Each week, we offer daily Scripture readings and thoughts in our Grow • Pray • Study (GPS) Guide.
Come back on Mondays for the weekly GPS, and spend time in study and prayer daily!
You matter to God.
Paul’s UMC GPS:
GROW † PRAY † STUDY
for the week
August 11-17, 2019
Gospel of Grace: Grace that Forms
Destination: To gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a deeply committed follower of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. To be able to recognize your experiences of God and to discover God in new and different ways.
Memory verse(s): I encourage you to read this Scripture every day and by the end of the week have it memorized or to the point of where you can paraphrase the verse(s). Try writing it down on post-it notes and place them in areas where you will see it daily, for example the bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car.
7 Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son or daughter, and if you are his child, then you are also an heir through God.
Galatians 4:7 CEB
Almighty God, we confess that we are often swept up in the tide of our generation. We have failed in our calling to be your holy people, a people set apart for your divine purpose. We live more in apathy born of fatalism than in passion born of hope. We are moved more by private ambition than by social justice. We dream more of privilege and benefits than of service and sacrifice. We try to speak in your name without relinquishing our glories, without nourishing our souls, without relying wholly on your grace. Help us to make room in our hearts and lives for you. Forgive us, revive us, and reshape us in your image. In the name of God our Creator, Jesus our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit our Advisor and Counselor Amen
Monday, Aug 12, 2019 read Galatians 4.
Paul reminds the Galatians that they are now adults and shouldn’t act like kids placing themselves under the law. Slavery in this context is not the chattel slavery that occurred in the US. People in Paul’s day often would sell themselves as a slave to pay off a debt. Once that debt is paid, they were free. What are some of the cultural barriers to the unity of Christians in our time?
Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 read Galatians 4:1-7.
“…when we were minors” refers to the time when they were under the Law’s authority and the powers of the present age from which Christ freed them. Through Christ they have the freedom to join as a follower of Christ right were they are…no matter what has happened in their life…the grace of God forms them through the love and sacrifice of Jesus. How has the grace of God formed you? How is the grace of God continuing to form you?
Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019 read Galatians 4:8-11.
Paul is asking how the Galatians can continue to cling to old ways, how can they continue to cling to the ways of the world when they now know the grace of Jesus. What ways of the world that differ from the teachings of Jesus to love God, love other and love your neighbor as yourself do you find hard to let go? Pray, ask Jesus to give you what you need to let go of the ways of the world that are incompatible with Jesus Christ.
Thursday, Aug 15, 2019 read Galatians 4:12-20.
Paul makes a personal appeal to the Galatians because of his friendship with them. He encourages them to be like him in that he relies on Christ’s faithfulness. Paul feels like a parent to the Galatians because he was the first to bring the message of Jesus to them. Like the Galatians have you slipped back into old habits or beliefs that Christ delivered you? What are they? What are you going to do about moving forward?
Friday, Aug 16, 2019 read Galatians 4:21-5:1.
Paul gives a scriptural argument to show the Galatians there are two lines of descent from Abraham. One leads to slavery and the other to freedom. Does your grace journey feel more like freedom or slavery? What is the difference between the two journeys?
Saturday, Aug 17, 2019 read Galatians 4:24-5:1.
Paul uses the story of Ishmael and Isaac as a reference to the Jewish believers in Christ and the Gentiles. The Jewish believers are like Ishmael, conceived the normal way…believing about Jesus through the laws. The Old Covenant. The Gentiles are like Isaac conceived through the promise, led by the Holy Spirit. This is the New Covenant. Which covenant do you resonate with most? Why?
Resources: Bible by God; "Grace that Transforms Us" resources from West Ohio Annual Conference, God Unbound by Elaine A. Heath