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{April 19, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

The Story Continues: God’s Mission

By Brooke Hodnefield

A lot has happened over the course of 40 days in the life,  death, and resurrection of Jesus and his on-looking disciples. I recently learned not more than a month ago, that when we see ‘40 days’ in the Bible it marks or symbolizes a period of testing. If you’ll remember, it wasn’t too long ago that in an account by Matthew (Matthew 4:1-17) Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness being tempted and tested by the devil. Fast-forward to Jesus appearing to his disciples over 40 days (Acts 1:3). They were likely just starting to relax, their Lord and Savior was back, in the flesh. Then he surprises them again. He tells them he is leaving to be with His Father in Heaven, but leaving them with the power of the Holy Spirit. The story continues in Acts 1:10-11 . . .

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

What happened was a transfer of mission. Jesus’s mission, the same mission that got him killed, was transferred into the hands of those onlookers below . . . staring at the sky. And not only that, Jesus promised to supply them (and us) with His power, through the Holy Spirit.

Just as the disciples were called into action, WE are who is called to carry on Jesus’s story, his mission. But what we have, is not our own strength, but that of Jesus who lives within each of us. The burden we bear and the mission we share is compelled forward through the blood of Jesus Christ. We GET to do this. We GET to adventure out on God’s behalf, to actively pick up the cross with all the power of Heaven behind us.

We each come to a point, just as the disciples, where we are staring up into the sky. We might be perplexed, angry, or directionless. But what we can’t do is continue staring, immovable, and hopeless. Being a Jesus-follower is not without risk, exploration, obstacles and even failure. But if we don’t take that first step of faith towards God’s mission to carry His name to the ends of the earth, we won’t experience the fullness and abundance that only God can provide through investing and stewarding that which God has provided . . . US! We can try and fail, but we must try. We will do this differently, because we are all inherently completely different people. This is His design, as each of our contexts provides a different path.

I jump at the opportunity to experience new places, new people, new cultures whenever I can, to find something relatable, which ultimately can point to Jesus and help people see the value He sees in each of us. I love watching House Hunters International and seeing people boldly jump into a new job in a new place. I love listening to music that takes me to a place and fills my soul with the feelings of that place. I love packing, as it excites me that I’m going somewhere. I love flying alone because I can speak to God in the quiet places and consider what God has in store for me. This all might seem unrealistic, but this is how the Holy Spirit speaks to my soul . . . I see my words and deeds carried out through the lens of adventure. How you live out God’s mission and how I do are going to look very different, but He needs each one of us.

Maybe you don’t know what that looks like, or can’t even begin to describe it. You might first consider what moves your soul, what gets you excited, and when do you feel closest to God? This might be a bread crumb trail that can at least point you in the right direction. It’s already there, within you. Come, Holy Spirit, come, and show us how we are each individually to share our story to the ends of the earth.

The Ends of the Earth
Song by: Lord Huron

Oh, there’s a river that winds on forever
I’m gonna see where it leads
Oh, there’s a mountain that no man has mounted
I’m gonna stand on the peak

Out there’s a land that time don’t command
Wanna be the first to arrive
No time for ponderin’ why I’m-a wanderin’
Not while we’re both still alive

To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see
To the ends of the earth, would you follow me

Well if you want, I will say my goodbyes to me

 

{sunday 4.19.20}

Read Acts 1:10-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply:  What do you think the apostles were thinking as they watched Jesus ascend into heaven? What does this transfer of mission mean in your life? If this is a new concept for you, consider what it might mean. Perhaps pray and ask God to reveal it. Do you believe that you have access to the Holy Spirit’s power, as Acts describes? If yes, how have you accessed that power in your life. If no, consider opening a text chat or having a phone call with a trusted friend who follows Jesus and discuss your thoughts and questions.

 

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

By Meghan Hemenway

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 4.20.20}

Read Acts 1:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In the beginning of Acts we see the apostles coming off of great despair – the death of their savior – and into joy and relief – the resurrection of their savior. It must have been incredibly exciting. Surely this was the end of the story! The battle had been won! All they had waited for was happening. But Jesus tells them to wait. Wait on the Holy Spirit and to wait on God’s timing. They have a role – to witness – but they do not get to know the whole plan yet. That feels similar to what we are experiencing now. We have to wait. We don’t know when the end of this waiting period will come or what the plan forward will be, but we do have a role. We can carry on as storytellers offering the hope and love we have found. Who can you share that story with while you wait? 

 

{tuesday 4.21.20}

Read Acts 1:13-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We see in these verses the apostles looking for one to replace Judas. What strikes me is that all the followers – men and women – drew together and “devoted themselves to prayer.” They drew close to God and close to his word. Right now we are separated from our church community, our friends, our family. But we can still draw near to God and near to his word. We are alone, but God has not left us. How can you use this time to build your relationship with God?

 

{wednesday 4.22.20}

Read Acts 2:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit comes as Jesus promised and his followers begin to speak in different languages. We know that Jesus called them to be his witnesses in all lands and now he has given them another tool to reach all people. The Holy Spirit did not give them all the ability to speak every language, but gave each a different tool. Like the early believers, we can be united in our desire to follow Jesus and continue his mission, but Jesus equips us differently. He has equipped us with a unique and personal story that won’t connect with everyone, but will very specifically reach certain people. What about your story is different? Are there parts of your life you would rather keep hidden? Maybe God is asking you to examine those parts again and see them as tools to reaching out to others. Together we further Jesus’ mission with our individual stories.  

{thursday 4.23.20}

Read Acts 2:14-28

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What speaks to me in these verses is how firmly rooted Peter is in God’s word. Amid the confusion of all the people suddenly speaking in different languages he gets up and points back to God’s promises and the fulfillment of them in scripture. In chaos he turns to what is true and encourages others to remember what they know about Jesus and what they witnessed. I didn’t grow up memorizing verses, but as an adult I have started to highlight and write down verses that point me back to the promises of God and the fulfillment of them. What a gift to be able to pause in chaos and draw out a word of peace or encouragement from God. Do you have verses that you are relying on during these difficult times? Are there people with whom you could share these words of encouragement?

 

{friday 4.24.20}

Read Acts 2:29-47

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Right now I long to be together with my community. I read verses 42-47 and feel jealous of this picture of fellowship given the current loss of our physical fellowship. We are separated from our churches, our schools, our neighbors and friends. We are isolated and in many ways prevented from helping others when there is such great need. And yet, we hear stories of all the volunteers who came to Heartland to distribute food to those needing it. We hear stories about teachers connecting individually with each of their students. We see neighbors driving by in parades to celebrate a child’s birthday or writing uplifting messages on driveways. We hear about people sewing and donating masks to hospitals and other health care facilities. This is fellowship. This is coming together and distributing our collective possessions to any who have need. It is easy to be discouraged, but it is also easy to be encouraged. What stories have you heard or witnessed of people coming together to help in this season? How can you share these stories with others?

 

{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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