{November 6, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


Quick To Listen

By Chris Woodward

We can see it coming plain as day. The foul ball screaming into the stands. The toddler stumbling through the park next to the swing sets. The conversation at the water cooler, moving in a negative direction. The hits are unforgiving, unexpected, and can be devastating.  I can hear the mother chasing after the toddler, “No, wait, not that way! Stop, please stop!” The crack of the bat, and the reaction of the crowd should be a signal to have your eyes up. Hearing the tone of the person at the water cooler is a very important part of determining what happens next. Most of us just want to avoid the direct hits, the collision, and the conflict, so we act like we did not see it or pass by the negative words.

In a similar way, people in my community avoid Jesus, stating he is a set of rules and regulations that are stuffy and for no-fun-loving old people. They have had their own direct hits, collisions, negative interactions and been knocked out and down. In my years following Jesus I have learned that the lesson of listening to others (like Jesus) is an incredible way to love people. Not only do we listen to avoid the heartache in our own situations, but we listen to make space for others to grow in their relationships.

The difficult part is choosing to listen. I find that when I listen to Jesus I am more open to coming alongside someone with a different opinion. When we move towards another person and open our ears, we can learn more about them, deepen our understanding of them, and find new ways to honor them.  We pick them up, dust them off, clean up the mess, and show that despite the error in judgement, the collision or the hard conversation they are seen and they are valuable. At the same time, we expand our ability to think through the eyes of another and to understand their thoughts and experiences.


{Sunday, November 6}

Read James 1:19, Proverbs 17:28, 11:12

Read these verses and write a description of the posture, demeanor and behaviors of someone who is doing these things. Now, contrast yourself to the description you wrote. Where are you doing well as a listener? Where can you make a plan to improve?


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, November 7}

Read Romans 4:1-15

"Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” What a great message for us to pass on to our friends and family. No matter what has been done, who you vote for, and what the intention was, it has been covered. Do you feel that it is easier to listen to others when you know that your past deeds are forgiven? How does this verse change how you view your past and the past of others in your life?


{Tuesday, November 8}

Read Romans 4:16-25

"Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises." Paul is talking about the promise of Abraham and his long and patient trust in waiting for the promise God had shared with him. He appeared to be quick to listen and slow to action. In what way this week can you be like Abraham and play the long game by listening to and trusting God?


{Wednesday, November 9}

Read Romans 5:1-11

“Dad do you still love me when I do wrong.” My son asks this many times after he has stepped outside of the rules and expectations we have for him.  My answer is always, “I love you period, your actions never change that.”  That is why I enjoy so much verses 6-8 here.  We were sinners and Jesus still made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  Who in your life this week needs to know that the love of Jesus is unconditional?  What in us needs to change so we can love in the same way as Jesus?


{Thursday, November 10}

Read Romans 5:12-21

In therapy I find myself saying, “Get rid of the list, empty out the account of wrongs and reasons.”  This is exactly where that thought came from. Paul in Romans is giving a history lesson on how God chose to deal with sin. How under the law there was an account, that needed to be settled. However, when Jesus came our account is pre-paid (so to speak) and already settled. Read the verses one more time. If I lived my life with grace and compassion, not keeping a list of wrongs, would I look at the world different?  What would my relationships with family and friends be like if I dumped the list of offenses?


{Friday, November 11}

Read Romans 6:1-23

Paul does a masterful job of comparing and contrasting death and life, old and new. He places it under the ideal that we are not just changing our mode of operation but are a new creation in Jesus. This moves us, in my mind, beyond behavior modification to a change in who we are as a person. What does the distinction of being a new creation mean to you? How would understanding this in your core change the way that you act at work and home?


{Saturday, November 12}

Read Romans 7:1-6

It seems appropriate to end the week talking about the law. Paul appears to compare the old testament law to a dead husband. That once and for all Christ’s death put the law aside and now the bride can move into a new thought process and choose to marry another. This appears to be a freeing thought to Paul. What are three thoughts you have as Paul talks about moving from the law to freedom in a relationship with Jesus?



{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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