Exodus_24

Scripture

Exodus 24:4a

Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.

 

Observation – What does it say?

Moses shared with the people of Israel all the commands God had given, and then Moses took the time to write down every last word God had said.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

When God speaks, it’s worth taking time to write it down!

If someone were to ask me, “What was God speaking to you about during your times with him 2 weeks ago?” It would most likely be difficult for me to remember. If I can barely remember what God was speaking to me about 2 weeks ago, how can I expect to remember what he spoke 2 months or 2 years ago? Those words become lost to me, unless I take the time to write them down.

I’ve been so amazed reading back through my old journals about things God had shown me in his word, significant dreams, prophetic words, and impressions he gave me in my times of prayer. Many of which I had completely forgotten about until I opened my old journals and read them.

Moses wrote down all God spoke to him. King David wrote down many of his prayers. King Solomon wrote down the wisdom God revealed to him. The prophets wrote down the visions and dreams God gave them. And Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were compelled to write about their experiences with Jesus and all Jesus had taught and said.

 

Life Application

When God speaks, write it down!

I am committed to soul journaling, but also want to continue to take the time to write down my dreams that seem significant, things God has put in my heart to pray for and any prophetic words from others.

God, thank you for giving us lots to write down! Thank you for speaking to us through your word and through other people, circumstances, dreams and visions, etc. (We remember that every prophetic word/dream/vision/etc is subject to Scripture and that your word is the ultimate authority and primary avenue through which you speak.) May we show that we treasure your words to us by writing them down. May we be good stewards of every word you speak. Amen.

 

-Pastor Levi Thompson



Psalm_119

Scripture 

Psalm 119:10-11

10 I seek you with all my heart;

    do not let me stray from your commands.

11 I have hidden your word in my heart

    that I might not sin against you.
 

Observation-What does it say?

 
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses in it and if we can sum up this chapter in two words, it would be God’s Word. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible is God-breathed, which means it was written by human hands, but by inspiration of our living God. It is only fitting that the longest chapter of His Word speaks about itself.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
The Word of God is our instruction manual for life.
 
Just like every toy, electronic, appliance and car has a manual for how it’s supposed to work properly, our Creator left us an instruction manual too for how He designed us to function, and that is His Word. It is not just a history book. The Word of God is living, breathing and active as Hebrews 4:12 states.  It is also our offensive weapon against the enemy’s attacks (Eph. 6:17).
 

Life Application

In order to experience the transforming power of God’s Word in our life, we must read it, study it and apply it to our lives.
 
This is why we encourage you to be in the Word everyday through PB&J and why we have our Soul Journal blog and encourage you all to participate in it. Being in God’s Word is a discipline that is vital to every Believer’s life. It is also important that we apply it to our lives.
 
As James says in ch. 1:22-24, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
 
Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect Word. Thank You that we are free to read it, study it and apply it to our personal lives. I pray we would continually meditate on Your Truth instead of the lies that the enemy and the world throws at us. I pray that if we are living a life contrary to Your Word, that You would bring us back to the Truth through Your Spirit. Thank You that Your Word is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path (Ps. 119:105). Please continue to direct our paths through Your Word. Amen. 
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Luke 8

Scripture 

Luke 8:14-15   

Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

There are several examples of Jesus teaching in parables throughout the gospels.  Parables were effective teaching tools because they were easy to remember and used familiar scenes.  The scenes were often the places of employment of the audience: i.e. farmers, shepherds and wine makers.  Some of the parables had hidden meanings, which would prompt the sincere of heart to inquire further to God’s truth.  This particular parable is one of three that are found in the synoptic gospels, the others being the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the vineyard.  

Often, Jesus gave an explanation of the parables only to those closest to him: his apostles and disciples.  Here, after hearing the parable they questioned the meaning and he told them directly.  Each type of soil represents the status of the hearts of those hearing God’s good news.  The seed never changes, but the result of the sowing does based on the condition of the soil  

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

One of my all time favorite movies is “A River Runs Through It.”  Based on a book of short stories by the author, Norman Maclean, and chronicles his life as a fly fisher in Montana during the early part of the twentieth century.  During the movie, the brother of Norman’s love interest comes to town from California.  It is clear the brother has made a series of poor choices in life and is in need of some help.  Prompted by his love interest and her family, Norman takes the brother fishing.  However the brother arrives drunk and with an unsavory lady friend.  At the culmination of the fishing trip, the brother ends up with a severely sun-burnt body, from head to toe, which causes some bad blood between Norman and his love.  Ultimately, his love comes to the realization that it wasn’t Norman’s fault for the problems her brother has and comments, “How come the people who need the most help won’t take it?” 

