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{May 27, 2018}





Heartland Community Church


 

May 27 – June 2, 2018

 

A Variegated People: Unity

By Joe Davis

I wonder how often we actually understand the urgency with which God calls to us. As I reflect on the verses that John Brooks used (Ephesians 3:20-21), they begin with the word “now”. I’ve never given thought to just that first word, but part of its very definition is immediately. Paul uses this word explicitly to convey the urgency with which he is trying to communicate God’s word.

It’s easy for me to read the verses and understand that it’s important and needs to be done. But to actually sit and think about how important it actually is, is something entirely different. God wants us to drop what we are doing and start acting in obedience to his commands right this minute. I do not do this though. I am caught up in my daily life of being a husband and father, assistant baseball coach, my children’s chauffeur and a multitude of other responsibilities that I allow to take priority over my obedience to God. It’s just so easy to put God on the back burner and “get to it later”. But part of me wonders how much better I would be at all those things that take my attention, if I were to just be obedient to God first. How much impact would my life have on those around me, and the world, if my first priority was to commit my life to the work that God would have me do?

This world is so distracting and it’s so easy to get caught up in it. Maybe that’s why Paul used the word now. He had to have realized that we humans are easily distracted by the things around us that he had to get our attention. God wants us engaged with him right this minute, not later. If I’m honest, I’m not thinking about the work that God wants me to do. I’m thinking about my own agenda and calendar of things that have to be done. In short, I’m selfish. Oh man, how I hate that word. But it’s so true. I’m not thinking about the life changing, eternal things that God wants me to engage with, or the treasures in heaven that await me.

There is a flip side to all of this. It’s not going to be me (or you or us) that do the work. Look at what I choose on my own. No, it will be God’s power at work in me doing the work. It’s such a relief to know this, but it would be so much better if I were actively engaged in it.

This is what my heart really wants. I believe that the Holy Spirit puts conviction into our hearts to keep pulling us towards God. He longs so much for us to be a part of his handiwork. He truly is the loving father that wants his kids to be on his heels as he works. We “get to hold the flashlight” for him as he works. He wants us to choose and do that now, more than ever.

{sunday 5.27.18}

Read John 6:28-33

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What distractions do I allow to get in the way of following God? How can I make time with God a first priority in my life? What is God placing in front of me that he wants me to be actively engaged in?

 

{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

To dive deeper into Mark 15-16, CLICK HERE or on the video below to check out a short teaching from our own Seth Davidson.

 

{monday 5.28.18}

Read Mark 14:32-42

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus is facing certain death, and a painful one at that. Like any of us, he’d like to avoid that if possible. But what does he say in prayer that differs from most people’s reaction? How is his approach different from yours? How can you apply this to unwanted circumstances in your life?

{tuesday 5.29.18}

Read Mark 14:43-52

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus makes it clear to those arresting him that they knew he was in the temple daily teaching, and could have arrested him there. Beyond fulfilling what the scriptures said would happen, why do you think they arrested Jesus secretly at night? What does this tell you about people and how they act?

{wednesday 5.30.18}

Read Mark 14:53-65

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The religious leaders were threatened by Jesus and didn’t really want a trial to get to the bottom of what he was doing. They just needed to "check a few boxes" so they could have him put to death. People do this with Jesus a lot, especially today. Especially church people. Time is not really taken to consider who he was and what he said. Jesus seems to be processed in our minds for good or for bad, we make a decision on that, and then we move on. Where have you "processed" Jesus? What areas of your life might deserve a deeper look, with Jesus in mind?

{thursday 5.31.18}

Read Mark 14:66-72

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Peter was a typical person who got scared when his life was on the line. He did exactly what Jesus said he would do. I’m sure he felt immense shame afterwards. We have all been overly confident in our abilities, only to get knocked down later. Share with a trusted group or friend when this has happened to you, and what you learned from it.

{friday 6.1.18}

Read Mark 15:1-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus’ w0rds were so threatening to the crowd that they would rather release a murderer and a rapist before Jesus. If you think about it, people chose immediate danger over accepting Jesus. Jesus was offering a relationship with God that made them take a real look at themselves. The extremes we will go to avoid our own issues are amazing. What have you done to avoid looking at yourself through Jesus’ eyes?

{saturday 6.2.18}

Read Mark 15:21-32

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Making fun of Jesus and his claims of power is nothing new. They mocked him to his face while he was crucified. At first glance that seems barbaric. But then again, we see how people act towards each other on social media and it all makes sense. How does Jesus react to being mocked. How does that differ from how you react? What does this teach you about Jesus? What did he count as important in this situation? What should our priorities be?

 

{community discussion questions}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as a Journey Community group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters on your journey.

  • Can you name a takeaway or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?

 

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

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