{November 18, 2018}

Heartland Community Church


November 18 – 24, 2018


Surrender to the Sea

By Allison Branch

This summer, my sister and 3 best friends went to Charleston, South Carolina for my destination bachelorette party. We spent a LOT of time on a beach not far from there. I’ve been to the ocean before, but it always amazes me how constant its motion is. The water tumbled and crashed onto the shore, over and over again, where it was slowly transforming hard rocks into soft sand. When we walked on the beach, we were experiencing the transformative work of the ocean with each step.

But change isn’t always slow and steady like seawater on sand. There are times when change hits like a tidal wave. When Dan talked about Priscilla and Aquila being forced to flee Rome and settle in Ephesus, it was something I had never really noticed before. That was an abrupt and likely painful change for them, to leave behind everyone and everything they knew for a large and spiritually corrupt city. Yet because they experienced this change, they were present that day in church when an intelligent and gifted young man named Apollos stood up to talk about Jesus. And because they responded to the Holy Spirit’s nudging, they met Apollos, took him into their home, and showed him who Jesus really was.

Once we say “yes” to God, like Apollos did, the Holy Spirit promises to change us from the inside out. The baptisms we witnessed today are an outward sign of an inward reality, one of the greatest changes a person can experience. Like  it says in Romans 5:5, “This endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!” So God accepts us as we are, pouring His love into every part of us, and then helps us change to become like Him – at times slowly and steadily, and sometimes like a tidal wave.

{sunday 11.18.18}

Read Romans 5:1-5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How would you put these verses in your own words? How have you experienced suffering, perseverance, character and hope? How have you experienced the love of God being poured out in your life?


{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 11.19.18}

Read John 16:5-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus tells his followers that if he goes away the helper (Holy Spirit) will come. The Holy Spirit is how God makes his presence in the world today. Have you experienced the Holy Spirit? Share with a trusted group or friend your experience. 

{tuesday 11.20.18}

Read John 16:17-33

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I like the analogy about the pain a woman endures while giving birth and then how it all goes away afterward because of the joy about the child born. What have you endured that was painful that later was overrun with joy?  

{wednesday 11.21.18}

Read John 17:1-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: “And on their account I set myself apart for you, so that they, too, may be set apart for you in the truth.” Set apart is used several times in this scripture. What does set apart mean in your own words? What in your life do you set apart? Is it something special? Share your thoughts with a trusted group or friend. 

{thursday 11.22.18}

Read John 17:20-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus repeats himself several times about becoming one. It sounds like some sort of idealistic thought about how the world should get along. That’s not a bad thing but it means much more than that to Jesus. Discuss among a trusted group or friend what it is Jesus means by this.   

{friday 11.23.18}

Read John 18:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: “Do you imagine I’m not going to drink the cup my father has given me?” This is Jesus’ response to Peter after cutting off the ear of the soldier. Jesus didn’t need his life saved. This was not God’s plan. Jesus faces pain and death, but he goes forward anyway. Have you ever experienced pain that was a part of God’s plan? Does something painful (or even death) make God’s plan bad? Explain to a trusted group or friend in your own words what you think about pain and death being part of God’s plan.   

{saturday 11.24.18}

Read John 18:12-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus is drug off and questioned while Peter denies Jesus for the first time. The situation is getting very serious and Peter is starting to worry while Jesus stays calm. Personally I’ve faced times of great stress and dealt with it like it was just any other day because I was relying on Jesus. Other times I’ve completely overreacted and lost my mind over nothing. Those are the moments when I’ve been farthest from Jesus. When do you feel most comfortable with stress? What can you do to stay reliant on Jesus and not your own strength? 


{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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