God’s gift of eternal life, like the gift of companionship and fishing, is a free gift and only needs to be grasped by those in need of it.  But, despite the widespread availability of it,  there are those who are unwilling to come to the freedom found through Jesus.  The world around us though, affects our ability to find our way to Him.  We are bombarded with messages of an easy life through materialism and tempted with ways to make us feel better through things other than him.  Jesus advises us to seek him and tells it will be harder to be the good soil we want to be.  ““Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”(Matthew 7:13-14)


Life Application 

Jesus, help me to be a guide for those looking for the narrow path.  Give me ways to help prepare the soil of those who hear your word, so they can bear fruit with repentance.  Also, help me to readily accept the times when I need to be tilled and plowed in order to bear more fruit.  
 
-Tyler Galloway


Luke_7

Scripture – What stood out?

Luke 7:38

 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 

 

Observation – What does it say?

Jesus had entered the city of Capernaum. Invited by a pharisee to dinner Jesus was reclining at a table in this pharisee’s house when a “woman of the city, who was a sinner” as it is phrased in the ESV bible approaches Jesus with alabaster ointment.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

She wet his feet with her tears – When was the last time I brought my sins to the foot of the cross?

She wiped them with her own hair – Did I repent of my sins?

She kissed his feet – Was I filled with adoration and appreciation?

She anointed his feet with alabaster ointment – Which of my treasures did I give Jesus in return?

 

It is in this story I believe God is revealing to me the correct attitude and correct heart of a sinner before Christ. Jesus later on in the chapter compares her actions to the actions of Simon the pharisee, showing us the stark contrast between a person whose heart truly seeks redemption and somebody who does not. I can almost picture the confused look on the pharisee’s face as Jesus states this and then hits him with “But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

 

For somebody who has done no wrong, love would definitely be in short supply.

 

Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

I happened to come upon this story Lord as I am preparing to enter a deeply reflective moment of my life.

My desire is not to love You little. My desire is to love You more. Reveal to me the areas of my life where I need to repent. Give me the ability to lay them at your feet. Holy Spirit show me how to love my Lord, my Savior. And may You reveal a gift that I can offer my Lord that cost me greatly.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneth lee








Luke_6

Scripture

Luke 6: 27-28

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
 

Observation

After Jesus states the beatitudes He then preaches the greatest commandment of all to everyone listening. Although this command is perhaps the simplest lessons that He consistently teaches, He emphasizes it once again showing it’s vast importance.
 

Understanding

“But the greatest of these…”

It is really easy to love those who love us, especially when in public and in private BUT Jesus really ups the stakes here. A few things I find important about this passage. He stresses the importance of loving those who don’t necessarily like us. He doesn’t just say to be cordial and nice to their face only to be mean behind their back, he says to love them, do good to them, bless them, and even pray for them! Which seems totally outrageous! Loving ourselves is hard enough sometimes, let alone loving others and especially those who hate you. And not just in private Jesus says too, but in public to their face and for all the world to hear!

ALSO He again stresses that the greatest of these is love. Not popularity, not money, not fame, not works, The greatest of these is to L.O.V.E. We tend to give ourselves a free pass in judging people because we are only “holding the them to a standard.” While I don’t think this is completely wrong we have to check our heart-attitude. It is to harm them and not to prosper them then obviously we need to check what “love “ means.
 

Life Application

The love of God is great because it has a response, it chases down those who we would otherwise define as unwanted. The practicality of this verse and ones like it is simple to simply be Jesus’ hands and feet and love well. So go and love on someone today, and not just anyone someone you struggle to get along with or people that society has deemed as “unwanted.” What the world needs now is love (great song by the way!) and we have a lot to give away!

-Allison Khan


Luke 5

Scripture 

Luke 5:5

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

 

Observation – What does it say?

Simon (AKA Peter), had fished all night with his crew and they hadn’t caught a thing. Lots of effort expended, time and resources spent, and nothing to show for it. You can imagine the discouragement and frustration; the longing to just go home, take a shower, collapse in bed and attempt to forget it all. But instead, Jesus delays Peter by getting into his boat and asking him to push out from shore. And Jesus, from the boat, taught the crowd that had gathered. When Jesus was finished, I imagine Peter excited to finally go home, but instead, Jesus asks something else of Peter: “Put back into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.”

Peter hears “for a catch,” and I imagine him rolling his eyes. Peter expresses his frustration, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” In other words, “There’s no fish out there, trust me! It’s a waste of time! I just want to go home!”

