St. Matthew's UMC > GPS > GPS Week of July 14, 2019

GPS Week of July 14, 2019

Sunday July 14Colossians 1:1-14, Luke 10:25-37
“ “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” ” – Luke 10:36-37

Questions to consider:
When was the last time you were rushing?
What does it feel like to be in a rush?
When do you linger?
Plan ahead: pick a time this week to slow down and linger.

Monday July 15 – Colossians 1:1-10
Paul the Apostle is writing to the Colossians from prison. The opening of this letter reads like a set of reassurances, maybe even confirmations. Paul almost says, “Don’t worry I am praying for you; don’t stress you are saved!” Paul confirms that he knows this because the church in Colossae is bearing fruit – they have been faithful and they have grown in faith, hope, and love. Consider today how you are growing in faith, hope and love.

Prayer:  Holy God, work in my spirit today. Mold me to continue to follow Christ and to grow in faith, hope, and love. Amen.

Activity:  Sometimes we rush so much we fail to nurture God’s gift of love and grace within us. Find time to pause today to “linger” in God’s presence. Choose to pray, or choose to engage in deeper conversation with someone, choose to risk trusting. How can you “linger” today and receive and witness God’s love and grace in your life?

Tuesday July 16 – Colossians 1:11-14
1 Colossians 1:13-14 says that God “rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom…” In this Kingdom we receive redemption and forgiveness. The verses that precede this passage tell us about how we live in God’s Kingdom; be strong, endure with patience, joyfully give thanks to God (vs. 11-12). How are you living as a part of God’s Kingdom today? When can you be strong, endure with patience, and joyfully give thanks?

Prayer:  God, today I seek to live as a member of your Kingdom. Show me how to be strong, be patient, and be joyfully thankful. Amen.

Activity:  Today focus on one of these ideas – 1) being strong in God, 2) enduring with patience, 3) joyfully give thanks. Track how often you are able to be strong, patient and thankful. When was it difficult? When was it easy? How did you connect with God through this practice?

Wednesday July 17 – Colossians 1:15-20, 24-28
The opening of this passage is a “Christ Hymn.” We read a description and celebration of Christ. In verses 24-28, we learn that the purpose of the church is to proclaim Jesus Christ. We are to be witnesses of how Christ is at work in our lives and in the world. This reality pushes us beyond our own doors to proclaim faith, hope, and love of Jesus Christ to our world. Our focus is no longer inward but outward. How can you witness to the faith, hope, and love of Jesus?

Prayer:  Holy God, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus I have been redeemed. Help me to live and witness the faith, hope, and love I have through Jesus to others.

Activity:  Think on what it looks like to live as a person of “faith, hope, and love in Jesus.” How does your life look different because of “faith, hope, and love?” Write the words “faith” “hope,” and “love,” on post-it notes, or a paper and place it or tape it where you can see it each day. As you start each day, pray to live as a person with the “faith, hope, and love of Jesus.”

Thursday July 18 – Colossians 2:1-7
This passage from Colossians reminds us that we have “received Christ Jesus,” and we must continue to live our lives in Christ (vs. 6). When we live our lives in Christ, our lives show gratitude. This is the fullness of living life with Christ; a life of gratitude. When we live this way, our hearts are united in love, we are reassured of that Christ is with us and that we receive grace in Christ. How can you live a life of gratitude and be united in love?

Prayer:  Christ, my Lord, refocus my heart and mind today to show gratitude and reflect gratitude. Guide me to live my heart united in love towards you and others. Amen.

Activity:  How are you practicing gratitude? Today, listen for how many times you hear the words, “thank you.” Are these words casually said or said in passing? Do these words convey deep gratitude or common courtesy? When our hearts are united in love we are reflecting our gratitude for God’s love and grace in our lives.

Friday July 19 – Colossians 3:1-11
Paul teaches that life with Christ is a “new life,” not doing things the same old way. Paul challenges us to be honest about the ways we sin and to be clothed with a new self. This new self is in the image of our creator. This Scripture is a call to do two things, 1) recognize our own sins, and 2) live as new people formed by God, our creator. Paul, then takes this a step farther, he reminds that all people are incorporated into this new life in Christ. How can you claim new life in Christ for yourself?

Prayer:  Creator God, forgive me for the ways I have sinned against you and others. Clothe me in your love and grace. Let me live truly as one who is created in your image. Amen.

Activity:  Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. What are the first things you see? Do you go to your flaws first? Do you see your age or focus on a wrinkle or gray hair? When you look in the mirror today see yourself as a person created in the image of God. At the end of the day, look in the mirror again, list a few things you like about yourself and give thanks to God for creating you in God’s own image.

Saturday – July 20-  Colossians 4:2-18
On Sunday, Pastor Nickie preached about “lingering.” Lingering is uncomfortable and even odd. But the Apostle Paul seems to linger at the end of every one of his letters in the Bible. His farewell in Colossians is a list of people, situations, and faithful reminders. Today, remember that when you choose to linger, you have the opportunity to see God in others and see the needs of others. Where and when can you linger today?

Prayer:  God, I want to linger in your presence today. Open my eyes to see with your eyes. Open my heart and mind to be receptive to you and to others. Amen.

Activity:  Choose to linger. Not just with God but with people. Sit in a coffee shop longer and notice who comes in and out. Sit with your kids and their friends and just listen (maybe annoy them a little). Leave early for work and see how your commute is different or how your office is different. Stay late at work, notice those you may not have seen before. Lingering takes bravery, but when we do we open ourselves up to recognize God more fully.

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