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{April 26, 2020}

Heartland Community Church



The Story Continues: God’s Spirit

By Bill McMurtrey

If you were online today when Seth spoke and read the chat comments, you could feel the sense of yearning for connectivity. People saying hello to each other . . . there were even new and first time viewers. And how could you not love the smile and the sign young Stella made reminding us of how we’re all in this together.

There are many things that are going to come out of this confinement from the pandemic. I work in finance as a stock trader. We’re seeing shifts in money like never before, and many are plain scared. Whether we prepared in advance for a future, or had not yet solidified a financial plan, we are all going to be drastically impacted. I always look for the common denominator in everything, and one here is still what Stella said on her sign, "We’re all in this together."

Life is not a "put your head in the sand and it will all be okay" feel-good television commercial. That is not even close to reality for most of us now. Some people struggle, some people fall, some people stay down, and some people rise back up. Though the struggle is real, another common denominator in this situation is that God loves us all . . . and He will not leave us or forsake us. 

HE promises us that in Deuteronomy 31:6: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." That my friends, is as real as it gets. HE is our light in the dark, our guide through the storm and and our shepherd when we’re lost, tired, or weak.

We encounter God and his Spirit through worship and prayer. For me it is definitely strongest with prayer. One of my prayers continues to be unanswered . . . but I believe God hears and knows the timing for my prayer. I have family members that don’t know the Lord. When we are together for holidays or events, I always say the blessing. That is as close to church as a few of them get. 

A common denominator there? God loves them as much as he loves me, and you. Yet he still longs for each person to come to him. We can and should go to him, not just in these trying times, not just when we are trying to set a good example for others, but in all of our days. With all of our needs, struggles, hurts, wants, desires and most importantly our praise and gratitude for HIM.

When we go to HIM we encounter him. When we worship HIM we encounter HIM. When we praise HIM we encounter HIM. 

Pandemics, struggles, they will come and go. This will come to pass. How the world will be changed, no one knows just yet. What we do know is God’s love for us hasn’t changed, and that ours for HIM shouldn’t either. And that faith will lead us into incredible encounters witih God.  


{sunday 4.26.20}

Read Acts 2:37-39

Observe, Reflect, Apply:  If you are a Jesus follower, reflect back on the time that you committed to following him, asked for forgiveness, and inivited him into your life and your daiily experience. What prompted you to make this decision? How have you experienced the life of following Jesus since then? Do you recall a sense of receiving Jesus’ promised helper, the Holy Spirit? This may have been an increased sense of confidence in hearing from God, or in understanding His word, or in experiencing His presence. If you haven’t, perhaps consider Seth’s prayer, "Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me." As Jesus followers, we each have access to his presence via the Holy Spirit, and can ask for that presence and help each and every day. May you experience the presence of Jesus this week, where you live, work, study and play.


{bible reading plan: acts of the apostles}

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 4.27.20}

Read Acts 3:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus didn’t primarily come to heal peoples’ physical bodies, he came to heal their spiritual lives, but can you imagine what it would be like to witness a miracle like vision being restored or legs being made to walk for the first time? To see the impossible be made possible had to have an immediate change of people’s perspectives. In this passage Peter and John cause a lame man to walk. They carry on Jesus’ mission by performing miracles in his name. Their goal is to shift perspective as if to say, imagine how life could be different if you put your trust in the one who can make the impossible possible. Even if you aren’t seeing miracles, do you believe that they are possible? Do you believe you trust in a God that has something so much more valuable to offer than silver and gold? 


{tuesday 4.28.20}

Read Acts 3:12-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When people witnessed the miracle Peter and John performed they looked at them in amazement, but the two men pointed everyone back to God, back to His promises and the fulfillment of the prophesies these people would have known well. I imagine that being an apostle would have been tiring work. Over and over trying to remind people to be faithful and trust that God has a plan that he will fulfill. When bad things happen we turn to doubt. We want to see tangible miracles and immediate solutions to problems. Do you feel your faith being tried in this difficult time? Who is reminding you of God’s promises? Who are you reminding?


{wednesday 4.29.20}

Read Acts 4:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Peter and John are arrested for teaching about Jesus. In everything they do, in all situations, they continue to point people to Jesus and the fulfillment of God’s plan. In the glory of performing a miracle, in the despair of being imprisoned, they do not stray from their mission. Right now some days my resolve changes by the hour. I am hopeful and trusting, able to share with others my belief that God has not forgotten us. And then I am discouraged and lost in the darkness. It’s in these times that I turn to my community. I draw on the strength of my friend’s faith until I can stand again and take my turn sharing my faith. Do you have your faith shaken? What do you do in those times? Who can you call on when you need some support? 

{thursday 4.30.20}

Read Acts 4:13-22

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When you find your calling, everything looks different. Hard things don’t seem as hard. I imagine that Peter and John felt like this. They had a purpose and a calling and so even in the face of persecution they never considered quitting. It’s like they had no other choice. Have you found your calling? The thing you were made to do? How do you think getting through this hard season might look different if you were in tune with who you were made to be?


{friday 5.1.20}

Read Acts 4:23-37

Observe, Reflect, Apply: At the end of Acts chapter 4 the believers join together in prayer, presence, and purpose. Imagine the power of this kind of connected community. They joined together in prayer, they pooled together their resources, and they were all focused on the mission of teaching more and more about Jesus. In this season of isolation and uncertainty we can find inspiration and hope from the early church. Our situations have changed and our future is unclear, but we can still be certain of our heavenly Father. How have you been connecting with your community in this season?


{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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