But after venting, Peter obeys and it led to such a massive catch that their nets began to break and it put 2 fishing boats beyond their capacity! Wow.

 

Understanding – What does it mean? 

Venting is ok, as long as you obey.

You can’t call Jesus “Master” and then choose to do what you prefer. Do you want to be Jesus’ servant? …Then don’t get mad when he treats you like one.

 

It’s ok to disagree with God, to be honest about how you think his plan won’t work. But if you will obey anyway, there’s no telling to the miracle you’ll see.

Consider Samuel being asked by God to pass up well built and qualified young men to anoint the runt of the family, David, to be king. Consider God commanding the priests to carry the ark of the covenant into the raging waters of the Jordan River while it was at flood stage. Consider God asking Peter to step into the home of the Gentile Cornelius. Consider our Savior Jesus being asked by his Father to go to the cross. None of those things could seem remotely logical or appealing to the one facing the command.

Scripture and history is filled with stories of people being asked by God to do something that didn’t make sense, that they didn’t want to do. But every time they obeyed, something amazing happened! God showed up and giants were killed, seas were parted, sick people were healed and countless people were saved from Hell, all because people like you and me chose to obey when it didn’t make sense or we didn’t ‘feel like it.’

 

Life Application

Consider, “In what situation do I need to make the transition from venting to obeying?” 

The outcome isn’t up to me, it’s up to you, God. My role is to obey. Please forgive me for when I camp out in the venting stage and never progress to obedience. I want to be a man after your own heart, like David, who will do everything you want me to do. Amen.

– Levi Thompson



Luke 4

Scripture

Luke‬ ‭4:13‬ ‬‬

“When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.” 

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus was just baptized, anointed by The Holy Spirit, and was led into the wilderness for 40 days. It was there the devil tried to tempt Jesus multiple times, only to fail miserably. Every time the devil tried to tempt Jesus, he would try to bend and twist the words of scripture in order to try to trick Jesus into falling into temptation. But Jesus knew the Word of God and could not be fooled. Jesus used scripture to fight off the devil’s tricks. Eventually the devil grew weary of trying to trick Jesus, and left him, only to wait until another opportunity may arise.

 
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
There is great importance in studying, knowing, and memorizing God’s Word.
 
Has temptation ever come your way? How many of us fell into that temptation? I know I can answer yes to both. But in this passage, Jesus shows us how we can fight off temptation when it comes our way. How? By knowing and memorizing the Word of God. You may say, “it’s too hard!”, or “I have a bad memory.” But how many of us could remember quotes from a movie or lines from our favorite songs, or even sports scores and stats from our favorite players? I know I can. It all boils down to wanting to remember things that are important to us. So how important is God’s Word to us? Knowing what I do now, means that it can be used to help us get out of life’s jams. It can bring us strength when we are weak. It can give us guidance when we are lost. That is why it should be that much more important for us to get into the Word, study the Word, and memorize the Word.
 
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”-‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:8‬
 
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”-‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:11
 
 
Life Application
 
Whenever temptation comes your way…
 
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” –1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13
 
This verse is a very helpful verse to remember and memorize for any Christ Follower. Just remember how Jesus was able to overcome the devil’s temptations. He laid out the blueprint to defeat the enemy. Remember, we may not be able to do it on our own. But we can overcome any temptation the devil throws at us through the power of The Holy Spirit, surrounding yourself with Godly people, and a strong commitment to study, know, and memorize His Word.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Luke 3

Scripture  

Luke 3:8-9   

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.  The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

 

Observation-What does it say? 

While he only wrote two books in the new testament, the gospel of Luke and Acts, Luke is attributed with the highest volume of work in the new testament.  In Luke 1:3-4 he expresses his intent for the book, “I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”  Theophilus was most likely a high-ranking Roman official and the patron who would cover the cost of publishing for Luke.  The book of Acts is also addressed to the same recipient.  

 

In chapter three, Luke gives an account of John the baptist.  John, Jesus’ cousin, addresses his audience, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah and preparing the way for Jesus’ ministry.  He calls for people to not only repent, but to live in such a way as to make their repentance known.  Verses 10-14 explain what is meant when John said to produce the fruit of repentance, “John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.””  Through John’s words, we are given the impression that our faith needs to take a path of action, not just in word.  We are not saved through our heritage, or by going to church, but through faith, which should be evidenced by practical acts of love.  This is also expressed in James 2:15-18.  

