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{June 17, 2018}

Heartland Community Church


June 17 – 23, 2018



By Joe Davis

I knew going into this Sunday that it was not only Father’s Day, but also a weekend that my son’s baseball team was in a tournament. I assist in coaching and we had to be at the ball field 45 minutes prior to game start . . . for an 8 o’clock game. So we started the game, I left and ran to church, and am now back at the ball field writing. My wife asked me days earlier if I needed to find someone else to write today, but I felt that I really needed to write. After hearing the sermon I’m glad I did, but also have a heavy heart full of conviction.

The verses for today were Ephesians 4:1-7, and what stuck out the most was verse 3 speaking about peace. This word has come up a lot for me lately. Being a dad is so incredibly hard. I’m not sure what I thought it was going to be, but I now know that it’s nothing like I thought it was going to be, and is hard on a level I’ve never experienced before.

What I do directly reflects in my children’s lives not just in the moment, but also for years to come. What do I bring in my fathering? Right now in life my heart is longing for peace. I want it on a level I’ve never experienced before, not just for myself but for my family as well. I have not been doing a very good job of that. That is a gut wrenching to write out. And when Dan said that nothing is more manly than living out the qualities that these verses talk about, I just ached inside from the lack of peace that I’m bringing to my life right now.

So encouraging to hear the hope I have is not that I cannot do it, but rather the perfect father of peace is going to do it through me. My “behavior modification” has not worked for any long term usefulness. And part of the conviction that I felt today is that I need to surrender to God (not just in some things, but ALL things), and conform to what he wants to see in my life.

I’m sure what I feel as a father isn’t any different than any other dad. But it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders sometimes and that I can do nothing right. My head knows that this isn’t true, but my heart feels the burden. Especially when Satan is attacking me and reminding me of those moments with my family where I let my emotions get away from me and have an outburst that I really don’t want my children to be witness to or experience.

When I’m connected with God and spending time in his word, I know that less of me is acting and more of God is moving through my actions. Only then will I will be able to gain the peace that the bible says "surpasses understanding". This is something I can bring to my wife, my children and those around me. This is the kind of peace my heart truly desires.

Thankfully, God is good, so very good. And right now I am a blessed father and get to watch baseball.

{sunday 6.17.18}

Read Matthew 5:9, Romans 14:19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What am I bringing to my family and those around me in my actions and behavior? Do I have the friendships and accountability necessary to draw me closer to God? How can I show God’s love for me to others in my life and love them better?


{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.

To dive deeper into Luke 3-4, CLICK HERE or on the video below to check out a short teaching from our own Seth Davidson.

{monday 6.18.18}

Read Luke 2:41-52

Observe, Reflect, Apply: There are very few stories of Jesus outside of his birth and the 3 years leading up to the crucifixion. Why would Luke include this story in his gospel? Is this just foreshadowing or can we learn something more from it?

{tuesday 6.19.18}

Read Luke 3:1-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: John is very blunt about what people should be doing with their possessions and how to act in their professions. If John was speaking bluntly to you, what would he say?

{wednesday 6.20.18}

Read Luke 3:21-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What does God say to Jesus when he is baptized? What words would you like to hear from God?

{thursday 6.21.18}

Read Luke 4:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus faces temptation and handles it with so much ease it seems like a passing moment. I wish temptation was that easy for me to handle. I do wonder how much the temptation weighed on Jesus though. It’s not really temptation if it isn’t a struggle to some degree. What do you struggle with? Share with a trusted friend or group what your struggles look like.

{friday 6.22.18}

Read Luke 4:14-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I imagine this as a “mic drop” moment. Jesus comes home and drops this bombshell news that he’s the savior they’ve all been waiting for. I can imaging how poorly this would go over with the crowd. Have you ever struggled to understand big news coming from family or a close friend? How did you handle this information?

{saturday 6.23.18}

Read Luke 4:22-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I don’t feel like this moment is really illustrated in much detail. They drag Jesus to the top of a mountain to fling him off! He manages to somehow slip through the crowd and disappear. You’ve really offended a lot of people to the core for them to try and throw you off a mountain. Why do you think they were so offended by his words? Have you ever been offended by someone questioning or mocking your faith?


{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 to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

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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