Soul Journal
Bible Reading Plan
bible
 
 
Weekend: Read any passages of your choice or catch up if you’ve fallen behind 🙂
 
By following the new DSC Bible Reading Plan above, you will read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice every 2 years.
 
If you’re just beginning to develop the habit of spending daily time in God’s word and 3 chapters feels intimidating, we encourage you to just pick 1 of the 3 to read. Start small but start today!
 
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How To Soul Journal
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Journal Entries
As part of our month of rest, we are giving our SOUL Journal posters a break. Instead, you will find here each day an “Idea for Rest” that we encourage you to implement. 
 
In the comments you can still post your SOUL Journal entry for the day!

Psalm_139

Scripture

Psalm 139:1-6; 13-14; 23-24 NIV

“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain……For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well……Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Observation-What does it say?

In this Psalm, David is declaring the following truths about God and himself. God knows all things. He’s omniscient. (Verses 1-6) God is present everywhere. (7-16) David states his hatred to sin, and desire to be led on the right path. (17-24). (Matthew Henry commentary on Christianity.com)

Understanding-What does it mean?

God knows us better than anyone! 

Nothing is hidden from His sight, especially when it comes to us, His children. He formed us. He knows our hearts, our thoughts, and every intricate detail of our lives that not even our parents or spouses know because He was literally there. He was present through all of it! 

Life Application

Be completely honest when praying to God and don’t hide from Him.

I think it’s funny when we try to hide stuff from the Lord. He already knows our inmost thoughts, mind, heart and struggles. He’s omniscient, which means He knows ALL things. We are much like Adam and Eve, who felt so ashamed of their sin and nakedness that they hid from Him. When we run from God, that’s when trouble happens. We must run TO Him through all of it. Nothing phases Him and His light is so bright that not even the darkness can dim it. (See verses 11 and 12).

The most righteous people I know are not righteous because they are perfect. They are able to live righteous lives because they recognize their need for a Savior and the Holy Spirit’s guidance every single day. We all know King David’s story. It wasn’t perfect, much like many of ours, yet He was called a man after God’s own heart because He was desperate and thirsty for God. His Psalms prove that. He took every struggle to the Lord in prayer, did not hide from Him and was utterly desperate and in need of more of Him and His grace every day. It’s a righteousness that flowed through Christ alone. Let’s follow David’s example and be desperate and thirsty for God and pursue holiness/righteousness through daily unhindered prayers, reading His Word, protecting our weekly Sabbath day with Him, and connecting with our church family.

Dear Lord, I pray Psalm 139:23-24 over us all today, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Amen.

To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.  

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm_138

Scripture
 
Psalm‬ ‭138:8‬ ‭NLT
 
“The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”
‬‬
Observation-What does it say?
 
In this psalm David gives God all his praise. Through all of David’s ups and downs in life, God remained faithful to him. Even through the rough patches in his life, God was there to see him through. And at the end of the day, the world will see just how faithful God is towards His people and God will be glorified and honored because of it.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
When things don’t go as planned…trust God.
 
God didn’t remove all of David’s troubles, even though David cried out to God for help. I’m sure this wasn’t part of David’s plan.
 
I’m sure when Jesus’ disciples decided to follow Him, they didn’t think they would be ridiculed, mocked, and die martyrs’ deaths. They probably thought they would be living a famous lifestyle, going from town to town, healing and saving people, being known as the “rock-star” group, “Jesus and His Disciples.”
 
And I’m sure when Paul decided to accept the calling of sharing the gospel with others, he probably imagined it in front of thousands and thousands, maybe even selling out the Roman Colosseum. I’m sure preaching in prisons was definitely not part of his plan either.
 
The bottom line is that we all have plans for ourselves, but God has the ultimate say. He is in control over every situation and will use each situation to reveal all His glory and power. We must remember that God is good. That even though it may seem He has forsaken us, His Word tells us otherwise. He is always with us. The troubles we may face is being used to strengthen us and build us.  God gives us the strength, boldness, and courage we need to get through any situation in life. No matter what I have planned, God’s plan is greater, and He will see me through upon its completion!
 
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”-Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT
 
Life Application
 
Follow God with a child-like faith.
 
We must trust God no matter what! Easier said than done. I know! We may think we know better. But it has me thinking about my own kids. They are at the age where I butt heads with them sometimes. Why?! Because they think they know better than what I’m telling them. They want to try it on their own. As their father, I see the flaws in their ideas and plans. I want to lead them in a direction that would help grow them, mature them as a person, and protect them. I want to prepare them for life’s challenges, even if it may be a more difficult road for them. I can’t always bail them out and provide them a life with little or no resistance. What kind of father would I be if I did that?! How would that prepare them in their life ahead?!
 
