Bible Reading Plan
bible

Weekends: Read any passages of your choice or catch up if you’ve fallen behind 🙂

November 4: Esther 9, Revelation 17, Psalm 73

November 5: Esther 10, Revelation 18, Psalm 74

November 6: Job 1, Revelation 19, Psalm 75

November 7: Job 2, Revelation 20, Psalm 76

 
 
 
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How To Soul Journal
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Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

Matthew _3

Scripture 


Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


Observation


John the Baptist had just baptized Jesus. 


Matthew 3:13-16 

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”


15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.


16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.


Understanding

Jesus didn’t need to be baptized by John, Jesus didn’t need to repent for his sins, he was without sin. 


He was here as Immanuel, God with us. 

He was here fully human, identifying with us.


So why did Jesus get baptized?


He was our example to follow. 


John 13:13-16

“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”


Application 


God is pleased with his Son. And so… I should want to do everything the Son does. If I follow his example then just maybe I will hear those words said over me… 


This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased.

Father, thank you for your Son! Holy Spirit empower us, fan the flame that causes a burning desire to follow and cleave unto Jesus. I neeeeed to look like him! To act like him, to love like him, and speak like him! Help me to carry my cross, that I would decrease and he would increase! He knows the way to your heart, the perfect way to follow after you! In the name of Jesus, Amen! 
 
Deborah Lee


Psalm 80

Scripture

 

Psalm ‭80:3

 

“Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
The author of this psalm, (Asaph), is pleading to God to show His glory, reveal His mighty hand, and rescue Israel from the constant sorrow and oppression they are in. As a matter of fact, the author uses this same exact verse three times in this chapter (verses 3, 7, and 19)! To me, it shows the seriousness of their situation. It shows the desperation and need of Israel to have a spiritual revival and awakening. One so great that it can turn the tides of their situation in a way that the people repent from their sinfulness towards God and never look back.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
There are two “A’s” needed for a revival to happen: Admission and Acceptance.
 
In order for Israel to make change in their situation, they needed these two “A’s” to happen in their lives. They needed to Admit their wrong doings, and they needed to Accept the fact that they cannot do it alone and they need God’s guidance and help. The fact that they turned their backs on God, and tried to do things their way is what caused them to be in the situation they were in. Now don’t get me wrong, they are still God’s children, His chosen ones, but there are still consequences for their sinful actions. We serve a God who is just, but He is also gracious and forgiving. Israel needs to turn back to God, rely on His strength, and not their own, and then God will reveal His presence and power in their lives.
 
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”-‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭
 
“I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy.”
Habakkuk‬ ‭3:2‬
 
Life Application
 
Are you in need of a revival?..Seek God first!
 
Father God I pray for revival in this world. I pray for a spiritual awakening. I pray that this world sees its faults, admits their mistakes, and accepts your invitation in their lives. May You reveal Yourself in a way that changes their lives for the better Lord. May we all see that we can’t do it alone…We need YOU! May Your people stand in the gaps for their loved ones, neighbors, and friends. May we unite to pray for their salvation. May You bring the change this world so desperately needs. In Your Holy and precious Name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi
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Job 5

Scripture   “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.”

Job 5:8 NIV
 

Observation-What does it say?  

Eliphaz the Temanite, Job’s friend, was trying to comfort his friend through his suffering, but failed miserably. In this chapter, the encouragement he was offering assumed a few things about Job’s situation:

  1. Job did something wrong and God is correcting/disciplining him. (Verse 17)
  2. Job’s faith is not strong enough. (Verse 8)
  3. Blessing is associated with outward blessings, not inward renewal. (Verses 24-25)-Side note: Eliphaz needed to hear Pastor’s sermon on Sunday. 

Understanding-What does it mean?  

There are times when the innocent must suffer, but for a greater purpose to bring God glory, not because they did something wrong or as a consequence of sin.

In Job’s case, God allowed Job to suffer because He trusted him to remain blameless and faithful through it all. The devil was trying to challenge God on His servant, but God was so confident in His servant, so he allowed him to suffer.
 

Life Application  

Don’t bring suffering upon yourself by disobeying God. It is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil. 
 

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.” 1 Peter 3:13-14a

For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17    

If you were to go through your life from the past to today, what would you attribute most of your suffering to? Sin or Innocence?  

