GPS for the week of February 17, 2019
Using your phone? Try a new app: www.bible.com
“God Unbound: When Systems Change”
We live in a world of systems, and we live in a time of change. Community government. State government. National government. Our church. Our communities. Our health care. Our schools. Systems are just natural in all that we do as people working together. But how do we deal with things when the systems change? Galatians has a lot to say about this when we consider things from a faith perspective. It is our faith in Christ that can give us some of the most powerful coping mechanisms. When we are centered in Christ, we have the ability to watch the changing systems around us and enter into creative ways of helping those transitions.
Daily Prayer: Lord, when the world changes around us, please give to us your peace and your presence. Move us past complaints and into participation. Strengthen us in your wisdom to become part of the solution. Today, Gracious God, we ask for discernment so that we can live powerfully and creatively in the changing environments of our family, church, and community. Amen.
Monday 2.18 “Faith or Law?” Galatians 3: 1-5
So here’s the deal: Paul had had a life-changing event in his life when he was converted by Christ on the road to Damascus. It was not just enough for him to have seen the light of Jesus Christ; he wanted…no, NEEDED…to share the light of Christ with others. In this passage he is talking to people who had received the gospel from him. This was a gospel that spoke of the equality of ALL people in God’s eyes. And now those same people were starting to believe something else. He was calling them back and holding them accountable. When is a time when you have been held accountable, when you have had to consider your beliefs and actions?
Tuesday 2.19 “Consider Abraham” Galatians 3: 6-14
Here is the basic argument of this passage: We believe that Abraham (the source of our Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths) started out by having nothing but faith. Biblical law came later and eventually became a trap for people restricting them in many ways that were never originally intended. Paul insists that gentiles have direct access to God through Jesus Christ. They do NOT need to obey every jot and title of the Jewish law. It’s all about FAITH. Abraham was a child of God because of his faith, not his obedience to the law. Paul’s people were, too. And so are we. In your faith, do you believe you have direct access to God? How?
Wednesday 2.20 “Law and Promise” Galatians 3: 15-18
We are not slaves to Biblical law; we are recipients of God’s promise. New ways of worshiping and “being church” are emerging. Some of these new ways are connected to churches and some are not. In this particular congregation, we live our faith inside the system that is our United Methodist Church. We rely on God’s grace to guide and connect us. In our church, what do you see that is very traditional in how we worship and live? What do you see that is very new?
Thursday 2.21 “Purpose of the Law” Galatians 3: 19-25
We are bound to God through faith, not by being captives of strict biblical law. BUT…the Bible is still a crucial part of our faith. The Bible is there to help lead us to Jesus, and then we are given direct access to God through Christ. It is the same with a church. The church is here to help lead us to Jesus, but sometimes in its negative form it can actually keep us away from Jesus. The church can actually keep us from emerging in faith and fail to connect us to God. Hmmmm….. Can you see examples of this in our church?
Friday 2.22 “Children of God” Galatians 3: 26-29
We are ALL children of God through faith in Christ Jesus! There are no differences between us in God’s eyes. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. When the systems change around us, we scramble to protect ourselves. But there are times when instead God is walking with us in new ways guiding us into new directions. When are times that you have walked “out of the old and into the new”? What was that like for you? How did it turn out?
Saturday 2.23 “Just Pure Praise” Psalm 150
In a psalm of praise, we get to focus today on the joy and the power of God in our lives and in our church. What is it that you praise God for today?