{October 16, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


The Joy of Repentance

By Meghan Hemenway

This week a friend of mine reached out to send some pictures of the mountain we climbed two summers ago. She was actually a friend of a friend, but we quickly bonded over the hours and hours hiking alone in the Colorado wilderness. We perhaps are all wanderers by nature, but thankfully the self-preservation instinct also exists and pushed me to not wander alone. As we started up the trail with our gear, the weather report, and our experience we got to know each other and enjoyed beautiful views of a mostly empty trail. As weather tends to do on a mountain, a quick shift turned the warm sunny trail to a chilly and rainy one. By the time we reached the top, hail started to come down and we were truly alone. Several climbers had turned back and advised us to do the same, but we were driven to go just a little longer, hoping to make it to the top before the weather was truly bad.

We we finally turned back and headed down the mountain, I had some serious fear about being able to reach safety. We had repented and turned back, but would we really make it to safety and sun and other humans? There was some immediate relief in the turning back, but then there were the consequences of our wandering. We were still hours away from civilization. As I adjusted my jacket over my rain-soaked and freezing fingers I knew that the fantasy of a rescue was just that – a fantasy. We had to keep moving forward back down the trail no matter how cold or tired we were. 

God created us, including placing in us the desire to wander. He put in us the desire to search and explore and find our own way. But he also put in us the desire to find safety; to be known and loved and protected. When we wander God delights in watching us explore and it brings him immense joy to see us find our way back to him. Just as when young children begin to explore the world, they feel safe to go out and explore when they know that they have a safe haven in a parent to come back to. We begin building our strength, courage, and resilience by going out from our safe base and trusting that it will be there for us when we return. We become secure in the knowledge that our parent is there when we need them. Just like the parent of the exploring child, God delights in watching us be brave and explore the world. And he rejoices when we turn back and return to his supportive arms.


{Sunday, October 16}

Read Psalm 91:1-2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In what areas of your life are you wandering? How has God provided a safe place or refuge for you?


{Monday, October 17}

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:7b-12

The purpose of this letter from Paul is to remind the Thessalonians that what he has taught them about God is true, that they are right to continue to be patient and grow in their understanding of and faith in God, and that there will be challenges to that faith. To reassure the Thessalonians, Paul used vivid and terrifying images of God’s wrath for unbelievers. Why do you think he offers this as reassurance? Do you find God’s wrath comforting? Why? 


{Tuesday, October 18}

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

In these verses Paul assures the Thessalonians that Jesus has not yet returned. Paul works to prove this to them and soothe their panic. Paul was writing to the Thessalonians to remind them that he was someone they could trust and believe. Who has influence in your life? How do you put up guardrails in your life to the constant stream of information and potential panic from others?


{Wednesday, October 19}

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Sometimes we need to be reminded about what is true. We can believe something, but our emotions tell us a different story or the world around us makes us question what our heads know to be true. What do you do when you find yourself in a place of doubt? Who do you turn to? What helps restore your faith in what is true?


{Thursday, October 20}

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

The Thessalonians were a people new to faith and trust in God. Paul prays for their protection and offers them reassurance that God is loving and steadfast. We are all at different places in our faith journey. Where do you find yourself on your walk with Jesus? If you consider yourself a firm, long-time believer, remember back to the beginning of your faith. What did it feel like to first hear about God’s love and steadfastness? If you are closer to the beginning of your journey, what do you imagine will change for you when you feel stronger and more confident in your faith?


{Friday, October 21}

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

“Do not grow weary of doing good.” With these words Paul acknowledges the difficulty of continuing on this journey especially for those who may have lost sight of the end goal. He calls the Thessalonians to continue to be charitable. In what ways do you grow weary of doing good? Where are you called to be charitable in your life?


{Saturday, October 22}

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:14-18

In the final verses of this book, Paul encourages the people to continue to grow in their faith and prays for their inner peace. Sometimes we can find it difficult to find inner peace when our outer world is in chaos or turmoil. How do you find peace? In what ways and spaces may God be trying to connect you to his 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.

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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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