[October 15, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Is God Powerful?

By Meghan Hemenway

What does power look like to you? If you were to describe yourself as powerful, what characteristics would you possess? If this is difficult to imagine, try looking at the question in a different way: If you do not consider yourself to have power, what would need to change in your life to make you powerful?

This week, we look at the question: is God powerful? To answer this question, we need to understand and explore our own personal definitions and experiences of power. Depending on our lived experience the word power could hold a primarily positive or overwhelmingly negative meaning. Understanding first our own perspective and then comparing that to the perspective of others or what is offered in the Bible can help highlight how complex this question is about God. What we might find is that there is not one singular view of power nor of God which can help us to understand how a powerful God can also be a loving God. If we depend on only our experience, we may have a narrow view of who God is.  How can God be both powerful and loving? How can two things that seem to contradict each other both be true? This is called both/and thinking. In contrast to either/or thinking, the both/and mindset allows us to experience two seemingly different truths simultaneously, such as grief and joy. For us to find peace amid chaos.
It is more confusing and complicated to have a both/and mindset. It is a challenge to hold space for two different things to be true at the same time, and sometimes our minds long for the simple answer, for right and wrong to be clear.

Some questions bring more questions than answers, but we deepen our understanding of ourselves, others, and God anytime we choose to explore rather than choose either/or thinking.


[Monday, October 16]

Psalm 62:11-12

This week we continue to wrestle with the two sides of God; the God of all power and the God of unending love. Throughout your week try to notice signs of God’s power and God’s love. When we become aware and start to notice something we start to see it everywhere, like a certain make of car or a penny on the ground.


[Tuesday, October 17]

Exodus 14:23-24

The image of an entire powerful army rushing into the sea and ultimately being swallowed up is shocking to my mind. We sometimes read stories from the Bible and accept them as facts from a different time, but can you imagine witnessing this kind of destruction? What is something that comes to mind when you think of powerful? What in our modern life is the picture of powerfulness? Again consider how you would describe power and then put that into the context of an omnipotent God whose power is over all.


[Wednesday, October 18]

Exodus 15

In Exodus 15 Moses and the Israelites sing of God’s strength and unfailing love for them. Singing to God is one way to praise him, but what else do you think the retelling of this story does for the Israelites? Why do we retell the stories of hardship and miracles in our lives? What do you think God wants them and us to remember?


[Thursday, October 19]

2 Corinthians 12:9

In this verse we get the both/and of our Lord’s power and our weakness. Often we try to emulate that which we admire. Even in our walk with the Lord, we are shown ways to be like him, but here we see freedom from trying to be powerful like God. We are invited to be vulnerable and humble and to stop striving. Consider the signs you have seen this week of God’s power. What was your role in these moments? Was God asking anything from you to accomplish his mightiness?


[Friday, October 20]

John 19:8-11

Pilate suffers from a disillusion that we have all probably experienced. This idea that our worldly idea of power is the same as God’s understanding of power. As you go into the weekend, consider the areas in your life that you have power and authority and the areas in your life where you feel others have power and authority over you.  Why do you think God gives us both of these experiences? What do you learn about yourself, others, and God?


{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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