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

 
 
 
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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!
 

Day 19

Week 3:  The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed

Justpray_appJesus Prayed for the Disciples to be Sanctified

SCRIPTURE

  • John 17:13-17 (TLB) “And now I am coming to you. I have told them many things while I was with them so that they would be filled with my joy. 14  I have given them your commands. And the world hates them because they don’t fit in with it, just as I don’t. 15  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from Satan’s power. 16  They are not part of this world any more than I am. 17  Make them pure and holy through teaching them your words of truth.

OBSERVATION

Jesus prays that we will be holy and set apart as we continue to live in this world of sin. He prays that because it is God’s will that we remain in this world for a while so as to be witnesses of His power and transforming love.

 

UNDERSTANDING

Jesus interceded for the disciples (and for the disciples to come) because He knew that His time here on earth had come to a close and it was now in the plan of the Father that the eleven carry on the work Jesus started. Jesus’ confidence was not in the resolve or resourcefulness of the disciples but in the power and love of the Father who had “given these men” to Jesus. In essence Jesus was asking that the will of the Father be fulfilled. And because the will of the Father meant that these men would be the witnesses who would carry the news of God’s love through His Son to the world Jesus knew they would be in for some rough times so He prays for their protection.

But in order to be true witnesses of the saving and transforming power of God they needed to be sanctified as well. That is, they needed to be pure, holy and set apart. Another way to say it is that they needed to become more like Jesus, and as they became more like Jesus they would be living witnesses of the power and love of God. That is why we are to be holy in an unholy world – to be His witnesses to the world.

The problem is that to live in the world means we are always in contact with the sinful nature of the world and if we are not careful it can rub off on us, which is why Jesus says that we are to wash daily in the Word of God – the scriptures. We are made pure by the daily washing in the Word that cleanses our hearts and minds and keeps our vision heavenly.

 

LIFE APPLICATION

The importance of PB& J stands out in this passage. In order to continue to be transformed into the holiness and purity of Christ we must daily spend time in prayer, bible study and journaling. Bible study and journaling go hand in hand because in order to truly glean what the Word of God is saying and how we are to put it into practice in our lives we must not just read but process the Word of God. It is why we do SOUL Journaling – because it helps us answer the questions of What is God saying and what will I do about it.

I encourage you to sanctify yourselves by the reading and studying of the Word of God and by spending time daily in prayer.



Day 18

Week 3:  The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed
Justpray_appJesus Prays for the Disciples’ Protection
SCRIPTURE
  • John 17:6-11 (MSG) 6  I spelled out your character in detail To the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; Then you gave them to me, And they have now done what you said. 7  They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, That everything you gave me is firsthand from you, 8  For the message you gave me, I gave them; And they took it, and were convinced That I came from you. They believed that you sent me. 9  I pray for them. I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world But for those you gave me, For they are yours by right. 10  Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, And my life is on display in them. 11  For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world; They’ll continue in the world While I return to you. Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life That you conferred as a gift through me, So they can be one heart and mind

OBSERVATION

Jesus prays for the disciples (and all who would become Christ-followers) to be protected so that we could continue to carry out the work He started.

 

UNDERSTANDING

Jesus would soon depart to the Father and leave His disciples in the world. They had to stay in the world to carry out God’s plan in spreading the good news of redemption and in planting the church.

Since the disciples would be in the world, Jesus prayed for their protection. The hostility against God which fell on Jesus would now fall on the tiny band of apostles, and subsequently on many of Jesus’ followers. Jesus, in calling on His Holy Father, pointed up God’s distinction from sinful creatures. This holiness is the basis for believers’ separation from the world. He would protect them from the sin and enmity of the world by the power of His name. In Bible times a person’s name stood for the person.

Why did Jesus pray for their preservation? It was to promote the unity of the believers, patterned after the unity of the Father and the Son: so that they may be one as We are One (vv. 21-22). The unity here seems to be that of will and purpose. By being protected from the world they would be unified in their desires to serve and glorify the Son.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.

 

LIFE APPLICATION

Jesus prays for our protection out loud so that we can catch a glimpse of what He is doing now in heaven on our behalf. He wants us to be filled with joy and courage to live out His mission here in this world because He is ever interceding before for Father as He did in John 17. We can take courage and walk in obedience to His commands to Go and preach the gospel; to go and make disciples of all nations; because He is praying for us. So what are we waiting for? We have Jesus interceding for us for protection from the world so that we can live in obedience to His command to multiply Christ-followers everywhere.

 

Father forgive me for being scared to walk in obedience to your command to make disciples. I am choosing to step out in faith and live in Your will. Show me the areas where I can be more missional and where I can truly reflect your image in a way that points people to you.


