{August 13, 2017}


August 13 – 19, 2017


{3 Letter Words: BUT}

By Meghan Hemenway

As I sat down this morning in service, I had a strong resolve to focus on the message regardless of the shenanigans that would surely be happening on the chair next to me. Because of family circumstances we had altered our regular Sunday routine and had decided to bring our young sons into service with us. Worship ended, I settled in with my resolve and my notebook, but then one child had a nose bleed while the other tried to cast a shadow on the projection screen with his arms and upper torso. My resolve crumbled quickly under the pressure of my circumstances.

Often I feel overwhelmed by whatever my current situation is and think, "but if it were not for this I would find happiness, peace, contentment, etc." I use the ‘but’ in my story as a reason not to face the challenges and find hope in better circumstances. Dan presented us with another way to look at this word ‘but’ in the Bible to pivot us instead toward grace and hope; to see it as an opportunity to turn toward trusting God.

We see the Apostle Paul demonstrate this when he writes about a troubling personal situation. "Three times I cried out to the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12: 8-9). Paul does not say, "someday this problem will be fixed and then life will be good." He finds a way to be thankful for the dark times because he knows it is evidence of God’s grace.

So many in our community are facing difficult situations, way beyond rambunctious children in a church service. But, in all our situations, can we find a way to boast in our weakness, having faith that God’s unfailing love is always with us? 

{sunday 8.13.17}

Read Pslam 13:1-6

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What is the situation you are facing? What will be your pivot point and what will you trust in? What will you do to trust in God’s unfailing love?


{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: 1 & 2 Thessalonians.

{monday 8.14.17}

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Wow! Paul really starts this second letter off in dramatic fashion talking about God’s judgement and eternal destruction. I’ve seen passages like these used to try and scare people into following Jesus. Have you seen or experienced people using scripture similar to this to scare people into following Jesus? Explain.

{tuesday 8.15.17}

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul continues with apocalyptic prophecy (predictions of the end times) in this chapter. We have yet to see or experience the prophesies written here. Imagine Paul was writing this letter directly to you, how would you respond in a letter to him?

{wednesday 8.16.17}

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul asks the readers of his original letter to pray for him because not all people have faith and he faces dangers from evil and wicked people. We too have people in our time who pose a danger to us and others. Paul continues and states that, "the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and guard you from the evil one." Does that comfort you about the dangers you and our world face? How can we apply this wisdom in current situations?

{thursday 8.17.17}

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Whoa! Just in case Paul didn’t start this letter off tough enough, he made sure to end it that way. This is the kind of scripture that must be read carefully and understood before taking action against those who we spend our time with. Pray for clarification and understanding of this passage.

{friday 8.18.17}

Read 1 Timothy 1:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In this letter from Paul to Timothy he mentions that some people have turned to foolish talk and that they want to be teachers of the law but they don’t know what they’re talking about. We live in a time where there is no shortage of this too. How do you discern between knowing what is right and what is foolish talk? Explain.

{saturday 8.19.17}

Read 1 Timothy 1:12-2:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul uses himself and his story as an example that Jesus came to the world to save sinners. Paul’s story is very dramatic because he persecuted and killed those who followed Jesus. Some of us do have dramatic stories of being saved by Jesus and others it’s been a quiet and lifelong process. All these stories end with a sinner being saved by Jesus. What title would you give the name of your story? Explain.

{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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