{July 10, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


Greatest Of All Time: I Am With You Always

By Shelly Huston

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved Jesus. The foundations of faith I inherited from my parents started my journey and remain firm cornerstones in my life today. My dad was a pastor, and my mom, a woman of great faith and prayer. Together they raised me to know the never-ending love and grace of God. While I realize I’m possibly in the minority, I’ve never known life without Jesus and his Spirit. 

At the age of 12, I asked to be baptized. I felt I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to take this step. I knew his familiar, still, small voice was saying to me, “its time.” Next, people who loved me gathered on the dry water bank, of our neighborhood pond, and watched intently as my father submersed me in muddy water. I can honestly say I felt remarkable, new, and clean as I came up out of those waters, never the same again. Like every charge against me had been dropped. Free, relieved, and utterly at peace.

That night, in our little church in the woods, I asked Jesus to fill me with the power of his Holy Spirit. Not because anyone told me to, but because I wanted him with me. I wanted him in my life, ever near me and fully inside me. Then, suddenly, he did! I was filled, overflowing even, as happy tears streamed down my face. Great joy gushed forth, like a waterline with great buildup, had burst within me. I remember the first time and can’t wait util the next time.

The Holy Spirit is a trusted friend, helper, and advocate that is always here, always ready, and always hoping I’ll let him intervene/guide/advise.  Do I grieve him sometimes? Unfortunately, yes. Do I misunderstand him sometimes? Unfortunately, yes. Do I operate outside of him sometimes?  Unfortunately, yes. But I strive to listen, love and trust that same Holy Spirit each day.   

I asked myself this afternoon, what would I have been like without that gift? How on earth would I have even made it through this wild world without his support, guidance, and grace? For me, It’s almost unimaginable. Perhaps you have watched others try to navigate this world without Jesus and his Spirit in the lead. Maybe you have navigated life without engaging the him. 

I married young, to a man of God, with two small sons. It was a joyous but complicated path that sadly ended in divorce. If I hadn’t had the power of the Holy Spirt to walk with me, I could have become an entirely different kind of woman. Broken, perhaps hardened, or isolated. Instead, I dove into the Psalms, mourned the loss of what once was, and asked the Holy Spirit to see me though. I am forever grateful that he says, “I am with you always.”

Years later, I married once more, adopted a beautiful baby at birth, and lost my husband to terrible illness. If I hadn’t had the spirit of the living God carry me through the very valley of the shadow of death, I truly might have become lost, in deep sorrow, never to rise again. Thankfully that was not the case. He says, “I am with you always.”

I can only imagine the sorrow, loss, and challenges you’ve endured.  Perhaps you’ve known Jesus, or perhaps you’re just now ready to. While loneliness is vast, being without Jesus is much worse. Open your heart, trust His kindness, and welcome his Holy Spirit to lead and guide you.  Perhaps you, too, will experience his nearness. “I am with you always…”


{Sunday, July 10}

Read Matthew 28:16-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply:“… I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” This morning Pastor Brad reminded us that God is promising to be ‘physically, perpetually present with us…to hold our hand as we walk together through the complexities and uncertainties of life.’ He is offering us the promise of the Holy Spirit inside us, ‘counseling, comforting, convicting, and connecting us to the Father.’
As you read the passage, pray through each part, the commands and the promise. Which one is a timely message for you to hear this week?


{action idea}

If you want to practice increasing your dependence on God, join us for Day With Jesus, August 5 or 6. This is a self-guided time with a workbook we provide that is designed to help you spend extended time reading, pondering, praying and connecting with Jesus. We will kick off and wrap up on Zoom, and give you two hours on your own to work through the exercises. CLICK HERE for more information and to sign up.


{bible reading plan}

This month we are focusing on the many promises of God. Each day you will have the space to consider one promise, and how it has impacted your life, or could impact your life should you choose to follow Jesus. We’d love to hear from you and share in what we are all learning together. You can email us at story@heartlandchurch.org.

{Monday, July 11}

Read and reflect on Nahum 1:7

Is there a time in your life that you were in trouble? Have you ever felt defenseless, exposed? On your own, without backup? What is the promise he’s offering you in this verse? When did the fact that you are not alone become real to you? How can you activate this promise of safety and refuge in your life and trust in Jesus’ defense instead of coming to your own?

{Tuesday, July 12}

Read and reflect on Isaiah 43:2

When have you felt you were drowning or overwhelmed? Have you struggled with the realization that God doesn’t always remove every giant obstacle in front of you? How did you come to terms with coming through adversity, rather than avoiding it? Did it grow your trust in God or cause you to withhold your trust?

{Wednesday, July 13}

Read and reflect on Isaiah 40:29-31

Are you utterly exhausted? Does it feel as if energy is evaporating faster than it’s developing, either physically, mentally, or emotionally? Do you feel like everyone around you is gaining ground while you remain stagnant or worse, depleted? What does it mean to hope in the Lord? Is hope a noun? Or could it be a verb? A desire, or an expectation? How can you actively engage hope in your life? How can power be increased, and strength be renewed in your life?

{Thursday, July 14}

Read and reflect on Deuteronomy 31:8

Who do you count on? Perhaps it is a mate, parent, or your best friend from the third grade. Is there someone you know who would come to your defense, back you up, wipe the sweat from your brow or help you fight for what’s right? I hope so. I hope you are surrounded by such people. However, even the most well intentioned occasionally miss a beat. They miss the mark, they disappoint, they disappear. Or perhaps they just get too caught up in what they are doing they accidently miss your silent call for help. There is another, one who will go before you, stay with you, never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged, God is here.

{Friday, July 15}

Read and reflect on Joshua 1:9

Have you ever struggled with anxiety, loneliness, and discouragement? They are 3 heavy hitters that many of us have encountered, either periodically, or sometimes even daily. In some cases, one or battling all 3 can cause great interference in one’s relationships, health and even their overall quality of life. What is this scripture trying to tell us? If God is with me when I am struggling with loneliness, am I truly alone? If God is with me when I am anxious, how does that impact anxiousness? If God is with me when I am overcome with discouragement, how can that help heal my discouragement? Do we have a role to plan in managing these 3 elements in our lives? If so, what is God admonishing us to do?

{Saturday, July 16}

Read and reflect on Philippians 4:6-7

“… and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts.” What brings you peace? Can you be snorkeling off the gulf and still be anxious? Or perhaps you are sitting under a tree atop a great mountain surrounded by beauty and still anxious, concerned, or worried about many things. While these great settings in nature may help one manage stress, how can I cope with great stress at work, or even at home daily? “… in every situation…” can I lay my burden down before him and find peace?


{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!


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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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