Day 17

Week 3:  The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed
Justpray_appTHAT JESUS BE GLORIFIED
SCRIPTURE
  • John 17:1-5 (NIV) 1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.
    2  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
    3  Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
    4  I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
    5  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

OBSERVATION

It seemed as though Jesus was being selfish in this prayer but the reason He wants to be glorified is so that the Father would be glorified.

 

UNDERSTANDING

Jesus began this prayer by praying for Himself, but in praying for Himself, He was also praying for us.

“A prayer for self is not by any means necessarily a selfish prayer,” wrote Dr. R.A. Torrey, and an examination of Bible prayers shows that this is true.

Jesus’ burden was the glory of God, and this glory would be realized in His finished work on the cross. The servant of God has every right to ask his Father for the help needed to glorify His name. “Hallowed be Thy name” is the first petition in the Model Prayer and it is the first emphasis in this prayer.

Bible Exposition Commentary – Bible Exposition Commentary

 

The Westminster Catechism reminds us that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. In this passage we read that Jesus’ desire is that we glorify Him because in glorifying Jesus we bring glory to the Father.

The word glorify means to bring honor, respect and worship to the one being glorified.

 

LIFE APPLICATION

Jesus’ first agenda in His prayer is that He is glorified, which begs the question…Are you glorifying Him is all that you do?
  • Why do you do the things you do?
  • What is your purpose behind your work, your play, your service and your relationships? Is it to glorify God?
  • Do these actions reflect well on Jesus?
  • Does it leave a sweet taste of Christ in the mouths of the people we are around?
  • How will you glorify Jesus today?
Pray for eyes to be open for the opportunities and then just glorify Him!


Day 16

Week 3:  The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed

Justpray_appTHE LORD’S PRAYER

SCRIPTURE
John 17
OBSERVATION

Jesus’ prayer in John 17 falls into three sections…

  • Jesus praying for Himself
  • Jesus praying for His disciples
  • Jesus praying for the church to come
UNDERSTANDING

But to look at the whole prayer those three things fall into the larger container of Jesus praying that God may be glorified. He prays that the Father continue to be glorified in all that Jesus had done and was about to do. That was always the motivation of Jesus, that the Father be glorified. Even when He prays that He (Jesus) be glorified in verse one it, the motivation is so that ultimately the Father be glorified.

I also think that this prayer bridges Jesus’ earthly ministry with His heavenly ministry. In this prayer we hear Him interceding for His disciples and for His church and as Hebrews 7:25 tells us He is now in heaven interceding on our behalf. In essence we get a glimpse of what Jesus is praying for us even now.

A paraphrase of John 17:13 says, “These are the prayers which in heaven I will never cease to make before God. but 1 make them now in the world in your hearing so that you will know that I am going to be always promoting your welfare in heaven. When you know this, you will be partakers of My joy.”

I think it is one of the reasons Jesus prayed this prayer out loud in the presence of His disciples. He didn’t need to but He prayed out loud to let the disciples in on the conversation between the Trinity.

  • They caught a glimpse of the heart of God for us and how special we are to the Father and His Son.
  • They heard that God called them His own.
  • They heard how Jesus was praying for them regarding their mission and living in this world.
  • They heard Him ask the Father that the disciples and the church would live in holiness and righteousness.
  • They heard Him pray that they would live in love and unity – looking to always have a spirit of reconciliation rather than division.
  • They heard His heart for the world to hear the good news of the Father and be returned to relationship with Him.
LIFE APPLICATION

Father thank you for loving us so much you sent Your Son to reconcile us to you. Thank you Jesus that you came and that you completed the work the Father sent you to do. Thank you Jesus that your heart was always to bring honor and glory to the Father and now I ask that you would help us to do the same – may I glorify the Father by accomplishing the work that you have ordained for me. I pray that your people at DSC will have a heart to live holy lives and bring honor and glory to Your name. Father glorify us in order for us to bring even greater glory to your name.



Day 15

Week 3: The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed

Just Pray

THE LORD”S PRAYER

SCRIPTURE

John 17:13-19 (NIV) 13  “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14  I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19

 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

 

OBSERVATION

Jesus in His prayer tells us that the Word of God is essential for us if we want to live victorious Christian lives.

 

UNDERSTANDING

Jesus prays that the disciples would have joy and then says that the joy comes from the words He spoke. (v 13)

The Word of God gives us joy to live overcoming lives in this world.  The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength and we gain a perspective of joy as we read God’s Word to understand His character and revel in His promises.

 

God’s Word also assures us of His love for us.  (v14)

The world may hate those who are children of God but we are able to stand strong because of the assurance that God loves us.  We experience this love through the Holy Spirit but we know of this love because of God’s Word.

