[March 12, 2023]

Heartland Community Church



By Bill McMurtrey

What are some of the emotions or thoughts that drive you? Where do you place your wishes, wants, your needs? 

Today when Brad said (and he is correct), "The stock market can’t save you," I smiled. I’m a stock trader by profession, and all professional traders know that the markets are driven by only three emotions—hope, fear, and greed. Sure, things like earnings, new products, new services, sales, company buyouts, and many others that can cause stock prices to fluctuate are all considered. Still, hope, fear, and greed are the three undisputed, universally recognized emotions that control the market. 

Notice the first of the three is hope? So, what is hope? Hope is an aspiration, a wish, or a dream.

I will come up on the tenth anniversary of the biggest of my top three injuries in May. It’s been on my mind for a couple of months. It was terrible; I had to have major reconstructive surgery. I’m reminded when I go to the airport because they always want to check the titanium pins inside me at the TSA. Fun! 

My recovery wasn’t quick. Though the series of different casts I went through only lasted for seven months, the recovery took almost four years. Fear and depression took over. I’m a pretty physical guy; I can, and sometimes do, chop wood all day for days. People jokingly say that I was Paul Bunyan in my past life. That ability was over in my recovery, and there was no telling if it would return. The doctors gave me a 50/50 chance of ever using my arm normally again and said it would most likely only regain a portion of what it was at best. 

My faith in God never wavered. If anything, I talked to him more. And during that time, I still ended every prayer the same way I always have (and always will), "God, may your will be done." I needed to move from fear to hope. And the way to do that was with faith. 

I believe there’s strength in numbers, and God instructs Jesus followers to help one another in community. Not just in the good times but during the hard times too. In Galatians 6:2 we are told: "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

Times are different now. I’ll be 58 next month. This summer, I plan to compete in an over 50 Strongman Competition. Giving my fears to God and having hope turn to faith showed me how to overcome and rise above fear. 

What do you need to turn over to Jesus so that you can grow closer to him? 


[Monday, March 13]

Read 2 Peter 1:1-2

In his second letter, Peter again stresses that he is writing specifically to those who are Jesus followers. As we share that faith with Peter, and all Jesus followers through this day, we are reminded that our faith was a gift that Jesus came to offer each and every one of us. Did you notice that here (and in many passages prior, and that will follow) Peter declares Jesus is Lord. We don’t often use this word today, but the purpose of this title bestowed on Jesus, is to right size us and refresh our perspective on who we follow. Jesus as Lord, and me as follower lead me to make sure I have myself set in the right posture toward him. Who is in power over my life? Who do I allow to influence me? Whose truth have I built my foundation on? If the answer isn’t Jesus first, I have some realigning to do. How about you?


[Tuesday, March 14]

Read 2 Peter 1:3-7

Read that opening sentence again. Are you standing in confidence, knowing that God has given you everything you need? Or do you glance around and notice all that is missing? What does it mean, that you and I as Jesus followers can "share his divine nature"? How might our understanding of the Holy Spirit (Jesus’ promise to us of a helper that is always with us) connect to the meaning of these verses, and help us apply the actions described for us in verses 5-7?


[Wednesday, March 15]

Read 2 Peter 1:8-11

How would you measur yourself in the expressions of faith from verses 5-7 above? Here we are affirmed that if we continue to grow in these ways as Jesus followers, we will make an impact in the world around us for Jesus. What might your current expression of faith be doing to encourage your continued growth, or to draw others into a life of following Jesus? In verses 10-11, we are not being urged toward outward acts to prove ourselves to others, or even to God, as Jesus followers. Rather, we are being invited to check our alignment with Jesus (how we are practicing and growing in our faith) as an affirmation that we are indeed called and chosen by God. How are you doing on living as a called and chosen Jesus follower?


[Thursday, March 16]

Read 2 Peter 1:12-15

If your faith is firmly rooted and growing in the truth about Jesus, the change or loss of a pastor, key leader, mentor or, in this case, apostle will not shake or cause that faith to collapse. How rooted in Jesus is your personal faith, vs in your church? Or the preferred author or teacher you follow? Peter is telling his audience his time on earth is drawing near, and he wants their faith and their knowledge of Jesus to continue beyond him. How can you tend to the roots of your faith so that they are firmly planted in Jesus first?


[Friday, March 17]

Read 2 Peter 1:16-18

In this passage Peter takes a fascinating turn, reminding the reader that these aren’t just clever stories, but real events that he experienced with his own eyes. He reminds us that he and the apostles literally heard the voice of God speaking over Jesus. These readers, like many Jesus followers today, likely passed through phases of faith and belief waxing and waning like the moon. Is this all real? Was Jesus real? If we can’t see him, how can we know for sure? Catch a friend or family member this week and talk about what your faith is grounded in. How can you wrestle with doubts together, and encourage one another in a deeper understanding of and connection to Jesus?


[Saturday, March 18]

Read 1 Peter 1:19-21

Verses 19-21 tie Peter’s encounters with Jesus directly back to the old testament prophecies and the promise of Jesus’ return. How can these verses firm up the ground on which your faith is built? How would you write these sentences in your own words, in the sharing of your own story of following Jesus? Peter was an eye witness, but our stories bear witness to the movement of Jesus in our world. Pray today and consider where your story could be used to share an account of Jesus’ movement.



{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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