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{January 19, 2019}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

First Things First: First Followers

By Grant Houske

Listening to the service today took me back to a time to in high school.  The theme seems to be universal when it comes to friendships between people just as it was back in Jesus’ day. Friends share special bonds that you really cannot describe, you just feel. I distinctly recall a situation one weekend when we were hanging out at my friend Mick’s house. Nord, Steuve, and I were there waiting for Mick to get ready. Just to preface, we had a thing for nicknaming each other and used abbreviations for our last names. I’m sure most guys can relate. As we were getting ready to head out, Nord started telling us that he felt worried about Mick and sensed some things were off. Nord was the goofy/ crazy guy of the group and was probably the least likely to express this news, so I was caught off guard as he began to describe what was going on. A lot of awkwardness began to set in as three 16-17-year-old boys were skirting around feelings and trying to talk to Mick. 

Well, luckily, one of us had some sense and did the best thing we could.  We called up Nord’s neighbor, Suzanne, who happened to be a part of our group. We scrapped our plans as Suzanne drove over to Mick’s house and we spent most of the evening talking about things that were going on. We went as far as getting his parents involved. That night felt strange, especially for high school boys, but also rewarding. As I thought back on that moment, I am able to see more clearly about the impact we made, well mostly Nord, made with Mick. Our goofy and crazy friend sensed something was wrong and was relentless in his own way to genuinely help another friend. 

My high school story pales in comparison to what the paralytic man’s friends did for him. Even though our confrontation with Mick did not result in any miraculous healing, it still illustrates the power of friendship. Jesus was there and I’m sure very proud of Nord and the brave steps he took. We could have easily just left Mick’s house going about our evening and not done anything to intervene. But we did and hopefully in some small way helped changed the trajectory of Mick’s life. In today’s world, think about how easy it could be to skate through life and not really pay attention to others.

I am sure that as the men were up on the roof working frantically to cut a hole to lower their friend down, Jesus sat below and smiled and thought to himself “well done, good and faithful servants, well done, this is exactly why I’m here”.

The good news is that we have the same ability to do just as the paralytic man’s friends did. We are here to serve others. To bring people to Jesus, even if it seems strange and awkward to do! The question will be if we’re ready to accept the challenge and recognize the needs people have. It’s important to understand this and at least start with the questions Shibu asked of us today. It may seem risky, strange, and like something that is completely foreign to you. But, remember, God knows. God sees us and we have the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. This should be all we need to want to try. 

God, where are you moving right now? How can I join you?  God, is there someone you want me to dig through the roof for?  Starting with these simple questions, may be all the motivation we need to help. 

 

{bible reading plan: the story of jesus from luke}

By Rhonda Stock

FIRST TIMEJUMPING IN? If you are just joining us for the first time, our journey through Luke began on December 30. CLICK HERE and find the previous readings in Luke beginning with our December 29 edition.

THE JOURNEY VIDEOS: CLICK HERE to subscribe to our Youtube channel, The Journey Online, for a Monday-Friday video post from Seth Davidson that takes us a layer deeper in the scripture reflections. New posts will appear each day.

THE STORY OF JESUS COURSE: In addition, this semester we are offering a course, The Story of Jesus, that will pair with our Sunday services and The Journey readings. CLICK HERE to catch a video about it, or CLICK HERE to register. The Story of Jesus begins on January 21, 6:30-8 PM.

 

{monday 1.20.20}

Read Luke 4:31-44

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I’m a middle school teacher and a mom. As such, I have developed a certain “look” and tone of voice that can stop the rowdiest kid in their tracks. When my students see that look and hear that tone, they know I mean business. They recognize the authority I represent, and they generally respond to it (hopefully by trembling in fear at my wrath—or not). This is how Jesus dealt with the demons that manifested themselves before Him (v. 34 and v. 41); with a single command, He ordered them to stop talking and leave the people they had possessed. They had no choice but to obey Him. Because of the Holy Spirit, we have that same power. You may not be faced with literal demons, but maybe you wrestle with a spirit of despair or a nagging sense of discouragement. Remember who you are in Christ. Remember the authority He has given you to live victoriously through Him!

 

{tuesday 1.21.20}

Read Luke 5:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I love the disciple Peter. I think he is one of the most flawed characters in the Bible, and therefore one of the most human. Brash and impulsive, he often spoke before he thought. When Jesus told him, “Go out to the deep part of the lake and let down your nets,” Peter might have wanted to say, “Are you crazy? We were out all night and caught nothing. We’re tired and hungry, and we just want to go home.” But instead, Peter obeyed the Lord, and he received a miracle like nothing he had ever seen before. Maybe you feel tired and discouraged. You want to pack up your nets and go home. Listen to Jesus and go deeper—deeper into the Word, deeper into prayer, deeper into the things of God. Don’t pack it up yet. Go deeper, and watch the miracle unfold.

 

{wednesday 1.22.20}

Read Luke 5:12-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Imagine being cut off from everything and everyone you know and love. Permanently. You are forced to leave your home, your family, the comfortable life you take for granted. That’s what leprosy meant in Jesus’ time. It was so contagious and considered so “unclean” that those with the disease had to live in a colony with others who were afflicted, or by themselves in the wilderness. If someone came near them, they had to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn the person. Yet the man in this passage found the courage to approach Jesus and humbly ask to be made clean. I love how Jesus immediately said, “No problem! You’re healed!” What about you? Do you have something “unclean” in your life? A secret sin, an injustice, something shameful from your past? Jesus can and will make you clean again. You have only to ask.

 

{thursday 1.23.20}

Read Luke 5:27-32

Observe, Reflect, Apply: No one likes tax collectors. This was especially true in first-century Judea. Paying taxes was an enormous financial burden for most people in the area, and the monies collected went to support the Romans who had conquered their land. Anyone who worked for the Romans by collecting those taxes was viewed as a traitor or worse. So, here is Levi (also known as Matthew). He’s probably wealthy (tax collecting was a lucrative job), but the Romans despise him because he is a Jew, and the Jews despise him because he works for the Romans. But Jesus reaches out to him. Without fanfare, Jesus says, “Follow me.” And Levi does. Jesus is reaching out to you, just as He reached out to Levi. “Follow me,” He says to you. What is your response?

 

{friday 1.24.20}

Read Luke 5:33-39

Observe, Reflect, Apply: “That’s not how the disciples of John the Baptist do it.” The crowds around Jesus wanted to know why John’s disciples fasted and prayed while Jesus’ disciples did not. And why did Jesus hang around with—gasp! —tax collectors and sinners. It just wasn’t done! Well, Jesus did not come to earth to maintain the status quo. That was kind of the point of His coming—to shake things up, to give humanity a new and better relationship with God the Father. He did not come to change things for the sake of change, but because the old ways kept people from God. Jesus wanted to bring people to God. So, what are you doing to help fulfill that mission? What can you do to bring people into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God?

 

{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!

 

© 2020 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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