There are times where suffering is a direct result of sin. The Bible speaks on this. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden because they ate the fruit. King David and Bathsheba lost their son because of their affair and because David killed her husband. Moses didn’t get to see the promised land because he hit the rock for water, instead of speak to it like God commanded him to. Abraham had to banish his first born, Ishmael from his life. He was not conceived the right way, through his wife Sarah, as God promised and his descendants were not going to come through him.  

The Bible also has countless examples of how the innocent must suffer, such as Job when he lost his home, possessions, family, health and even compassion/faith from wife and friends; Jesus when He was mocked, beaten, betrayed by closest friends, separated from the Father on our behalf; Jesus’ disciples when all, but John, were martyred for their faith; King David when he was surrounded by enemies (completely separate from the consequences of his sin); Joseph, when he was sold into slavery by his brothers because of their jealousy, etc. In all these situations, God was with these men (except for Jesus when He had to turn His face from Him on the cross due to our sin), and the purpose was to bring honor and glory to His name.

Dear Lord, when I stand face to face with you on judgment day, I pray that most of my suffering would be because I was innocent, not because I did something wrong against You. In all situations, You always turn things around for Your good, however, if I don’t have to suffer for doing bad, then why pursue that? Holy Spirit, I pray that You would guard my mind and heart for Your purposes alone. Amen.
 

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm_78

Scripture

Psalm 78:5-7

He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.

Observation

  1. He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel: Using poetic repetition for style and emphasis, Asaph described first one of the greatest of God’s wonderful works(Psalm 78:4) – the giving of God’s word to Israel.
    1. Centuries later the Apostle Paul would explain that one of the great advantages God gave to Israel was that He committed to them His word, the oracles of God (Romans 3:2).
  2. That they should make them know to their children: Then and now, God gives His word that it would be transmittedto following generations. In theory, the revelation of God’s word can perish or become utterly irrelevant if not passed on to the next generation.
    1. “Through Moses he had commanded all Israelites, regardless of tribal descent, to instruct their children at home (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 20-22; cf. Exodus 10:2; 12:26-27; 13:8).” (Van Gemeren)
  3. That they may arise and declare them to their children: Not only should our children be taught, they should be taught to teach their childrenso that the word and the work of God continue throughout the generations.
    1. Five generations appear to be mentioned above: 1. Fathers; 2. Their children; 3. The generation to come; 4. And their children; 5. And their children. They were never to lose sight of their history throughout all their generations.” (Clarke)
  4. That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God: The goal of communicating to the next generation is so that they would learn to trust God for themselves, never forgetting His wonderful works.

The above is taken from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-78/

Understanding

I think you can summarize the above into just a few sentences…

Not only should our children be taught, they should be taught to teach their children so that the word and the work of God continue throughout the generations…that they may set their hope in God and…learn to trust God for themselves, never forgetting His wonderful works.

I think my most favorite part of it is “In theory, the revelation of God’s word can perish or become utterly irrelevant if not passed on to the next generation.”

I think the “in theory” part is most critical and my most favorite because as we see later in the chapter, God’s plans will not be derailed and He’ll engage those that are willing – even if not how it was or who was expected

65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine.
66 He beat back his enemies;
    he put them to everlasting shame.
67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph,
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary like the heights,
    like the earth that he established forever.
70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skillful hands he led them.

Life Application

God, may I not miss out on what you have planned in and through me.  May I recognize “the great advantages [You have given] to [me]…that [You] committed to [me] [Your] word.”

May I take that to heart and share Your goodness with everyone I meet…but especially my family, my children, the generation(s) to come…so they may be able to set their hearts and their hope in You.

Rei

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



Job 3

Scripture:  Job 3:1-4  After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.  He said: “May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’  That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it.

Observation:  The book of Job tackles an interesting dilemma, the suffering of the innocent.  Throughout the book, we see an answer pointing to the complete infallibility of God’s character.  In chapter 3, Job has just lost about everything he had attained. After a period of seven days of silence, Job breaks the silence with a protest.  Job curses the day he was born. In verse four, the writer uses a contrast in language to Genesis. Where God breathed life into being by saying, “let there be light,” Job asks that the day he was born be turned into darkness.  Though, through this desire to no longer be in existence Job never curses God.

Understanding:  If you ask my wife, she will tell you that I am not good at being sick.  I don’t know if it’s just me, but if I get a minor fever or a common cold, I feel as though death has come to visit me.  It’s as if my body has completely betrayed me, I start writhing in pain and nothing can make me feel better. But, I also want Jen by my side all day, doing nothing but caring for me.  I mean, I question the meaning of my life when I get sick, and whether or not I am being punished for some unknown sin. And this is just with a cold or minor flu.  

