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{June 24, 2018}





Heartland Community Church


 

June 24 – 30, 2018

 

One Baptism

By Andrea Ennis

I have been a believer all of my life but there have been times that I did not always walk with God. I experienced some trauma in my childhood that led to poor decisions and unhealthy relationships in my adult years. I have done a lot of healing over the last few years, and my connection with God has grown. During this time I started having a strong urge to take my relationship with my Heavenly Father deeper and to begin experiencing him with others. I was afraid of letting people into my personal and intimate space that I had with God. I was feeling vulnerable and fearing rejection.

A little over a year ago I finally took steps into God’s community. Once I started letting go of all the fears that were trying to bind me to my past, I started to receive God’s unconditional love in a totally new way – as if it was magnified when I experienced it through others in community. Although I had been baptized as a baby, the transformation that was taking place in my life was undeniable so I decided to be baptized again. Surrounded by my new God family I said, "YES!" to Jesus and all he has to offer me.

When I looked at the others that were being baptized that day, I saw such diversity in each person’s journey. We ranged from being brand new to Christ all the way to lifetime believers experiencing renewal. But here we all were, in the same place, making the same declaration. This gave me such a sense of unity and belonging.

Reflecting on this day reminds me of when I was a child. During the Christmas season I had this great anticipation seeing decorations go up and presents under the tree. Then Christmas Day arrived and it seemed like it was all over in a flash and I was a bit sad. I had this same anticipation awaiting baptism . . . but after I was dipped in that water I didn’t feel like it was over. The decorations weren’t coming down and I knew the beautiful gift that I had opened was going to keep giving. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I had a new sense of hope that God had more for me.

A year later I am still carrying God’s promise of a new life with me. I do have to work to be diligent in the commitment that I made in the water, and it hasn’t always been easy. The enemy looks for any opportunity to sabotage me. But through God and community, I take the gifts of redemption and renewal that God blessed me with in baptism and I persevere to honor and praise him.

{sunday 6.24.18}

Read Romans 8:22-25; Philippians 3:10-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What in your life do you need to let go to help you say yes to Christ?  What are ways you can experience God through others?  What are examples of ways God has worked restoral, renewal or redemption into your life?

 

{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 Luke CLICK HERE or on the image below and check out this great video from our friends at the Bible Project.

{monday 6.25.18}

Read Luke 4:31-44

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The demons recognize Jesus as the son of God. Why do you think this is mentioned in the scripture? What importance does it have?

{tuesday 6.26.18}

Read Luke 5:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It always sounds so simple when people left their jobs to follow Jesus. I can’t imagine doing this myself. Just walking away from my life. Spiritually this makes sense, but to physically walk away from everything? I don’t think it would have been easier back then. What kind of person would it take for you to walk away from your life and follow?

{wednesday 6.27.18}

Read Luke 5:12-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In the N.T. Wright translation of the New Testament, Jesus says to the Pharisees “Why are you complaining in your hearts?” Phrased like this, it sounds like something I should be asking myself. What are you complaining about in your heart? Share this with a trusted group of friends or individual.

{thursday 6.28.18}

Read Luke 5:27-39

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus comes under questioning of his actions often. Jesus eating and drinking with the “wrong” people is one of the big issues the religious authorities bring up. Who are you eating and drinking with? Is it the right or wrong people?

{friday 6.29.18}

Read Luke 6:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Is it better to do what is good or break the rules? Is it better to do what is right or break the law? Have you ever broken the rules or law to do what is right? If you have, share your story with a trusted group or friend.

{saturday 6.30.18}

Read Luke 6:12-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This portion of the scriptures are often referred to as the beatitudes. There is so much packed in here that scholars have written entire books based on them alone. Find one line that stands out to you and pray about it. What is God saying to you and what are you going to do about it?

 

{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.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!


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