St. Matthew's UMC > GPS > GPS Week of March 3, 2019

GPS Week of March 3, 2019

Series – 6 Decisions That Will Change Your Life

Sermon – The Decision to Follow

Scripture Readings: John 1:14-18, John 1:35-42
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” (John 1:35-39a)

Monday March 4 — John 1:1-18
The Gospel According to John begins with a poetic prologue that celebrates Jesus as the Word of God in the flesh and the Light shining in the darkness. The prologue serves as an introduction to the Gospel and an introduction to Jesus. It tells us that if we want to know God, we must get to know Jesus and that, through him, we can receive grace upon grace and become children of God. What does the prologue of John’s Gospel teach you about Jesus? How does Jesus serve as the Word made flesh for you? What does your knowledge of Jesus tell you about God?

• Prayer: Eternal God, thank you for sending Jesus to be your Word made flesh for your children. Thank you for grace upon grace. Amen.

Tuesday March 5 — John 1:19-28, Luke 3:1-20
All four of the New Testament Gospel writers introduce John the Baptist as a prophetic preacher who prepares the way for the Messiah. (Note: John the Baptist is not the author of The Gospel According to John.) He, (John the Baptist) preached a message of repentance and forgiveness of sins. But he insisted that repentance was more than a mental exercise. His hearers’ lives were expected to bear fruit worthy of their repentance. How is your relationship with God reflected in your daily life? How has your life changed as a result of your relationship with Jesus?

• Prayer: Gracious God, I confess my sin and acknowledge my need for your mercy. Forgive me and teach me to follow your ways. Amen.

Wednesday March 6 — John 1:29-34
John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus tells us that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) and “the Son of God” (John 1:34) Identifying Jesus as the Lamb of God reminded the people of the Passover Lamb, which in turn reminded them of how God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. For us, the Good News is that through Jesus, God is offering salvation from humanity’s slavery to sin and death. How do you respond to God’s offer of salvation? Do you see yourself as someone who needs to be saved? If so, from whom or from what do you need to be saved?

• Prayer: God of Mercy, thank you for Jesus, for the promise of salvation and the gift of freedom from the power of sin and death. Amen.

Thursday March 7 — John 1:35-39
When John the Baptist tells his disciples that Jesus is the Lamb of God, his (John’s) disciples begin to follow Jesus. When they ask where Jesus is going, he invites them to “come and see” (John 1:38-39). This is the same invitation Jesus offers to anyone who is curious about being his disciple: come and see. Choosing to follow Jesus is the beginning of a life-long journey of discovery —learning about God and about God’s ways. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus? Are you a seeker? Are you a follower? Are you a disciple? If you do not follow Jesus as his disciple, whom do you follow?

• Prayer: Loving God, grant me the courage I need to follow Jesus wherever he leads me. Help me learn to trust him today. Amen.

Friday March 8 — John 1:40-52
The first chapter of John’s Gospel teaches us that one of the first things that happens to a disciple of Jesus is that they are compelled, by their encounter with Jesus, to tell someone else what they have discovered. Andrew told his brother, Simon Peter; Philip told Nathaniel. Notice the way Philip responded when Nathaniel asked him a question about Jesus. He simply said, “come and see” (John 1:46). Have you recently told anyone about Jesus? What have you told them? How did they respond? Whom might you tell today?

• Prayer: Heavenly Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit. Empower me to be a witness and to invite someone to “come and see” Jesus. Amen.

Saturday March 9 — John 2:1-25
John (the Gospel writer) describes the miracles of Jesus as “signs” (John 2:11). This means that when the power of God works through Jesus in a specific event it points to something beyond itself. In this case, the first of Jesus’ signs points to the transforming power of God. If God can change water into wine, God can change our lives. Like the tables in the temple, Jesus is ready and able to turn our lives upside-down. Have you had a life-changing encounter with Jesus? How has Jesus turned your life upside-down? In what ways have you experienced the transforming power of God’s love, grace, and mercy?

• Prayer: Merciful God, transform my life by the power of your love and grace today. I am ready for Jesus to turn my life upside-down. Amen.

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