{September 27, 2020}

Heartland Community Church



NEW THING: Relationship Over Religion

By Allison Antrim

The Bible is all about relationships. From the first page to the last, we see what right relationship looks like between God and humanity, and among humans, as well as what happens when those relationships go wrong. In the book of Genesis, God creates man in His own image, instructing them to live together and grow in number. But when sin enters the perfect world God made, it breaks the relationship between God and the people He made, as well as their relationship with one another. Throughout the Old Testament, the chosen people of God wrestle with Him in a turbulent relationship that reads like a roller coaster ride, rising high in seasons of faithfulness and plunging down in years of faithlessness.

In all of that relational mess, Jesus arrives. God in human form, living among people, shows us what the Lord of heaven and earth is like. Jesus’s passion is people, and his purpose is to restore the relationship between God and humanity so that their relationships with each other can also be mended. He submits Himself to an unjust trial, cruel punishment, and a violent death, all to rescue humanity from the consequences of their broken relationship with God. After Jesus’s death and resurrection, that brokenness is mended. And as people begin to believe and spread the good news, they become the early church. As Jarrett pointed out today, this beautiful description of those first believers in Acts 2:42-47 is instructive to us, as we return to our focus as the church among the unchurched:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship​, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

In a time in which social life has been dramatically altered, now is the perfect time to recommit ourselves to developing relationships. Jesus inspired the early church and we can follow their example in our own time, with our own lives. This week, ask Him to show you what pursuing right relationships will look like for you. 

{sunday 9.27.20}

Read Acts 2:42-47

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Who are you in relationship with that consistently sharpens you, encourages you, and shares with you? Who in the past has been part of your faith journey? What does your current community look like? How are you engaging with the people who follow Jesus outside of church? As you ponder these questions and the call to community in Acts 2:42-47, what might God be inviting you to increase your community experience? Who might he be calling you to include? Praying with you this week, that we can all find and take expanded steps into community together!


{bible reading plan: psalms}

By Meghan Hemenway

The Journey online videos have been discontinued at this time. Check out this great video overview of Psalms from our friends at The Bible Reading Project!


{monday 9.28.20}

Read Psalm 48

Read, Ponder, Pray: In this Psalm we see the special city of Zion that God defends and protects. The fortress and its strength are a physical image of God’s strength and steadfast love for his people. No matter the attacker, the walls stand firm just as God’s steadfast love endures forever and cannot be shaken. What comfort does it bring you to think of God protecting and guiding you in this way? Who or what is attacking your safety and have you trusted God with that worry or fear?


{tuesday 9.29.20}

Read Psalm 49

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Psalm 49 can probably speak to a lot of people right now. Why is there so much hardship in this life? Why does it seem like following God and doing what we believe he asks us to do, doesn’t mean life will be without loss and pain? This Psalm reminds God’s people to continue to trust; to continue to be faithful. What challenges do you face right now that make it difficult for you to remain faithful? How can you remind yourself of God’s goodness and love for you even in times of difficulty?


{wednesday 9.30.20}

Read Psalm 50

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Last Sunday we heard about the central role of relationships in spreading God’s message. Jesus came to Earth and showed people that he valued relationships over religion. In Psalm 50 God has this message: There is no way to buy or earn God’s grace with sacrifices or offerings. The only sacrifice he is interested in is one of thanksgiving. God wants relationship with us. He wants us to praise him and talk to him. He wants us to realize how much he loves us by focusing on the good things he has brought to us. Do you find yourself more often crying out to God in suffering or praising him with thanksgiving? We know God wants to hear everything from us, but why do you think he wants you to remember to be thankful?


{thursday 10.1.20}

Read Psalm 51

Observe, Reflect, Apply: David wrote this Psalm after owning up to his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband killed. We all commit sins and need to confess them to God. What David does with this psalm is not only give all of us the humble words of confession, but also the bold words of faithfulness in knowing that God is always good and steadfast and will forgive all our sins. David trusted that even at his worst, God would forgive him and give him a clean heart. When you need to confess who do you go to? To God? A friend? Try to fix it on your own? What parts of this psalm stand out to you and why do you think that is?


{friday 10.2.20}

Read Psalm 52

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In Psalm 52, David is fleeing from Saul. He is pursued by evil and people who wish harm for him. David knows he has a strong defender even when his life is threatened. He says he is like a “green olive tree in the house of God.” What a peaceful image to contrast with the violence and anguish of the first half of the psalm. David then says three things to finish: He will trust, he will thank, and he will wait. I am tempted to fear, despair, and run when hardship comes at me. But God asks us to trust him, focus on thankfulness, and to wait on him. How might your circumstances start to look differently if you fight instead with trust, thankfulness, and patience?


{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.


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© 2020 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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