One thing I love about the Bible is how real it is.  Job is a great example of this. The bible never turns away from the tougher subjects in life.  And through the divine inspiration of the writers, God shows us that it is okay to be human, to have doubts and question God.  We are never lied to, never told that everything is going to be sunshine and rainbows. In fact, we are often told quite the opposite, that we will definitely see rough times.  But, we are also told this suffering will bring us closer to our creator. In James 1:2-3 we read, “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  That has always been a tough verse to accept for me, who really likes going through tough times. But without the tough times, we will never know how good God really is.  

I think it’s safe to say that we have all had bad days.  Probably very few of us will see days like Job experienced.  Job, though, never turned away from God. It seems as though he intrinsically knew that God would equip him with the strength to overcome the hard times.  In Ephesians 6:10-18, we are told that God equips us with means to overcome this world. But it all starts with drawing closer to Him.

Life Application:  Jesus, help me to draw closer to you.  Help me to find my joy in You. I know that when I pull away from you, this is when I find the greatest dissatisfaction with life.  But, when I draw near to you, I can see life through the lens or eternity. Help me to embrace the seasons of life that I am in, both mourning and celebration.    
 
-Tyler Galloway

 


Job 2

Scripture 

Job 2:13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

Observation 

Job has already suffered the loss of his family. And still there was more to come. 

Understanding 

Sympathize – to share in suffering or grief

Job 2:11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.

We have all been able to tell when something is not right with your friend or family. “From a distance” they are acting or speaking  different, you can tell they are not their usual self. 

Job 2:12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him;

Job’s friends were emotional “from a distance”  because they could already sense the suffering. They didn’t inquire how this happened or even try to cure him, they immediately began to weep, tore their clothes, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 

And when they finally got to him, they were willing to sit “on the ground” in the dirt with him. Not offering advice, or even encouragement. 

Just sat on the ground with him, sharing with their friend in his suffering. 

Sometimes I just need someone to share the experience with me. When my heart is broken cry with me, when I’m depressed feel my emptiness, when I am mourning imagine my loss.

Immanuel, came down to where we are. He chose to experience what it was like “on the ground” with humans as a human. 

He came down and experience childhood, singleness, friends, loss, betrayal, hunger and thirst, physical pain, death…

God chose to be “on the ground” with us.

Application 

Are we willing to get on the ground and in the dirt with people. When we notice them from a distance, will you go closer?

This year I was challenged by God to sit “on the ground” with those around me. I was challenged to follow Jesus’ example to live and “be” with the people around me. 

We can show the example of Jesus to people of a God that loved us so much to come down to us. 

God is with us even now, he never left. The Holy Spirit is here with us living and dwelling among us, comforting us like Job’s friends did with him. 

We can impact people’s lives in a way that speaks louder than just an invite to church.

We are the church. 

Job’s friends shared in his suffering for seven days without a word. And then the conversations began. 

It’s for a short time to sympathize with people before the conversations begin to talk about moving up from the ground. The closeness and trust we build with them just may be what moves them to better days. 

Be strong and courageous. The Holy Spirit empowers us to be brave. The holy spirit will guide and give us discernment. 

We share in the suffering and look forward to sharing in the time of joy that comes after!

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings …

Deborah Lee


Job 1

Scripture

Job 1:8

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
 

Observation

This chapter is the prologue to a dialogue between God and Job. It sets the stage for the chapter following and provides a good background and context to Job’s anguish. It describes everything he owns, and everything that is important to him (his family). Yet in a few swift verses, Job loses all of this because of a conversation between God and Satan, where Job is basically a bet.
 

Understanding

How would God describe you?

This is going to sound very depressing and maybe even worrisome, but Job is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Job’s words throughout the entire book are so poetic and moving to me. I love that despite losing everything he stands firm in his faith. With all that being said, I really got stuck on this verse. I got stuck on how God describes Job. He seems to have adoration for a man He’s about to bet on (that’s said in the most flattering way possible). It really got me thinking: How on earth would the God of the universe describe me? If Satan were to contact God right now, and say “I’ve been roaming the earth looking for a target. Any suggestions?” Would I even be on God’s list to His representative?

