{November 14, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

MONUMENTAL: Let’s Hear It For The Dream Makers

By Allison Antrim

I love the idea of volunteers and volunteering – when it’s other people who are doing it! I don’t always love being a volunteer myself. After all, volunteering often involves the act of sacrificing my time or energy on behalf of someone or something other than myself. If I’m honest, that doesn’t always sound appealing. 

But the book of Nehemiah is an important reminder that volunteering in pursuit of God-given dreams makes every sacrifice 100% worth it in the end. Nehemiah’s story shows us what it looks like when God plants a dream in someone’s heart, then brings others alongside to make it a reality. Like Dan pointed out today, volunteers are dream makers. They do give great sacrifices, yes, but they receive great joy, and in the end they leave behind an impact.

The whole Bible from start to finish tells of a God who stepped into the human experience, volunteering to be sacrificed on the cross in order to realize His dream of reconciling lost sinners back to Himself. In thinking of this, I was reminded of Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

With Jesus as my model, as well as countless Christians and God-fearers like the volunteers in Nehemiah, volunteering doesn’t seem so daunting. I look forward to joining hands and hearts with you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, as we turn the pages of Heartland’s next chapter and bring God’s dream for our church to reality.  

 

{sunday 11.14.21}

Read Hebrews 12:1-2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Read Hebrews 12:1-2, perhaps in a couple different Bible translations. Who would you list as your volunteer, sacrificial giving hall of fame? What might you need to throw off that prevents you from freely giving your time or talent or wisdom?If you are in a season of persevering, who is in your life to encourage you, pray for you, check in on you?

 

{bible reading plan}

By Allison Antrim

{monday 11.15.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 25:1-28

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This chapter covers the life and times of Amaziah king of Judah, which can be summed up by verse 2: “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.” The author gives 2 examples of Amaziah’s righteous behavior: first, Amaziah spared the children of those who had murdered his father (see Deuteronomy 24:16), and second, he listened to the man of God who told him to release the fighting men from Israel. But after this the author gives 1 example of Amaziah’s unrighteous behavior – and it’s pretty bad. After winning his battle against the Edomites, Amaziah comes home with their gods, which he worships. Even when God sends another prophet to warn him to give up this foolishness and turn back to the Lord, Amaziah doesn’t listen, and experiences grave consequences as a result. Have you ever been half hearted in doing what is right? This week, how can you seek God’s help in being 100% committed to living your life well?

{tuesday 11.16.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 28:1-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Unlike Amaziah, who was featured in yesterday’s reading, Ahaz didn’t even partially do right – he worshipped other gods and did horrific things in their name. Because of this, God allows Aram and Israel to decimate Judah in battle. Interestingly, when the Israelite army was a little too eager to deal out excessive judgment on Judah, God sends a prophet to confront the soldiers for their harsh treatment of their kinsmen. The soldiers listen to him and release the prisoners, taking the time to feed them, clothe them, and treat their wounds. The Israelites even give up the plunder they had taken. Think of a time in your life when you were justified in dealing harshly with someone for the wrong they had done – or when someone was justified in dealing harshly with you. In that situation, was justice served, or was the punishment excessive? The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, what would it look like for you to obey the Lord? 

{wednesday 11.17..21}

Read 2 Chronicles 35:20-26

Observe, Reflect, Apply:

Do you see a theme emerging amongst this week’s passages so far? People, both kings and commoners, are called to obedience, and their decision to listen or not determines the events that follow. In this passage, the good and righteous King Josiah decides to pick a fight with Egypt. The Egyptian king Neco (or Necho, depending on the translation) appears to know the Lord, or at least to listen to what He has commanded him to do; he is an interesting contrast with Josiah, who the author of Chronicles describes as a faithful follower of God up until this point in his life. Neco straight up tells Josiah not to mess with him because God is with him, and God will “destroy” Josiah if he ignores Neco’s warning. Tragically, Josiah resists and goes to fight anyway, only to be mortally wounded and die. Have you ever heard a non-Christian, or someone you didn’t know was a believer, speak truth that lines up with God and His word? This week, what would it look like for you to determine when God is speaking through a person in your life?     

{thursday 11.18.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 36:11-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Today’s passage looks briefly at King Zedekiah, who not only didn’t listen to God’s prophet Jeremiah, but also defied King Nebuchadnezzer. His example seems to be passed down to the leaders of the people and the priests, who fail to follow the Lord and start acting like the unbelieving nations around them. The passage ends with some chilling words: “The LORD, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy” (v. 15-16). Can you think of a modern-day example in which a leader acted unrighteously, causing a trickle-down effect of wrongdoing among others? What happened as a result?

{friday 11.19.21}

Read 2 Chronicles 36:17-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The last passage for this week ends with the stage set for Nehemiah and his dream. After years and years of patience, God finally brings His forewarned consequences down upon Judah. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army decimate the region and the city of Jerusalem, killing indiscriminately and forcing into exile some who survive. The author points out that 70 years pass until Cyrus, the king of Persia, is moved by God to allow Nehemiah to go rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. During that 70 years, the author says the land “enjoyed its sabbath rests” (v. 21). When Nehemiah and his kinsmen return to Judah, they’re coming to live in a land that is refreshed and ready for a new start. Think of a time in which you faced negative consequences for doing something wrong. When you look back on that situation, can you see any good things that happened alongside the consequences?

{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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