{March 12, 2017}


March 12-18, 2017


{Sherpa: To Teach With Joy}

By Presley Wilson

I am a teacher.

“You know teachers don’t get paid, like, anything, right?”

Middle school?! Bless your heart!”

“Well, at least you get summers off…”

Although I’ve heard many other things when I tell people that I teach – middle school, specifically – these are the most frequent responses. I understand. Teachers are grossly underpaid. Middle schoolers can be quite difficult. Teachers do receive a summer vacation. But none of that has been a deciding factor in my choice to teach.

As Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

I like to tell people who ask me why I teach, “I live for the two minutes.”

Now you may be wondering what is significant about two minutes? Seems pretty miniscule compared to the eight-ten hours a day I spend at school, right? Well, I’m talking about the moment that every happy teacher talks about. The moment when you see a student “get it”. We say, “The light bulb came on.” Scientifically stated, the electrical nature of neurons and the development of neural networks that are the foundation of our thought processes collide and trip a threshold telling your conscious mind that you understand.

We have all experienced it.

But, perhaps your “aha moment” came when you first realized that Jesus died for you. Or when you realized what it truly meant to look like Jesus. Or to act like Jesus. Or maybe even to serve like Jesus.

Back to the science! What if I told you that there is a particular group of neurons that are very active in social interactions called “mirror neurons”. Well, by accident, in the early 90’s, during an investigation with monkeys, a researcher reached for his food and noticed neurons beginning to fire in the monkey’s premotor cortex—the same area that showed activity when the animals made a similar hand movement. Talk about “monkey see, monkey do”.

You see, humans possess these same neurons. And because our creator is Jesus, we must know this is not by accident. We were literally created to “mirror” the life that Jesus lived. To act like Jesus. To love like Jesus and to serve like Jesus.
But I’ll come back to that. Back to the “two minutes”.

You’re right. Two minutes is just a blip in the day and life of a teacher, but it’s in these two minutes where I have my personal light bulb moment. As I teach, I experience the joy of learning over and over. My mirror neurons fire, and my body responds to the successes I observe. Each time I guide a student to experience that moment, I get a burst of those feel good neurochemicals of my own. It’s a vicarious thrill, one that is addicting, in a good way.

This is the same joy that Jesus intended for us, as we “sherp” the people he created. Because to serve with joy means that we are mirroring Jesus, himself. SO, with whoever it is you come across that needs to “get it”, mirror Jesus. In whatever that “thing” is that is causing the disconnect of neurons, mirror Jesus. And lastly, wherever it is that you are called to serve, mirror Jesus. And I promise, the joy Jesus brings will trip the threshold of this world and break through.

{sunday 3.5.17}

Read Mark 10:45 & 2 Corinthians 4:5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Is there a significant person that needs to “get it” in your life right now? How can you “mirror the Father” with the way you approach them? In the area that you serve, what does it look like to “mirror the Father”?


Miss the Sunday teaching? CLICK HERE to watch now!


{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 study questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

{monday 3.13.17}

Read Romans 3:3-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jews and Gentiles were both guilty of sin, and Paul tells us that we should not purposely sin. Some argued that if people did evil then God’s truthfulness could grow greater. Paul strongly disagrees with that logic. Sin is a strong word that as a culture we shy away from. Why do you think we shy away from this word? How would you define sin?

{tuesday 3.14.17}

Read Romans 3:19-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What does Paul say is the purpose of the law (Jewish religious law)? What role does Jesus play when it comes to the law (Jewish religious law)?

{wednesday 3.15.17}

Read Romans 4:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul tells us that Abraham earned favor with God because he believed him not because of circumcision. Circumcision was a sign of his faith. It is the faith, not the actions themselves, that earns favor with God. Do you place your actions above your faith in God? What actions do you take to try and earn favor with God? What is the difference between an action done out of faith as opposed to an action to earn favor?

{thursday 3.16.17}

Read Romans 4:13-25

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Abraham had faith in God’s seemingly impossible promise. Like Abraham we live in a world that wants evidence, not just faith, to feel secure. It wouldn’t seem any less absurd in Abraham’s time for God’s promise to come true as it would ours. What is it about evidence and facts that makes you feel more secure than faith? Why do you think God would want to do the impossible rather than the mundane for miracles? Can you feel secure in faith in God that he can do seemingly impossible things?

{friday 3.17.17}

Read Romans 5:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus died for all of humankind when we did evil. That still applies to us today. We do evil things and Jesus died for us so that we can be declared "in the right" on the basis of our faith in him. Would you sacrifice your life for your family? Would you sacrifice your life for a friend? Would you sacrifice your life for a stranger that you thought might be a good person? Would you sacrifice yourself for someone that hurt you or your family?

{saturday 3.18.17}

Read Romans 5:12-6:4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Like Jesus dying and being buried for our sins we too, through faith, die for sins. Like Jesus rising from the dead, we too become new through faith. What is new about you because of your faith? If you do not have faith in Jesus yet, what might you would choose about yourself to go away? What new thing would you like to replace it with?

{group discussion ideas}

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 an Heartland 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 for The Journey.

  • Can you name an ‘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 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.


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© 2017 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 341-5820.

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