Here’s why I love the description that God gives of Job, and why I find it so convicting: God basically calls Job His number one guy. He basically says to Satan, “Take your best shot, you won’t even dent him.” I want my faith to be so strong that it doesn’t matter what comes my way. I want God to place every bet on me. I know that’s a dangerous ask, but it means God trusts me with the matters of His heart. It means He’s willing to risk one of His valuable children to prove a point to Satan. I want to be able to stick it to Satan.

Here’s my challenge to you: be the person that there is no one like on earth. Be so eternity driven that it doesn’t matter what comes your way. Instead of asking what you want written on your gravestone, start asking what God would say of you right now. Then live it out! Live it out boldly and courageously.
 

Life Application

I know that all sounds super awesome, but extremely impractical… but it isn’t. If we take note of Job’s living we can live in such a way that God would describe us as Job 2.0s. The first verse says that he “feared God and shunned evil.” That means we must live in a way that puts God first, and most of the time that means turning from worldly things (this helps in “shunning evil too). Job intercedes for his children regularly. Meaning, we are called to do them same for those around us. Lastly, and most obviously, Job praises and worships God through everything. After he loses everything, he drops to the ground in anguish and worship. No matter the circumstance choose to praise God.

Remember, your life may be difficult, but it isn’t as bad as Job’s! 

-Allison Khan



Revelation 18

Scripture
 

Revelation 18:8

“So in one day she will suffer great hunger, mourning, and death. She will be destroyed by fire, because the Lord God who judges her is powerful.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
The great city of Babylon, the home of one-world government and global trade, will think she is all powerful. Babylon will control powerful weapons and armies. But compared to the Lord God who will bring judgement upon her, Babylon doesn’t stand a chance!
 

What no earthly army can do, God accomplishes in just one day! From the angel of death passing over her, to this rich city running out of food, and finally the city being burned to the ground, this once proud city which boasted that they will never mourn, will grieve bitterly from its losses. 

Understanding-What does it mean?
 

Will the things I stand for and value, hold up against God’s judgement?

Babylon believed itself to be almighty. They believed that they had the resources, the power, and the support from the other nations that made them invincible. They stood against God’s ways and His people. Babylon built great wealth and strength in armies and alliances. It gave them a false sense of security. Babylon was a city built on its sinfulness. And although God’s will allowed it, God was about to bring His swift and righteous judgment upon her. God would make an example of the city of Babylon. The message will be heard and seen around the world…just how great and awesome is God.

What is my life built on? What’s my underlying foundation? Is it built on material things, that like Babylon, give me a false sense of security? Or is my life built on the principles of God and His ways. If God put my life’s work and held it up against the fire, would it wither away, or would it be refined by it?

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”

Matthew 6:19-20 NLT

 

Life Application
 

Focus on building His kingdom, not mine. The “kingdom” that we try to build on earth can be taken at any moment. Our hope and legacy should be built on a foundation that lasts forever!

The past 3 weeks, our family has dealt with illnesses and being displaced from our home due to the Tick Fire. When we were displaced, we had no idea what was happening with our home.  We didn’t know if we were going to have a home to return to or if we were going to be living out of bags for a long time. During packing for our evacuation, we couldn’t pack everything in our home, only what was most important and what we needed for survival. Also, I honestly didn’t care about all the “stuff” in the midst of packing.  All I cared about was that my family was safe and together. There was a moment of concern when my husband wasn’t home from work yet, but I still had to pack, stay calm for our kids and get them out, while praying that my husband would be with us soon.

When placed in situations where one’s stability is taken away, like one’s earthly home and health, you learn really quickly where your hope comes from and what’s most important. 

If you were to wake up and lose everything…your home, your health and God forbid even your family, would you feel secure? What if you lived your life everyday for His Kingdom purposes and for an eternal King/Kingdom instead?  How would your life look different? Even if everything was taken away, you would still be secure.
 
Recommended worship songs:
 
“Blessed Assurance”
 
https://youtu.be/Bsdl8DSZfRo
 
 
“On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” 
 
https://youtu.be/Bd4reYgNEBg
 
 

-Moses and Michelle Gaddi 



Psalm_73

Scripture

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Observation

“The title of this Psalm (A Psalm of Asaph) tells us that it was written by the great singer and musician of David and Solomon’s era (1 Chronicles 15:17-19, 16:5-7, 16:17, 2 Chronicles 25:6 and 29:13).”

Much like David in many of the Psalms, Asaph is here sharing his frustrations…frustrations that while he works hard to be a “good Christian,” the wicked are prospering and far better off than he.  We witness throughout the chapter his evolution of thought – from frustration, to resolution to abiding in Christ.

