[February 11, 2024]

Heartland Community Church


Climbing the Mountain

Have you ever been on a journey and started fresh and clean, full of energy, and ready for whatever comes your way? The morning sun on your face may be a bit cool and crisp, your legs and back fresh and ready for the road ahead. The path lay before us, our music, snacks, and our feet ready for the trail, vacation, car trip, whichever journey we are on. Our hearts are ready for the change of pace. Ready to climb and move and find an adventure.

Then, suddenly, noon hits, the pace is not quite as quick, the legs are a bit heavier, and the open-mouthed crunching of road trip snacks is starting to irritate everyone. Once a welcome sight, the bright sun is squarely in your face, pounding on your neck, now causing a bit of blindness, and you move from anticipation to annoyance to irritation. This is how journeys go: starting with excitement, the middle becomes perseverance, potty stops, and patience, and the end, a mad sprint to the bottom of the hill.

That is where I think Jesus places us in Matthew 5:17. Coming out of all the “blessed are they…” we get to the rules, the law, the affirmation of following how God set up his covenant, and his people. The road gets a bit rocky and a bit more intense, and the change in tone is evident. There is still road construction in our way, as Jesus reminds us, “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.”  It seems Jesus is telling the crowd, “I am here to keep you on the journey and add my in-person presence as a witness to the rules and ideals you have been called to and committed to following in one variance or another for your whole lives. Jesus seems to be re-setting the guard rails of the journey. He is preparing the path and the travelers to reach the destination, whether the mountain top, the valley, or the winding journey to the next adventure or back home. Putting one foot in front of the other and keeping pace with the guide is where we are invited and challenged in this passage.

How are you doing at keeping pace with the guide? Where do you need help carrying the load of righteousness (right living, right relationships)? How might you invite Jesus into that weight this week?


[Monday, February 12]

Jeremiah 31:31-34

The days are coming for a new covenant; no matter what happened yesterday, a new way of living is coming. The Super Bowl is almost behind us; tomorrow, the sun will rise, no matter what. In this passage God describes his new covenant with those who follow him. He promises to plant it in our hearts. What are you doing today to live out God’s covenant from the depths of your heart? How are you deepening your relationship with Jesus? How can you connect within our culture to meet others where they are and introduce them to the love of Jesus?


[Tuesday, February 13]

Galatians 5:16-24

The “fruits of the spirit” song is one of our favorites in our home. We sing it going through the produce aisle of the store. “The fruit of the spirit is not a coconut.”  When was the last time you connected with your child-like faith? What songs when you were young and on the road brought you joy and excitement? How can you practice childlike faith and joy today? When was the last time you measured the fruits of the spirit in your life?  Which one could you focus on growing in the week ahead?


[Wednesday, February 14]

James 1:19-20, Psalm 37:8-9

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there! What rises in you when you feel angry? How were you on Sunday when your favorite player got hit, talked about, or embarrassed? Where is your heart when driving in heavy traffic around Kansas City? What can or would change in you if you captured those thoughts and brought them to Jesus first before letting them surface?


[Thursday, February 15]

Luke 6:37-38

These verses urge us to beware of judging one another, and to remember to offer forgiveness and to be gracious and generous toward others. Which of these is easiest for you? With which do you struggle? Choose one step you could take today to stretch your ability to be gracious, forgive or be generous toward someone.


[Friday, February 16]

Romans 12:14-21

I often think when reading the Bible, “This passage is so good I would put it up on the wall, like in one of those scrolly wall stickers.”  Imagine walking into someone’s home and seeing they have “blessed are those who persecute you” in pretty letters on the wall. This will be an interesting encounter; you might say to yourself. What would change if we took this passage, posted it on our wall, and attempted to live with it in mind?



{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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© 2024 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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