{November 12, 2017}

 

November 12 – 18, 2017

 

LOVE(MATH): Money

By Debbie Kirk

As I sit at our kitchen table writing this reflection my husband is in the basement below repairing our cracked foundation. Talk about a perfect scenario for entering into a discussion about money! He has literally lost sleep over our basement crisis. During the drought of 2012, our perfectly intact basement walls developed major cracks. A lot of them.

After years of watching them, measuring them, worrying about them and the major expenses that would come with repairs, we had several experts over to give us the bad news and grand total. Instead we were given great news that the cracks had not shifted our home in the least. Aside from some water leakage when it rained, all we needed to do was some minor repair work and we were good to go! He had a hard time wrapping his mind around this news and trusting it because it all looked so bleak to the naked eye.

I can see how it’s easy to do the same thing with our finances. We lose sleep over them, we watch them, measure them and sometimes expect the worse instead of trusting for the best. The cracks in our budget scare us and sometimes seem insurmountable. Money messes with us!

In our marriage, aside from squabbles about stupid things, decorating preferences or which shirt he should wear to a wedding, our major disputes – I’m putting it nicely – have been about money. If we will have enough, how to spend it or not spend it – because in all honesty I like spending it way more than he does.

We made the decision a long time ago in our faith journey to give on a regular basis and it has led to opportunities to give above and beyond that decided amount to those in need around us. Dan spoke of beginning with 10%-our first fruits and how that is the foundation of a life that flips from reactive to having a plan where we can dream, pray and prepare with God, resulting in freedom in the adventure!

The verse Nick shared this morning from Lamentations 3:21 stuck out to me – dare to hope. Dare to be hopeful! I say, dare to trust! God can handle the cracks in our current situation. He can tackle our fears and fill the gaps in our finances. How exciting would it be if we didn’t trust what we could see but stepped out in faith into a life of giving. Giving our time, our gifts and sometimes the most difficult, our money. We can trust His firm foundation. We will not be shaken…only blessed!

{sunday 11.12.17}

Read Lamentations 3:21-25

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Where could you "dare to hope" related to money? Where has God provided what you needed in the past? Have you ever made a decision to give of your 10% (first fruits)? Would you be willing to step out in faith and give it a try? Where do you feel God might be asking you to trust and offer your time, gifts or financial resources? Pray and ask Him for a plan and the courage to carry it out.

 

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{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 this video overview of 1, 2 and 3 John from our friends at The Bible Project.

{monday 11.13.17}

Read 1John 3:1-10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: N.T. Wright says in regards to this piece of scripture that, "We should be doing our best to avoid all kinds of sin, all the time, though we shall surely fail; but the failures must take place within a settled habit of life in which sin is no longer setting the tone." We will make mistakes and sin, no doubt about that. What’s different is we don’t stay in that place of sin. It reminds me of my 1st grade daughter learning to read. There are certain words that she seems to mess up when she is reading. She has to slow down and pay special attention to those words to make sure they are correct. She will get it figured out and then sometime later she slips again on one of those words. This does not mean that she gives up and goes back to reading the word incorrectly from here on out.

{tuesday 11.14.17}

Read 1 John 3:11-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: "This is how we know love: he laid his life down for us. And we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." It’s one thing to understand and appreciate that Jesus died for use, but we are called to be willing to do the same for other people. A lot of people would barely sacrifice an hour of their time for another person. I’ve experienced both, people I know who would do anything and everything for me and others who would rather I not exist at all. When have you experienced this kind of love Jesus calls us to from someone else? Describe how this made you feel. Is your life better because of them?

{wednesday 11.15.17}

Read 1 John 4:1-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: False prophet is a strong statement to make about someone or about a group of people. (A prophet is simply an inspired teacher of the teachings of God.) False prophets do exist though. How do you know when you’ve encountered a false prophet? How do you react?

{thursday 11.16.17}

Read 1 John 4:16-5:5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: If we don’t love other people, how can we love God? It seems like this is brought up over and over again in the letters of the New Testament. This seems to be a real struggle for people. It isn’t an old world issue. It isn’t new to us. It seems like it will continue into the future. I won’t ask you again who it is you struggle to love or to pray for them or yourself. However, I will ask you to think about a time where someone did not show you love. Who didn’t love you? Why did you want and/or need their love? Describe how this made you feel.

{friday 11.17.17}

Read 1 John 5:6-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In regards to the scriptures about deadly sin, N.T. Wright says, "It’s hard to know where exactly John draws the line between deadly and non-deadly sin. Perhaps he means that those who have denied that Jesus is come in the flesh have committed a sin which puts them beyond the reach of redemption." Sometimes scripture leaves us scratching our heads. N.T. Wright is one of the most prominent scholars on the New Testament and even he isn’t sure in a case like this. It’s OK not to have an absolute answer to everything. How do you feel when you come across difficult scripture to understand? Where do you turn for answers? Are you OK without having an answer?

{saturday 11.18.17}

Read 2 John

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The word love is used so often and in such a variety of ways that it almost loses its meaning. Define love as you think most people understand it. Define love as you think Jesus showed it. Is there a difference between the two? How is Jesus’ love different from how we understand love from pop culture?

 

{community discussion questions}

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 a Journey Community 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 on your journey.

  • Can you name a 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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