FEB 26  / Sunday | Series: Impossible Commands – Read Matthew 5:48 / Mark 10:17-27 / 1 John 1:9

Overview: The very impossible nature of what God commands is not to make us work harder but to drive us into the arms of our merciful Savior.

 27 / Mon – Lent: trying to do better  |  Read John 15:5b / Philippians 4:13

Lent is a time when we often try to ‘knuckle down’ and be better Christians. We pray more, repent, practice self-denial, try to follow God’s commands. But they are difficult and our efforts often fall woefully short, leaving us frustrated. Is this what God had in mind? Or are these commands, that seem so impossible, intended to drive us to rely completely on the Lord and draw us closer to him? What has been your past experience?

28 / Tue – Honest about my weakness: I can’t  |  Read Matthew 19:16-22

The first step of growing into joyful obedience is admitting you can’t obey God’s commands. How counterintuitive! This young man came to Jesus because he truly wanted to become part of the kingdom of God. But he asked the wrong question. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked him for the one thing he could not do. What would’ve happened if he had been honest? What might happen if you were honest and admitted what God already knows? That you can’t.

01 / Wed – Confessing my failure: I’m sorry  |  Read 1 John 1:8-9

The second step to joyful obedience is confessing the truth. As Jonty Allcock says in his book Impossible Commands (p. 49), confessing means praying something like this “… I’m sorry that I don’t want to obey you…that I can’t…that sin is so attractive to me…that I find your commands a burden…this is a serious and devastating problem in my heart and I’m sorry.” Does this kind of prayer shock you? It shouldn’t, if it’s the truth. Remember God already knows and can handle it.

02 / Thu – Depend on God’s power: please help me  |  Read Luke 11:11-13 / James 4:2b

When you have admitted that you can’t obey God’s impossible commands and are truly sorry for the condition of your heart, the next step is to ask for his help. In most religions, people have to earn salvation by their works. But it is Jesus’ work that opened the way for you into God’s family. As his child, he provides everything you need. It is not enough just to admit you can’t obey and confess your sorrow. If you are failing, is it possible you have not actually asked for his help? 

03 / Fri – Take action: let’s go  |  Read James 2:17 / Mark 10:26-27

The final step is to move. Obedience requires action. But you don’t do it alone. When a dad teaches his child a skill like hitting a baseball, he demonstrates what to do and how to do it. Then he places his hands over his child’s hands on the bat so they swing together. That is what God does. “When you work, God works. When you fight, he fights, When you win, he wins. Here is gospel-driven, joyful obedience.” (Impossible Commands, Jonty Allcock, pg 53). What’s holding you back?  

04 / Sat – Impossible Command: Be perfect  |  Read Matthew 5:48

This command flies in the face of our cultural belief (and excuse) that no one’s perfect, nor can they be. Interestingly, the Greek word for perfect means being finished, complete, not lacking anything. No one denies God himself is perfect, complete, lacking nothing. And we can obey his command because of two things…Jesus makes us sin-free in God’s eyes and the Holy Spirit helps us to live like Jesus. Does it mean you never fail or make mistakes? No, but it does mean the intention of the heart is to follow him completely. Is that the desire of your heart? Pray about it using the four steps described above and see what happens.

The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey, whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith or are a long-time Christian.

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The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey, whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith or are a long-time Christian.