{June 20, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

Ready For More Forgiveness

By Chris Woodward

As we walk through life it is easy to take account of every offense and slight that we have received, past and present. The sting of words spoken out of anger, mistrust, and hurt can shape our minds and the culture of our family. The guilt of such words and phrases can weigh on our thoughts and actions. 

Our actions can cause us guilt and shame and push us to cheating on a test, taking a short cut, or that not so innocent jab at a coworker’s shortcomings. Watching and seeing these events in our own families can make for some tense and awkward moments. We see in Luke just such an exchange. Everyone in the situation is looking for forgiveness . . . and Jesus forgives without a second thought.

How many times do we feel like the woman in Luke 7: 37, the one “who had lived a sinful life?” We feel that we stick out, that we don’t belong. We feel that we have gone down the road of sin too far, for too long, and there is no way to find another path. 

We are in the middle of the room with the religious elite and all we know is to wash the feet of Jesus with tears and perfume. One lesson that we can see is that forgiveness, of ourselves and others, is linked to the amount of gratefulness in our hearts. 

Ask yourself, "Am I ready for more forgiveness for the things that have kept me from a deeper relationship with Jesus?" This is mirrored in the stories of Jesus, Luke 7: 41-50. Jesus our teacher gives us a look at two persons who are in debt and owe what we presume is a wealthy landowner.  V 42 “neither of them had the money to pay him back so he forgave the debts of both.”  Jesus, as he always does, pushes into the intention of the heart. He asks Simon in V 43, “Which one will love him more?” See the amount of debt was not equal however, the forgiveness was. Both debts were canceled, and they could move on with their daily lives.

Summing up, Jesus states in vs 47, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 

The context here is that the three persons in this exchange with Jesus had various levels of forgiveness needed to be brought back into right relationship with Christ. In what areas of your life do you need to sit at the feet of Jesus this week to establish right relationship? 

 

{sunday 6.20.21}

Read John 8:10-11, Psalm 139:23-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Have you ever been surprised by forgiveness from someone? Know that in all things, Jesus fully forgives you, just as he shows in John 8. To receive his forgiveness, and feel confident enough to forgive others, it is an important practice to invite God to help reveal the things in you that need to be tweaked or improved. This week, consider where you might offer forgiveness to someone. Where might you need to invite forgiveness?

 

{prayer for the week}

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

Jesus, thank you for showing us how to freely give forgiveness and right relationship to others. Where I feel shame or guilt, reveal to me its source, and help me take bold steps to seek and practice forgiveness. Amen.

 

{bible reading plan}

By Allison Antrim

{monday 6.21.21}

Read Genesis 33:1-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: After all of his preparations, Jacob finally encounters Esau, and what happens next is both unexpected and incredibly moving: “But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept” (v. 4). All Jacob receives from his older brother is forgiveness and love that he knows is undeserved. No wonder Jacob says the following to Esau: “For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably” (v. 10). Have you ever received extensive forgiveness from someone? How does human forgiveness echo God’s forgiveness?

{tuesday 6.22.21}

Read Genesis 34:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This is a hard passage to read and study. Not only does Jacob have to deal with the terrible fate that has befallen his daughter, but now he has a people who don’t follow God wanting to intermingle with him and his family through the marriage of his daughter to her rapist. Throughout the Bible there are many stories similar to this in which the innocent are abused and the consequences of sin lay heavy on everyone involved. Put yourself in Jacob’s shoes. How would you have responded to Shechem and Hamor?

{wednesday 6.23.21}

Read Genesis 34:13-41

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The rest of this chapter shows what happens when people take judgment for sin into their own hands. Although reading about things like this can be unpleasant, I think it’s good that God inspired the Biblical authors to not sugarcoat the ugly realities of sin. It demonstrates what a great need the world has always had for a Savior to come and make things truly right. What evidence of sin do you see in the world that bothers you the most? How can you trust in God to make all things right in His time?

{thursday 6.24.21}

Read Genesis 35:1-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: After the horrifying events of chapter 34, God speaks to Jacob and tells him to build an altar to God at a place called Bethel. Before they go, all of Jacob’s people give up any remaining signs of ties to other gods. They travel without being bothered by anyone in the area, for “the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them” (v. 5). In his meeting with God at the altar, Jacob receives a new name: Israel, which alludes to the wrestling match Jacob had with God back in chapter 32. Again we read of the promise that God will bring many nations out of Jacob’s line, some of which will be royalty, and the land they are standing on will be given to Jacob and his descendants. As we’ve seen before in Genesis, God frequently reminds Jacob of His promises. What promises of God do you find yourself needing to remember over and over again?

{friday 6.25.21}

Read Genesis 35:16-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As Jacob (now called Israel) and his family draw ever close to returning home, two troubling experiences occur involving his sons. First, Rachel dies while giving birth to Israel’s youngest son. Then, Israel’s oldest son hooks up with Bilhah, one of Israel’s concubines, and Israel finds out about it (though we don’t see the consequences of this at this point in the story). The author pauses here to give a complete list of the 12 sons of Jacob, the young men whose names will remain in history as the 12 tribes of Israel. Both the oldest and the youngest sons’ names are in this list. Finally, we learn that Israel made it home in time to bury his father, and that his brother Esau was there with him. When you look back over Israel’s journey thus far, what examples of God’s faithfulness stand out most to you?

{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.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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