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{March 1, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

Health and Healing: The Last, The Least, The Lost

By Sheree Lutz

My sneaking in story rivals that of Seth’s friend’s adventure at the St. Louis Cardinal’s game. Picture this, I am a newly-turned sixteen-year-old out with my car for the first time by myself. The world is now my oyster. What do I choose to do? Well, my friends are all headed to the movie theater that night and it sounds like a good time. We arrive and realize we are going to have to sneak into the theater for our flick. You probably assume it is into an R-rated film, one we are too young to see without a supervisor present. But you would be wrong. We were sneaking into the highly popular, largely controversial movie entitled Finding Nemo. Ok, yes, heavy sarcasm. And I know, this is about the lamest sneaking in story you have ever heard. We simply snuck in because Nemo was sold out and we had to buy tickets to a different movie.

I am not sure what this story says about me. I was and am not the most rebellious person. I lived a rather sheltered life. I grew up in a middle-class, Christian home that highly valued church and our relationships with Jesus. I think it is important to say that I am hugely blessed to have grown up and thrived in that environment. I am grateful for it!

But I can see how it can become a slippery slope to become like the religious elite. Seeds of judgment and better-than-you attitudes can quickly take root. In Luke 13-14, Jesus specifically admonishes holier-than-thou people who think they have all and know all spiritually.

“Then you will reply, ‘But Lord, we dined with you and walked with you as you taught us.’ And he will reply, ‘Don’t you understand? I don’t know who you are, for you are not a part of my family. You cannot enter in. Now, go away from me! For you are all disloyal to me and do evil.’” Luke‬ ‭13:26-27‬ (TPT‬‬)

It is to them he speaks when he says the way to heaven is “narrow.” They assume they will be at the feast and those below them societally and spiritually will not. Is this judgmental attitude what will actually keep them away from the Master’s banquet? Perhaps!

Jesus’s message is for everyone. But like Seth said, we must be willing to accept his invitation and walk through the door to salvation. We will neither be kept out nor will we be pushed through. God is the ultimate judge (thank goodness). He knows the motives and hearts of each of his created children. But we must be willing to share where the narrow door is to carry the message to the least, the last, and the lost!

I think it is still important to have accountability with other Jesus followers. Being a believer is not a free pass to behave any way you please, but rather an invitation to live a set apart life. But judgment for the lost is inappropriate! Frankly, how would someone without a kinship with Jesus know any different? Christ wants everyone to know him. It does not matter what social status, skin color, nationality, job, etc. He wants everyone to be included. We just must walk though the door opened to us!

 

{sunday 3.1.20}

Read Luke 11:9-10, John 14:6-7

Observe, Reflect, Apply:  What do you need to ask for? To seek out? What door do you need to knock on? And, beyond your own journey of following Jesus, who might be in your path that Jesus is hoping you will invite to the banquet? (The banquet might be your next basketball watch party, your table at lunch, your home for dinner, or your church.) 

 

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

By Brooke Hodnefield

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 3.2.20}

Read Luke 13:1-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Well, this one is quite the sucker punch. Although I’m reading the text, as this rag tag group of seemingly scholarly men following a humble Jew named, Jesus, just going about his daily antics, I’m also seeing themes like judgement, righteouness, pride, holier-than-thou, well at least I’m not as bad as THAT person, or their sin was FAR worse than mine…jump off the page. Expectations, standards and passed judgement is a friend of mine. Sounds odd to say, but instead of directing that at others, I have an inner critic that speaks those lies internally. A small panel judging, with high and mighty expectations and most certainly comparison-driven. Funneled into one great theme, is I ‘SHOULD’ on myself. Have you ever done this? I should have spoken up, I should​ have done a better job, I should​ have spent more time playing with my son, I should​ have been a better friend…and so on. The greatest insight here is that ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death. ‘ Romans 8:1 He alone is the one who is given that authority. As captured in the last verse…’the disciples were humiliated,’ as they were too hung up on passing judgement and putting off a righteous vibe in keeping with the law. If you are like me, and can get caught up in the ‘shoulds,’ consider that we have a fair, just and above all else, loving judge our Lord, who is the only one you have to answer to.

