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!
 

Exodus 17

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Scripture

Exodus 17:7

And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Observation – What does it say?

Once again, almost immediately after God reveals his love to Israel through miraculously providing food for them in the wilderness, Israel is quick to move on to the next issue and complain. This time they are thirsty and have the nerve to test the Lord and doubt his very presence among them. And yet, God was merciful and miraculously provided water out of a rock.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Don’t put the Lord to the test or doubt his presence!

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about this very time Israel drank from the rock in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:3-6

They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.

Although God still provided them with water, it wasn’t evidence that he approved of them. Verse 5 says God was not pleased with most of them. And verse 6 tells us what we should do in response to reading this passage in Exodus. Namely, that we should learn from their example and not set our hearts on evil things.

I believe the God honoring thing to do, the opposite of Israel’s example, would be to thank God for what he’s done and to trust him!

Life Application

Be thankful and trust God’s presence with us!

When difficulty comes, I choose to remind myself of the ways God has proved his love for me in the past. I choose to be thankful and I choose to trust him. The areas the Holy Spirit seems to be bringing to mind specifically are my finances and my children’s health and safety.

God, you’ve never given me reason to doubt your provision or your love for me or for my family. You’ve always cared for us, often in miraculous ways. Thank you! I put my trust in you to continue to provide for us, protect us and care for us. I know you love us. I know you are with us. And I rest in that today. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Exodus 16

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Scripture

Exodus 16:3-4a

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you.

Observation – What does it say?

The Israelites had just witnessed God split the Red Sea and deliver them from their enemies. They were worshiping God, singing and dancing before him. And in nearly no time, as they begin their journey into the wilderness, we find them complaining against God! They are whining about not having food to eat and saying things like, “Why didn’t the Lord just kill us in Egypt?” Ungrateful complainers.

Understanding – What does it mean?

As I read this it made me feel so upset. One of my pet peeves is when people are ungrateful. When I let a car go in front of me and they don’t wave or open the door for someone who doesn’t say thank you I get irritated. I can only imagine the irritation God has when he ‘goes out of his way’ (to say the least!) to miraculously deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians, and after a quick celebration they begin complaining against him!

But the way God responded floored me. He didn’t kill them. Instead, he responded to their complaints about not having food by promising to rain down bread from heaven for them to eat every day. Talk about unconditional love!

God is kind to the ungrateful. 

This is one of the most amazing things to me personally about God’s character. As I read this I couldn’t help but think of a verse in Luke:

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

When we love our enemies and ‘go out of our way’ to show them our love, without expecting to get anything back, we are acting like our Father in Heaven.

Life Application

Worship God for his kindness to me!

And, love the ungrateful. Specifically I sense the Holy Spirit bringing to mind my son. He is a great kid, but I find myself annoyed when I see my wife or someone else trying to do something special for him and he complains. Rather than getting upset, I’m going to be intentional about loving him and being gentile with him.

God, forgive me for being a complainer! It’s easy to point the finger at the Israelites, but how often do you answer prayer and show me mercy and I fail to say thank you. So often I am so concerned with today’s challenges that I forget to stop and worship you for the way you’ve delivered me from yesterday’s. Thank you for being kind and merciful to us despite our ungratefulness! Help us to be more like you. Help us to be kind to the ungrateful and to love our enemies. Amen.

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Exodus 15

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Scripture

Exodus 15:20

 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel (tambourine) in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.

Observation – What does it say?

God delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians once and for all when he drowned them in the Red Sea. Filled with relief and joy at their deliverance, Aaron’s sister Miriam led them in singing and dancing to the Lord.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Because they’ve been delivered from their enemies, God’s people have reason to rejoice and worship!

The Israelites were saved from their Egyptian enemies who could enslave and kill them. God was with them and fought for them. And they sang, danced and praised God because of it.

How much more should we who are redeemed sing and dance and rejoice in the Lord, because he not only is present with us in a more personal and greater way than the Israelites (because we are temples of the Holy Spirit), but because he has defeated our ultimate enemy the Devil and freed us from his power and bondage! A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms, because Christians are those who have been set free and delivered from the enemy and who have new lives because they have put their faith in Christ. Anyone who recognizes that should be living in a constant state of rejoicing! If gloom or doom has been creeping in, it’s because we’ve lost sight of what God has done for us.

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Life Application

Rejoice in the Lord today! Today, I will set aside some extra time to worship and praise him for what he’s done for me.

God, thank you for saving us! We worship you for fighting for us and for paying the price on the cross that we couldn’t pay. You’ve defeated the enemy once and for all and blessed us with a life of freedom and intimate relationship with you that will last forever! Remind us continually of what you’ve done for us and cause us to be a people who are grateful and who rejoice always in you. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Exodus 14

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Scripture

Exodus 14:31

And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Observation – What does it say?

God parted the Red Sea through Moses’ obedience and the Israelites walked through on dry ground. And though the Egyptian army pursued them and were close enough for the Israelites to be alarmed, God saw that not one of them were harmed and that the enemy was completely destroyed. As a result, the Israelites feared God and trusted him and Moses.

Understanding – What does it mean?

When God moves in supernatural ways through his servant’s obedience, it causes people to fear and trust him.