That’s why I know that as a child of God, I should listen to my Father in Heaven. God knows what is best for me. Even though He may put me in difficult situations or situations I’m not comfortable in, I know He is there with me, seeing me through. I know I will grow as a person, and deepen my relationship with Him because of it. And I will give Him all the glory and honor (like David did) because of it!  
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Numbers_20

Scripture

Numbers 20:28

Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain.

Observation – What does it say?

Because Moses and Aaron both rebelled against God at Meribah, God didn’t allow them to enter into the Promised Land. As Aaron passed away, Moses put his garments on Aaron’s son as a symbol of him taking his father’s role as priest.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Always raise up next.

Ephesians 3:11-12 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

Regardless of our role in the body of Christ, our goal is the same: to equip others to serve. It all comes down to discipleship. Who are you training to do what you do? Who are you raising up? Who are you investing in? Aaron had invested in his son and trained him to to all that he did. So when Aaron passed away, the priesthood didn’t collapse because he had raised up a capable leader in Eleazar.

When we hear that God has great plans and purposes for our lives and that we’re destined for greatness, it can be easy to imagine ourselves in the spotlight. But rather than aiming to be the hero, we should be aiming to be hero makers. Jesus invested in 12 guys, taught them, was patient with their immaturities, washed their feet, and empowered them to do the very works he was doing.
 
This is one thing I love about Pastor Gary. He is incredibly gifted as a worship leader and preacher. And yet he is continually raising up others and giving them the platform to lead worship and preach. Why? He has recognized that his success is not in being the star up front, but in equipping others to be the stars. He is into multiplying himself in others, and for that I am so grateful.

Life Application

Ask God, “Please show me one or two people that I can teach to do what I’m doing?” “Whether it’s teaching them to how to SOUL Journal or how to serve as an usher or how to play my instrument, etc., help me identify people you want me to invest in.”

– Levi Thompson



Luke_18

Scripture

Luke 18:16-17

16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

 

Observation

Luke 18 continues with Jesus telling parables to his disciples – the Parable of the Persistent Widow where He speaks to God’s deliverance of justice (v 1-6), the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector where He speaks to the importance of humility (v 9-14).  As he’s sharing theses parables, “people were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them” and the disciples “rebuked them” (v15), bringing us to Jesus’ response above. 

 

Understanding

As a mom of 2 – now age 9 and 11 – I’m STILL amazed regularly as I see the world through their eyes.  It’s a different, fresh, innocent, fun perspective. 

 

I LOVED the sermon and ending song yesterday! [For anyone who may have missed it, check out the recorded live stream on Facebook! J] Levi did an amazing job of delivering the message God gave him – that we are already “loaded” with an identity given by Christ, not to be earned or strived for but, rather, just embraced, enjoyed and shared for God’s glory.  It was an impactful reminder to me; but what I’m sitting here thinking about tonight as I read this scripture is my 9-year-old son, telling me about his favorite “church song” and proclaiming the words of “Anthem” – I am royalty!  I have destiny!  I have been set free!  I’m gonna shake history!  That’s who he is.  That’s who I am.  That’s who you are.

 

We’ve been called to a life of power – one that knows no boundaries because with God, ALL things are possible.  There is no age, illness, circumstance that God cannot use to touch lives…if we will just bravely and boldly embrace that which we are called to. 

 

Life Application

May we walk with childlike faith today.

 

God, I’m grateful that you see the masterpiece in the broken, the warrior in the worrier, the gift in chaotic circumstances.  Help me to see people and situations the way you do.  May I approach you and your call for my life with childlike faith – believing with 100% confidence that I am who you’ve called me to be, that I can do what you’ve called me to do.

 

God, you are so good and I continue to find myself caught, surprised to be loved by you.  But, like those children, may I continue to seek you, find you and open myself to be used by you. 

 

Love you.  Your child,

Rei

 

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.



Luke_17

Scripture
Luke 17:14-15  
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.  One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 
 
Observation – What does it say?  
In this chapter Jesus discusses the way we forgive, our faith and His return.  Jesus challenges the disciples in their forgiveness by telling them that they only need to have a small amount of faith to continue in forgiveness and living out what the bible has called them to.

Before talking about the unknown time of His return, ten lepers show up on scene and cry out for healing.  Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priest, so that they may be declared fit to return to society. They were healed while they were still in route from where they encountered Jesus to meeting the priest.  Only one of the ten, a samaritan, returned to thank Jesus for being miraculously healed.