 

{tuesday 3.3.20}

Read Luke 13:18-35

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We are often internally classifying ourselves as too far gone, fallen too far from grace, redemption, from hope. If we can’t fully be in, then we must fully be out. Awhile back, my younger brother was a wanderer of sorts. He went from job to job, moved to the mountains looking for something better, something he was seeking. I am not sure he ever knew what he was seeking, but there was certainly some decisions that were made along the way that would allude to a lost soul. He stood next to me at a Christmas eve service years ago, reluctantly, and I could sense his shame, his discomfort with everything that was about that time and place. But then the verse was read about ‘…the kingdom as small as a tiny mustard seed, growing into a tree…’ and “…the yeast that permeated the bread…’ and he seemed to accpet this notion, that it takes only a humble, feeble speck of hope to be a catalyst. Despite our own deselection from hope, God is always there waiting for us to turn towards him. Even if in the most disorienting, feeble of ways. We can’t earn our way, he asks for what little bit of ourselve we can offer. We will never be fully clean, spotless and ready to receive God’s grace. That’s why it is a perfect gift, a gift​. Not to be earned. He tells us that the ‘last will be first and the first will be last,’ I suspect that my brother felt he was the last that night, but I know God saw him as his precious child, hurting, looking for that tiny mustard seed.

 

{wednesday 3.4.20}

Read Luke 14:1-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I very much value famliy dinner at our house. My husband travels a lot, we both have unique work hours, and with two kids in activities it can be challenging to get us all together around the table to eat dinner during the week. I protect that time like the plague–when we get it. But then there is sweet 10-year old Ashley. She lives with her mom and three other sisters, who in turn has been living at Grandma’s house. Grandma’s house is across the street from us. She is the youngest of the bunch, and what I can gather is that mom is a single mom who works often and Ashley is left on her own for hours, sometimes until after dark, to do what she wishes and roam where she roams. She shows up at our house to play with my boys here and there, and many times she is around when our perfectly scriptly family meal might actually take place. I get selfish, wanting to hold onto that time for our family, but I am reminded of Jesus’s great banquet, the feast, the table He sets for his children. It’s to be shared. Not to be hoarded or to be without an extra chair. Not one of us deserves a seat at the table, but God offers that to us freely, without exclusion or question. ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Luke 14:10

 

{thursday 3.5.20}

Read Luke 14:25-35

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When I first became a Jesus follower, I believed you were a Christian or not. You picked up the cross and followed Him….or you didn’t. It was black and white, and if you’d asked me then what made up a Christian– I would tell you they were all the same. They were good people who didn’t make bad choices (sin) who prayed and had a quiet time every day that involved reading their Bible. Quite a narrow description. As I’ve learned more about what it means to be a Jesus-follower, and as I’ve tried to do those things listed but continued to fail, I realize the most important part of this story isn’t that you say yes to following Jesus and do all the ‘right’ things–although believing He is the your Lord and Savior is absolutely part of it. But most importantly it is HOW we live out our lives individually as Jesus followers and the fact that we are walking, not just stagnant, standing and holding the cross. This will looks different, from one person to the next. 4 “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? 35 Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. How you live out your faith is the salt with God has intentionally placed within you. As Jesus-followers we are all called to love God and love our neighbor. But HOW we go about doing that is the freedom and grace of a creative God. Consider what that looks like for you…how do you uniquely carry your cross, and love your neighbor?

 

{friday 3.6.20}

Read Luke 15:1-10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It can be very easy to sum up a person just by looking at their circumstances. They can become the choices they make, or the situation they are in. Despite their story or what may have led them to this point, the small perspective is that they are labeled something that is irrevocable. On the other hand, this can be easily applied to ourselves as well. You might feel broken, damaged forever, by a choice you made or a choice that was made for you.. Hee is the beauitful truth…there is more joy in the kingdom for the one lost soul who repents than the righteous that don’t need saving grace! ‘7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!’ We are ALL sinners, we all fall short, but we all have access to an amazing Father who rejoices with all of heaven when we bring our junk to Him. From Psalm 103, take heart, ALL of us sinners… The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

 

{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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