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{March 31, 2019}






Heartland Community Church


March 3 – April 6, 2019

 

Walk This Way: Purpose

By Marnie K. Vasquez

I used to write UFO on sticky notes and put them places to remind me how much of a loser I was. Ugly. Fat. Old. Ugly on the outside and way uglier on the inside. Fat. I couldn’t stand living in my growing, fat body. Old. I loathed the Botox, long-eyelash, plastic-surgery world my pocketbook wouldn’t buy. 

My purpose? Being a UFO. 

Everyone was gone, finally. I slammed the garage door and started yelling. “This sucks. Everything is horrible. Every. Thing.” My anger boiled at God. “Why? Really? Where’s your love, huh? Look at this crappy life. This crappy soul. You want this UFO? Yeah, uh-huh. Where are you? What’re you doing? Nothing.” 

My anger turned into sobs. All I could feel was the sting of lies and empty promises my boss told me, my imperfect marriage, the friends I didn’t have, my bad mothering, those things that happened to me as a little girl that shouldn’t have. On and on it went. I crumbled to the floor. 

Ashamed, spent, I muttered, “I don’t know what to do. I’ve no other place to turn. I’ve looked. Tried. The only thing left here is you, Jesus. Only thing left to pick. You get this mess by sheer default.” How pathetic. 

I laid there awhile. Grumpily went about the next days, weeks. Little by little, I opened my Bible app, attended a service here and there, prayed. Surprisingly, these things made me feel good. So, a little more I did. 

But then, panic and terror gripped me. “If you’re not it, if you’re not the way forward, if you’re just a bunch of baloney…I’m really screwed. Screwed, do you understand? You better be the real deal, God, you better. If not, just end me now.”

Scared and not knowing what to do, I began running. Hard. Desperately. I had to survive this world. God had to be it. I had to know. I ran and didn’t look back. 

And now, as I look back on this, I see how it unraveled.

That anger and crumbling to the floor? That was my absolute and final surrender to Jesus. I am His, and His only. Thankfully. Mercifully.

That panic, terrified demand to God with scared running? That’s when Jesus showed me my real purpose. 

My purpose? Lol. Chasing Jesus. Constantly. Unapologetically. 

This chase continues to reveal His incredible ways. It’s astonishing. Awe-inspiring. Humbling. I desperately want others to experience how He’s moving in our lives and how He pours out His unending love for us.

I can say this. Jesus has a purpose for you, too. Open the door. Let Him in. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. 

 

{sunday 3.31.19}

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

Observe, Reflect, Apply: After you read the above passage, take a moment, right now, maybe a loooooong moment, and pray these words with every ounce of meaning within you. “Jesus, I invite you into my life. Meet me here today. Fill me with your Spirit. Guide me. Empower me. In all moments and situations that unfold today, please help me to set aside my own reactions and instead ask ‘How are you leading here? What would delight you in this moment, and not grieve or hold back your power and love? In what direction are you moving?’ Thank you for loving me.”

Tomorrow when you wake up, do the same. Then the next day, do the same. Then keep going. And see what starts to happen in your life. Remember, Jesus’ purpose in your life will propel you forward with strength, encouragement, comfort, and love, no matter what you’re facing.

 

{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 4.1.19}

Read Romans 11:7-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Have you ever felt "broken off" from God? Have you realized that we ALL have access to be grafted into God’s family? Whether Jew or gentile, far from God, or very near, we need only accept his invitation, call on Him (pray), and learn to listen and respond. Where is the state of your relationship with God right now? What is one thing you can do this week to make it stronger?

{tuesday 4.2.19}

Read Romans 11:19-32

Observe, Reflect, Apply: God makes room for us. He is both kind and severe. He is merciful. Take some time today to reflect and note how God has made room for you, where you have experienced his kindness, mercy, and his challenge.   

{wednesday 4.3.19}

Read Romans 11:33-12:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How do you practice the art of "right sizing" yourself? Of seeing yourself and your world in light of who God is? Take a moment to "right size" today.     

{thursday 4.4.19}

Read Romans 12:9-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How do you love others…really love them? Even when it’s hard, when they are hard, when everything in your nature doesn’t want to? Take time today to ask God for his eyes in a situation or relationship where you find loving hard.  

{friday 4.5.19}

Read Romans 13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What does it mean to you, to belong more to the day than the night? How can you practice aligning yourself with Jesus today? 

{saturday 4.6.19}

Read Romans 14:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What is one way you can practice accepting someone who is different from you today? Someone who believes something different, or does things differently, or has a different perspective from yours.

 

{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}

THE JOURNEY VLOG: Our own Seth Davidson has a Journey Vlog that you can subscribe to on YouTube. Five days out of each week he offers an 8-10 minute overview about the scripture reading for that day. Simply follow along, listening to the corresponding date. CLICK HERE to check it out. Be sure to click "subscribe" on the page!

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!

 

© 2019 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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