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

With three boys that are ten years old and under, our house is a constant mess.  I could clean the whole house and turn around to start all over again.  Our youngest is a complete tornado.  He just drops things wherever he sees fit.  I don’t think I have ever found his shoes in one spot.  Most often, I will find one in the kitchen and the other in the upstairs hallway.  I don’t even understand how they come off his feet at such a large interval.  It would be a dream come true if the three of them would just do something so simple as to put their things away in the place where they go.  

 

When it comes to cleaning, the conversation usually goes like this, I tell them to pick up and they say, “Okay,” with a cheery disposition.  It’s as if they understand and are going to obey.  But, almost without fail I find myself walking around the house, with my arms full of things, as I am screaming that I don’t appreciate cleaning up after everyone.  Their obedience would be much more appreciated in action rather than lip-service.  Similarly, the Bible tells us to act out our faith in simple actions, sharing our food and clothes, giving help to those in need, and caring for widows and orphans.  While we often worry about finding “God’s will” for our lives, the Bible makes it clear we can live out his will through our acts of love.


Life Application  

 
Jesus help me to find ways to make my fruit fruit of repentance.  Help me to live out love in practical ways and seek to help those in need. 
 
-Tyler Galloway    


Psalm___112

Scripture – What stood out?

Psalm 112:1

Praise the Lord.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord,

    who find great delight in his commands.

Observation – What does it say?

Psalm 112 is a reminder to those of us who revere the Lord and find joy in what He asks of us. While we move forward in our walk with God we are encouraged by what waits for us along the way. Our hope is for a promised journey. One filled with blessing and honor. In the hope that through it all we end up with the ultimate prize, eternity with God our Creator.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Do I revere you Lord? Do I hold You in an awe and majesty that  walks the line between fear and abject terror? Do I delight in Your commands? If so I am blessed.

 

Thank you for the encouragement this morning, Lord. I needed to hear this. For too long I have allowed the enemy to plant seeds of doubt. The world whispers to me about how truly burdensome the narrow gate is. But this psalm is a reminder of who guides my path once I have entered those doors. And that “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright”. 

 

Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

Holy Spirit teach me how to revere God more deeply today.

  • As I drink my morning coffee this morning I will stay quiet for 10 minutes and think upon this vese: 

Praise the Lord.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord,

    who find great delight in his commands.

Holy Spirit teach me how to delight in God’s commands.

  • Before I go to bed today I will stay quiet for 10 minutes and meditate on this: Matthew 22 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In the name of Jesus do I ask.
-kenneth lee



Psalm_111

Scripture

Psalm‬ ‭111:10‬ ‭NLT

“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Psalm 111 is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving. The psalmist gives all glory and honor to God for all He has done. God’s provision, protection, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and wisdom are worthy to be praised.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
 
There are other verses in the Bible that state this. The book of Proverbs, written by one of the wisest people ever, King Solomon, states this multiple times in scripture.
 
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”-Proverbs‬ ‭1:7
‭‭‬ ‭
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.”-‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭9:10
 
It’s a phrase used in scripture that can be confusing at times. What does it mean to fear the Lord? Should I be scared of God like He is some scary monster out to get me? I think to get a better understanding of what it means to “fear the Lord” we need to define the biblical word of fear.
 
In the Bible, the word translated “fear” can mean several things. It can refer to the terror one feels in a frightening situation (Deuteronomy 2:25). It can mean “respect” in the way a servant fears his master and serves him faithfully (Joshua 24:14). Fear can also denote the reverence or awe a person feels in the presence of greatness (Isaiah 6:5). The fear of the Lord is a combination of all of these.
 
Fearing God to me is understanding just how holy and mighty God is. Fearing God is knowing just how BIG He is, and how we are just a mere speck of dust in comparison. It’s about recognizing that God is the creator of the universe and is all knowing. It’s knowing that He is the King of Kings, and is on the throne. It puts us in our true place. A place where we can humbly bow down and worship Him. When the reality of God’s true nature has caused us to fall down in worship, we are then in the right position to gain wisdom. Wisdom is merely seeing life from God’s perspective and responding accordingly. Wisdom is a priority, and we are told to seek it above all else.
 
“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:13
 
Life Application
 
Desire heavenly wisdom over earthly wisdom.
 
Until our hearts are in a right relationship with God, we are unable to have the “wisdom that comes from heaven”.
 
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”-‭‭James‬ ‭3:17-18
 
Without the fear of the Lord, we may gain knowledge of earthly things and make some practical choices for this life, but we are missing the one ingredient that defines a wise person. Will you choose to be a wise person today?
 
-Moses Gaddi