{July 23, 2017}





Heartland Community Church


 

July 23 – 29, 2017

 

{Monologues: For Such A Time As This}

By Lisa Zulke

For such a time as this. Really?

I have often wondered why. Why this town? This job? These people? This world? These circumstances I find myself in? Purpose is so hard to see in the midst of my random life. And then, to consider that God uses everyone? Me? For what purpose? Why?

God was not a part of my life (at least, by my acknowledgement) until my late 20’s. I didn’t know him, or understand the concept of him. I saw no proof of him. And those who seemed to get God, didn’t get me.

And yet. I had always been seeking something. Something more. Something real. Some direction, some meaning. Some sort of connection. Some thing that held it all together; that existed beyond what I was seeing and experiencing.

Today I completely believe that God created me with intent. For a purpose. He knows exactly what he intended when he intended me. And the amazing thing of it is . . . even before I knew him, even when I struggled, even when I found my feet on strange and dark paths . . . he took all the seemingly random situations of my life and continued to weave them together with his intention for me in mind. Wow. Just wow.

Today, in this season of life, I totally see it. I was seeking God, without knowing how to form the question and mount the search. On each of my seemingly random paths, God was working.

Though I felt his absence, his presence was there all along. In my Grandma. In my biology teacher. In my school counselor. In my youth mentor. In the volunteer and the student who, in their way, shared faith with me. In so many moments of protection. In the quiet and lonely seasons. In the person who read the Bible with me for the first time, and explained things so clearly. At Willow Creek, and Park Hills; Sonlife, River Valley and Heartland.

He was working all along. Watching, and asking, "Are you paying attention? Look closely now . . . did you see that?"

I am. I do.

 

{sunday 7.23.17}

Read Romans 8:35-39

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I often have to challenge myself to truly believe . . . and live as if I believe . . . that nothing can separate me from Jesus. Do you struggle with this, too? To trust that even in the mess ups, and turning points, and hard times and bad days, that you are not any farther from Jesus and his influence in your life than you are on your very best days? Join us this week in praying that each of us would find a stronger connection to Jesus in the midst of our seemingly random circumstances.

 

{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 for a great overview of Colossians from our friends over at The Bible Project.

 

{monday 7.24.17}

Read Philippians 3:12-4:1

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When we get tripped up or distracted in life, how do we "press on toward the goal" in our relationship with Jesus? In our own weakness, what can we take from these verses to encourage us to press on? Who do you have in your life that you can confide in and work alongside as you both work through how to follow Jesus in this life?

{tuesday 7.25.17}

Read Philippians 4:2-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In these sentences we are encouraged to settle disagreements, to help one another, and to set aside worry. And in all these practices, to learn how to set our minds on better things. My mind is often a hard thing to turn around. Have you experienced this? How do you adjust your thought patterns, and raise your thoughts above your circumstances? Whatever you might be stuck in right now, take a moment to share it with God and to ask for his help in sorting things out and setting your thoughts on a different plane.

{wednesday 7.26.17}

Read Philippians 4:14-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul expresses deep gratitude in these lines for the support he has received from the people in Philippi. Who is in your support network, on your side, that you can share your thanks with this week? Take a moment to send a note, a text, make a call. I am often surprised at how valuable a thank you is when it was unexpected. Let’s surprise people this week with our thank yous!

{thursday 7.27.17}

Read Colossians 1:1-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today let’s join together in praying for others. Who do you know that may need prayer for strength, endurance or patience? Consider writing their names on a post it, or as an alert in your phone, and praying for them throughout the day.

{friday 7.28.17}

Read Colossians 1:15-27

Observe, Reflect, Apply: At the start of this passage, we are reminded of exactly who Jesus is and how he was present in the beginning of time with God. What questions does this raise for you? What are you thankful for in this reminder of Jesus? What do you struggle with in this account of who Jesus is and what he has done for you? How do we–who were all far from God at some point–not lose our confidence in the story of Jesus and what he has done for us?

{saturday 7.29.17}

Read Colossians 1:28-2:10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How do you think, as people in this world today, we can grow deep roots of faith in our relationship with Jesus? How can we keep our relationship with Jesus real and vibrant, instead of falling into assumptions, taking him for granted, or speaking in "Bible speak" without any heart?

{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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