{August 29, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

Ancient Paths: Generosity

By Chris Woodward

I think back to sitting around my grandparent’s table as a young teenager, eating soup and sandwiches. Even in this moment, I can hear and see him clasp his left hand around his wrist and tap his right hand on the table and say, “here is the story.” This was his way of saying “pay attention, listen this will change you, this is important.” The three taps were a common event in his home, he enjoyed sharing his experience, thoughts on life, and joy of how things have worked out. Dr. Wilcox, as he was known to those in our town, was worth listening to. He was educated, generous, a follower of Jesus, and was superintendent of schools where I grew up. He had a good name in the community. He gave his time, his voice, and his money to causes that mattered. This night he was telling me a story of generosity, a story that he thought was important. A story that he experienced. 

On this occasion, I was the cause that mattered. He was talking about how, when he was young man growing up in a town of 80 or so people, a man gave him a break and allowed him to buy a car. This was a car that he had no way of affording through traditional means. The man allowed my grandfather to pay him back as he went. Eventually my grandfather found out that the man was not taking the payments out of his account. The person that made the loan to my grandfather was providing a generous gift to he and his young wife.

In my teenage mind I thought, man this is a big deal…I want a car, I’ve got to find this guy, so I better listen up! As the story goes, my grandfather had been given a great gift in this car, and in the relationship with the man. God provided in a way that was unseen and unexpected. The greatest lesson in this story is that my grandfather continued the generosity of the man by providing my first car to me for one dollar. He had also given my cousin a car for nearly the same price, paying it forward again. For my grandfather the gift of a car with no payments allowed him to attend school, take care of his family, build a career in teaching, and help others. 

The lesson for me is that he was faithful with his money, paid the man every month, expecting nothing, and when he was blessed with the gift, he passed that generosity on to others. He knew where the blessing came from and how to use it to lighten the burden of those around him. My grandfather’s generosity in sharing his time, his life, and his story with all of us is a way of keeping his family on the path of following God, and understanding that giving with a cheerful heart shows how much God has done for you and how much He cares for the person being blessed. This week ask, “What can I give my time, my talents, my resources to in order to show God’s provision for others?”

 

{sunday 8.29.21}

Read Matthew 6:25-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It can be so hard to set aside worry over financial things, or provision of needs. How can you practice a growing confidence in God’s provision for you this week? What is one particular worry that you could take to God in prayer, asking him to carry it for you? Finally, how can you practice noticing God’s generosity in your days? I loved the idea of taking stock at the end of each day and making a list of the ways God interesected my life.

 

{bible reading plan}

By Chris Woodward

{monday 8.30.21}

Read Philippians 3:12-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As we walk down the path of generosity this week, our reading is in Philippians 3. Paul is talking through the goals of reaching out to God to follow in a more full and complete manner. He is telling his story. Not yet fully mature but pushing forward to obtain maturity. We grow in generosity as we mature in our relationship with Jesus. Take a moment to think about a goal of generosity for this week. What new goal could you pursue for your time, your talent, or your treasure?

{tuesday 8.31.21}

Read Philippians 3:15-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.” Philippians 3:15. Take time today to consider this passage and it’s connection to living a generous life. Pray for God to reveal ways in which you could live more generously toward Him and the people he has surrounded you with. In what ways do your thoughts help or hinder you from living generously toward God and others?  Allow the answers or ideas that come to change you or adjust to your attitude and your day.

{wednesday 9.1.21}

Read Philippians 3:17-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.” Philippians 3:19. What an unnerving way for Paul to end today’s reading. Paul uses this statement as a comparative statement. As you go about your day, consider what you are putting your banking your reputation on.  Where can you separate needs and feelings from living a generous life in relationship with God?

{thursday 9.2.21}

Read Philippians 3:20-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As the week starts to wind down (or wind up, depending on your life stage), think about how you are being generous now so that others can gain enough space and time to follow Jesus. We, as a family, have prayed every night for the child who received the backpack that we provided through the backpack drive here at Heartland. Practice today praying for where your generous time, deeds, and efforts are impacting others and potentially drawing them closer to Jesus.

{friday 9.3.21}

Read Philippians 4:1

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul writes “you are my joy and my crown.” The church that he started and the people who were impacted by that movement of God are the joy that he feels when he writes the letter to his church.  Practice that today. Write a note or a text sharing the joy you feel toward a person that has encouraged you in following Jesus.

{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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