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{July 5, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


 

THE JOURNEY

 

REVOLUTIONARY: Holy Spirit

By Marnie Vasquez

Shibu’s simple recipe for a revolutionary. You must have an active belief that God the Father:

On its face, the recipe does seem simple . . . my translation:

  • Ya’ gotta believe
  • Ya’ gotta know that “He” loves you
  • Ya’ gotta understand someone named Jesus was sent to save you from this world and yourself
  • And now a Spirit is here around you to help you during your life

Sounds like so much to gain from a simple recipe. And seems easy to understand and share with others.

But, Shibu is right, it’s a revolutionary recipe. It changes everything, and the changes are incredible. This recipe puts you on an entirely different footing than what you’ve had before. The weaknesses and problems you’ve had begin to change, your strengths increase greatly, the status quo of your life gets shook up, the storyline of your life gets better. It is the only magic bullet that 100% works.

This “footing” is the biggest advantage you can give yourself in your life. And your family. And your friends. And your neighbors. And your co-workers.

What do you see when you look at your life, your community, your state, your country, your world today? Do you like what you see? Do you know how all these things will play out? Do you know when they will play out? Do you hope for something different? For something better?

When I look at these things today, I see God in action. My footing. I see and feel the Holy Spirit coming around people and orchestrating God’s movements. It’s quite incredible, amazing, mind-blowing. And when I stop and really look at these movements and stories happening, even though there clearly is a lot of negative happening, what I see is God’s deep, deep love for us. His deep desire to bring us towards a better and closer relationship to him. God is changing things right now, today, because spoiler alert, God wins in the end. He’s the good guy. He’s the solid footing. Your solid footing. My solid footing.

And He’s changing all things for good.

Change seems hard. Scary. I know we all face moments and periods in our life where change is absolutely needed. We just need to start. Today, tomorrow, each day this week, pray the prayer Shibu gave us, and see what unfolds for you:

God, you are Father and your love is deep and wide for all and for me today.

God, you sent your Son to be the atoning sacrifice of love for all and for me. It happened 2,000 years ago and it has changed history forever.

God, you sent Holy Spirit to live inside all of your people, to live within me.

In the name of Jesus, I ask for Holy Spirit to fill every space of my being today.

 

{sunday 7.5.20}

Read Isaiah 43:18-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It seems the ground is constantly shifting all around us these days. God’s invitation to us in times of chaos and upheaval is always to fix our eyes on him alone. To trust that he has got this, and he has got us. In these verses, God invites us to look for and see the new things he is doing. In the midst of chaos. In spite of chaos. Through the chaos. When you look around, where do you see God doing a new thing? Where might he be inviting you into that new thing? Now, consider the Holy Spirit prayer Shibu offered (and is noted) above. As you pray this prayer today, tomorrow, and all week, where is God doing a new thing in you? Where are you beginning to experience fresh streams in the wilderness? Praying with you as well, friends. May he pour his spirit out on this holy ground. We cannot wait to see what God will do.

 

{bible reading plan: acts of the apostles}

By Brooke Hodnefield

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 7.6.20}

Read Acts 20:32-21:4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It takes effort to slow down and be present for people. Whether it is your family, your friend, a colleague, or simply a passerby on your path, to be intentional in your presence can be a challenge. But ultimately, as with anything, the momentary sacrifice lends itself to greater return for the giver. Paul uses his presence to love on, and build up his buddies, the Ephesian Elders. You can sense the depth of his love by the words of blessing he spoke over them. Then he speaks Jesus’s own words, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Despite how motivated you feel to be present, or how ‘ready’ you are to be present, just simply by offering yourself in whatever shape you are in, can leave you built-up on the other side. Try this simple (yet often challenging) task today. Who can you intentionally be present for, to build them up? After the fact, what blessing did you receive in return? Gratitude goes a long way. 

 

{tuesday 7.7.20}

Read Acts 21:5-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: ‘When our time was up, we left. When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up, and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”’ A constant theme in my life is to want to wrestle with God. Not that I recognize that I’m doing it in the moment, but in essence, more often than not I am working with all my might towards my own plan, crafting and exerting (in my own strength) towards whatever is within my control. In a world (and a life!) in which we have very little control, you would think we’d throw up our hands, daily, and acknowledge ‘Thy will be done.’ When I feel that drift in my soul, a restlessness to clamor for what I think I can control, or what I can do in my own efforts, I’m reminded to open my hands and let go of the tight grasp, in an act of saying, ‘ok God, you’ve got this.’ We are likely doing this in many places in our lives, but in what area of your life are you grasping on to the point of white knuckles? Flip over your hands and release whatever that is to God.

 

{wednesday 7.8.20}

Read Acts 21:17-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul shows up in Jerusalem to a warm reception of friends, brothers, elders–all greeting him. If this were me showing up, I’d likely comment on the activity of my day, my travels in getting there, share hugs and inquire of those they love and we’d be off to a typical friend to friend conversation. Do I love Jesus? Yes. Do I share Jesus as the first thing out of my mouth. Hardly ever! As accounted in this passage, Paul shows up and then immediately downloads the latest God activity he’s been on the front row of encountering. What can be challenging about this is navigating the audience. However, for those who know you and your heart, what could be more appropriate than authentically sharing the ways that you are seeing God at work? An overflow of the work God is doing in you. Pick one way in which God is engaged today in your world. It might be small, but share that. You don’t know what encouragement you might bring to someone who needs it.

 

{thursday 7.9.20}

Read Acts 21:31-22:2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Re-read this passage, focusing on the character of the Roman Commander. Consider what he might be thinking and how all eyes are on him to decide the fate of a controversial guy, Paul. He is pulled into a situation in which he very quickly needs to understand the context, the truth. ‘Some shouted one thing and some another. Since he couldn’t find out the truth in all the uproar and confusion, he ordered that Paul be taken to the fortress.’ Fast forward to March 2020, to right now. The last few months have all had us in the role of the Roman Commander. We aren’t determining the fate of Paul, but individually we are navigating the way for our family, for our work, for our community, for ourselves. The truth is seemingly hard to understand, and the many conflicting voices are shouting loudly. What we do have as gospel truth, is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His voice is small, but he can be trusted. You can believe that He is our rock during this tumultuous time. Still yourself today, and invite His small voice to drown out the rest of the noise and bring peace.

 

{friday 7.10.20}

Read Acts 22:3-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Analysis paralysis. Have you been there? You know that your current  job is not what God has for you, or that this relationship is unhealthy, or that you need to make a big decision for someone else, regarding an aging parent or even for your own child. As Paul recounts his story in this passage of Acts, he has many instances when God tells him very clearly exactly what he is to do. We might not have ‘. . . a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down . . .’ as Paul did, but we know that when something is repeated, it’s emphasis is even greater, and the phrase ‘get up’ is seen twice here. Faith involves risk. It’s risky to make a decision, to take a step, in any direction. But we can trust that God is with us, we won’t go alone. Consider today what has held you captive, and ask God to show you that step, where you are to ‘get up’ in faith.

 

{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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