{February 18, 2018}

Heartland Community Church


February 18 – 24, 2018


Run To Win: Invite One, Develop One

By Brooke Hodnefield

There was a 6 month season of my life in which I had a white truck chasing me down. Or so I thought. It was the anxiety that welled and panic that followed which I hadn’t experienced before that caused me to ‘see’ the white truck.

I had discovered that I loved to run in college and began to do so often. But then the white truck would be there, tailing me, chasing me. It became a way of life in which I ran to survive. It would be waiting around every corner. Everything I saw had a hazy darkness over it, as though I was living a real life scary movie. The white truck would eventually be found connected to a college friend who lost her life that summer. Ali Kemp’s death profoundly changed my life. My world suddenly wasn’t light, free and full of hope. It was heavy, burden-some and filled with fear.

The panic and anxiety I felt caused me to run harder away from those I loved, as I wanted to feel alone and sit in the numb. But God’s love constantly found me. Despite how dark I felt, his light never succumbed to my darkness. I needed God’s ‘SOZO’ – the saving, rescuing, healing WIN that only God could provide to me. A powerful rescuer that could free me from the bondage I felt. He never ever gave up on me, even when I couldn’t feel anything. He was there, and he pulled me out.

I look back and see that God would chase me forever if he had to. The sense of urgency and fervor with which he ran towards me is the same way in which we can even take that first step, towards others. Lean in, move towards another and God will show up. Whatever junk, broken pieces and mess you have just might be the saving grace that gives someone access to Jesus simply by him taking your darkness and using it to give light to another. Do you so deeply believe in the power of Jesus’s death and life that you must give it away? If you can’t answer that now, bring whatever meek and feeble faith you have to walk alongside someone else who is seeking out the answer to that very same question, too.

There is only one you and only one me. Consider that you might be the only person who can invite or develop in a way that leads someone to find unconditional love in a powerful God that will never ever stop chasing us.

{sunday 2.18.18}

Read Romans 8:18, Ecclesiastes 9:11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What attribute(s) of God have you seen so readily in your own life, that you could give it away by sharing with another (eg: God’s strength in your weakness; wisdom & direction; overwhelming grace)? If you can’t identify with God, what attribute do you doubt and why? What darkness have you experienced that someday might be a part of the story you can share with another experiencing that same darkness? Who can you step towards right now? Consider the first face or name that comes to mind. What action can you take to act on that first step?


{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 17-18.

{monday 2.19.18}

Read Matthew 16:21-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I love Peter’s reaction to Jesus predicting his own death. This is such a normal thing for people to do. We think we know what God would want and what must happen. We are almost always wrong. I’ve been so sure so many times I knew what God had planned for me and I turned out to be flat wrong. One of my crowning achievements in being wrong was saying I would have “two… maybe three kids, depending on how it was going”. With the decision to have a second child, we ended up with twins. I think about how funny it must have been to God to hear me say my plan. What plans have you made that God proved wrong?

{tuesday 2.20.18}

Read Matthew 17:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The events that took place when Peter, James and John were on that mountain top was an unique experience to just them. We read about it and try to imagine, but we can’t fully know what that experience was like ourselves. I know I’ve had my own unique experiences that only I or those who were there can tell you about. Me telling you about it can’t convey what those experiences were really like though. What experiences have you shared with God aren’t done justice when trying to explain them to other people? What was it about those experiences that stand out the most to you?

{wednesday 2.21.18}

Read Matthew 17:14-27

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Faith is no easy task, but even the smallest amount can do amazing things. I took a leap of faith many years ago and decided to follow Jesus. Just like Jesus’ disciples though, my faith has been strong and misguided at moments and barely existent at all at other moments. Over the years my faith (belief and reliance on Jesus) has gotten stronger. I would say that it has been continual practice and learning that helped it grow. From your own experience, what helps your faith? What hurts your faith?

{thursday 2.22.18}

Read Matthew 18:1-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus says we should have faith like a child. He doens’t go deeper and tell us exactly what it means to have faith like a child though. I think it’s important to take a step back and exam what it means to have childlike faith. In your own words, describe what it means to have faith like a child.

{friday 2.23.18}

Read Matthew 18:15-35

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The master forgave the man’s extremely large sum of debt but that same man who’s debt was forgiven would not forgive another man’s much smaller debt to him. I think if this story Jesus used to describe forgiveness and the kingdom of heaven was more detailed we might be able to see even more of ourselves in this story. We would see ourselves as the man forgiven but not forgiving others. We would see this man justifying why he didn’t forgive this smaller debt owed to him. He could give us reasons and explanations involving his rights and peoples duties to society. He may acknowledge his own debt that was forgiven and if he did he would explain why it was earned or perhaps owed to him. Have you been this forgiven man who has not forgiven others? What reasons or justifications do you use as logic to not forgive other people?

{saturday 2.24.18}

Read Matthew 19:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Pharisees are always trying to trick Jesus with the impossible to answer question. They are trying to get him to take a specific stance on a subject and pin him down. It’s remenescant of people arguing about politics or religion on social media. It may seem like Jesus has some good snap point to make back off the top of his head. Like he had this perfect little nugget he’s been waiting to throw out there at the best time to win an argument. That’s not what he was doing though. Being perfectly connected to God, his response just naturally comes. He’s not really arguing at all. He’s attempting to teach them and us more about God. He has no need to win an argument. What topics push you into an argument with other people? What drives you during an argument? Is there a need to win? How can you change from needing to win an argument to caring for the person who has a different opinion than you? What does it look like to care for someone who has a different opinion than you?


{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!

Comments are closed.