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{June 28, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


 

THE JOURNEY

 

REVOLUTIONARY: The Jesus First Life

By Bill McMurtrey

Jesus is everywhere. All day, every day. His works, His miracles and His glory are ever present. He never leaves us, so the question then becomes why do we leave him? Do we simply attend church on a Sunday, then go about our business as usual? Or, do we make Jesus first in our lives, emulating his teachings? Sometimes when I’m in prayer I often think about what the world would be like if we all emulated his teachings just a little bit more. If we all gave ourselves to Jesus just another 1% Each day, every day, just 1% more than what we did the day before. Even that small amount would be a game changer in the world. 

There are people around us doing just that. One wouldn’t have to look far, they are often right here in our midst. They are living out that little extra in a Jesus-like manner. Bringing others to follow Jesus as well. Sometimes, literally.

When I think of folks like that I’m reminded of my brother "Denny MaGoo." On Sunday mornings after having worked all day on Saturdays, he gets up an extra 15-20 minutes early to go pick up a fellow Heartlander that doesn’t drive, bringing him along to church. Oh, and it’s in the opposite direction of the church too, meaning it is not "on the way." His wife Jill often pitches in as well. That’s in addition to the time Denny spends volunteering each week.

Then there are those like our good friends Kevin and Stepahine. Their very lives are what one could call a labor of love. If they are not caught up in the hustle and bustle of their busy professional lives, they are planning, preparing and pulling off feats of incredible hospitality and generosity . . . they are responsible for the hundreds of families that get fed every single month through Heartland’s collaboration with Harvesters. In their "spare time" they often host kids from Heartland families as well as their own nieces and nephews.

I could tell stories of the Jesus first lives of Heartlanders all day long . . . it is part of what inspires me about this community. When we live our lives in a Jesus first manner we find ourselves doing just a little bit more. It becomes woven in the fabric of who we are as people. That is how we can take Jesus with us wherever we go.

I’m embedded at Heartland and stay active connecting with many of you in various spaces. In addition to that, my thought for myself is how do I share Jesus outside of the church. I know all of my neighbors, I’m the neighborhood President. I got to meet most by being outside walking and saying hello to people. That and my house is one of those where neighbors stop by to say hello often. I also have a 3-a-day goal for myself: never let a day go by without asking 3 different people, (and they can’t be people that I already know) how they are doing. You’d be surprised by how many meaningful and ongoing connections I have cultivated over the years simply by asking. Not everyone is an extrovert, but everyone does have a new chance every day to take Jesus where we are.

Another thing in my take Jesus where I am arsenal is my tell-5 rule. For well over 20 years now I’ve made it a mission to share with folks (5 per week) my philosophy on helping one another. You see friends, I truly believe, in my heart, my mind and my soul, that if I help you, you help Bob, Bob helps Joe, Joe helps Suzy, Suzy helps Sally . . . we’ll all make it. Simply pay it forward, as Jesus teaches us to do.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.–John 13:34

When we make space, build relationships, and take Jesus with us as part of our daily life mission we are giving that 1% extra each time.

 

{sunday 6.28.20}

Read John 13:34

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How can you and I make more space for God to move this week? Who are we intentionally building relationships right now? Who might God be drawing you to connect with? And, would you consider giving them a call or sending a text? How are we making Jesus first in our 24/7 lives? What might be getting in our way? Praying with you this week as we each consider being the church that Jesus envisioned in Acts in all the places we are.

 

{bible reading plan: acts of the apostles}

By Allison Antrim

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 6.29.20}

Read Acts 19:6-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Reading about Paul’s three months in the synagogue, as well as his two years in the lecture hall, reminds me that making persuasive and reasonable arguments about why Christianity is true can be extremely important in helping people come closer to God. Not all of us are naturally good at defending what we believe through logic, nor is everybody called to debate beliefs like Paul, but what we believe does make sense. And when it is clear that someone won’t be open to a conversation anymore, like those members of the synagogue who “refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way,” Paul shows us that we can let it go and move on. What parts of Christianity make the most sense to you, and what parts require faith to accept them?

After this, Luke turns and tells a short story about the seven sons of Sceva, who are beaten to within an inch of their lives by a man possessed by a demon – a cautionary tale about what happens when people who don’t believe in Jesus try to avail themselves of His power! How do you see people in the world try to use Jesus without believing in Him?

 

{tuesday 6.30.20}

Read Acts 19:21-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Not all of the Ephesians were happy to have the gospel being proclaimed in their city, especially when it threatened the economy. The Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, drawing in visitors to the temple who spent lots of money in Ephesus. The silversmiths stir up an angry mob against Paul, trying to make it sound like they are truly worried about protecting their religion (even though it’s likely they were chiefly concerned with losing their income). The mob manages to capture two of Paul’s friends and drag them into the local theater for a public confrontation, and when Paul tries to make an appearance, his other friends hold him back. The flame of the church seems close to being snuffed out because the good news sounds like bad news to people who don’t want to change. Was there ever a time when the good news of Christ sounded like bad news to you? What parts of you changed because of your belief in Him, and how was that process for you?

 

{wednesday 7.1.20}

Read Acts 19:32-20:3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I can’t imagine shouting anything for two straight hours, but the mob in Ephesus does just that, drowning out the defense that the Jews try to give. For a time, it seems the Jews and the Christians are united in fear and uncertainty as the majority of the city angrily proclaims their belief in Artemis. But the city clerk, a fellow Ephesian, is able to calm the crowd by appealing to reason over emotions. He can see that Paul’s friends, who have been dragged into the theater by the mob, have not done anything to actively harm the city’s religion, so he reminds everyone that their society has rules and structure for dealing with a grievance, then sends them home. And now Paul realizes it’s time to leave Ephesus, so he encourages the believers and heads off to Macedonia. He had done what he could to bring the gospel to a city that was largely unable to let go of their old beliefs; those who were ready to believe, came to know Jesus. How do you know when it’s time for you to move on from sharing the gospel with someone?

 

{thursday 7.2.20}

Read Acts 20:4-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Eutychus’s story makes me so grateful that during the times in which I’ve snoozed during church, I wasn’t sitting by an open window! I’m glad that Paul was there and able to be a conduit for the Holy Spirit to bring Eutychus back from the dead. I love how, after throwing his arms around Eutychus and assuring everyone present that “he’s alive,” Paul goes right back upstairs to eat and keep teaching; he doesn’t seem worried about the outcome. Sure enough, Eutychus is brought home alive! Are you able to pray about things that are important to you and leave them in God’s hands like Paul did with Eutychus? If not, what would that look like in your life this week? 

 

{friday 7.3.20}

Read Acts 20:17-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This is such a moving passage for me because of Paul heading toward great trials in Jerusalem as well as the heartbreak expressed by the Ephesian elders. First, it gives me chills to notice how closely Paul is in communication with God. He knows that the Holy Spirit is pushing him onward to Jerusalem, and that the Spirit is warning him about impending prison time and other challenges. Despite all this, there is no sign that Paul is hesitating and instead, he is totally along for the ride with God. Second, the outpouring of love and grief from the Ephesian elders is expressed here in such a raw way. They are saying goodbye to the man that God had sent to them so that they might be saved, and now they are realizing that they won’t ever see him again on this side of heaven. Still, I’m sure their love and support helped spur Paul on his way. Has the Holy Spirit ever made you aware of what He was doing in your walk with God? How can you make yourself available to hear His voice more clearly in the days ahead?

 

{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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