{November 21, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

GRATITUDE: Help Us To See

By Chris Woodward

Generosity sometimes is most easily understood when we have received it from others. My family’s adoption journey is marked with the provision of God through generosity of others on every level. To count every moment where God assured us on this journey towards parenthood would take weeks. We were matched to adopt our first child though an agency in Arizona and in May of 2017 my wife and I boarded the last two seats on a plane at KCI and would not return home to Kansas until a month later.  We had the car seat, the luggage and the hope in our heart that our years of longing to have a child would soon be over. 

We met generosity where the birth mother had picked us out of a stack of profiles and started to build a relationship with us. We met generosity when my wife’s aunt and uncle, who had a home in Arizona, gave us the code to the gate and the keys to the car and said, “Stay as long as you need.” We had met generosity when we were prepared in our hearts, finances, and minds to be parents through our own parent’s generosity. It is my hope that you have seen this level of generosity in your own life experience. It is life changing. 

In my mind, a generous nature comes out of knowing that God is a generous Father and trusting that he has plans for us. Sometimes all I need to do is open my mind and heart to others and look at how I have been blessed by the presence of people who are cheering me on to a deeper relationship with my heavenly Father. The truth that speaks to me in this teaching on gratitude is that the more I am thankful for my provision, the more I see it as a place where I can give to others, can provide time for them, open the door of our house to them, or give without thinking how much it will cost.

The next step for our family is to model this generous nature to our son and include him in picking out the backpack, the coat, the diapers, and the meal for another family. To press into the message and find out where we are putting our time, treasure, and efforts. And in that, asking, “Are we making space for God to be impacted by our generosity?” In the following days, join me and everyone at Heartland as we pray and invite God to open our eyes to his provision, and to where he is calling us forward in gratitude and generosity.

 

{sunday 11.21.21}

Read Luke 12:24-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As you read this passage, what leaps out at you? What causes you worry or concern in life? Where is it easier for you to lay down worry? How might you take the message in these words, and turn it into a prayer from you to Jesus?

 

{bible reading plan}

By Chris Woodward

{monday 11.22.21}

Read Daniel 6:10-28

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Daniel was faithful to prayer and communicating with God, no matter what. After the Kings decree becomes law we learn this about Daniel: “He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” Despite the decree of the king, the trap of the rivals, and the external pressure, Daniel was thankful and made a choice to honor his God with a prayer of thankfulness. Can you commit to this week making space for a prayer of thankfulness?

{tuesday 11.23.21}

Read Jonah 2:1-10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Imagine for a moment the emotion in Jonah’s prayer of deliverance from inside the great fish. Three days in a fish, Jonah is battered, bruised, and presumably baffled by the situation in general. Verse 7, “As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to youn in your holy Temple.” Seems like Jonah was willing and able to make a course correction tand turn toward God: “…and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.” Today will you make space for a prayer of deliverance? What course corrections are you pondering this week of thanksgiving?

{wednesday 11.24..21}

Read Habakkuk 3:17-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What time do I need to get up tomorrow to start preparing the meal? When do I need to leave to get there on time?  Does anyone have space at their table for me? These might be some of the thoughts, feelings and questions floating in our minds today. Remember Habakkuk the prophet’s statement, verse 18, “ . . . yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”  Allow yourself to stop, take a deep breath, open your mind and heart and rejoice/give thanks . . . find space for joy today.

{thursday 11.25.21}

Read Colossians 3:12-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Hopefully you are sitting and drinking coffee in the calm before the storm, before all the in-laws are awake or arrive. Take a moment and ask, "How do I represent Jesus to my family today? How do I let the peace of Jesus rule in my heart.”  When we let the peace of Jesus rule in our hearts we can find a way to be thankful for these moments with family or friends.

{friday 11.26.21}

Read Psalm 100:1-5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What kind of shouting goes on in your home, workplace, and social life? Capture, if you would, the last time that you shouted. Was it at the toddler as a way of protecting them, was it at the teen when they are home late? Was it about how to load the dishwasher? Does the shouting flow from a place of thankfulness? Are you shouting to and for and with the Jesus? If the answer is no, attempt today to identify two things that need to change in your heart to move toward a posture of joy and thanksgiving toward Jesus and others.

{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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