[January 15, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


What do you have?

By Chris Woodward

I have had the joy for the past 18 years of being in the community working with persons that have or are struggling with substance use disorders. I can remember the first day my mentor and owner of the company put me in charge of the noon group and said, "Go for it.”  I opened the group and one of the long-time group members looked at me and asked, “What can you do for me? What experience do you have in this profession?” Remember, this is the first day, the first group and one of my first moments on this journey. My first response was weak and he grabbed it and threw it back at me and said, “If you have not been where I have been then how can you teach me anything.” Through the grace of God I had an answer for him. “I have not been where you have been. I have not relapsed and lapsed so many times that I have no control over my thoughts, mind, and feelings. What I do have for you is a different way of doing things that will move your dependency from destructive to productive.” In essence I offered him a different way of doing life. 

Now that guy was a rockstar in our group from that day forward because he found a new way of looking at his situation, a new way of owning his thoughts, feelings, and emotions. He found a person that was willing to meet him where he was and show him where he could go. For me that is the message of Jesus to his people.

Life changes toward recovery and health have been the joy of return conversations in my life. Watching the person that has no home tell about how they have set up their new home. Watching families being reunited with each other, knowing that now they have a chance to be healthy. 

What happened with this man and so many others over the years, is what happens with us so many times when we encounter the word of God, whether it comes from a reading, a teaching, or a book. We see a new way, a way that opens up our relationship with God, a way to make space in our life for others. A new way of accounting with our time, efforts, and money. When we invest both our inner and our outward energy for the glory of God by prayerfully asking him, "What do I have, and how can it be used for your work God?”
he provides new ways of looking at things.


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{Sunday, January 15}

Read Luke 19:12-21

Money is an emotional topic…sometimes filled with joy, fear, worry, or gratitude. What does money represent to you, and what emotions do you feel when the topic comes up? In this story, someone entrusted resources to his servants. Each one handled things differently. What things has God entrusted you with? What resources–physical or financial–do you have? What step could you take this week to put your resources to work for God’s movement in the world?


{Monday, January 16}

Read Luke 16:1-13

Habit of thoughts: Reading the verses for today reminds me that I am the manager of my own life, thoughts, and actions. When I am faithful in my thought life I find myself praying for others, opening doors for positive conversations, and finding the space for God and others. In what way can you tune your thoughts towards making space for building relationships that make Jesus first?


{Tuesday, January 17}

Read Matthew 25:14-30

Habit of time: We are all given168 hours each week. What are your plans for that time? That is a way of asking where do you place value in the time that you are given? In the parable for today the servants are given talents according to their abilities. In what way can you build a habit around honoring the time that you are given each week?


{Wednesday, January 18}

Read 1 Peter 4:10

Habit of talent: I feel that this is one of our greatest callings, to use what we have been gifted to serve others. In worship, in time, in finances, in patience and understanding for children and teens. In what way this week are you loaning your strongest efforts and gifts to the betterment of others?


{Thursday, January 19}

Read Genesis 2:15

Habit of preservation: This is one of the reasons I personally enjoy, living in Kansas. The agriculture that surrounds us, men and women taking care of land, reaping and sowing, feeding, not only the herd but the community itself. In what way will you participate taking care of God’s creation today?


{Friday, January 20}

Read Mark 12:41-44

Money Habits: As those coins dropped Jesus made a point to say this is what I am looking for, this is what I want people who are for my church and kingdom to do, make a sacrificial gift. I often feel this way when I walk around Heartland. I feel the pull to watch people give in a way that counts for others. There are many examples of it every week. What would you give this week to make space for others and put Jesus first?


{Saturday, January 21}

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Habit of giving: In my life to give is a good thing, a thing that I am wanting to do to bless another person, to find that thing that will make their life that much better or take the pressure off of them. Honestly, I really enjoy it. I think that the letter to the Corinthians is one of those moments to settle with God in our own heart what we will give and how much. What this week can you do to pray through what you have and what you can give in a habit of generosity?



{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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