Understanding – What does it mean? 
The other day I was having a conversation with a co-worker about autonomous cars.  He was saying that he couldn’t wait for the day that all cars drive themselves.  Not only that, I don’t like the idea of the government taking away my freedom to drive.  I argued that the human mind could do everything a computer in a car could do better.  His response was, “Yeah, but I just don’t trust anyone to drive the right way.”

In his response, I realized how evident the human condition is to everyone.  My co-worker, someone who is not a believer, showed the understanding that humans are inherently sinful.  That without some outside source, like a self driving car or the Holy Spirit, humans are more likely to choose to act in a way that is contrary to how God has called us to.  And in this we can see the true beauty of God’s love for us.  God loves us in a way that he is continually pursuing us, calling us to him, and yet he gives us the freedom to come to him on our free will.

Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  He lavishes on us love not only when we are in a relationship with Him, but also while we are running away from him.  Jesus died for His disciples and for the people who spit in his face while he was carrying the cross.  We have the freedom to accept the free gift of his love and return to him like the samaritan leper.

Life Application  
Jesus, I cannot even begin to comprehend the depth and breadth of your love.  Even though I can’t grasp the greatness of your love, I want to make my life centered around running to you like the leper who praised you in a loud voice.  Help me in my times of unbelief to return to you.  
 
– Tyler Galloway


Luke_16

Scripture
 
Luke 16:10-15

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Observation-What does it say?
 
Jesus had just told a parable about a shrewd manager and gave a lesson on the importance of being trustworthy in handling wealth and also trustworthy with managing someone else’s property, not stingy or wasteful with it.

Understanding-What does it mean?
 
It ALL belongs to God.

All of our gifts, talents, time, abilities and resources belong to the Lord. His resources, such as money, which is specifically highlighted in this passage, must be steward wisely. Although only 10% is required to be returned, the rest of the 90% belongs to God as well. 

The more trustworthy we are in handling His money, His gifts, His talents, His time, His resources, etc., the more He will entrust to us to manage.

Life Application
 
Be a trustworthy servant of the Lord and steward what He owns (our lives) wisely.

Our whole lives belong to the Lord. We would not be alive today or have what we have today without His faithfulness and grace.

We must love the Owner more than the gift. We serve the Giver, not the gift.

It’s interesting in this passage how it talks about the Pharisees’ love of money. I would think that men who followed the law and did things by the book would steer away from that, but it reminds me that God does not look at the outward appearance, but the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Their outward appearance would suggest that they were giving servants, but in their heart, they only gave to be seen (Matthew 6:1-4). They only gave out of what they already had, instead of giving ALL they had (Luke 21:1-4). They only gave out of obligation, not a cheerful heart (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Dear Lord, I pray that Your Holy Spirit would constantly remind us that our whole lives belong to You. I pray we would be a church that gives of our lives freely and generously, especially when it comes to furthering Your Kingdom. Amen.

To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.

-Michelle Gaddi


Luke_15

Scripture
 
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭NLT
 
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
In this chapter, Jesus spoke to all the tax collectors and notorious sinners. The Pharisees and teachers of the law found that quite odd and began complaining amongst one another. Why would Jesus associate Himself with such people? So Jesus responded to them by speaking to them in parables. Each parable would drive across a single point…Jesus’ heart for the lost.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
God loves the lost.
 
Your average person probably thinks God is out to get them. That God is just waiting for that moment that we slip up and…BAM! He got ya! God caught us in the act and now He’s waiting to drop the hammer on us. We couldn’t be more wrong. God loves us…all of us. Now don’t get it twisted. He despises sin, but still loves the sinner. And there are consequences for our sinful actions. But for those who repent from their sinfulness and return to Jesus, there is grace, mercy, and love. These parables that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees here reminds me of that. That God’s desire is for ALL to come to know Him and repent from their sinful ways. For there is great rejoicing in Heaven when just one person turns to Christ! Imagine the celebration that occurs when we all do our part as Christians and multiply Christ Followers everywhere.
 
“As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?”
‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭33:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:3-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”-‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
Life Application
 
When it comes to the gospel of Christ, don’t discriminate!
 
Father God, may You give me Your heart for the lost. A heart that breaks over sinfulness. Give me Your eyes Lord to see and ears to hear. May You guide me to whom You would want me to be bold with and share with today. Help me remember how You shared with anyone and everyone. You didn’t discriminate. Instead, You loved all. Help me to be part of that celebration in Heaven when one chooses You and repents from their sinful ways. In Your name Jesus, Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Numbers_15

Scripture

Numbers 15:1-2

The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘After you enter the land I am giving you as a home

Observation – What does it say?

