{October 31, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

MONUMENTAL: The Power of No

By Chris Woodward

After praying for many years, it happened. The thing that we all were praying against, the thing that all of us had dreaded and had feared. The thing that we all knew was going to happen, unless there was a supernatural intervention. Unless God stepped in and pulled the cancer out and healed every cell in his body. That is exactly what we asked for: the YES that he will go on living and life will be different, but the same. The answer was NO. His body came to an end that day, and as the pain and the suffering welled up in all of us there was an opportunity to change. To move away. To push our relationship with God to the side. To say, “Well, he did not answer our prayer. He must not be there.”

We lost the spiritual and emotional leader of our family. The person who literally led me to a relationship with Jesus. Not many would blame us for struggling with God. It had been eight years since the diagnosis, five major surgeries, and several stints of chemo. The faith that we held was challenged in this moment of loss…and the question was to walk away from God. The answer we chose was NO. We will stay, we will find healing, we will endure, we will find a way to be a family, we will grow together and remember. That NO was one of the hardest boundaries to forge for me and my family as we walked out the passing of our father. Our NO is protective of our time and proximity to each other as family.  There have been job offers for more money, more influence. However, that would be working past 5 PM and giving up the time that allows for access to each other’s thoughts, feelings, and fears. Our NO makes space for our relationships to grow. 

In our faith journey there are times when God brings us so close to him that we can almost feel his breath; there are times when sorrow and despair make his voice small and distant. One passage that I have always held close in these moments challenges my faith and is full of NO. This moment in the garden is an exchange between father and son. 

Matthew 26:39 “Going a little bit further, He fell face down and prayed; “My, father! if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as a I will, but as you will.” 

That night Jesus heard a NO and he stayed true to the plan, to the process, and was able to create a way to the father. Jesus also used a NO in not choosing his own way. He stood for us and he allowed his body to be a sacrifice, a way to draw us all closer to a relationship with God. In some ways, death can create the space to gain access to our heavenly father. Take a moment each day as we journey together and find the NO’s that you need to establish. Ask God each day to work in your NO’s, and help you understand the NO’s that might be coming your way.

 

{sunday 10.31.21}

Read Matthew 26:39

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We pray in faith, believing that God can do amazing and miraculous things. But we also pray to listen. God wants to hear from us, wants us to unload our hearts on him, but he also wants us to tune in, quiet down, and listen for him. When we are able to listen like that, we just may hear and understand and learn more than anything we could imagine. How do you pray in faith, find a strong no (and a strong yes) while simultaneously being open to whatever God resolves in our prayers?

 

{bible reading plan}

By Chris Woodward

{monday 11.1.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 11:1-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: No, not ready for a fight. As we pick up in Chronicles 11 the kingdom is in a time of transition. King Solomon has passed and Rehoboam has now become king and is ready for a fight.  Then the word of the Lord came. “You are not to march up and fight against your brothers, each of you must return home.”  Write down a time when you were called home to build up your defenses, to put shields in place to fill in the gaps in the wall, instead of going to battle on social media, or in the board room. How was your heart affected by returning home?

{tuesday 11.2.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 15:1-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Saying no to the idols in your life.  “The Lord is with you when you are with him.” What a great statement. In our reading today it is such a positive note that when this word of God came to Asa, he started to remove Idols from the land of Judah and restored the temple. As a nation, they made an oath and entered a covenant with God, the nation, and each other.  As you walk through today, practice making space for the Jesus to work in the mist of your family, community and person. Consider where you might have turned something into an idol (given it control in your life). How might you take steps today to remove that idol?

{wednesday 11.3.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 16:1-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Not following, now they are fighting. The writer of the book noted at the end of chapter 15 that there was no war in Asa’s reign for thirty-five years. We can presume from the text that this time of rest and peace was due to the covenant and oath to follow the Lord.  Then, Asa sends the gold and silver to another king to fight a battle for Judah. As a result the God allows, in the words of Hanani, “wars from now on.” This appears to be a literal, historical example of how God’s people can wax and wain in involvement with the Lord. In the present day we have great days where the treasure is placed at his feet, and then we have days when we send the treasure of our time, heart, and efforts to far off places to gain ground on those who are against us. Look today and see where you have placed the treasure of your life.

{thursday 11.4.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: No, I don’t want a fight. As the week has gone on, some of us are in the temple asking God to intervene. It feels as though the walls are closing in, deadlines are coming due. The holiday season is just around the corner. The in-laws will be here before you know it. The pressure of the perfect meal, presents, and posts can be daunting. The dread of the coming fight is something that all of us know too well. Take a moment today to read the prayer of Jehoshaphat, attempt today to make it your prayer, "O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

{friday 11.5.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 20:14-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: No you don’t have to fight. "Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s."  As the energy runs low, and the week ends, try to remember that God is in control and has your best interest at heart. He has a plan for your victory just like an outnumbered Judah. Pray today about how he can spare you from the fight and allow for rest and peace in your home, work, and community.

{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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