“This wonderful psalm may be best understood by the dominate pronouns within. When Asaph is troubled by the fate of the ungodly (73:1-12) the dominate pronoun is they. When he describes his own frustrated thinking leading to the resolution (73:13-17) the dominate pronoun is I. When he finds resolution of the problem (73:18-22) the dominate pronoun is You, in the sense of God. When He proclaims the assurance of his faith and fellowship with God (73:23-28) the dominate pronouns are a mixture of You and I.”

Italic quotes taken from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-73/

Understanding

I don’t know about you, but I know I’ve seen and felt what Asaph shares here.  Fortunately, though, God chases harder after us than we ever could Him.  Even at our most obedient, most hungry, most desiring of Him, His love is still perfect and ours is not; and, in His perfect love, He brings us back to Him, makes us whole, empowers us. 

Our heart, our human flesh – they fail, time and time again; it’s part of our human condition and along with that comes doubts, jealousy, scarcity thinking. 

But…and this is a BIG BUT…when we take our eyes off of ourselves, off of the earthly circumstances that surround us, and place them on God, that is when we find resolution, prayers answered, abundance, peace, joy.  May we abide in Him. 

Life Application

So how do we keep our eyes heaven bound?

Elijah shared with me last night that, at Surge, Pastor Levi talked about our human hunger vs. our spiritual hunger.  Our human hunger is full one moment and a couple hours later, we’re hungry again!  My human hunger clock is on an every 2-3 hour cycle…Must. Have. Food.  I know that and I plan for it.  I make/buy/pack snacks and I take the time when the hunger hits to go and grab those snacks – whether it be out of my bag, the fridge, whatever. 

As Levi encouraged the Surge group last night, why isn’t our spiritual hunger the same?  And why don’t we plan to fill that spiritual hunger just like we would our human/physical hunger?  His challenge to the kids was to “get that bread!” and commit to praying 3 times per day over the next 30 days.  So…that’s what we’ll be doing.  Join us? J

God, I’m grateful for a Father that chases hard after my heart.  For a gracious Father who scoops us up when our heart and flesh fail.  May my hunger, my desire for you be insatiable…even more so than my craving for Reese’s peanut butter cups. 🙂

And, as I seek you today, fill me.  Fill me to overflowing, with  love and graciousness; may it be tangible to those I encounter and may their hearts be turned to you. 

Rei

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



Psalm 72

Scripture:  Psalm 72:1-4  1 Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son.  2 May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice. 3 Let the mountains bring [e]peace to the people, And the hills, in righteousness. 4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor
.
Observation:   This psalm is a prayer for the King Solomon.  It may have been the prayer at the coronation ceremony, when he attained the throne from his father, David.  The prayer expresses characteristics of the ideal king, and looks forward to the reign of Jesus, the perfect king.  In the beginning of the prayer, we see a plea for the king’s righteousness, that he may reflect God. The prayer also expresses the desire of enduring righteousness, that people would benefit from the king’s wisdom.
  
Understanding:  It’s easy to get caught up in the speed of life, especially in Southern California.  In this age of instant information, we are constantly being bombarded with messages of the newest trends and of the newest life changing product.  Amidst all the new, is the pressure to keep up with the times. I can’t even tell you how often I get made fun of for having an “old” phone (iPhone SE, looks like the 5 but is actually newer).  It’s not like I am dragging around a rotary phone. As a byproduct of the pressure to keep up, we are often looking at situations in the light of how it will benefit us and help us keep up. And the question of “What’s in it for me?” looms in the back of our mind.
I am very guilty of this in my work environment.  There are many instances where I look at what I am doing and try to figure out how it will make me look for promotions, and special assignments.  The people I come into contact with become statistics, instead of people, and the problems they are encountering become statistics, instead of life events.  So, work becomes about the bottom line of promotion and accolade, instead of a way to serve people or as an act of worship to God.  
My paradigm is in need of a shift.  Scripture tells us that our focus should be on bringing worship to God.  In Colossians 3:23-24 Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”  To the Galatians he writes, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (6:8-10). In other places, we find that God’s will for our lives is to be content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-10), and to serve widows and orphans (James 1:27).

Life Application:  Jesus, help me to carry the example of King Solomon into my work.  Help me to put the needs of others before my own. Let me act in a way as to protect the dignity of the afflicted, and serve those who are struggling.  Most of all, give me a heart of worship. Let all the works of my hands bring you glory. May you increase and I decrease.    
 
-Tyler Galloway