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{April 5, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

From Last to First: Healthy Relationships

By Bill McMurtrey

When I first came to Heartland 25 years ago I knew one person there . . . Jeanine Frost.  She and I had already been friends for a few years at that time. We met as neighbors. And she invited me to Heartland, knowing that I was not only going through a hard time in my life then, but I think it was also "bring a buddy to church night" or something like that. 

For a few years I was hit and miss, in and out. Met a few people here and there. But there was a guy that I knew from being around kids soccer (we were both in our late 20s at that time). His name is Rob Hole. Rob and I were talking one day while eating pizza, and he said, “You should come to my church.” I replied, “Only if you come to my church.” We asked each other where we went to church, and we both said Heartland. The friendship was sealed. 

Today when Michelle spoke about “two are better than one” I thought about how true that is during times like this. God did not make us to be solitary creatures. Even though today’s service was about connection with others and not directly on marriage it brought to mind this verse:

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him . . .” 
Genesis  2:18

Over the years I’ve received feedback like, “ . . . a great facilitator, but not willing to share personal information.” Or been described as one who “charges the hill.” My comfort zone is trying to get stuff done . . . and done my way. Moving beyond that default has meant having to come out of my comfort zone. You see, I have a lot of friends, a lot of connections, but to connect more deeply, I need to grow deeper with God by being more open and authentic with him . . . and with those around me. Walk more life with others. Not just show up. But share. Be present. And listen. No one likes someone that only waits for their turn to talk and doesn’t truly listen. 

I’d like to think that the guys I credit for walking with me in this journey—Craig, Denny, Kevin and Kirk—would tell you that our connections are just as vital to them, too. It’s how God hardwired us. It’s detailed in studies of neuroscience and neurobiology. 

Relationships , friendships, they can be hard . . . but like anything else in life, "If it was easy it wouldn’t be good, and if it was any good, it wouldn’t be easy.”

My encouragement for you today is to pray, ask God who he wants you to invite in further, to support and or to share with. Contact them, and in God’s holiest of names, tell them you’re here for them and share how you feel. I’m headed to do just that now.

 

{sunday 4.5.20}

Read Luke 17:11-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply:  What does the story of the ten friends with leprosy reveal to you about relationships? You can look at the group of friends, and at the interaction with Jesus for examples. How can you apply that learning to your relationships this week?

 

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

By Debbie Kirk

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 4.6.20}

Read Luke 22:54-62

Observe, Reflect, Apply: There are times we choose to act in the wrong way because of fear, deception or habit. Jesus warned Peter of his humanity even before he denied him. Then, when the prophecy was fulfilled, Jesus offered grace. The same is true for you and me. We will not live this life perfectly, but can run into the arms of the one who knows us best when we fall. Is there a time in your life that you felt you let God down? Do you wish you had a second or third chance to make things right? God’s mercies are new every morning and his grace is everlasting.

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

{tuesday 4.7.20}

Read Luke 22:63-71

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus endured mocking, ridicule and shame for us. The very people beating him were the ones who deserved a beating. How beautiful is that kind of love? God allows his son to be seen as a blasphemer in the eyes of many so that the few who have eyes to see, can be set free.  Have you felt like you were treated unfairly, when you were innocent? What was your response? Do you believe he is the Son of God? If not, will you ask him to give you eyes to see?

Matthew 13:16

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

 

{wednesday 4.8.20}

Read Luke 23:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The teachings of Jesus will stir up the world. Truth has a way of doing that in unwelcome circles. The words and teachings of Jesus were twisted and used against him and then used to mock him, yet again. He was declared innocent which only fueled their anger. Herod was only interested in seeing a sign from Jesus and when he received no answer, he had no use for him. We live in a culture that seeks immediate gratification and if you can’t see it, it must not be true. God continually asks us to see with spiritual eyes those things which are hidden. He challenges us to rely on faith not on what we see. Can you remember a time that you saw the goodness of God even when your circumstances seemed bleak? Have you had to share the truth even when it was unwelcome? If yes, you are identifying with Jesus and his sufferings and God will see you through!

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

{thursday 4.9.20}

Read Luke 23:13-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Once again, Jesus was declared innocent by the two rulers in charge. But, the crowds would not have it. Their riotous behavior persuaded Pilate to grant their demand. A condemned prisoner in place of Jesus. Those who loved him were following, wailing and mourning for him as they witnessed the unbelievable. His message to them, to us, is to soften our hearts, believe the truth and be set free from sin. He was always enduring the present to fulfil the future. “For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Even then he calls them to repentance. Do you ever use the phrase, “There is no time like the present?” Do you push things back for another time? Now, is the time. Time to side with truth, have faith in Jesus Christ and be set free.

John 8:31-32

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

 

{friday 4.10.20}

Read Luke 23:32-43

Observe, Reflect, Apply: God has had a plan from the very beginning. It involves pain and suffering, death and disgrace. The very things we deserve because of our sin. But, Jesus. With every step he has taken up to this point, he has known where the journey would end. He was aware of the why, the who and the how. We are not righteous, no not one. As he hung innocent, between the guilty, he knew why he was there-for us. As he heard one of the criminals ask for forgiveness, he revealed the who-anyone with a repentant heart. In living out the how-he took his last breath. Through it all, asking forgiveness on our behalf. Do you see God as a merciful, forgiving God? Does this act of love and compassion stir your heart? God loves you. He wants you to be with him. As you reflect on the sacrifices he made on your behalf, would you tell him that you love him too?

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

{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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