God is near?

Day 4: Read Psalm 118:6-7. When are you tempted to fear people more or the things of this world than remember your faith in God? As you go throughout the day, pray this short prayer of assurance: “The LORD is with me!”

Day 5: Read Philippians 4:5. God asks you today, “Do you trust Me?” Contagious calm flows from a trusting relationship with Him and living with an awareness of His presence. How would you answer God’s question today, “Do you trust Me?”

Day 6: Read Psalm 118:1. Not “His love endures for a moment”, or “His love was present a long time ago”, not “His love present when everything is easy”. You can trust God because He is good, and His love endures forever. Write down five ways you have seen His goodness and experienced His enduring love this week.

  1. _______________________________________
  2. _______________________________________
  3. _______________________________________
  4. _______________________________________
  5. _______________________________________

 


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.

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


 


Rejoice Always

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Photo by Cynthia Magana on Unsplash

Learn to stay C.A.L.M. -

  • Celebrate God’s goodness (Philippians 4:4)
  • Ask God for help (Philippians 4:6)
  • Leave our concerns with God (Philippians 4:6)
  • Meditate on good things (Philippians 4:8)

Day 1: Read Isaiah 26:3. Anxiety spikes when we seek to be in control of our own lives. To rejoice always, we must trust that God is in control in a world out of control. Where does life feel out of control today? Spend some time in prayer turning any anxiety into a prayer to trust God and to receive His peace.

Day 2: Read Matthew 6:25-27.  A Swedish proverb says, "Worry often gives small things a big shadow." When we worry, we tend to over-emphasize the significance of less-than-significant things. Take a look at your worries. Write them down. Where are they casting a big shadow? How might you follow Jesus’ advice today to look at how God cares for a part of His creation as a reminder that He cares for you?

Day 3: Read Matthew 6:32-33. The Hawaiian word for anxiety means “no breath”. The Latin word for anxiety means “to choke” or “to squeeze”. What’s choking your life right now? What are you chasing that’s squeezing you tight and leaving you anxious? Why are you running after things God already knows you need? Where do you need to adjust your priorities to seek God’s Kingdom first?

Day 4: Read Matthew 6:34. I love this verse. You have enough going on today, you don’t need to worry or be anxious about tomorrow. Where have you seen God at work in your day for the past 24 hours? Where do you need to see Him at work in your life right now?

Day 5: Read Philippians 4:4. To rejoice is to return to the source of your joy. What is the source of your joy? How are you doing at returning to that source each day? What keeps you from rejoicing always?  What helps you to rejoice always?

Day 6: Read Philippians 4:5. The secret to joy is that the Lord is near. That means He’s coming back one day to take us to heaven. That also means He’s here with you right now. Where do you need to be reminded that the Lord is near? As you look back at the past week, how are you doing in rejoicing always? All the time? Most of the time? Once in a while? Today in prayer return to the source of your joy – Jesus. Share your worries and anxieties, your hopes and your dreams, most of all let Him share His great love for you.


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.

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


 


Growing Disciples

Jeremy-thomas-75753-unsplashPhoto by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Day 1: Read 2 Peter 3:18. In the past 12 months, how have you grown in your prayer life? Blessing others? Making your mark by serving others? What have your answers to the first three questions taught you about Complete Love?

Day 2: Read Philippians 4:6. Paul says do not be anxious about anything. What anxieties do you tend to hold tightly? From what Paul writes, what might help you let go of your anxiety?

Day 3: Read Galatians 5:22-23. When you think of the fruit of the Spirit, what comes to mind? Why? Take some time today to pray the excerpt from John Stott’s prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Day 4: Read John 15:5. When do your spiritual habits move from “routine” to “rut-ine”? What helps get you out of the rut or dry places in your spiritual life? How does God’s Word help you to grow on a daily basis and to live life each day?

Day 5: Read Luke 24:44-45. What Bible verses do you think Jesus used to explain who He is to the disciples? What Bible verses are guiding lights for your faith?

Day 6: Read 2 Peter 3:18. Who is discipling you? Whom are you discipling?


You can Go Deeper this week by reading the book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.

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