GPS (grow|pray|serve) for Sunday, October 28, 2018

In response to Sunday’s message, “More Like Jesus: Obedience,” read Matthew 26:36-46…

Questions for GROWTH …

1. The Gethsemane scene in Matthew 26:36-46 shows us a picture of Jesus laying aside his own will to follow the will of the Father. This story shows us a picture of Jesus truly experiencing human emotions (“he began to be grieved and agitated”). In the midst of this suffering, Jesus was able to pray “not what I want but what you want”.

Why do you think Jesus was able to pray this prayer of submission to the Father’s will?

2. Where in your life do you find it difficult to pray that God’s will be done?

3. Hebrews 5:7-8 says, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered…”

What sufferings have you experienced, or are you currently experiencing that are an opportunity to learn to be more obedient to God?

4. Read 1 Samuel 15 for insights into how Saul lost God’s favor as Israel’s king. Saul did not fully obey God voice. Saul kept the spoils of battle and then made excuses for his disobedience. What was Samuel’s response in verses 22-23? When God speaks to us clearly, what must we do?

Focus for PRAYER …

1. Our United Methodist communion liturgy includes a confession that “We have failed to be an obedient church.” Pray that God will show us as a church where we are currently failing to be obedient to his will.

2. Pastor Jeremy stated that we cannot obey a voice that we cannot hear. This voice can be heard through reading scripture, conversations with other Christians or simply by finding a quiet space to sit in the presence of God. Spend some time praying that God will speak to us a church. Spend some time in silence seeking to hear the voice of God.

3. Use this Catholic prayer for the virtue of obedience:

Jesus, Almighty King of kings,
You Who obeyed Your Father to the end,
Teach me the meaning of obedience.
My soul burns to comply to Your Will,
Striving to charm Your Divinity.
While my worldly nature seeks one way,
My spiritual nature seeks another.
Bless me with the strength to obey,
That my soul may subdue both natures,
Blending them as a fair aromatic bloom.
I always seek favour in Your eyes,
To always obey You until my last breath!

Actions for SERVICE …

1. All leadership teams of this church are charged with moving the ministries of the church forward in obedience to God. If you are on one of these teams, make an effort to remind the team that our purpose is not to accomplish our own wants, but to seek God’s wants. Challenge the team to regularly pray about each decision that is made.

2. Is there a way you have sensed that we are not being an obedient church? Be a part of the solution

One thing more …

This letter was written by Karen Watson prior to her departure for Iraq for mission work. When 9-11 occurred many took up arms and went to war. Karen engaged in a different battle: to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people to Jesus Christ. The letter was dated March 7, 2003 and was to be opened in the event of her death. Karen was killed, along with four other missionaries, one year later. According to all accounts her life exemplified OBEDIENCE.Dear Pastor Phil and Pastor Roger:

You should only be opening this letter in the event of my death.

When God calls there are no regrets. I tried to share my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the nations. I wasn’t called to a place. I was called to him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, his glory my reward, his glory my reward.

One of the most important things to remember right now is to preserve the work….I am writing this as if I am still working with my people group.

I thank you all so much for your prayers and support. Surely your reward in heaven will be great. Thank you for investing in my life and spiritual well-being. Keep sending missionaries out. Keep raising up fine young pastors.

In regards to any service, keep it small and simple. Yes, simply, just preach the gospel….Be bold and preach the life-saving, life-changing, forever-eternal gospel. Give glory and honor to our Father.

The Missionary Heart:
Care more than some think is wise.
Risk more than some think is safe.
Dream more than some think is practical.
Expect more than some think is possible.

I was called not to comfort or success but to obedience….There is no joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving him. I love you two and my church family.

In his care,

May the prayer of confession and pardon in our communion liturgy come alive in all of us, “Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

“Keep Sending Missionaries,” Baptist Press, March 24, 2004.