[April 30, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Good Enemies

By Shelly Huston

You and I are faced with events and opportunities, good and bad, that have left an impact. Pivotal moments are crucial to understanding our past, present, and future.

Disillusionment, heartbreak, divorce, death, and great sorrow. While I didn’t perceive the individuals involved as enemies, their actions left a mark. How Jesus taught me to react to them, wrestle with them, and walk away from them, made all the difference in the world. Today we were challenged to ‘Do what Jesus did and what he told us to do—to pray for our enemies.’

I pray when faced with a fissure in my life, a tear so significant I might not make it. Deep, messy, earnest prayers from within the depths of my soul. These types of prayers are not likely to be printed in a magazine, spoken from a pulpit, or even heard by the ears of those who know and love me most.

I have prayed such prayers when my marriage was in jeopardy, when my kids were in peril, and when I was battling for the life of a loved one. Cries of great distress and prayers of supplication were heard from King David of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus prayed this way on at least one occasion.

In the same way, I intercede for my precious family, God asks me to love and pray just as sincerely for the one, or the many, outside my circle. To love and pray earnestly for the one(s) who have deeply hurt, abused, taken advantage of, or even been hostile toward me, my family, my comrades, or even toward you.

To pray God, redeem them, and rescue them from hopelessness, depression, and sorrow. Be their healer, repair their marriage, save their children, and provide for their needs. Make right the wrongs they have known, even if I caused them. Forgive them, repair them, and save them.

This qualifies as a revelation in my life. A moment where I realize I am past the heartbreak and move into action and application. Prayer is one of the ways we can genuinely put love for our enemies into action.

The Journey through Luke

Join us in these daily reflections from the book of Luke in the New Testament. This book was written after Acts for a non-Jewish friend to help give historical context to what was going on in the church at the time. We are like Theophilus (most of us) – we did not grow up steeped in Jewish traditions, the Old Testament, and the prophecies. So Luke writes to people like us to make sense of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. For more background, check out these short videos from our friends at The Bible Project:

Watch Luke 1-9

Watch Luke 10-24


[Monday, May 1]

Read Luke 9:28-62

In this passage, we witness a glorious moment in time, an experience in the disciples’ timeline that might shine brighter than any other. They witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus, and saw Jesus, Moses, and Elijah with their own eyes in glorious splendor. When God breaks into our circumstances with a remarkable event, these moments can be extremely positive and bring our lives into perspective. This passage also has many opportunities for Jesus’ followers to grow in faith. Thankfully, their walk, as well as ours, affords us a lifetime to learn. Has something today, or even this week, been an aha moment? Have you grasped something great? How is God asking you to apply it? What action steps will you take to help you gain momentum in this area?


[Tuesday, May 2]

Read Luke 10:1-42

When Jesus began his ministry on earth, he started with 12 disciples, who left their homes and positions to follow after him. He gave them power and authority to do mighty things, and in Luke 9, he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom. The 12 took part in great adventures, which included ministry to large crowds, impacting lives everywhere they went. In chapter 10, we learn he chose 72 additional disciples and sent them out in pairs to spread the good news to followers, and so on and so on.

I still remember the original shampoo commercial from the 80s. Still, perhaps you can better relate to the clip from Wayne’s World. (Loose translation): ‘You know how these things go, I told two people, and they told two people, and so on and so on.’ Jesus is reminding me that multiplication is still part of the plan. He sent me out 45 years ago to spread the good news, and so on and so on. It’s still part of my calling. It’s still part of the challenge; it’s a charge and an expectation.

Is Jesus challenging you in this area? Is he asking you to follow in his footsteps? Is he asking you to be fruitful and multiply his ministry? What are you going to do with that challenge? Are there any obstacles you need to jump to do this?


[Wednesday, May 3]

Read Luke 11:1-54

Google took me to Amazon when I searched for James 5:16, ‘The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.’ (Amazon was prompting me to purchase a book about fervent prayer). While I don’t recommend the Amazon approach for an effective prayer life, Luke 11 does reveal a few well-proven approaches. We find Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray: Ask, receive, seek, find, knock, and the door will be opened to you. When you pray, say: Father…. It begins and ends with our relationship with God. The relationship is vital.
I know, without hesitation, if I ask my earthly father for anything, it will be given. Not just because he’s an amazing man, it’s because of our lifetime of relationship. It’s because we maintain that relationship, not just his position, and it’s the ongoing love we share.

What condition is your relationship with God? Honestly reflect, review and examine your answers. Is it time to renew your commitment to him, to remember who he is, and what he’s brought you out of? To recall the many lessons, errors, and moments of redemption, healing and restoration? To regain your footing and restore fervency to your prayer life?


[Thursday, May 4]

Read Luke 12:1-59

This passage is flooded with innumerable life messages to review, grasp and apply. As you read through them, do so slowly. Take each section, and as my grandmother said, ‘mull it over.’ (Think carefully about something for a long time.)

Let’s grab one of these sections and consider it for the sake of time. In verse 35, “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks.” As a little girl, I remember a painting in our Sunday school room at church. You may have seen one as well. A classic picture of Jesus standing at the door, knocking and waiting. He wasn’t just hoping I’d let him in, but I believe he was waiting for me to go with him. To follow him. Sixty-nine times in the gospels, Jesus calls himself the “son of man.” In verse 40, he notes, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” While this applies to the end times, it also applies to us daily. If we’re always dressed, ready for service, with our lamp burning, when Jesus comes and knocks, we can immediately open the door for him. Not just at his second coming, but now. Ready to follow, ready to go, ready to do.

So, if you’re getting ready for work, or getting ready to help your kids with their homework, or like me, you’re getting ready to take your child to her 16th basketball game, be ready. Be ready to bring Jesus to the co-worker, the child before you, and the basketball game.

Did Jesus knock on your door this week? If so, how did you respond? If you weren’t prepared and ready, how did that make you feel? What could you do differently tomorrow at work, at the game, with your children or with the person sitting next to you that will change the outcomes?


[Friday, May 5]

Read Luke 13:1-35

In verse 6, Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree growing in his vineyard that stopped bearing fruit. At the time, he was referring to the religious system of that day. Could there be areas of our lives that are no longer bearing fruit? I have a hibiscus tree, and I’m growing it in honor of my mother. She is the one I would call for advice if I had a plant that wouldn’t bloom. I swear, she could resurrect a plant from the dead if I’d accidentally cut its life short. While she’s helping in the gardens of heaven these days, I watch my hibiscus tree daily, and I’m learning the signs. I can tell if it’s starting to show a slight droop, has a discolored leaf, or if the past bloom needs to be plucked off.

Time for some self-reflection: Are there any areas in your life that were once fruitful but now dry. Did something once bloom, which is now time to remove? Does Jesus want to make room for new growth in my life and yours?


[Saturday, May 6]

Read Luke 14:1-35

Salt is good, but how can it be made salty again if it loses its saltiness? For salt to lose its saltiness, it needs to be diluted. I’m not a chemist or chef, but leaving the salt in the original container preserves it. The gospel would have to be mixed with something else to lose its intended flavor. In our lives, what have we mixed in? Perhaps complacency, resentment, anger, bitterness, skepticism, division, or discontentment? What’s your composition? Describe how you encountered God in this passage. Who can you share this experience with? Ask them for feedback regarding your progress. How can you maintain your saltiness?


{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.