Grow • pray • study

"Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise." - Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Taking time to pray and meditate on the Scriptures daily is vital to spiritual health! The Grow • Pray • Study (GPS) guide is one way to stay in Scripture and follow along with the weekly messages.

Grow • Pray • Study Guide

8/10/20 - 8/15/20, Christ UMC

MON 8/10/20: Acts 15:22-41, The letter to the “Others” 

Paul and the other Apostles come to an agreement about new Christians and their relationship to Old Testament laws.They don’t throw out the laws altogether! There are still some moral codes that are appropriate to follow. How do we balance our freedom in Christ with healthy boundaries, laws, and rules? When and how are the rules and laws reviewed and evaluated?

TUE 8/11/20: Mark 3:20-30, What spirit controls you?

The nay-sayers charge Jesus with being the king of demons, since they listen to his words. But Jesus makes it clear that there is a definite distinction between himself and the forces of evil. In fact, to say that he’s controlled by evil spirits is a way to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. How do we accurately call evil evil, and how do we accurately call good good? What spiritual practices help us in this discerning activity?

WED 8/12/20: Psalm 133:1-3, How good it is!

The act of pouring oil on someone’s head is an act of hospitality. The idea of pouring so much oil that it drips down the beard and on to the clothing is a vision of extravagance and celebration. When brothers and sisters dwell together, it is like an extravagant celebration, the promise of new life, and the hope of a renewed relationship with God. It is so good!

THU 8/13/20: Exodus 13:17-22, The Lord led them

God chose the longer route for the Israelites because God knew it was safer. I wonder if the Israelites knew this? Where has God lead you? Where is God leading you? Does it feel like a desert? Maybe God knows something you don’t know. Give thanks to God for God’s constant presence, even in the desert.

FRI 8/14/20: Romans 12:9-13:10, Living as Christ but under human rule

There is an unfortunate chapter break in the middle of this instructions (remember, the chapters and verses were not in the original letter, but added over 1,000 years later). The temptation of early Christians were to rise up violently against their oppressive government. How do the commandments to love influence the way we read the commandments to submit to authority? How do we live out these commandments today?

SAT 8/15/20: Act 16:16-34, In a world of precarious lives

Four people in this story have their lives and freedom held by a thread: the slave-girl, Paul, Silas, and the jailor. We get a glimpse of how fragile life is in the 1st century, and how the Holy Spirit sends people to care for these lives. The Spirit is still sending us.