{January 30, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


Faith: Full Circle

By Allison Antrim

“Doubt isn’t the enemy of faith.” I have been a Christian for 28 years and I’ll be honest in saying that I’ve often thought doubt IS the enemy of faith. I’ve thought that I can’t allow any questions to creep in, otherwise, they’ll become cracks that will break apart what I believe. There have been times where I’ve found myself wondering how to answer others’ questions about my faith, or challenge their assertions that it’s no different from other religions or belief systems.

“Faith takes a step, tests the word, trusts the word, and forms a family.” While I like to read and think, reason has never been a strength of mine. I feel stronger than I think, and stories, both on the page and the screen, have been the main way I interpret and understand the world. That’s how Jesus made Himself known to me; I was a 7-year-old watching a cartoon retelling of the Easter story. As I sat on our living room carpet in front of the TV, my heart was suddenly overcome by sorrow at the injustice of Jesus’s torture and death. Somehow I knew deep inside me that what was happening to him was incredibly wrong, and that he endured all of it in my place. I remember getting goosebumps, a strong physical reaction to the spiritual change happening within me, and breaking into quiet tears. My father was sitting nearby in his easy chair and noticed me crying. He gathered me into his arms and led me into prayer, where I told the Lord that I believed in him, that I would call Jesus my Savior, and follow him and obey him in my life.

The story of Jesus wasn’t new to me; my parents were Christians, our whole family went to church regularly, so I knew the facts very well. What made a difference was that what I knew of God had now been reinforced by an encounter with him. On top of that, I found I had a deeper connection to my parents than a biological one – now we were all part of God’s family in addition to our own.  

When doubt has popped up in my mind, I remember my saving encounter with Jesus. I remember all the times in my life where he has shown up since. And I find that my doubt leads me to new places where I can know and trust him more. What doubt about God are you wrestling with now? How can you ask him to show up in that doubt?


{sunday 1.30.22}

Read Acts 9:1-19

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Make a list of the ways you see God showing up for Saul/Paul in this passage. Looking back, can you find a place where you were struggling with doubt and faith? As you think about that time, make a list of places where God showed up for you. Sometimes our encounters with God are small, and can only be noticed when looking back. Sometimes they are big and life changing…but we often move so fast in life that we may not pause to see where God was in the midst of a hard season. Pray, thanking God for what you notice. And, if you don’t see an encounter with God in your story, where do you need to encounter him now? Who is someone you can talk with about faith and doubt and where you are at. Consider reaching out to them this week.


{bible reading plan}

By Allison Antrim

{monday 1.31.22}

Read Ephesians 5:21-33

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This week begins with looking at right relationships, and we start with a doozy – a controversial passage that, on the surface, may seem unfair. It seems as if Paul is saying that only the wives need to submit to their husbands while husbands get to just to love their wives. However, notice that the very first verse says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (v. 21 NIV). Both the husband and the wife in a Christian marriage are submitting to each other; it just looks different for each role. While there are strong opinions among Christians regarding how exactly this should play out, such as whether it should be in an egalitarian or a complementarian format, what matters is that spouses submit to Jesus first. If you’re married, how can you submit to Jesus this week in your marriage? If you’re not married, how can you submit to Jesus this week in your own heart?

{tuesday 2.1.22}

Read Ephesians 6:1-4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul continues looking at right relationships by moving from husbands and wives to children and parents. I love how he emphasizes the importance of children being obedient by pointing out that this is “the first commandment with a promise” (v. 2 NIV). Looking back to Exodus, when Moses received the 10 commandments from God, it is true that commandment number 4 is the first to include the positive effect flowing from obedience: “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (v. 3 NIV). Right on its heels, though, is instruction that fathers “not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (v. 4). The Greek word here is parorgízō, meaning “to provoke to anger.” Yes, children need to obey, but fathers need to take care not to be overly harsh toward them. Where in your life have you been obedient to your parents and things have gone well for you? When did disobedience lead you into trouble? If you’re a parent, how can you lead your children toward God this week in a manner that reflects Jesus?

{wednesday 2.2.22}

Read Ephesians 6:5-9

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Here is another controversial passage, as Paul moves on from familial relationships to that troubling and challenging relationship between slave and master. It is significant that Paul tells slaves that they are “slaves of Christ” in verse 6, and that they are to do God’s will first and foremost because He will reward them for doing good. Immediately after this, the masters are instructed to do God’s will first and foremost. Examples of this are to not be threatening toward their slaves or show favoritism at all. You might not experience slavery as so many people have throughout the history of the world, but these verses can also be applied in any situation in which you are not free to do your own thing, but instead have to follow someone else’s direction or have to tell others what to do (work, anyone?). In your job this week, how can you be a “slave to Christ” first and foremost, whether you’re the boss or not?

{thursday 2.3.22}

Read Ephesians 6:10-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: One of the most vivid metaphors in all of Scripture is found in this passage, in which Paul takes a standard Roman suit of armor and shows how each piece is an illustration of what it means to be “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (v. 10 NIV). After our sermon series on doubt, it’s particularly interesting to note that Paul depicts the belt standing for truth and the shield standing for faith. The belt of truth is in a central location on the body and holds the breastplate of righteousness in its place, while the shield of faith protects the whole body from the arrows of the enemy, keeping them from passing through. What truth of God is central to your life this week? As you go about each day, how might your faith in God be like a shield for you?

{friday 2.4.22}

Read Ephesians 6:18-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul goes on to encourage the Ephesians to pray constantly: “in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (v. 18). They are to pray for all of God’s people. Specifically for Paul, they are to pray that he receives the words to share the gospel, and that he may do so without fear. Who is someone you can pray for this week? If possible, reach out to them for specific prayer requests you can bring before God on their behalf.

{saturday 2.5.22}

Read Ephesians 6:21-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: These final verses of Ephesians underscore the special connection that the family of God has amongst its members. Tychicus is a “dear brother” who is being sent from Paul to encourage the church, and in verses 23 and 24, Paul himself sends peace, love with faith, and grace to the believers. How can you reach out to and encourage the Jesus followers in your life this week? 



{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!


© 2022 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

Unsubscribe from The Journey.

to receive our future emails.


Comments are closed.