{October 21, 2018}

Heartland Community Church


October 21 – 27, 2018



By TJ Gonzales

We enjoyed fun times together. He and I would hang out, grab a meal and talk about life in general. He seemed mostly happy. He was my friend, whose life ended in suicide….and I miss him.

My friend was experiencing deep depression and held much of it inside. Outwardly he seemed ok. But inwardly, he had deep pain. Perhaps we can all relate to this on some scale. Moments in our lives where we projected something outwardly, only to veil a different inner reality. It can be difficult to marry the outer life and the inner life in perfect harmony. Yet they are very connected.

So then, what are we to do if we find our inner lives in a dark place? If left to ourselves, we may try many things. We may deny it and push it away, only to see it return. We may ramp up our outward ambition and pursuits only to see they don’t provide resolution. We may try altering our sense of reality through alcohol or substance abuse, but then we arrive back to reality. There is a myriad of options, but I think only one of them will lead to the comfort and healing we need. And that option is, to invite God into our dark place.

Does God really want to be in our dark place? Yes. Yes, he does. And when we invite him into our dark place he helps us walk our path back to seeing life in the light. We receive restored hope in his light. We receive inner strength in his light. We see a new reality in his light. He reminds us that we are his, and he provides comfort in our suffering.

As I think about this path I must highlight that we do not walk it alone. We become vulnerable, allowing the right people to help us along the journey. Doctors, counselors, family and close friends may all have a part as we see life in God’s light.

“Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.” – C. S. Lewis


{sunday 10.21.18}

Read Psalm 34:18 & 1 Peter 5:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As you read these verses, consider some definitions of where God is and what he is doing in them. Close: very near to someone or something. Rescue: save (someone) from a dangerous or distressing situation. Cares: looks after and provides for the needs of. In our dark places, our vision is often riveted to the words describing us: brokenhearted, crushed spirit, worried or concerned. Instead, what would it look like to be open to God joining us "closely" in the dark? Have you ever invited him to be there, to guide you? What might it look like to ask–and be willing to receive–a rescue from God in this place? How can you change your lens on God to one that sees him as a present, engaged, caring and concerned influence in your life? Praying for all of us to experience God in this way this very week, wherever we need to.

CLICK HERE to access our Care page on the web, and all of the resources related to this series.

CLICK HERE to take the anonymous Truth: A Love Story Experience Survey.

CLICK HERE for a digital version of the card we shared in this series. It lists the 32 things that Paul declares we are in the book of Ephesians. As you read the focus verses above, and this list, which name or names is God inviting you to embrace? To live into? Or to speak into someone in your life who might need encouragement? Join us this week as we pray in our community for God to unlock identity and truth in each of us.


{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.

{monday 10.22.18}

Read John 8:42-59

Observe, Reflect, Apply: There is alot going on here! Take note of who is in the story, and consider the lens through which they heard Jesus speaking. How might we respond or question or engage, if we were in their shoes? How do you think Jesus felt toward their challenges and questions? What do Jesus’ words mean to you and I today?

{tuesday 10.23.18}

Read John 9:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Let’s take time to see through the eyes of each person in this miracle story. What would you feel and think if you were the blind beggar? What did the townspeople see and wonder? What about the disciples with Jesus? Do you believe Jesus works miracles still today? Why or why not?

{wednesday 10.24.18}

Read John 9:13-34

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The Jewish leaders were divided over who Jesus was, where his power came from, and how he may have performed this miracle. They tried to piece it together and tear it apart, but the faith of the man who experienced the healing couldn’t be swayed. Has God done something in your life which you have a hard time explaining? Have you ever doubted a story of God moving in someone else’s life? Why or why not?

{thursday 10.25.18}

Read John 9:35-41

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In these passages Jesus is comparing actual blindness to the spiritual blindness of the Pharisees. What does spiritual blindness look like today? Where in life do you experience spiritual blindness? Would you be willing to ask God to heal your blindness in that area?

{friday 10.26.18}

Read John 10:1-10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How would you explain Jesus’ analogy to someone? Where do you "hear" his voice clearly in your life, and seek to follow? Where do you need to hear his voice? Where might you be ignoring or drowning out his voice?

{saturday 10.27.18}

Read John 10:11-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus describes himself as a shepherd, tending and caring for his sheep. He talks about how God sent him and gave him this authority. Again, the people are confused. If you were describing to someone today who Jesus is and how he engages in our lives, what modern analogy would you choose? Share your idea with someone.


{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.


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

Unsubscribe from The Journey. Sign
to receive our future emails.

Comments are closed.