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{March 22, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

Health and Healing: Triumphant Return

By Christina Marie Mitchell

It’s Spring, y’all! Did you know that it’s Springtime?! The season of rebirth, renewal, awakening, hopefulness??

Yeah, me neither. Totally forgot. Wasn’t a thought or even a whisper of thought for me this year. Which is… weird concerning.

As I mentioned during worship this morning, Spring is my favorite season of the year. The transition from the season of dying to the season of rebirth? I love it. I look forward to it every single year. I’m that person who decorates her planner to visualize the transition into a new season. I always look up the dates that the seasons actually change. Spring came on March 19th this year, which is another problem that I had a mental and spiritual debate about. High school taught me that the seasons always change in March, June, September and December – between the dates of the 20th and the 23rd. So not only did I miss the introduction to my favorite season, it was introduced on a date that is contrary to what I’ve always known! God is funny. He really is.

But the reason why this stuck with me so heavily this time around is that I missed experiencing all of it. It’s like I missed my favorite concert that occurs each year, one that I always have a ticket for, so I’ve never had to worry about getting in. But… this year, I lost my ticket. And I was bothered. To be honest, I’m still bothered. I missed my favorite moment when God shows off for me — because I was distracted. Because my attention was elsewhere. And I allowed it to stay where it wasn’t meant to be. So I missed it. And didn’t realize it until 3 days later.

Today, Seth talked about Jesus’ triumphal entry — the Return of the King. The victory parade that occurs in celebration of His return. Spring’s arrival is incredibly symbolic of that very entry. God re-introduces Himself to me every Spring. Easter happens in the spring — which is when we get to celebrate the rising and rebirth of Jesus. There is so much symbolism and significance in being able to experience the world’s changing — from life to death, from despair to hope, from dark to light. And I think it’s so important — in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic — for us to sit in appreciation of the miracles that are still happening around us.

We’ve been so overwhelmed lately — so much fear, so much anxiety, so much panic… all of that has been so loud. Through all of this, it’s been so hard to hear God. To see that He’s still working. Still moving. Still performing miracles. And we’re missing it. I’m missing it.

The sermon today talked about surprises — the timely surprises — that occur with Jesus’ return. Jesus weeping for us, Jesus clearing the temple (“temple” being incredibly symbolic), and Jesus giving freely of himself throughout all of it.

The parallels to what we, as a community, are experiencing today are not coincidental. I’m being reminded through the Gospel of Luke and through experiencing this crazy time, that God has given us the roadmap for dealing with this. God has given us concrete examples of what we need to be doing, where our focus needs to be and where it needs to remain. Jesus is that example. Luke 19:46 is that example. Jesus says, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” That verse immediately screamed to me, “Christina Marie, you’ve given the enemy a key to your temple. And He stole away your moment with me.” I let the anxiety of the unknown make itself comfortable within me, and I missed the forest AND the trees. I didn’t get to experience a moment that encompasses the miracle of who I know God to be. And my heart hurts for that, quite a bit. Because if there were ever a time for me to really be reminded of God’s greatness, March 19th was it.

I don’t say any of this to reprimand myself or to hold on to guilt or anger at what occurred. I say this as a reminder to myself that despite all that’s going on, God is still moving. Life is still moving forward. Miracles are still happening. Rebirth is happening. Growth is happening. And I must not miss it. Clearing the temple. Disrupting routine can be a good thing.

I don’t want to miss what God is doing around me. Today reminded me of that. God is STILL good. In the midst of it all. We can still prepare for the Return of our King, and when He arrives, we can still have our victory parade. Today was good. It was full of revelation, of promise, of grace, of mercy, of love. And I am blessed to know that I didn’t miss THAT miracle. I stepped right into it. God is so cool. He never stops reminding me who He is.

 

{sunday 3.22.20}

Read Luke 1:37

Observe, Reflect, Apply:  What is your temple? How are you allowing Jesus to restore it? Have you experienced a “missed moment”? That kept you from putting Jesus first? How did you work through that? What has God done for you, big or small, that you cling to and remember during difficult times? That serve as a reminder of God’s goodness?

 

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

By Joe Davis

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 3.23.20}

Read Luke 19:28-44

Observe, Reflect, Apply: God prepares in ways that are not obvious to us. While we are busy with life and it’s distractions, God is ever working to prepare things for us. And when Jesus showed up in Jerusalem, he didn’t come as the conquering king as everyone was hoping or expecting. He came as the prince of peace. Everyone wanted God to show up as the king who righted all wrongs by conquering evil in a fight. But instead, Jesus came to save and conquered evil through a sacrifice. He doesn’t want us to have a fight, he wants us to have peace. How does Jesus show up in my daily life?

{tuesday 3.24.20}

Read Luke 19:45-20:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus doesn’t need permission or authority from earth. His authority comes from God the Father, and from him alone. We can rest assured that when Jesus speaks it is good and righteous and perfect in love. We need not question whether or not his words are authentic or genuine. We can know they are because God has given all authority in heaven to Jesus. Do I question Jesus’ authority through a worldly litmus test, or do I fully trust his words?

{wednesday 3.25.20}

Read Luke 20:9-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We are sent out into the world to spread the gospel (good news) of Jesus. When people reject us in any way, they do not reject us but rather they reject God. We do not need to concern ourselves with the rejection. God is big enough to handle that for us. All we need to concern ourselves with is being obedient to God and what he asks us to do. A laser like focus on Jesus will create in us a desire to be obedient. When we do that, we become better emulators of Jesus. How much attention am I giving rejection in my life? Do I need to turn that over to God?

{thursday 3.26.20}

Read Luke 20:27-40

Observe, Reflect, Apply: God does not falter in his answers to us. And he will always answer us. But we need to remember that God may not answer in a way that we want or expect. He answers us in a way that we need. We can have confidence that God will always answer that gives life and is in our best interest, whether we understand it completely or not. What is my expectation of God when he answers my prayers? Do I want him to give me exactly what I want, or do I trust him enough that he will provide what I need?

{friday 3.27.20}

Read Luke 20:41-21:4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus gave everything of himself for us. We, being called to be Christ-like, are in turn to live our lives similarly in giving of ourselves. This may be with our finances or with our hands, etc. What God really wants from us is our hearts. When we give of ourselves with our whole heart, we reflect the love of Jesus in our lives.  And this is another way to share the gospel with the world . . . by how we live and give. Are we giving of ourselves? And what is the condition of our heart towards giving of ourselves?

 

{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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