Jesus also tells us in His prayer that God’s Word gives us the power we need to live holy lives.  We live in an unholy world but we are called to live holy lives and that can feel insurmountable at times as we are bombarded with the things that lead us to unholiness.  This is why the Word of God is so important – we must daily wash our minds in the Word.

 

LIFE APPLICATION

Jesus prays that we will overcome the world and He tells us that the Word of God is one of the tools necessary to be able to accomplish that.

D.L. Moody wrote in the front of his Bible, “This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.”

Are we taking advantage of this tool?  Are we learning to wield it properly, learning how to be proficient with it?  Are we practicing with the Biblical sword or do we wield it once or twice a week hoping that somehow we will be experts at it?



Day 14

Week 2: A PATTERN FOR PRAYER

Justpray_app

JUST PRAY!

We have looked at the Lord’s Model Prayer over the last week.  I hope you see that prayer is simple, it does not have to be long and it must never become mindless repetition.  The following is a diagram I use in prayer so that I can pray on track.  It keeps prayer fresh and new to me because every time I use it the Holy Spirit points out some area of focus.  Try it for yourself and see.  Let’s just pray.
Prayer Circle

 

 



Day 13

Week 2: A Pattern For Prayer

Justpray_app

THE MODEL PRAYER – THE ENDING

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 6:13 (NKJV) 13

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

 

OBSERVATION

Although the line “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen,” is not found in the most reliable manuscripts they seem to be perfectly fitting to this passage, and they certainly speak of the reality of God.

 

UNDERSTANDING

After asking for provision and forgiveness, guidance and protection the prayer ends with a declaration that allows us to believe that our prayer is not in vain. After all we are asking our requests to the One who is in charge of everything and can do whatever He wants. He is almighty and powerful. When we end with such a declaration it is a faith builder because we are reminding ourselves that God, to whom we have asked our requests is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or think.

 

LIFE APPLICATION

Remember the saying…

If the request is wrong God says NO

If the timing is wrong God says SLOW

If you are wrong, God says GROW

And if the request is right, the timing is right and your heart is right God says GO!

 

Pray. Pray with confidence that God is able to meet all of your requests because He is in charge of everything and can do whatever He wants.



Day 12

Week 2:  The Model Prayer

Justpray_appOUR NEED FOR FORGIVENESS AND TO FORGIVE

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 18:21-35

 

OBSERVATION

This is not a passage about salvation but rather a passage about forgiveness in relationships. Just as children of God we do things that require forgiveness from God on a daily basis, so too we are in relationships where people do things that require us to forgive them. How we respond to those people can free God or tie His hand in our forgiveness.

 

UNDERSTANDING

Peter in asking Jesus the question of how many times we should forgive makes an assumption that many of us make – we assume that all offenses are against us and that we never offend anyone. If he thought that he was the offender do you think he would have asked, “How many times should we forgive? Seven times?” Truth is Peter was being generous because the Rabbis of the day said that three times was sufficient. So Jesus tells the parable to help us see that we are both offender and the offended one and how we respond to the those who offend us determines how God will deal with us when we offend Him.

The reality of the whole story is that if we cannot forgive people who offend us then our hearts are not in the right place (righteous) and so God cannot forgive us when we confess our sins to Him and ask for forgiveness. When our hearts are humble and repentant we will gladly forgive our brothers and sisters, but where there is pride and a desire for revenge then there is no real repentance, and God cannot forgive.

It is not enough to receive God’s forgiveness, or the forgiveness of others, we must experience that forgiveness in our hearts so that it humbles us and makes us gentle and forgiving towards others. The servant in the story was not humbled by the forgiveness of his debt, he was just glad to be “off the hook” and that showed in his treatment of those who were in debt to him.

 

LIFE APPLICATION

Forgiving others in order to fully receive forgiveness is an important part of prayer and God responding to our requests. Jesus reminds us that when we are praying and there is an issue of unforgiveness we need to stop praying and go and deal with it. (Mark 11:25)

Take some time today to ask God to show you the areas where you have sinned against Him and then ask Him to forgive you.

Also take time to verbally forgive the people who have sinned against you. Say out loud…

I forgive _____________ for __________________.

 



Day 11

WEEK 2:  THE MODEL PRAYER

Justpray_appOUR NEEDS

SCRIPTURE

  • Matthew 6:11-13 Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

 

OBSERVATION

GIVE US

When we submit ourselves to the Father’s care being passionate about His Name, His Kingdom and His Will, it gives us the privilege of asking confidently for our needs. A master cares for the food of his servant, a general of his soldiers, a father of his child. And will not the Father in heaven care for the child who has in prayer given himself up to His interests?