The Israelites had rebelled against God after hearing the negative report of the spies sent into the Promised Land. They wailed and complained against God and were ready to choose a new leader and go back to Egypt. They realized their error after God spoke to them and told them they would all die in the wilderness for their stubbornness and grumbling. They then changed their minds and decided to try to enter the Promised Land, but on their own strength without God’s go ahead. As a result they were defeated by their enemies. That’s where this chapter picks up. A broken, confused, discouraged, rebellious and continually wavering community of people. God addressed them through Moses with, “After you enter the land I am giving you as a home..”

Understanding – What does it mean?

Even when God’s people wander and sin, God keeps his promises and prophetically declares destiny over them!

“After you enter the land…” What a crazy thing to say, but so reassuring to a confused and discouraged people!

When we have sinned and have wandered, we can wonder, “Has God left me?” “Have I missed out on the purposes of God for my life?” “Has God withdrawn his promise?” But God affirms his promise. The gifts and call of God are without revoke. He doesn’t change his mind. Although those who lacked faith and rebelled, died in the wilderness, God was still faithful to bring the Israelites into the Promised Land.

Life Application

Trust that God has my future in his hands and that he will be faithful to every word he has spoken.

In moments of sin, wandering and setback, trust that God is able to redeem what was lost and still fulfill the good plans he has for us.
 
– Levi Thompson


Luke_13

Scripture

Luke 13:20-21

20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Observation

Jesus is shaking things up – calling out the Galileans for their hypocrisy, healing on the Sabbath and confronting those who disagree…and the conversation turns to the kingdom of God – what it is like, what it can be compared to.

Understanding

I don’t know much about yeast – other than it’s small and, used in small quantities, it causes bread to rise.  So, that made me curious…just how small?  So, I looked up yeast and learned that the typical serving size or quantity used is 1 “packet.” One packet used to be the equivalent of 1 Tablespoon but, currently, it’s closer to 2 generous teaspoons – a tribute to improved manufacturing methods that produce stronger, more active yeast. 

Based on this information, we could guess that the verse is saying 1 Tablespoon of yeast mixed through 60 pounds of dough.  Immediately, a visual pops in my brain – that’s a whole lot of dough and not very much yeast.  Yet that small amount of yeast raises the bread.

A little goes a long way.

We talked yesterday about worshiping warriors – how when we worship it silences the voice of the enemy, allowing the truth, the voice of God to more easily be heard.  In combination with today’s reading, I’m reminded it doesn’t take an army of worshipers to make difference.  Even one can create impact for those around them – raising them up, lifting their hearts, making space for peace. 

Life Application

Will you be that one today?

God, I continue to be amazed at the power of your name – a just how little of that power it takes to make a HUGE difference.  Whether it be a mustard seed of faith to make mountains move or a Tablespoon of yeast to raise 60 pounds of dough…you remind us that the power and influence wielded when we partner with you is life and world changing. May we be bold and audacious today, laying down the lies of the enemy and picking up the power of worship throughout the day and with everyone we meet…and may lives be touched as a result.

In your holy and powerful name I pray!  Amen.

– Rei

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.



Psalm 130

Scripture   

Psalm 130:1 

Out of the depths of my soul I cry to you, Lord

Observation – What does it say? 

The author of this Psalm is unclear; some believe it was David, other’s believing the author to have been Ezra.  The contents of the Psalm can be applied to anyone in distress and in need of God’s deliverance.  The Matthew Henry commentary elaborates on this by stating, “The only way of relief for a sin-entangled soul, is by applying to God alone. Many things present themselves as diversions, many things offer themselves as remedies, but the soul finds that the Lord alone can heal. And until men are sensible of the guilt of sin, and quit all to come at once to God, it is in vain for them to expect any relief.”

Understanding – What does it mean? 

It’s funny how our vacations and weekends can sometimes leave us feeling more tired or stressed than the things we were trying to get a break from.  Frequently, I will come down with a case of the “Sunday Blues” the day before starting back to work.  I feel a general dissatisfaction with the upcoming tasks of my week. 

What I see as the underlying problem, I have allowed myself to become discontent with what God has provided me with.  Also, I have exchanged a heart of thanksgiving with an attitude of greed. I often have to turn back to several verses to remind me that God is still good, even in times that feel mundane or overwhelming.  1 Timothy 6:8 says, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”  Additionally, Paul addresses the church in Colossae about their work by saying, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

I want to carry an attitude of contentment in life as well as represent Christ in all that I do, whether that is in action or words.  I often pray with my children that very thing, “Jesus, let us bring you honor in all that we do.”  I know I need to follow this up with my attitude, not just my actions or words.

Life Application 

Jesus, I cry out to you in this time when I need your help changing my attitude. Help me to approach my work with gratitude. And help me to work from the rest that I have taken in you. 
 
– Tyler Galloway