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
November 10-16, 2019
Hope in the Storm
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: 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.
27 Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Matthew 14:27 CEB
Life seems to get crazy sometimes. We love the smooth times when all is well, but, O Lord, we have serious problems with wind and waves. We want you to “fill our sails with a lovely breeze that guides our little boats across the glassy sea”; but you know that life isn’t just glassy seas and gentle breezes. Sometimes things get rough. Help us place our trust and hope in you during all these rough times. You call to us to reach out, to take our focus off our own panic and place our trust and hope in your love. Then you ask us to reach out to others with the same kind of love and compassion that you have given to us. Today we have come to you with burdens and cares. Our “seas” are not calm, but you offer to us a lifeline. Be with us. Guide our lives. Give us courage and hope. Strengthen us to truly be your disciples. In the name of God our Creator, Jesus our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit our Advisor and Counselor Amen
Monday, Nov 11, 2019 read Matthew 14:22-34
Think about life inside your boat. The comfortable places in your life. What makes these situations, areas of your life comfortable? Where do they bring you hope?
Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019 read Matthew 14:21-26.
The story began with a sense of urgency: “Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat” (verse 22). John’s gospel said that after he fed 5,000 people, Jesus had to avoid a move to forcibly declare him a military leader and king (see John 6:15). Have you ever had to take urgent action to stay in tune with God’s purposes for your life? Are you facing any pressures like that today?
Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 read Matthew 14:27-33.
“Literally, Jesus says, “I am.” Then Peter spoke up. He showed that mix of faith and doubt most of us wrestle with at times: “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” Next thing he knew, he was striding across the water! It worked until he lost his focus on Jesus. The strong wind distracted him and his fear took over. “As he began to sink, he shouted, ‘Lord, rescue me!’” And Jesus did. Faith rivets its attention solely on the Master who says ‘Come’…. The primary meaning is that Jesus as Lord of creation can be present in the lives of people in this material world.” In what perhaps stormy parts of your life do you need Christ’s comforting, calming presence today? What gives you hope that Jesus can and will be with you?
Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 read Psalm 107:23-31, Mark 4:35-41.
Psalm 107:23-31, the picture of God quieting a storm on the sea, had particular power for the Hebrew people, for whom the sea’s tumult was a symbol of fearful chaos only God could tame. Jesus’ followers who’d fished Galilee for a living had a healthy respect for the strong storms that could blow up on that landlocked lake. To see Jesus act out that divine power before their eyes was indeed awe-inspiring. Only God, the Hebrews believed, could restrain the sea’s stormy chaos. Our world still faces many “storms.” Have you seen God in any way bring peace during such storms and their aftermath? If so, list ways you’ve seen or still see God at work for good in tragic situations
Friday, Nov 15, 2019 read Psalm 107.
Make a list of all the ways the Psalmist is assured that God is active in his life. Make a list of situations you are facing today. Now claim verse 14 as your own. Hope in the Lord!
Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 read Psalm 130.
Sitting in God’s waiting room can be so very challenging. While you’re in the room, waiting for an answer to a situation. Wait like the Psalmist…with hope from your whole being. Trusting that God will act on your behalf.
Resources: Bible by God