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{November 25, 2018}





Heartland Community Church


 

November 25 – December 1, 2018

 

You Have A Shepherd

By Meghan Hemenway

Today as we mentally flip from one holiday to the next, the falling snow covering the remaining autumn leaves is like a rapid set change that could trigger thoughts of the few weeks we have left to prepare for the next big celebration. But just like the mighty, strong, and forceful shepherd Dan described this morning, this post-Thanksgiving blizzard is demanding we slow down, take a breath, and find safety first.

In my home I have both a pair of noisy boys and noise-canceling headphones. I have found that the constant sounds of wrestling, piano-playing, arguing, jubilation, and general buzz of life in my house makes it difficult for me to focus on any other sounds or voices. The headphones don’t erase the sound of boisterous boys, they just take the edge off and make space for me to breathe and listen. Advent season can be like a houseful of noisy kids. The list of chorse to complete, presents to buy, and travel plans to make, is an overwhelming background noise that starts to take center stage. Advent is intended to be a time of waiting, a time of rest, reflection, and peace, but the worries and responsibilities of this world often fill that space with agitation.

Even though I know I desperately need time each day to quiet my mind and make space for God’s voice I don’t always put on those noise-canceling headphones. I am tempted to give in to the hustle of every day life and the demands that are shouted out much louder than my shepherd’s voice. Like a stubborn sheep I forget that my shepherd wants to lead me to rest and safety and I run around listening to all the other influences in my day. This season I am going to put on those headphones and make space inside to be quiet and listen for my shepherd’s voice.

{sunday 11.25.18}

Read Romans 5:1-5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus is our one true shepherd. Just like any flock of sheep we stray, we follow our own leading, we become fearful and flee from the safety of our shepherd. How does it feel to read that Jesus is the good shepherd, the shepherd who would put himself in front of any danger for you?

 

{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 11.26.18}

Read John 18:25-40

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world,” what do you think he meant? He also said that he was born “to testify truth.” Do you see his words as truth? If not fully so, why not? What questions would you like to discuss with Jesus?

{tuesday 11.27.18}

Read John 19:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Pilate said to Jesus, “Don’t you realize that I have the power either to free you or to crucify you?”  Jesus’ response was, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” Have you ever been judged wrongly? How did you respond?

{wednesday 11.28.18}

Read John 19:12-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Pilate eventually gave in to the demands of the Jewish leaders in fear they would rebel against him. That meant turning Jesus over to the soldiers, which meant he would be crucified. How do you respond and make choices under pressure? Are you able to hold steady to your beliefs when threatened?

{thursday 11.29.18}

Read John 19:25-37

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Jesus died for us. His final words on the cross were, “It is finished.” If you are a believer in Jesus, what do those words mean to you personally? To what level are you willing to go for God? What are you willing to sacrifice for him? 

{friday 11.30.18}

Read John 19:38-20:9

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Joseph was one the disciples that went to the tomb of Jesus to wrap his body in linens and myrrh. He was fearful of the Jewish leaders and a “closet follower” of Jesus. Do you hide your faith or beliefs? If so, why?

{saturday 12.1.18}

Read John 20:10-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: After Jesus rose from the tomb he met Mary Magdalene, and then his disciples. His words to them were, “Receive the holy spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven.” Christ wanted us to love one another, through the power of his holy spirit. And part of that means being able to forgive others. How do you practice forgiveness? How do you avoid holding grudges? How does holding a grudge typically work out for us? 

 

{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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