{July 1, 2018}

Heartland Community Church


July 1 – 7, 2018


1: One Hope (The Transformational Power of Story)

By Debbie Kirk

Who doesn’t love a good movie? One of my favorite things is to get deeply engrossed in a movie that leaves it’s mark on my heart. Les Miserables is one of those movies for me. It moved me so deeply that it gets the award for most tears shed at any movie.

I recall many times walking out of the theater in a daze, taking a while to re-enter reality. Not sure if that’s good or bad, but it’s a real thing. Stories connect with us on a level that mere information cannot. They weave meaning and dimension into our flat perspectives. They can inspire, offer insight and spark passion that changes us.

Our lives are living stories. They twist and turn, have ups and downs and can throw us into a daze of disillusionment. But they don’t leave us there. I will toss a movie into the loser category if it left me sad and despairing at it’s end. Yet, I am confident that my story, no matter how discouraging it might be at times, will experience redemption at it’s end because of what Jesus has done on my behalf.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, The end of a matter is better than it’s beginning . . . this verse offers such hope in our ever-changing stories. Hamilton went from despair to grace to a song of hope! If you are in a season of Psalm 42:3 . . . "My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’" . . . remember that your story is living and breathing and being written by a God who loves you and doesn’t write despair as an ending.

The enemy cannot steal your hope and we are offered more grace than we can accept. One day you will look back, (maybe if you look real close you can even see it now) and you will see the good that came out of the hard and when you share your story, it will encourage and inspire someone who needed it. If your life is at one of the sweetest chapters yet, share that as well and shine a light for others to follow.

{sunday 7.1.18}

Read Ephesians 3:14-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What are you writing or allowing to be written on the pages of your story? Are you in a high or low place in your story? Is your self-talk positive or negative? Would you pray and ask God to give you insight into your story and allow him full authorship? Read Ephesians 3:14-21 out-loud each day this week as a prayer and positive self talk.

{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 CLICK HERE or on the image below and check out this great video from our friends at the Bible Project.

{monday 7.2.18}

Read Luke 6:27-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How would you describe the actions we are encouraged to take in these verses? Some might say they are an absurd level of generosity…loving my enemies? Doing good to them? Not judging others? When have you needed this kind of generosity in your life? Did you receive it? How can you approach all that the world gives with this lightness of spirit?

{tuesday 7.3.18}

Read Luke 6:39-49

Observe, Reflect, Apply: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, Jesus paints a pretty vivid picture in these stories. And he uses a sense of humor to do so. Yes, these stories are meant to be funny. Try reading them again in that light. How do these stories align with our lives today? How can you make sure you are seeking Jesus’ answers in this life, and building on a firm foundation?

{wednesday 7.4.18}

Read Luke 7:1-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Both of these passages deal with faith: what do you see happening in them? What do you see as the most important event noted: the miraculous healing, the faith of the officer, the healing of a dead man, or the reaction of the crowd? Explain why you chose the event you chose.

{thursday 7.5.18}

Read Luke 7:18-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. What is Jesus cautioning the people about in these verses? Set aside your knowledge of Jesus, and place yourself in the scene. As someone in the crowd, what are you learning about Jesus from his words? What do you notice about who he claims(or doesn’t claim) to be? If you were waiting on a new king to follow, what would you think about this man, Jesus?

{friday 7.6.18}

Read Luke 7:31-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Although this passage is brief, there are several layers to what is happening. Look at the story from all possible angles. What do you notice? What would you be thinking and feeling if you were present? How would you describe the acts of the woman in this passage? Take a few moments to express your thankfulness in prayer for what you have received from Jesus.

{saturday 7.7.18}

Read Luke 7:39-50

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Again, consider the scene and what is happening here. Translate Jesus’ words to this woman into words meant for you and your situation in life. What would he say to you? What do you want to hear from him? What forgiveness do you seek? Write out your thoughts as a prayer, or pray them specifically to Jesus now. We are praying with you, too.


{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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