{September 3, 2017}

 

September 3 – 9, 2017

 

{3 Letter Words: JOY}

By Adam Pontier

Joy and happiness are not synonymous in my book. You can face devastating challenges in your life and still have joy. I’ve seen this firsthand a couple of times now.

First time was after my father in-law passed away. My wife was obviously devastated to lose her father but, because of her faith in Jesus, she was able to continue through life with joy underneath the pain of that loss.

This last week a childhood friend of mine got in a car wreck which took the life of his 8 year old daughter and my have paralyzed his 5 year old daughter. The thought of this makes my stomach feel like it’s doing flips and my eyes well up with tears. It hits close to home for me. My friend is obviously devastated by this loss but from what I can see, he has not been robbed of his joy that he has with Jesus. This incident has been caught in the news cycle and he has taken the opportunity to recognize how this is impacting other people as well.

He has encouraged people to not blame God and turn towards anger. He is happy so many people have turned towards prayer and is encouraging them to continue in conversation with God. He’s thankful on one hand, and sad on the other. He said that he sees Satan trying to bring out hatred and rage, but that he will instead direct it at Satan and not let him win.

He is living out the teaching that joy is having peace, no matter your circumstances.

“Where God tears great gaps we should not try to fill them with human words." – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 

{sunday 9.3.17}

Read Romans 14:17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Where do you stand with joy in your life? What causes you pain? In your pain, do you feel hope?

 

{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 watch The Journey Continues: 1 Timothy, brought to you by our very own Seth Davidson.

As a special bonus, CLICK HERE to see The Journey Continues: 1 & 2 Thessalonians which we missed posting a couple weeks ago. It’s so good, we had to share!

 

{monday 9.4.17}

Read 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Here we see the encouragement to read scripture and the reminder that we will face challenges. When you face challenges in life, do you turn to scripture? Why or why not?

{tuesday 9.5.17}

Read 2 Timothy 4:9-22

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This portion of scripture feels a bit like picking up someone’s phone and reading their texts. I’m not sure who all these people are and I don’t seem to have the full back story. That’s because it was a letter and it’s like a “you had to be there to understand” moment to get the whole picture. This is comforting to me. It makes the early church’s challenges feel more real and authentic. Does scripture like this feel authentic to you? Does that help you relate to it?

{wednesday 9.6.17}

Read Titus 1:1-9

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I think what Paul writes here sounds like what you find when reading the job ad for a manager. Reading internal memos of a business can give a sense for what that company stands for. I think we get a behind the scenes look here at the early church setting up management. What feeling or thoughts do you have about the early church in reading this scripture?

{thursday 9.7.17}

Read Titus 1:10-2:5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul keeps on going and digging into all kinds of instructions. I wonder, if I knew Paul personally, what a letter from him to me might sound like. What do you think Paul would write to you?

{friday 9.8.17}

Read Titus 2:6-3:2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul is presenting a very strong challenge in regards to behavior of those following Jesus. I have to admit some of this seems like the kind of thing that would turn me away from a church if I walked in and just heard this. Faith and behavior don’t always line up seamlessly, but we should continue to grow. In what areas are you trying to grow in alignment with your behavior and your faith?

{saturday 9.9.17}

Read Titus 3:3-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul himself did a lot of changing once he chose to follow Jesus. He seems to be connecting with those around him on a personal level. They know him and where he came from. He knows them and their challenges. Who do you know and share your life with on a personal level like this?

{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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