{September 12, 2021}

Heartland Community Church


Ancient Paths: Serving

By Brooke Hodnefield

There are some needs only you can see. There are some hands only you can hold. There are some people only you can reach.  —Tim Keller

There was a time I was absolutely paralyzed by the overwhelming needs of our world. It hurts to hurt, and to know of such pain and suffering, devastation and displacement, homelessness and destitution, injustice and inequity, etc, and be unsure how to be a true contributor. How do you engage in serving a world with the many obvious and not so obvious needs that exist all around us…in both close proximity to places far away? I struggled to do this, as the sheer amount of need weighed down my soul in the heaviest way. I moved from paralysis to a decision that I would engage in everything as I could, because I felt that I should. I felt it was my personal responsibility to respond to each and every need that came across my path or in my purview. What I realized, however, is that I felt quite compelled towards certain people, places, or situations, but not towards all. Sometimes we serve because there is a need and we are available. Sometimes we serve because God has hard-wired each of us with specific things within us that ache to be resolved, to be tended to, that may cause a visceral rise of emotion. God is gently guiding our hearts towards something he has equipped each one of us to engage with.

Compassion International is an organization I had the pleasure of serving through, even meeting in person the child we sponsored on a mission trip to Tanzania. They are a faith-based nonprofit working around the world, with a mission of “releasing children of poverty in Jesus’s name.’ Their website speaks to the meaning and heart in the organization’s name:

Compassion alludes to kindness and sympathy, but there is something deeper, something even more profoundly powerful, in its meaning. The origin of the word helps us grasp the true breadth and significance of compassion. In Latin, ‘compati’ means “suffer with.” Compassion means someone else’s heartbreak becomes your heartbreak. Another’s suffering becomes your suffering. True compassion changes the way we live.

I believe this definition of and experience it references hold true in all acts of service. The most incredible realization is that we don’t have to manifest compassion. Our job is to determine what compassion already exists within us and run after that. God has already created a deep heartbreak within you for another’s heartbreak. It is in our design to find that source of our compassion and then act on it.

First things first, you don’t need to focus on all the ways you are not serving, or how little you are doing. That serves no one! But each one of us IS needed, as we are essential workers, called to uniquely serve in the ways with which God has wired us. You might start by walking through the three steps that Dan suggested to us today:

CONSIDER – as you look at our world, what people, place, or cause draws you in? What resources do you have?

ASK – what has God already put within you, and how might you use that to serve another?

PRAY – for God to give you courage and clarity to follow His lead.


{sunday 9.12.21}

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I don’t know about you, but the take away that we are all “essential workers” as we find our way toward serving God was encouraging! If I am essential, I’d better get on with discovering where God wants me to help others, to give back and to make an impact – where I live, work, study or play. How about you? As you engage this passage from the Bible, and follow the consider, ask and pray prompts above, what is God saying to you? What is one thing you will commit to doing about what God is saying?


{bible reading plan}

By Lisa Zulke

{monday 9.13.21}

Read Philippians 4:18-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: “At the moment, I have all I need and more!” Oh, that this would be my posture, am I right? How often to you and I look around us, and notice all that we lack? This past year has led me to continuously ask a question, “What does this make possible?” It has been such a helpful question, and I think it applies here, beyond the ways it sustained in 2020-2021. You see, if we look around, feel our feelings, and take note of all that we have, take note of what we lack, and then pull up, “What does this make possible?” it changes our focus on the inventory we have taken.

{tuesday 9.14.21}

Read Philippians 4:21-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Notes. Texts. Phone calls. Emails. Driveway chats. These places of greeting were extra important to me this year. Both receiving them and offering them to others. I’m honestly not much of a crier…but 2020-2021 undid that. I was on your mind enough to drop a note? Tears. I have missed seeing you, friend. More tears. Who have you not seen in a while that might be encouraged by a greeting from you? Take a minute, make a call or send a text or a note. We are in this life together, and doing life with the encouragement of friends and acquaintances is oh so sweet.

{wednesday 9.15.21}

Read 1 Corinthians 12:18-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: These verses make me long for the unity they speak of, and call us to, as followers of Jesus. God placed us where he intended us to be. We are part of one body. We cannot say, “I don’t need that part, or this part.” Whew…that means we must find a way to build bridges, remove barriers, wrestle through differences, and find our common ground. In a season where so much pulls us apart and seeks to divide us, I am encouraged in a fresh way that Jesus believes we can do it. What are you encouraged or challenged by in this passage?

{thursday 9.16.21}

Read 1 Corinthians 12:22-27

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How might we honor and care for all parts of the body God has called us to, placed us in? What has he given me, what has he given you, that can make a difference for all of us? How can we make sure we see, acknowledge, lift up and encourage anyone struggling in our midst?

{friday 9.17.21}

Read Matthew 25:34-41

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As we read these verses today, let’s invite God to look through our eyes and help us see every person that crosses our paths as a reflection of him. Let’s ask him to turn up our compassion and see when our resources (time, relationship, service or giving) are just the thing to meet another’s need, to bring joy, care or encouragement.

{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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