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{June 14, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

Resilient: One Another

By Meghan Hemenway

My dad had a collection of beer steins when I was growing up. One of them had an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall on the top of its lid – a bit a concrete rubble. He was excited to add this to his collection because of what it represented – a literal and figurative wall had come down to reunite a community. This 15 ft. barrier with barbed wire, watchtowers, mines, and armed guards had separated a community into two sides. At different times trying to cross this wall would have meant death. When the wall came down it began the reunification of a community, but this did not happen without a lot of pain, persistence and unrest. The wall could not come down if everyone allowed it to remain.

I have over-simplified a very complex and complicated part of world history to make a point which is this: That heavily guarded, impenetrable wall down the center of a city is what I picture when I think of the invisible and internal walls we have to climb sometimes to love one another. We all have walls in our lives and walls serve a purpose. They protect us, they make us feel safe. They keep out what scares us and allow us to sleep soundly at night. These are walls we have probably built over time and through hurts, disappointments and fears. But again, walls are there to protect us, right? If we build a wall against people who have hurt us in the past, we protect ourselves from future hurts and that just makes us wise, right?

The problem is that it is hard to love one another with a wall between us. The walls we collectively are coming up against right now are race, culture, faith, politics, and social distancing. Maybe minus the social distancing, the church in Antioch was facing all the same walls. What they were able to do was join together as a diverse group of people united in their love of Christ. They transformed themselves into a new group known for their love, but they did not erase their differences. They chose to lean into them, listen to each other, and learn from one another. They climbed over heavily fortified walls and set aside fear for the pursuit of love. The result of their work is why we are called Christians today. The Church in Antioch were called Christians for the first time because of their love for Christ. Their love of Christ caused them to love each other and then they became known for love.

The work of transformation is not easy or pretty or tidy. In the end we will be left with the rubble of the walls we have dismantled. The walls that protected us will be gone, but the rubble at our feet is a beautiful reminder of the love we have built.

 

{sunday 6.14.20}

Read John 15:9-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The word love is used eight times in this passage. Jesus’ commandment is to love one another, to love in the way he has loved us, and to love in the way he has modeled for us. Who are you called to love? Who in your life do you need to lean into, listen to, lay down your weapons against, learn from, and lift up? If we need to first climb over the wall to love one another, what wall do you need to climb?

 

{bible reading plan: acts of the apostles}

By Marnie Vasquez

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 6.15.20}

Read Acts 15:19-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Peter was a bold disciple. He chose to share the Good News with Gentiles. This had never been done before, the focus prior had been to share with Jews. But Peter shared with the Gentiles. Eventually the other disciples get on board with Peter’s decision, and Gentiles across Antioch, Syria and Cilicia become believers in Jesus.

But as this happened, other “false teachers” shared viewpoints that weren’t aligned with the disciples. So, the disciples came together and decided to set the record straight. The disciples sent two respected church leaders along with a letter to share with the Gentiles about the truth. That’s impressive: the thoughtfulness, actions and follow-through these disciples did.

The Bible tells us in our times today we should be weary of false prophets because they will be sly, believable and lead us astray. However, the Bible is here to guide us so we may know what is truly true and what isn’t. We need to know the Bible well. Back in the Book of Acts time, these incredible disciples amazingly guided believers in the right direction.
How well are you able to use Scripture today to identify truth?

 

{tuesday 6.16.20}

Read Acts 15:32-16:3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: There is a small, almost forgettable, story in today’s reading. There’s a big fight. A friendship breaks. Good friends Paul and Barnabas have a major disagreement and go separate ways. Why is this small story in the Bible? It feels like a distraction inside this massive, passionate mission the disciples are on. What does God want us to take from this?

Sometimes I think there’s a perception Christian people get along great with other Christian people. Especially if they’re working on a great task together, like serving in the Pantry or feeding the Hungry. Yet, disagreements happen. Feelings get hurt. Friendships break.

Why do you think it’s in here? I do know if you continue reading the tale of Paul and Barnabas, they later meet back up and their friendship continues. To me, that speaks volumes!

 

{wednesday 6.17.20}

Read Acts 16:4-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I love how the Holy Spirit directs Paul and Silas. Where the Holy Spirit doesn’t want the two to go, the Holy Spirit prevents the two from going. Then, Paul has a vision. Paul acts on the images he sees from that vision. And doors open for Paul and Silas. That’s the Holy Spirit directing! This encourages me to pay more attention to what and how the Holy Spirit directs me. How do you discern the Spirit’s direction today? How might we increase our "wifi signal" to pick up the Spirit’s lead more readily?

 

{thursday 6.18.20}

Read Acts 16:16-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Imagine today’s reading as an intense Netflix series. It’s mesmerizing to read, but…a one-season Netflix series would help to slow down what’s happening to help us all take in, comprehend, be amazed and make us think differently about what happened then, and what God is truly capable of doing. Consider a time when you were overwhelmed by what God was doing. What would your reflection look like as a Netflix series?

 

{friday 6.19.20}

Read Acts 16:30-17:3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today’s reading needs to be Season 2 of yesterday’s Netflix series! This is an incredible, almost unbelievable tale. Can you imagine how this would be played out in in today’s time thru a film? I’d love to see this!

But, on a separate note, at the very end of today’s verses, Paul uses the “Scriptures to reason with people”. Have you tried this approach when talking with others about Jesus? How did it go for you? Often times I feel stuck in those conversations, and wish I knew the Bible better. So, I’ve chosen to read at least a chapter a day from the Bible to help. And it has. What has worked for you?

 

{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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