{October 30, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


The Joy of the Journey

By Shelly Huston

I’ve never thought of myself as a tech savvy kind of gal. The trust I’ve developed in technology over time is really quite astounding.

In my youth, my parents were always worried that I’d miss a turn, or get lost on the way, when navigating through the city, or an unknown area. They were right to be slightly concerned, I am directionally challenged. Directions in life itself, easy; directions to Worlds of Fun, not so easy to follow.

Today, however, with very little effort, I can get just about anywhere. I have three lovely assistants, Apple Maps, Siri, and Google Maps. I think there might even be a Garmin in the trunk. They help me navigate the highways and byways with joy and great confidence. The journey becomes a joy and not a burden.

It’s too bad there’s not a ‘Life App’. An app that marks out the best course of action to take when faced with a challenge. Imagine the joy we’d know, as we’d always make the right decisions. Imagine the joy of always making the right call when faced with an impossible situation.

Our leader, guide, creator of all things apple, vegetable and mineral, breathed into our nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Order was established in the beginning, however, we as people who follow Jesus have been off-roading for years, and the journey has been tough.

To quote the Beatles, how do we ‘Get Back to Where we Once Belonged.”

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Is it up to God to restore unity among us? I wonder if part of that restoration begins with us. Are their areas in our families, in our marriages, homes, church, that need repair? That need adjustment? That need realignment? That need restoration? If we are being completely honest, yes.

For a marriage to become one, there has to be a yielding of oneself, a spirit of cooperation, a common ground, a place to start, build, and maintain. For the church community to become one, the same is true. If we as a people can lay our ideas, opinions, ways down and allow God to either set them afire or set them free, we will find it liberating.

Repentance for me is not a one time act, ‘it is the way.’ It is a lifestyle, it is a journey. And believe it or not, it will lead to joy


{Sunday, October 30}

Read Hebrews 13:17

Does God really hold leadership to a degree of accountability for the health of His church? Indeed he does. Imagine the weight that carries. Imagine having a congregation of people that you were held accountable for. Could that be a burden? Indeed. Can it be a joy? I guess that depends on us. Are my past experiences with ‘leadership’ adversely influencing the message today, or my role in this church community? If so, what steps is God asking me to take in my walk with him and with this community? How are my choices impacting the church, it’s leadership or our community? Am I flying in formation with the flock?  Are others leaving the V because of me? Am I flapping, or flying?


Reading Through Romans

For the next month we will focus our daily reflections on the book of Romans, Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome. The awesome thing about this book is the bold declaration that Jesus and the good news he carried into the world was for everyone . . . all who choose to believe and explore how to follow Jesus have access to this hope and all of his promises. Check out this overview of Romans 1-4, and Romans 5-16 from our friends at The Bible Project.


{Monday, October 31}

Read Romans 1:1-17

We open Romans in two very cool places. First, Paul is letting it be known that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is meant to bring hope to everyone. EVERYone! Consider how you have experienced that truth. Were you taught that you can come to Jesus, no matter your background, and learn to follow and put your hope in him? How has that invitation impacted your life? Second, Paul shares a heartfelt posture of prayer toward EVERYone, that we can all practice. Who do you thank God for? Do you know the needs that these folks bring before God, and include them in your prayers? Who do you long to gather with and encourage in presence and prayer? Take some time today to perhaps shift your posture of prayer for others.


{Tuesday, November 1}

Read Romans 1:18-32

When we get our focus out of whack…putting priority on all the other things before prioritizing God and our relationship with him all of life soon follows. Where do you have the hardest time focusing on God first? What priorities do you put in place instead? Take note of anything that reads like a warning in this passage. How are you doing in each of these areas? Choose one thing you could focus on to shift your priorities and put God back in charge.


{Wednesday, November 2}

Read Romans 2:1-16

Make a list of the ways God will judge humanity. Note that this passage makes it clear all people will be judged the same, regardless of whether they are Jewish or Gentile. Also known as: everyone. Take some time today and pray, iinviting God to help you take an honest look at where you need help turning away from sin and toward Jesus. Where can you move toward following Jesus well and laying down or ending a pattern or habit that leads you to sin?


{Thursday, November 3}

Read Romans 2:17-29

One of the tools we use at Heartland is called the learning circle. It invites us to look at a situation, or a passage of scripture, and ask ourselves, "what is God saying to me" and "what am I going to do about that?" Read this passage through and take note of the things you observe happening in the passage. Reflect on why you notice these things. What has drawn your attention to a certain word or phrase? Take one element of your observation and begin to apply the lesson God has for you in this passage. As you pray over this idea, work to answer the "what am I going to do about that" question.


{Friday, November 4}

Read Romans 3:1-20

In these verses we are reminded that none of us are without sin. Paul has fully moved from his earlier reminders that Jesus covered all of everyone’s sin…but doesn’t let us off easy. Take some time today to read this passage and write a prayer of thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice specifically for you and your life. Invite hime to help you have better eyes to see where you are stumble-tripping through life over sin. Invite him into those spaces to help heal you in them.


{Saturday, November 5}

Read Romans 3:21-31

Thank you, Paul, for taking us back to the beginning again! "We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are." When we decide to trust and follow Jesus, we are restored and made right with God. The bridge between us and him is repaired. What is one area of your life that Jesus died and was resurrected in order to repair?



{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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