Comments are off for this post

{December 2, 2018}





Heartland Community Church


 

December 2- 8, 2018

 

Quiet My Soul

By Joe Davis

There are many of us who are all too familiar with having a restless soul. I’m no different. And having been restless for probably most of my life, I can say that it builds up over time. Part of my restlessness came from wondering if God was even listening to me.

In 2010, I volunteered for a mission to Japan with the military. At the time I didn’t know a whole lot about the military installations and training grounds in Japan, so I just assumed that we would be in Okinawa. I thought that my time there would be great! I’d get some jungle warfare training, get a day off, go to the beach, enjoy Japan and make it a great trip. I couldn’t have been further from the truth in my assumption.

We ended up being about 1100 miles north on the northern most Japanese island of Hokkaido. And we were on the northern most part of that island, not quite as far north as Siberia, but pretty close. We left October 30, so the weather was not blue skies and sunshine. It was less than 40 degrees, warmer than 32, and rained the entire time. Being in the infantry, we were in the field. Needless to say I was a very disgruntled employee. There’s nothing quit like being outside when it’s cold and wet with no place to go. I was angry, restless, whiny, and definitely not thankful for any of it.

But, our God is sovereign and He heard me. We had some down time and we were standing around in the rain, my thoughts creating a bad attitude within me. As I stood there with the rain, I just stared into the distance and into the gray that was creating my disdain and misery. Then the rain just stopped, the clouds parted, and I could see the setting sun. The sky was on fire with red and orange colors as the sun hung in the low sky. It was framed in on either side by black volcanic mountains that created an even greater brilliance. I was taken completely aback and just melted in the presence of God revealing a piece of Himself to me. My anger dissipated, my heart calmed and I felt a peace sweep over my soul. I nodded my head and said, “Ok. Ok, God.” As soon as I said that and acknowledged God’s handiwork and gift, the clouds filled the sky, covered the sunset once more and the rain continued. I didn’t complain again for the rest of the time there. To this day, it is the single most beautiful sunset that I’ve ever seen.

God hears our cries and they are not lost on Him. In that moment with the sunset, I felt God’s presence creating a peace within me and telling me to be still. There is so much in our lives that distracts us from God. I struggle with this all the time. But as I remember that sunset and the effect it had on me in the moment that I most needed it, I am reminded of how much I need to take time to spend with the Lord. Only He is able to fill our lives with a peace that will calm our hearts the way we need it and truly desire.

{sunday 12.2.18}

Read Psalm 46:10, Philippians 4:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What in life is creating the restlessness and noise that keeps us from being at peace? Are we allowing time in our days to just be with God?

 

{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 12.3.18}

Read John 20:24-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus appeared to the disciples, but Thomas was not present. If your friends had witnessed the resurrected Jesus in front of them and told you about it, what would you think? Feel? Jesus eventually appeared to Thomas, and invited him to touch the wounds from his crucifixion, that he too might believe. What would that moment be like, if it were you? Where do you struggle to believe the stories and miracles in the Bible? How about in modern times? Join us as we pray for eyes that see, ears that hear, and souls that believe Jesus is with us even today.

{tuesday 12.4.18}

Read John 21:1-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Again Jesus appears to the disciples! He tells them how to pull in a huge catch of fish, and cooks them breakfast. They saw him, engaged with him, touched him, experienced him. What thoughts do you have about their experience? What questions? Have you ever experienced something you could not explain? If so, describe it to a friend.

{wednesday 12.5.18}

Read John 21:15-25

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. (Interesting, because Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times, too.) As Peter answers, "Yes Lord…" Jesus gives him three different but connected commands. Feed my lambs. Take care of my sheep. Feed my sheep. What do you think this symbolism and these commands meant to Peter? He also challenges Peter to not concern himself with what may happen to the others. He asks him clearly to follow me. We are asked to do the same. How do you follow Jesus? Where might you be able to improve as a follower of Jesus?

{thursday 12.6.18}

Read Acts 1:1-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In the book of Acts we move into the era of the apostle’s ministry and the spread of christianity. As you read these verses, consider what they meant to the believers in that day. What learnings can we take from these stories today? 

{friday 12.7.18}

Read Acts 1:15-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do you see happening in this story? Who are the players involved? What do you think about the way the chose the next apostle to join them?

{saturday 12.8.18}

Read Acts 2:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Retell this story in your own words. What do you think of the story? Have you experienced God’s Holy Spirit yourself? What questions do you have about the Spirit? Grab 1-2 trusted friends and share with one another what you understand, what you question, and what you have experienced. 

 

{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

Unsubscribe from The Journey. Sign
up
to receive our future emails.


Comments are closed.