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{October 7, 2018}





Heartland Community Church


 

October 7 – 13, 2018

 

In Love

By Adam Pontier

I felt confused and misunderstood. Because so many of my experiences left me feeling bad about myself, I chose to isolate myself from everyone as much as possible. 

Isolation… how is it that in a world where the population grows and technology is ever expanding and connecting people, we are becoming more isolated? It’s not physical or technological restraints that keep us from connecting. It’s not the amount of social activities, clubs, events, etc. What about our culture pushes us into our own little isolated worlds where we are left to handle the hardest aspects of life alone? 

I’ve been through periods in my own life where I chose to isolate myself. I wanted to be alone to avoid feeling unloved. As I isolated myself, loneliness took over. Loneliness is a breeding ground for Satan to get in your head . . . you start to tell yourself all kinds of horrible things. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, don’t do that. Don’t hide away and give Satan an attempt to get in your head. I can say from experience . . . it’s not that simple. 

Many people are driven there from their experiences. It can be many small experiences of feeling misunderstood. It can be criticism from other people. It can be that fear of being chosen last. 

Isolation is used as a form of punishment and torture. It’s used inside prisons to punish prisoners who don’t obey. It’s used by the military to get opposing forces to talk. 

It’s also imposed by the “cool” kids as a way to hurt other kids they don’t like. It’s used in work environments to punish employees that aren’t liked. It’s even used in churches to avoid awkward conversations, or differing political beliefs. 

If you are someone reading this and you feel isolated, reach out. There are resources inside of Heartland that can help. If you aren’t comfortable with that, find someone in your normal path of life to reach out to. Reach out to me if you want. 

If you aren’t feeling isolated, search your mind and heart and consider who in your world might be. Reach out to them. You don’t need to call them out or try and fix something. Take them to lunch, bring them coffee, anything. Hang out with them in person and when they are ready, they may share with you their struggles.

 

{sunday 10.7.18}

Read Ephesians 4:1-3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: CLICK HERE for a digital version of the card we shared today. It lists the 32 things that Paul declares we are in the book of Ephesians. As you read the focus verses above, and this list, which name or names is God inviting you to embrace? To live into? Or to speak into someone in your life who might need encouragement? Join us this week as we pray in our community for God to unlock identity and truth in each of us.

CLICK HERE to access our Care page on the web, and all of the resources related to this series.

CLICK HERE to take the anonymous Truth: A Love Story Experience Survey.

 

{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.

{monday 10.8.18}

Read John 6:16-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When the storm blew the disciples’ boat about their fear was evident. At first they didn’t believe it was Jesus coming to them to save them. In what ways could you be more open to receiving Jesus as he is? 

{tuesday 10.9.18}

Read John 6:25-42

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Throughout the gospels Jesus is questioned and asked to perform miracles to “show a sign”. Jesus wants us to accept him at his word. By doing this, we are accepting Jesus as the path we will follow in order to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus said to the disciples, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." How in your life do you put your hunger for knowing Jesus first?

{wednesday 10.10.18}

Read John 6:43-51

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We cannot receive the blessings of God without belief and acceptance of Jesus. In verse 51 he finishes with, "This bread is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world.” Jesus is telling us that he is giving his life for our eternal salvation. What do you give of yourself to him in return?

{thursday 10.11.18}

Read John 6:52-59

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The Jews did not want to believe Jesus. They grumbled about his statements, for to them he was a mere man. in verse 56 he says, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.” Do you ever find yourself questioning Jesus’ existence in your life? If so, what can you do to accept his love for you?  

{friday 10.12.18}

Read John 6:60-71

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus’ teachings are not always easy to follow. Even the disciples had a difficult time, and in verse 66 we learn that many of them turned from him. When in your life is difficult for you to follow Jesus? To act like Jesus acted? How do you overcome that to strengthen your relationship with him?

{saturday 10.13.18}

Read John 7:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus knew what was ahead of him. The crowds were grumbling about him and questioning him. Nobody wanted to speak of him in public. Are you comfortable speaking about Jesus in public? If not, how can you increase your comfort level in a practical way?

{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!

 

© 2018 Heartland Community Church 12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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