[January 1, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Gather Together

By Allison Antrim

Happy New Year! At least, I hope it’s happy. I really hope your 2023 is off to a positive start. But I imagine some of you, like me, find yourselves entering a new year in the wake of sudden sorrow and change. Wherever you find yourself today, there’s good news: you can hit the reset button, and not just because it’s January 1. Today is Sunday – the Lord’s Day. A day we can count on to arrive each week, bringing the opportunity to get up and get to church, to recenter our hearts and minds on who God is and what he has done.

I grew up dutifully attending church most Sundays. We got up, dressed up, and went to Sunday school as well as the worship service (and we went on Wednesday nights, too!). Sunday church attendance is a habit I’ve continued into adulthood and with my own family, though more of our Sundays have been online than I could have guessed prior to 2020. But like Dan said, even though Sunday is generally the agreed-upon day to worship God with others, and gathering in person is generally what we should aim to do, the core habit we ought to build is more than a prescribed day and procedure. As with many things in our faith, God is looking to conform our hearts and minds to his. So if you work most Sundays, or you have challenges keeping you from physically entering church doors each week, or something else is going on, know that God is inviting you to meet with him and his people regularly. If you can make space for that, you will reap the rewards of knowing God and others better in 2023. How will you build the habit of regular worship of God with others this year?

Download the resource list for 21-Days of Prayer.

Watch the Sunday message here.


{Sunday, January 1}

Read John 20:19-23, John 14:27

As we gather in community, we are called to remember the resurrection, remember our calling, invite God’s power, and encourage one another. If our gatherings. How can we practice this when we gather in our homes, in a community group, and at church? What encouragement do you take from these verses? What encouragement do you find in connecting with other Jesus followers on the first day of your week?


{Monday, January 2}

Read Psalm 100:1-5

Notice the communal emphasis in this psalm of praise. In verse 1, “all the earth” is to praise God; in verse 3, the speaker says, “He…made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Finally, the speaker concludes in verse 5 with a reminder that God’s “faithfulness extends to all generations.” Think about the last time you worshiped God in a group setting. What was that like? How can you worship God in community this week?


{Tuesday, January 3}

Read Exodus 20:2-6

God alone was the savior of the Hebrews – no other god, no other being, no other person delivered them out of their slavery in Egypt. That is why he commands his people not to make and worship images of anyone, or anything, else. That may not be the most challenging part of this passage, though. Verses 5 and 6 may be difficult to understand, as they seem unfair. One way to look at them is to notice how seriously God takes the sin and obedience of his people. Both sin and obedience have lasting effects that impact more than those who initially act on them; those effects trickle down to their children, and their children’s children, and so on. The good news is that worshiping God alone, and loving him, will bring goodness to you and your descendents. What legacies of sin and obedience have you received from your family? How can you leave a legacy of obedience to those who will come after you? 

{Wednesday, January 4}

Read John 4:21-24

In this conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus shares a glimpse of how the gospel brings unity to all believers through worship. Jesus was born to the Jews, who were God’s chosen people and had the truth of who God was. But worshiping in truth alone is not enough; the Spirit must be present, too, and the only way to get the Spirit is to believe in Jesus. When he left after his first time on earth, Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to those who believed. Because of that, everyone who believed in him, whether Jew or Gentile, had access to worship God fully. This is true for all of us, whether we grew up with the knowledge of the truth or learned it later in life. Complete worship unifies us all in truth and Spirit. What does it look like in your life to worship God in both Spirit and truth?


{Thursday, January 5}

Read Romans 12:1-2

Continuing from yesterday’s passage, today offers another example of “true and proper worship” (v. 1). Belonging to Jesus means giving all of ourselves to him, and that includes our physical selves as well as our hearts and minds. We have died to sin, so as we live and breathe, we strive to think, feel, and act in ways that please God. The effects of sin on this world and our bodies are strong, so our minds naturally don’t conform to God’s ways. To counteract this, we read his word and pray to conform our ways of thinking to God’s ways. It’s a comfort to know that God’s will is “good, pleasing and perfect” (v. 2). What do you find easiest to give to God – your heart, your mind, or your body? Which is the most difficult?


{Friday, January 6}

Read Daniel 3:16-18

This scene is so poignant. Imagine these young men from a small and conquered nation standing before one of the most powerful kings of all time, confronted with a violent and painful death if they do not worship him. What they say in this passage shows their deep belief in the God they worship, who is the only one they worship. They say he is able to deliver them, and he will deliver them, but even if he doesn’t, they still will not bend their knees to the king. That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s evidence of a strong confidence in who God is and what he can do. Even if things don’t go their way, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego make it clear they will hold fast in worship to God alone. What would you do if you found yourself in this story? How will this inform the way you worship this week?


{Saturday, January 7}

Read Colossians 3:14-17

What should the body of Christ, the church, look like? These verses describe a unified group of people bound in love. The believers are peaceful, wise teachers and admonishers who use “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs from the Spirit” to help one another grow closer to God. They sing with gratitude to him. And in everything, from the words that come out of their mouths to their actions, is done with gratitude in Jesus’ name. In other words, they worship Jesus in Spirit and truth. Which of these comes naturally to you? Which requires more effort, and how can God help you in those areas?


{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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© 2022 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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