{February 7, 2021}

Heartland Community Church



INTERIOR DESIGN: What Does Love Require Of Me?

By Todd Blackwell

On our mantle sits a painted sign we received as a gift shortly after Meagan and I were married. It has only three words.

God. Family. Royals.

Perhaps today it should say “God, family, CHIEFS!”, but that is beside the point. The message of this sign is clear to our family: God first, family next, everything else after that. Why? Because God gave us the greatest example of love, compatibility, and commitment when He sent his son Jesus who willingly gave himself up for us. Just listen to Jesus’ love for us in Ephesians 5:25-28:

“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife, loves himself.”

Whoa guys, we as husbands, former husbands or future husbands have a huge challenge to try to love our wives just like Christ loved the church! How can we do that with all our imperfections? I will be the first to tell you I am not a perfect husband. God knows this. He knows our character defects and we are not alone in this journey. That is why the author of Ecclesiastes 4:12 wrote:

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

The cord of three strands symbolizes the joining of one person to another by God into a marriage relationship. A marriage takes three: you, your spouse, and God. It was God who taught us to love. By keeping Him at the center of your marriage, His love will continue to bind you together as one throughout marriage. 

Love required Jesus to give himself up so that we could be radiant, without stains or wrinkles or any other blemishes – praise God for this! What does love require you to do? How will you show up at the altar to love your spouse, love others, and love God? Choose this week to show up, just as you are, knowing that you are loved, and that you are called to love, too. 


{sunday 2.7.21}

Read Ephesians 5:25-32

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Read these verses in light of your marriage relationship, or your dating or future marriage relationship. The incredible question we can pose daily in the closest relationships we have is, "What does love require of me?" In light of what is taught in this passage, what does love require of me? Ask God for a concrete way that you can invest in a relationship this week.


{prayer for the week}

Join us this week in a shared community-wide prayer.

God, I am choosing to show up at the altar today to meet with you. You have loved me from the beginning. I see it now. I’m not perfect. I know all those imperfections too well. But, you sent Jesus, your son, who willingly gave himself up for me. He did, so that I would be a radiant, without stain or wrinkle or blemish, person. So that I could be holy and blameless. I am choosing to show up at the altar today with you, just as I am, knowing you love me. I love you, too. Thank you for giving your life for mine. Help me see this week with your clear eyes, what love requires of me in my relationships. Help me love the way you do. Amen.


{bible reading plan: psalms}

By Lisa Zulke

{monday 2.8.21}

Read Psalm 116

Read, Ponder, Pray: I love the image of God, leaning in close, so he can hear my voice. Sometimes I approach with a whisper, wondering if he is there, if he has the time to take notice of me. Sometimes, I come stomping my feet and frustrated and loud…and he still leans in close. He wants to hear our pain, and he longs to hear our thanks, to know that we notice his care and his provision. Take some time today to speak to him, and imagine him leaning near to hear you better.

{tuesday 2.9.21}

Read Psalm 117

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This very short Psalm is beautiful in it’s simplicity…a call to all people to praise and thank God for his overwhelming love for us. A love that endures. Forever. At the same time, it convicts me in it’s simplicity. I can get so distracted with the hardship in my days…that I forget the power in simplicity. The power in recognizing that even in the hard, God is there. Even when I am messy, God loves me. Forever.

{wednesday 2.10.21}

Read Psalm 118

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As we hit the middle of our week, take a moment to read through this Psalm. Perhaps read it in a couple different versions. As you do, take note of what God draws your mind to? What phrase or line captures your attention? Take a pic of that verse, or jot it down. Take it with you into your day, perhaps committing it to memory or repeating it as a mantra. Invite God to help you take note of what he wants you to learn in that phrase. At the end of your day, take a moment to reflect on what you experienced through this intentional focus on a phrase in the verse.

{thursday 2.11.21}

Read Psalm 119:1-32

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today we begin Psalm 119. It is written in sections like an acrostic, following the Hebrew alphabet. Before you explore today’s verses, ask God to reveal one phrase or truth that he wants your attention on today. For me, the phrase that leapt off the page is in V15: "I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways." God turned this into a "flip the script" challenge that asks me not to look at all that is wrong with my world, but rather to flip it and focus on the ways of God in a positive light. That in turn has helped me dig out of frustration and disappointment and focus instead on the hope that exists if I follow God’s ways…because I am the one I can change. What does God reveal to you in these verses?

{friday 2.12.21}

Read Psalm 119:33-56

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today the verses have led me to consider the absolute hope we have to walk in freedom…fully forgiven and ultimately restored to a connection with Jesus through trusting his promises. What promise of Jesus encourages you most these days?

{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 the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

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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© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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