[February 5, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Scattered, Yet Secure

By Lisa Zulke

In my mid 20’s I discovered a new identity and began learning what it meant to follow Jesus. It was at times thrilling, enlightening, life giving, and incredibly alarming. I had not expected the joking banter that would come with my choice, and my pursuit of a changed life. I didn’t receive open hostility, but it was clear that in certain settings, my new beginning and exploration of faith in Jesus now made me an "other" or outsider.

As I grew in my understanding of how to live in a relationship with Jesus, and how to grow in my discovery of the purpose he intended me for, a gap formed between me and certain friends. Even family.

Always. Ever. Only. Jesus. This internal phrase is one I turn to often when I find myself feeling untethered. Misunderstood. Somehow, other. It is a phrase that helps remind me of who I am. It took time to trust that Jesus would always be my constant. To know that he is an ever present wingman in life, particularly when the gulf opens up between me and someone who doesn’t understand me or know Jesus.

This phrase reminds me of whose I am. And my story has allowed me a super power…finding compassion and connection with people who are living my 26 year old experience. Being a noticer of where my friends and family are struggling, perhaps feeling untethered themselves, and lacking a source of strength, hope and encouragement…that is my super power. I’m learning to listen, and finding the confidence to ask clarifying questions and offer encouragement when an opening occurs in relationship. This growing posture of sharing is thrilling, enlightening, life giving, and incredibly alarming (when I lack the words or the confidence).

Hitting midlife has opened up all sorts of new struggles and story lines of trusting in the future hope that following Jesus brings. I’ll be honest…I am not there yet. I’m not yet open handed or leaning forward in a posture bent toward heaven. It feels there is much of heaven Jesus would want me to channel right here on earth. And so I move in that tension, reminding myself of whose I am when distant feelings form. Always. Ever. Only. Jesus.


[Sunday, February 5]

Read Romans 5:3-5 TPT

If you are still considering who Jesus is and what it might mean to follow him, I am so excited for you! There are lots of people here at Heartland who would love to help you explore and wrestle with questions. Read this passage, and take note of what you see it saying. It is describing the faith journey of someone who is following Jesus. What about the journey excites you or gives you hope? What about the description is puzzling or raises doubts?

If you are a Jesus follower, read this passage and note what you and I are being called to. Do you see yourself in this description? If not, which areas of faith do you see space to grow in? Choose one thing you can practice growth in this week and go for it!


[Monday, February 6]

Read 1 Peter 1:1-2

Do you ever need to be reminded of who you are? I don’t mean your name, but at your core, who you are. Who you are created to be. What matters most to you, and for what purpose you are living. That’s what these opening sentences of Peter’s letter to earl Jesus followers scattered across a vast region are intended for. How does Peter name and define who he is writing to? He mentions they are living as foreigners, which is partly because they are scattered far and wide, but also because they chose to live as Jesus followers, which makes them different from the people they live among. Have you ever felt like an outsider because of your beliefs or how you are choosing to live your life?


[Tuesday, February 7]

Read 1 Peter 1:3-7

Peter continues to define the identity and very purpose of the Jesus followers he is writing to. What do you notice? What characteristics or beliefs are named here? Do you believe that you have this same access to hope, protection, purpose and a future? Why or why not? In verse 6 we are invited to consider everything, the good life and the hard life, as joy. How would you rate your joy "posture" today? Is it hard to persevere right now? Or, is it easy to forget the good things that God has provided?


[Wednesday, February 8]

Read 1 Peter 1:8-12

Take a moment to jot down what this passage is saying about those who call themselves Jesus followers. How are they described? How did these people come to hear about and follow Jesus? And what do the verses say about how they were to live their lives, and share their faith stories? Now, compare that to your experience with Jesus today. How would people describe your faith? How did you hear about Jesus and follow him? How would you share your faith story with someone?


[Thursday, February 9]

Read 1 Peter 1:13-16

Today’s passage, for a Jesus follower, leads us to consider how we are doing in living the life God is calling us to. Take some time today to invite God to show you where you are growing and doing well, and also where you could focus some energy on improvement. As he points out those areas, consider praying and inviting him to help you see these weak spots, and guide you in how to grow stronger in them.


[Friday, February 10]

Read 1 Peter 1:17-20

God doesn’t play favorites, and neither should we. Nor should we live as though we are his favorite. Following Jesus is a path that calls us to humility and confession (revisit your notes from yesterday). God has so much in store for us in this life, as we allow him to change our hearts and our posture and our behavior. He also has the incredible gift of heaven and eternity with him in our future. Take some time to imagine this reality. Maybe visualize, maybe just read the passage several times. If we truly believe what Jesus’ sacrifice has done for us (now and in our future), how should that be visible in our posture and behavior today?


[Saturday, February 11]

Read 1 Peter 1:21-25

Can you describe the moment in life when you realized that Jesus’ death and resurrection was for you? How would you describe choosing to have faith in him, and to become a Jesus follower? If you have not made this decision yet, read the passage and note your questions, your ahas, and your doubts. Who do you know that you could share these thoughts with? If you aren’t certain, we would love to connect with you and help! You can email us at info@heartlandchurch.org, and one of our people will be in touch ASAP!


{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!


© 2023 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

Unsubscribe from The Journey.

to receive our future emails.


Comments are closed.