{January 7, 2018}

 

January 7 – 13, 2018

 

Whatever It Takes: God’s MUST

By Joe Davis

I signed up for this Journey writing assignment not knowing what to expect from this series. Earlier this week I was given the teaching notes to go over before Sunday, and our team was encouraged to be more transparent in sharing from our lives and what God is doing in us. As I read through the notes I found the material to be very good – little did I realize how impactful it would be when I heard it in person. To be blunt, after reading the teaching notes, hearing the service and being asked to be more transparent . . . I am nervous to write. The question to that is, why?

God’s MUST was made very clear when he sent his only son, Jesus, to live a blameless life and then be sacrificed for those who didn’t deserve it. I’m filled with much emotion every time I think about my laundry list of wrongs . . . and yet in spite of that list I am forgiven over and over again. God’s MUST is me (and You!). How gut wrenchingly humbling that is to know that I am (we are) God’s number one priority. No matter the cost . . . whatever it takes . . . Jesus did it to save me and give me eternal life.

When Dan used Zacchaeus’ story to reflect on all of this, I realized how much I am Zacchaeus. In Jesus there is redemption and because of that I am given hope in spite of the shame and guilt that I feel. I don’t know about any of you, but I am so ready to be on a path that is more intentional, honest, loving, giving and overall more full of Jesus.

A few years ago I took a personality test. I don’t remember all the details, but what I do remember is that my personality makes up 2% of the population and people like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, Billy Graham and Barack Obama have this personality type. I was overwhelmed when I heard who my personality aligned with. All I could think about was how much I am not any of those things that allowed those men to have such influence in the world. This is my capacity, and I feel so far from it. I wonder what would happen if I FINALLY gave myself completely and totally to God to see what he could do with me.

Because I am a sinful man and know the things I have done, my thoughts are plagued with why God would ever want me. In my marriage, my own insecurity led me to control and manipulate my relationship with my wife. It was so damaging that we are still trying to recover. Milton said, "…long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light". I definitely feel as if I am one of the unreachable. I wonder how poorly I am thought of by my wife’s friends and co-workers that know what I have done over the years. As I said, I am Zacchaeus. I have a list of wrongs that I have done, and people know about them.

But, as Paul said in Galatians 1:10, "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God"? And in Proverbs 29:25 it says, "The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe". My insecurities need to be taken to God to sort out. My want to be "liked" by others comes nowhere close to what God offers in return. This is where my trust needs to lie.

 

{sunday 1.7.18}

Read Galatians 1:10, Proverbs 29:25

Observe, Reflect, Apply: If I sit down and really think about it, what is the MUST in my life/in your life? What keeps us from doing or acting on our MUST? Right now, do I really want to be a part of God’s MUST purpose for my life? Join us this week as we pray for each person (you and me included!) that hears the teaching to lean into understanding God’s MUST for them.

 

{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 or on image below to enjoy Seth Davidson’s overview of Matthew 4-6.

{monday 1.8.18}

Read Matthew 4:12-25

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In this scripture we see Jesus calling his disciples. In non-church words, the people that join Jesus here are his squad, his closest people. These are the people that would write the New Testament and begin the first church after Jesus’ death and resurrection. These young men would someday themselves be killed for their faith in Jesus and actions to bring about the early church. These were common, everyday young men. They were not religious scholars. These were young men that were very close to their families and working honest jobs. They had no formal religious training either. They were devout to their Jewish faith and heritage. Choosing to follow Jesus was no easy task for them. What does it say about Jesus that he chose these young men? How would you react if someone asked you to leave your life and follow them?

{tuesday 1.9.18}

Read Matthew 5:1-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This portion of scripture is commonly referred to as The Beatitudes. Webster dictionary has beatitude defined as "a state of utmost bliss". Reading the scripture you will see Jesus is blessing people who are mourning, meek, peacemakers, etc… A lot of this sounds like people who are going through tough times. Times we would not associate with bliss. Why do you think people are able to find bliss in Jesus during tough times? Have you ever experienced bliss during tough times? Share your story with someone you trust.

{wednesday 1.10.18}

Read Matthew 5:17-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus says he did not come to destroy the law and prophesies, but to fulfill them. Describe what you think is the difference between destroying something and fulfilling something?

{thursday 1.11.18}

Read Matthew 5:27-42

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Here we see Jesus taking the law and customs of 1st century Judea and turning up the heat. He makes it clear that it’s no longer about doing something out of technicality, but that it’s what is in your heart that matters. The bar has been raised significantly. How do you know the difference between what is in your metaphorical heart and your head? How do you know when you are trying to justify something, and what your true motive is?

{friday 1.12.18}

Read Matthew 5:43-6:4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Love your enemies and when you do something good, do it in private so not to receive recognition. These both sound great. I bet if I posted it on Facebook in an awesome looking meme I would get lots of likes and loves. In reality, these are both very hard to follow. My enemy is my enemy for a reason, right? I’m right, they are wrong. Doesn’t matter, I’m suppose to love them. Not in some sort of self serving sort of way either, that’s not love for your enemy, but for show. That’s hard. When I do, I am supposed to do it in private so I don’t get recognition? Yes. Obviously, don’t share with someone else or a group a time you did something good for someone else and didn’t tell anyone (the irony in that would be too great). Think about how it made you feel. Share with someone else how that made you feel. Why is it better to do good acts in private? Why would God want that from us?

{saturday 1.13.18}

Read Matthew 6:5-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When you pray and fast, don’t do it to look good. Once again, your motives matter and you should not do it for recognition. We don’t live in 1st century Judea when Jesus spoke these words, but they are as relevant now as when he spoke them. Why do you think Jesus’ words from about 2,000 years ago still hold so true in today’s world? What does that say about humankind in general? What does that tell you about yourself?  

 

{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.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

© 2018 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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