 

UNDERSTANDING

Give us our daily bread is a prayer for all the daily necessities of life.

Martin Luther suggested that the bread represents all that we need in the physical realm: food, drink, good health, good weather, a roof over our heads, good jobs, good government, and so on.

He included the following sentence in his book for Peter the barber.

Give us favorable weather and good harvest. I commend to thee my house and property, wife and child. Grant that I may manage them well, supporting and educating them as a Christian should.

Jesus isn’t suggesting that we don’t work, and just pray for food. We do both. The old maxim applies here: “Pray like it all depends on God; work like it all depends on you.” This prayer is a reminder of our humble dependence on God. We are to live a day at a time, trusting our Father to care for us.

And notice it’s not a “me-prayer” but a “we-prayer”—give us our daily bread. Most of us here have no shortage of daily bread; if anything, most of us have too much. So when we pray this, we must also pray for those who have too little or nothing at all.

 

LIFE APPLICATION

Lord, you know what we need. You know our daily necessities. Please provide for us. Lord, I have everything I need, and more; for this I humbly thank You. So I pray today for those in our church who don’t have what they need. I pray for those who need money, or basic necessities like food and shelter and heat—provide what they need. Provide jobs for the unemployed and better jobs for the underemployed.

I pray these same things for the needy in our community. Help us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless.

I pray that no child would go to bed hungry in our town.

I pray for all the single moms struggling to provide for their kids—bless them with everything they need.

Bless us so that we can bless others. Bless our businesses so that we can provide jobs for those who have none. You said that if we have two coats we should share with those who have none. Help us share our abundance with those in need right here in our own church or community.

And we pray this prayer for daily bread for the poor and needy around the world.

Father, let what breaks Your heart break ours. We have everything we need—don’t let that become an excuse to be selfish, but let it become a reason to share what we have and work for the welfare of others.



Day 10

Week 2:  A PATTERN FOR PRAYER

Just PrayTHE MODEL PRAYER – GOD’S CONCERNS

 

SCRIPTURE

  • Matthew 6:9  “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

OBSERVATION

Jesus teaches us that God has some concerns that He wants us to pay attention to first in prayer. Having recognized that we are talking to our loving and caring Father, the Father wants His children to pay attention to what concerns His heart.
 

UNDERSTANDING

HIS NAME

According to the prayer God wants His name hallowed. Another meaning of hallowed is holy or revered.

This request reflects a passion for God’s reputation, for God’s glory. May all the world see God as He really is and give Him the honor and respect He deserves.

What’s so big about a name?

It represents God. God is His name. So when we hallow His name we are literally giving honor, respect and reverence to God.

HIS KINGDOM, HIS WILL

God’s kingdom come and His will being done are two sides of the same coin. If the kingdom of God were to come here on earth as it is in heaven, then His reign and rule will be established and His will would be what is done. So when we pray Lord let your kingdom come what we are saying is may your will be accomplished as your kingdom rule is established here on earth.

 

Matthew 29:18-20 tells us how God’s will can be established on earth as it is in heaven. It requires our obedience to Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations. Starting in our own homes we are to teach others what Jesus taught us about God and to obey His commands. As we develop other disciples who know God and follow His ways God’s kingdom is established on earth as it is in heaven. Do you see how important you are in this process?

 

LIFE APPLICATION

In my own words, today, I would say something like…

God you are perfect and I want to declare it throughout the world. You are worthy of every bit of praise that man could give you. You are a mighty God, full of power. You are without beginning and without end and your grace and compassion cannot be measured. You are awesome and majestic. I worship and adore you, I exalt your name here on earth in my words and my deeds.

Lord let your name be glorified and adored on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord let your heavenly kingdom be established here on earth (starting with us!)

Lord let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven and I surrender myself to you so that this can be accomplished.

Lord I pray for your kingdom and will to be accomplished in the life of DSC. I pray that the children of God at DSC will embrace your kingdom purpose to become a Great Commission Movement – declaring your good news in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California and to the ends of the earth.

I pray for your children at DSC to have a passion for you and to want to obey you with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. I ask that they will be hungry for you and put you FIRST! Dethrone everything in our lives that seek to usurp your pre-eminence in our lives. Be first on the throne of our lives.

Lord I know that your will is to see people come to repentance and that is true of the city of Santa Clarita. I know that you are moving on the hearts of people in the SC Valley and drawing them to you and I ask that we your people will be willing to be the ones bold enough and obedient to go and reap the harvest that you have prepared. Let you salvation will be done in the lives of many as we your people partner with you in reaping the harvest.