MAR 12  / Sunday | Series: Impossible Commands – Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 / Philippians 4:4 / Romans 12:12

Overview: Rejoicing isn’t the hard part. It’s the additional “always” (and “continually” and “in all things”) that give us cause to pause.

13 / Mon – The qualifiers  |  Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Praying, giving thanks and rejoicing are probably part of your life as a Christ-follower. What puts these commands into the ‘impossible’ category are the qualifiers… always, continually, and in all circumstances. Which of these commands might seem easier for you to follow? Which is the most difficult for you and why do you think that’s the case? Have you learned something from any past experiences that’s helped you grow in any of these areas? What would that be?

14 / Tue – The 3 words that change everything  |  Read Philippians 4:4

Educators have learned the truth of this axiom: repetition is the mother of all learning. Paul doesn’t want his readers to miss the importance of this command so he repeats himself for emphasis. And he adds a specific focus. How can those three little words – in the Lord – help you more consistently follow this command? What are some of the Lord’s qualities that you love and that bring you great joy? Those will NEVER change because he is immutable (unchanging). They cannot diminish. Not ever. Ask him to show you more things about himself that will increase that joy. He will!

15 / Wed – Not just when you are in trouble  |  Read Romans 12:12

After a quiet lady passed away from cancer, someone asked her daughter the secret of this godly woman’s peace in those final days. She quoted this verse in Romans and said… “this is the way my mom lived.” How can hope, patience and faithfulness in your difficult times result in joy? If you feel these are impossible commands, remember that the first step is admitting there’s no way you can! Expressing sorrow that you haven’t even tried very hard and then asking for God’s help is the only way to move forward. Are you willing to have this conversation with him?

16 / Thu – Defiant joy  |  Read Habakkuk 3:17-19

Read about Habakkuk’s situation in v. 17…no fig tree buds (no fruit harvest), no grapes (no wine), olive crops fail (no oil), fields unproductive (no grain), no sheep in the pen (no clothing or blankets or lambs for temple offerings), no cattle in the barn (no milk, butter, cream or meat). In today’s world, this would be people who are unemployed with little food in the house, no money in the bank, nothing in the stores to buy, and the government can’t provide any relief. In the face of all this, what was Habakkuk’s defiant response in v.18. What insights can you apply to your own life?

17 / Fri – A prime example  |  Read Acts 16:16-28

When you have confessed that you can’t, that you are sorry you haven’t even tried and then asked God for his help, the final step is to take action. How do you do that? Check out the story of Paul and Silas. These Christ-followers had freed a woman from her demonic slavery. In return, they were unjustly accused, severely beaten, thrown in prison without a trial (illegal as Paul was a Roman citizen), locked in the most secure cell with their feet in stocks so they could not even stand. How did they respond (v. 25)? What are some ways you can worship the Lord in your difficulty?

18 / Sat – What next?  |  Read Mark 10:27

Write down the action(s) you’ll take today or tomorrow as a result of what you’ve learned this week. Still nervous about trying?  Remember “God’s commands come accompanied by the power to do what is commanded.” (from Impossible Commands, J. Allcock, pg 67). Commit yourself to start!

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.