{July 2, 2017}

 

July 2-8, 2017

 

{Lay It Down: Family Tree}

By Lisa Zulke

I have to confess, I was invited into the family of God, to follow Jesus, more times than I can count. And I wasn’t always kind with my response. But I will say, I remember every single invitation. I even kept the notes that some of them accompanied said invite with. Although they received everything from a flippant, “No thanks,” to a defensive, “Seriously? Do you see me fitting in a church,” I kept their notes. You see, even in those seasons of my life, I recognized that it was an act of courage to open that door. To start the conversation. And out of surprise, bewilderment, and shock I held onto the evidence.

My heart softened in my mid-20’s and I eventually received an invitation to follow Jesus with the grace and wonder and fear and confession that such a moment deserves. I grew in my understanding of what it takes to follow Jesus through a community of friends that God provided in each season…from being single, to newly married, to changing careers and moving states. I am super thankful for the ways in which each person met me where I was at in the moment and showed me, through their own lives, what a life with Jesus can look like.

I have had the incredible pleasure of sharing my life with others along the way and planting seeds, or being part of someone committing to follow Jesus or refocus their life on following him. It is a tender thing, to share with another person how Jesus changed my life. Sometimes the sharing appears to be seeds falling on dry ground. Sometimes, I see the seeds take root. Every once in a while, I see the life of someone flourish as they grow in connection to the one who made them and has been calling them from the beginning of time. What a privilege it is, to share our lives in this way. Can you believe this is God’s plan?!

That’s where I get a lump in my throat. Or a pause in my busyness. When I stop to consider that the God of the universe planned to use me—needs me, even—to reach the people he crosses my path with. WOW!

Where are my eyes focused? Are my ears tuned in to hear his voice, sense his nudge to engage, to invite? Who is waiting on me to step forward and invite them in? Who needs me to make my day available? To set aside the fear of what to say, what to do, and to just leap.

Won’t you join me this week in making a leap? Who is the person that comes to mind as you read these words? What is one proactive thing you can do to move toward them and invite them in? God will take care of the kingdom of heaven part, we just need to open our minds and our calendars and do the inviting.

{sunday 7.2.17}

Read Galatians 3:26-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Based on these verses and the message from today, who comes before you in your faith story? Who have you invited in? Who might come after you? Take a moment and pray for these relationships, and for God to continue opening hearts and minds to him and to one another.

 

{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.

CLICK HERE to check out our latest video resource from Seth Davidson, The Journey Continues: Ephesians 1-3.

 

{monday 7.3.17}

Read Ephesians 1:11-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This is Paul’s prayer for spiritual wisdome. Take time today and write out your own prayer for wisdome. What would you thank God for providing to you? What do you need to ask him for in your current situation? What do you need to ask God for on behalf of the people he has placed in your life? We will be praying with you for all of these things!

{tuesday 7.4.17}

Read Ephesians 2:1-10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What does it mean to you to be "made alive in Christ"? There is no wrong answer…you are considering your own personal experience with Jesus. What has it looked like for you? What has it felt like? Who modeled a life in Christ for you? If you had to describe the grace of God to someone, what would you say.

{wednesday 7.5.17}

Read Ephesians 2:11-22

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus reconciled all people to himself, and to one another. There is simply no one who is left outside of his invitation to new life as they follow him. How might this challenge you? How might it expand your thinking? If we can be connected and unified in Jesus’ name, how then should we live? How should we treat those who are different from us?

{thursday 7.6.17}

Read Ephesians 3:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We can come "boldly and confidently before God". Wow! We are his plan to reach those in our generation and the next with the story of his grace and the power of his Holy Spirit. What is one thing you can do this week to go boldly before God? Who can you share your story of experiencing the power of Jesus with, in your own words?

{friday 7.7.17}

Read Ephesians 3:14-4:6

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Take today and pray these verses over yourself. Pray them for your family and friends. Pray them for your workplace, your community, your school. Let’s cover all of Kansas City in this incredible prayer. Share what you experienc in doing this with a friend or with your journey community.

{saturday 7.8.17}

Read Ephesians 4:7-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We are all at various points on the journey toward understanding who Jesus is, why God created us, and what the influence of the Holy Spirit can do in our lives. Join us today as we each consider where we are at in relation to our understanding of and relationship to the trinity: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit. What questions do you have? What experiences have you had already? What do you think God is calling you toward next?

{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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