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{February 9, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

Sheer Gift

By Meghan Hemenway

For we are in a desolate place. In Luke we see the disciples confronted with the challenge of feeding thousands with no food and no obvious solution. They can heal the sick, they can cast out demons, but how can they make something from nothing? They didn’t yet know the part of relationship with God that is access to infinite, supernatural resources. In this desolate place, Jesus would teach them this next facet of a life fully depending on God.

I am in a desolate place right now. I don’t need a moment to think where God is trying to show me the gift of his resources in my struggles. The answer is easy, but the experience is excruciating. I want to believe that God will provide, but how do you get through the pain and struggle? And how do you use your story to encourage others to connect with Jesus when you are in the struggle?

I don’t know, but I do know that in every season of loss and pain in my time following Jesus I have felt compelled to share my experience. When I want to hide and isolate, God says, “Jesus wept.” When I say, no one can know my secret shame, God says, "…call on those in your faith community to pray for you." I have shared about miscarriage, death, and trauma. But more than for my own healing, I feel compelled to share how God has wrapped his loving arms around me because I know he wants to do that for every single one of his children. I have faith that he will never stop reaching out to every last one of us. If he can do that through my stories, I count it all joy. Joy that leaves me wrecked, but never crushed. Trying to insulate ourselves from discomfort blocks out the compassion, protection, presence, and provision of our strong and loving father.

God is such a kind father. In my desolate place I have cried out to feel his love. Every song I hear, ever person who reaches out in compassion has given me this message from my father, “You are well loved. I won’t let you fall. I am with you each and every dark night.”

My world feels like it is cracking into pieces, and yet the sun keeps rising. God still is telling me that he makes a way in the wilderness. His love endures forever. Even in – and maybe even more so because of – the wreckage, my heavenly father says he can be trusted. That he has begun a good work…and he never gives up on his promises.

 

{sunday 2.9.20}

Read James 1:2-4

Observe, Reflect, Apply:  Read the verse in James in several versions. What words stand out to you in the different versions? What struggles are you going through or have you faced in the past that you may be able to count as joy?

 

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

By Callie Katz

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.

 

{monday 2.10.20}

Read Luke 9:1-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus sent out 12 disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. Just 12? Huh.

In all honesty, 12 is not that big a number. But when you put 12 individuals together, whose emphasis is on power and leadership, they could rule the world.

I think of the movie, 12 Strong. 12 men that were entrusted on a dangerous mission in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, who were against overwhelming odds in a fight versus ruthless enemies.

In a time where our faith gets tested, who do we look to as leaders or authoritative figures in our lives? Who we know we can pour our deepest fears out to. Who we know without question, will take care of us in a time of urgency. In the face of fate, how can we have faith in greater measure?

 

{tuesday 2.11.20}

Read Luke 9:18-36

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Have you ever changed yourself for someone else? Did it work? Was it on your own power? Or in partnership with God?

Rest assured, it is commonplace for people to try and present themselves in a different way in order to attract others attention, or to be accepted. However, it doesn’t always play out to our benefit.

In Luke 9:25, Jesus states, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?". 

We can get lost along the way, filling the void with something or someone else that does not serve us for the greater good. As you follow Jesus, stand in the truth of your story. Become so clear on who He created you to be that you live your life from that core. If you don’t like where your story has taken you thus far, know that you have the power to change that…by asking Jesus to reconnect you to who you are. Turn left instead of right. Change habits. Change your mindset. Find someone who can help you clear the way to a greater understanding of who you were created to be.

 

{wednesday 2.12.20}

Read Luke 9:37-50

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Why have pieces of our culture made us feel that those in a unique "status quo" are better than you or I?

I was working in a multi-billion dollar industry with some of the world’s most skilled athletes. The business I was involved in was headed by someone who I observed as having a "higher power"…and money that went beyond the glass ceiling. But, when the truth came out, this person’s character left me with utter distaste. I lost all respect and I was done working for someone like that.

In a world filled with multitudes of men and women, why do we give others greater authority than our very selves?! "For he who is least among you all will be great." [Luke 9:48]

The nature of your character means more than the nameplate outside your corner office. In reading these verses, how can you and I "right size" ourselves? How do we anchor ourselves in God’s story first, and live from that place of connected humility?

{thursday 2.13.20}

Read Luke 9:51-62

Observe, Reflect, Apply: If you owned a business that was on the verge of closing, would you save it or would you shut the doors? 

If Tony Robbins himself came to you and said, I will teach you how to master sales and business growth, would you do it? Or would you give him every reason in the book as to why your business could not be saved?

Sometimes we are given people or tools in our lives to give us what we need. But, if it is not on our terms, we tend to reject and ultimately miss out on the opportunity. Jesus invited us to follow him…and to be all in as we do so.

In Luke 9:61-62, a disciple tells Jesus he will follow him, but first he needs to go bid his home farewell.  Jesus responds, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God."

I think Jesus is saying…BE COACHABLE. Trust, and don’t look back. How are you following Him, where you live, work, study or play? How can you be all in?

 

{friday 2.14.20}

Read Luke 10:1-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Projecting kindness onto the entire human race can be a tricky thing, especially if you have been hurt.

Through much of my own study and meditation, I have learned that no matter who you are, we do have common ground in this one thing: to be relieved of pain and suffering. We have all experienced it. And, we all desire relief from pain and suffering.

In our darkest days, however, we may wish harm upon our enemy. But we are no better than our so-called enemy if we sit and plot in our own space. Creating equanimity amongst all humans is a challenge and it doesn’t come easy.

Jesus tells his followers [Luke 10:20], "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Yes, we have access to Jesus, and to that same power through his Spirit. Because we know what is set before us, we must choose wisely. Of these commands and invitations from Jesus, which are the easiest and which the hardest for you?

 

{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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