{November 4, 2018}

Heartland Community Church


November 4 – 10, 2018


Who Stirs The Sea?

By Grant Houske

If I’m honest, a couple of my favorite concepts are: complacency, structure and routine. I tend to draw comfort in these words. Needless to say, I am a creature of habit. I think the idea of control has a lot to do with that. For some reason, I seem to thrive and do well when I know the circumstances of my surroundings and when I can predict or know how things will turn out. I can remember growing up when my family would go to church on Sunday mornings. We seemed to always park in the same spot, my brother and I would line up and get a doughnut in the church cafeteria, then we would head to the sanctuary and sit in the same pew, and the same seat! If anything ever deviated from these structured events, I felt off! I can imagine after describing that scenario, there are a few people saying that’s SPOT ON . . . and there are a lot of people thinking to themselves, “what is wrong with that guy?” 

Dan described a scene in which Paul traveled to Ephesus and met with 12 disciples and discovered that they had been caught up in their own complacency. Can you imagine how differently things could have have been if Paul did not pursue them and challenge them? As I think about it, I find myself ever grateful that the Holy Spirit pursues us and fuels us to go after more and to leave our routines and complacency.

Below is a picture I took of the sea in Manzanita, Oregon, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. When I first saw this scene, I was struck by its beauty. As I stood there a little while, I noticed the quietness of the place and the relentlessness of the waves crashing into the shore. 

The Holy Spirit functions the same way the sea does. In its own quiet way, it constantly and relentlessly pursues us and is always moving towards us. When it does break through, I believe, we are overcome by joy and happiness and we find a sense of peace and a hunger for more.

Despite my tendency to cling to routines, control, and sameness, I’m also inspired by opportunity, challenge, and adventure. I am thankful that God and the Holy Spirit are in constant pursuit of us, and working out a profound transformation despite our unwillingness to change. 

“It is not blindly pushing your own agenda that will enrich the world. It’s is your ability and willingness to understand, appreciate, anticipate, address, serve and support the lives of others that will.” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

{sunday 11.4.18}

Read Ephesians 3:16-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: If you find yourself in the same place I do, what is one thing you can use to overcome needing to control? Where do you need God’s Holy Spirit to increase your inner strength, to give you deep roots? What might it look like for you to move beyond complacency and routine to serving the lives of others? Think about the vastness of the sea. If God can make that, imagine how he can work in you.

{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 11.5.18}

Read John 12:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Christians are very good at judging others and how they serve God. I believe we’ve all done this at some point. I know I have. Just like Judas in this scripture, I’ve looked at others giving something to God and had some opinions on the “right way” to do it. What are your hang ups with other believers? What steps are you going to take to be less like Judas?

{tuesday 11.6.18}

Read John 12:12-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The crowds are cheering and the Pharisees are angry. This is the calm before the storm. Soon the crowds will turn and the Pharisees will conspire. Have you ever felt loved one day and hated the next by the same people? How did that feel?  

{wednesday 11.7.18}

Read John 12:20-36

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do you think it means to “hate your life in this world, you’ll keep it for the life of the coming age.” Discuss the meaning of this with a trusted group or friend. (Be careful not to confuse this with meaning life now has no meaning.)  

{thursday 11.8.18}

Read John 12:37-50

Observe, Reflect, Apply: “They loved the praise of people more than the praise of God.” Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in that position a few times. It’s so easy to see this mistake in others and not ourselves. When have you sought the praise of people over the praise of God. Can you confess this to God? Have you forgiven yourself for this? 

{friday 11.9.18}

Read John 13:1-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Our natural reaction is to serve those who lead and not to let those who lead serve us. Most of the time I hear this scripture, it’s in context to how you can lead others by serving them. That’s a good thing. However, my challenge to you is… How are you going to let those who lead you, serve you? If they aren’t serving you as a leader, should you follow them?  

{saturday 11.10.18}

Read John 13:18-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus knew who was going to betray him and how it would happen, yet he didn’t stop it. He could have pleaded with Judas and changed his mind, but he didn’t. Jesus allows us to make our choices, too. Why do you think Jesus allows us so much free will? How do you invest your freedom of choice?


{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

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