{February 20, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


All Access: Rest

By Christopher Woodward

As I get older and older, rest is one of the most important things that I can do for myself and my family. As time marches on I find myself moving toward the thought that a balanced life and dependency on rest, sleep, and organization are crucial. The idea that I need that eight hours to find a positive footing in my own mind, body, and relationships has become one of the daily needs of my life. We live in a community where life is moving at a pace that it has not in several decades. Time is not so much a commodity as it is an elusive concept that is unavailable to many. I heard someone say this week in a meeting, “I have been working out of my home for two years now and the lines between work and home have gotten so blurry they are almost not there anymore.” This is a great observation on the current state of being for many of us. 

As a substance abuse counselor, I see so many clients and family drag themselves into the office tired, worn down, heavy with guilt, pride and pain. One of the first things out of their mouths and hearts is a statement of pain, “I want out, I want out of this life, of this dependency, of this constant cycle of use, abuse, and failure of my friends and family.” We are a people that are on 10-Hour Energy or other substances to allow us to cope with stress or lack of rest. We are running on adrenaline and smoke and fear. At some points we feel that we have no access, no rest, no help.

In these moments how, many of us forget the good news of Jesus? That the work is done, the price is paid, Jesus has taken the nail, the pain, the sin, so that I can abide in his love and live forever. I have but one need— to place all my fear, failure, and tired efforts into his hands, allowing him to carry my burdens. My work in this moment is to release the things that drive me into the next day and trust that I can find peace, rest and acceptance because I am a son or a daughter of God. For the past couple of years, the old hymn Because He Lives has echoed in my heart and my soul. 

“Because he lives I can face tomorrow, because he lives, all fear is gone, because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living just because he lives.” 

This is an invitation to come and see how an all access relationship with the Jesus can be.

Take a few moments out of your day today and complete this exercise. Take a breath, and imagine you and Jesus in conversation. What do you need to invite him into, to rest from, while he carries the load? Take a listen to the MercyMe song, The Best News Ever. If even for a moment, make the choice to allow Jesus to carry your thoughts, feelings, and fears. 


{sunday, february 20}

Read Matthew 11:28-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Spend some time with these verses and consider: how can you "get away with Jesus"? What unforced rhythms might he be able to teach you? What burden can you share with him that would lighten the load?


{bible reading plan: book of hebrews}

For the next few months, we invite you to engage the Bible differently along with us. Each week we will be reading a book from Hebrews 4 times, in 4 ways, as directed below. Instead of daily verses, you are free to engage in the practice outlined below as a "choose your adventure". You might do this all in one sitting, or choose to do an exercise a day. We’d love to hear your feedback, just drop an email to Lisa Zulke.

For an overview of Hebrews, watch this 8 minute video from our friends at The Bible Project.


{week of february 21-26}

Read Hebrews 4

Take your time today reading Hebrews 4. Observe what is being said in the many promises and contrasts. What is the "rest" in the chapter referring to? What does rest look like in your life?

"I heard __________________________________________________"


Reflect on Hebrews 4

While you read today, ask as many questions about the scripture that you can. Place yourself in the mindset of a child and ask yourself how you would teach this chapter to a child. Where are the difficult messages in this passage that can make you or a child uneasy?

"I saw, felt, noticed _________________________________________"


Listen/Pray Hebrews 4

Today read for feeling. Find a spot where you can read the passage out loud. What feelings or emotions are conveyed in chapter four? Be mindful of your tone when you read the passage. Does your voice waver, go up or down, soft or loud? How do you feel reading through the chapter today? What do you sense Jesus is prompting you to consider?

"I feel Jesus is inviting me to ________________________________"


Respond to Hebrews 4

Today, read Hebrews 4 in a couple different translations. What new observations do you have as the wording shifts? What are you becoming aware of in this passage that could become new practice for you? Is there a word or phrase you can put in your wallet or on the door to remind you of this take-away? What will you do with what you have noticed?

"I will ____________________________________________________"


{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

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

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