St. Matthew's UMC > GPS > GPS Week of March 17, 2019

GPS Week of March 17, 2019

Series – 6 Decisions That Will Change Your Life

Sermon – The Decision for New Life

Scripture Readings: 2 Corinthians 5:16-19, John 3:1-8
Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:3-6)

Monday March 18 — John 1:35-42
The journey of Christian discipleship begins with a three-word invitation from Jesus: “Come and see” (John 1:39). Jesus invites everyone to enter into a new relationship with him—to follow him every day and learn to live and love the way Jesus lived and loved. For Christians today, this requires a commitment to worship, to prayer, to reading and study of the Scriptures (especially the four Gospels), and to sacrificial giving and service. How have you responded to Jesus’ invitation to “come and see”? Do you follow Jesus’ example every day? What is the next step for you?

• Prayer: Calling God, grant me the courage I need to follow you every day of my life. I will go where you send me and do what you ask of me. Amen.

Tuesday March 19 — John 3:1-8
Nicodemus was a Pharisee (a highly religious teacher and leader of the Jewish people) who visited Jesus at night. He recognized God’s presence in Jesus’ actions, but misunderstood when Jesus told him that he must be “born from above” (John 3:3). Jesus calls his followers to experience a new beginning through the power of the Holy Spirit. This requires that his followers let their old life “die” so that they can be born again. How much of your life are you willing to surrender (let “die”) so that you can be born again through the Holy Spirit? What are you holding back? What are unwilling to surrender to God?

• Prayer: Almighty God, today I am ready to be born again through the presence and power of your Holy Spirit. Transform my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday March 20 — John 3:9-16
The new life offered by Jesus is a gift from God. It is not earned by living a good life or doing good works. New life is the result of God’s love for the world through Jesus Christ, which is freely given and must simply be received in faith. When Jesus says that the Son of Man will be lifted up (in John 3:14) he is referring to his own death on the cross. New life begins when we believe that Jesus died for the salvation of the world. Do you believe that salvation is a freely offered gift from God, or do you believe that you can earn your salvation? Have you accepted the grace of God, offered through Jesus Christ, God’s own Son?

• Prayer: Loving God, thank you for loving the world so much that you sent Jesus to be our Savior. I believe in your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Thursday March 21 — John 3:14-21
Jesus affirms that God offers every person the freedom to choose to follow Jesus and walk in God’s light. New life is a gift that can (and should) be accepted. It is also a gift that can (but should not) be rejected. New life in Christ begins when we accept the fact that God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us. For many people, this is not easy to accept or understand. Jesus says that judgment begins when people reject God’s love and the invitation to walk in God’s light. Can you believe that God’s loves the world enough to sacrifice his Son to save it? Can you believe that God loves you enough to sacrifice his Son to save you?

• Prayer: God of Love, thank you for sending Jesus to save me from sin and to provide your light for my life. I accept your love today. Amen.

Friday March 22 — John 3:22-30
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist was very popular and influential. Many people wondered if he was God’s Messiah. John himself told people that he was not the Messiah but was sent by God to prepare the way for the Messiah. Each of the four Gospel writers emphasize that Jesus—not John, nor anyone else—is God’s Messiah. Do you ever look to another person to be your Savior? Do you ever trust yourself or another person more than you trust God? What needs to change in your life so that you will trust God completely?

• Prayer: Eternal God, grant me the courage I need to trust you completely. I believe that Jesus is the only Messiah I need. Amen.

Saturday March 23 — John 3:31-36
One of the primary themes in John’s Gospel is that Jesus’ earthly life and ministry testify to the nature and character of God. If someone wants to know God, they must know Jesus. Jesus’ life reveals what is important to God: God’s concerns, God’s priorities, God’s passions, God’s sacrificial love, and God’s desire to save and redeem humanity. What attracts you to Jesus? Why have you chosen to follow him? Which of Jesus’ characteristics are most important to you? What do these characteristics of Jesus teach you about God?

• Prayer: Gracious God, today I renew my commitment to follow your Son, Jesus. I want to experience your love and saving grace. Amen.

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