All throughout the New Testament we see the same thing happen over and over again, from Martha rolling away the stone and seeing her brother raised from the dead and the observers put their faith in Jesus to 3,000 people who put their faith in Christ when they heard the apostles speaking in tongues and Peter obediently preached to them.

Today, we are desperate for God to reveal himself in supernatural ways that we may see many come to know him and put their faith in him. But just as he moved through Moses, through Jesus and through Paul, he chooses to move through his servants who will obey and give him the opportunity to move.

Life Application

Give God the opportunity to move!

This means responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Whether it’s to pray for the sick or handicapped, to deliver a prophetic word, or something else, it’s up to us to obey and give him the opportunity to move.
God, we want people to experience your power and to put their faith in you. It’s all about you Jesus. Glorify yourself through our obedience. Give us courage and faith to step out of our comfort zone. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Exodus 13

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Scripture

Exodus 13:14

“In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 

Observation – What does it say?

God commanded the Israelites as a lasting ordinance, for all generations to come, to sacrifice the firstborn of every animal and to redeem every firstborn child by sacrificing an animal in it’s place. And the reason was so God’s people would have a continual reminder of what he had done for them, and it would also be a testimony to the generations to come.

Understanding – What does it mean?

God doesn’t want his people to keep their testimonies to themselves!

He instituted this ordinance to make sure the generations to come would hear the stories of all God had done.

Sharing our testimonies has been a continual theme God has been highlighting over the past month. We witnessed the power of sharing personal testimonies as we were all blessed and encouraged by those who shared at our end of fast celebration. Faith has been ignited as those in our church family have shared how God physically healed them and hope has been ignited as several have shared how God saved them and continues to reveal himself to them.

Just a side note… growing up in the church and giving my life to Christ at a young age, in my younger years I always felt like I didn’t have a testimony. If that’s you, you have an amazing testimony! God has spared you the heartache and pain of life separated from him. He has surrounded you with people that love him and have encouraged you in your relationship with him. That’s an amazing expression of God’s love toward you, and a testimony just as powerful as anyone else’s… so share it!

Life Application

In light of the context in Exodus 13, I specifically feel challenged to share my testimony with my son. I will probably share a shortened and less detailed version for now because of his age, but none the less will share. It’s important he knows what God has done for me and why I love him, why I worship, why I pray, why I love the church, and why I’ve given my life to serve God.

God, thank you for giving me a testimony. Lord, stir in our hearts a fire to share our story. For those of us with children or who have relationship with those younger than us, grant us opportunity to share with them about all you’ve done in our lives. To you be all the glory! Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Exodus 12

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Scripture

Exodus 12:13

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

Observation – What does it say?

In this final plague, God, brought death to the first born of all those in Egypt. In some previous plagues God made a distinction between his people and the people of Egypt by keeping the plague from coming near them. And, there was nothing to people of Israel had to do for God to make this distinction. God simply kept the plague from them. However, in this final plague he requires the Israelites to slaughter a pure lamb and put the blood on the door frames of their houses. The angel of the Lord would only pass over those homes with blood on the door frames. And it was Moses who was entrusted with delivering this life or death message to the Israelites.

Understanding – What does it mean?

This was a shadow, a symbol, of what Christ would one day do for us. He is the pure and spotless lamb who died in our place. And, by his blood we are spared death. Just as the Israelites had to put their faith in God’s words that death would only pass over them if they killed a spotless lamb and put the blood on their door frames, all men today have to put their faith in God’s word that the only way for God’s wrath to pass over us and for us to have eternal life is for us to put our faith in Jesus, the pure and spotless lamb who died in our place. The blood of Jesus is a sign for those of us who believe, and when God sees the blood he passes over us. We will not be destroyed along with the faithless.

Just as Moses delivered the message to Israel of how they could be saved, all believers today are entrusted with the responsibility of delivering the message of salvation to the world.

What a wretched man would Moses have been if he kept that message to himself and the Israelites were slaughtered?! And what wretched men and women we are if we keep the message of salvation to ourselves?!

Life Application

God, grant us boldness to share your word! Fill us with courage and remind us that we have really good news to share. And because we have this great news we have a great responsibility to share it. We want to be used by you to see many saved from eternal death. And, I ask that you would bring people across our path that are ripe for the harvest. May those we share with receive the truth and put their faith in Jesus so they can be saved. Amen.

To check out the discussion or join in click here.



Exodus 11

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Scripture

Exodus 11:3

…Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.

Observation – What does it say?

Moses, the man who walked in close relationship with God and in obedience to him, was highly regarded in Egypt by everyone including Pharaoh’s officials and all the Egyptian people. Everyone that is, except Pharaoh himself. Even after experiencing all the personal loss associated with the plagues, rather than viewing Moses as the enemy, God caused all the Egyptians to hold Moses in high esteem.

Understanding – What does it mean?

God glorifies his people so they can bring glory to him. All throughout scripture we see that God honors those who honor him.

Acts 5:13 says about the apostles that, “they were highly regarded by the people.” Likewise, Jesus’ prayer was answered in John 17, “Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” 

It should be the desire of every believer that God would give them favor and glory, not so they can simply enjoy the praise of people, but so they can humbly use that favor and glory to point people back to God.

Life Application

Ask God to glorify us so we can bring glory to him.

And answer honestly myself, “Am I using the favor and influence God has given me for my own benefit or to point others toward him?”

God, we want to bring you glory. Like a city on a hill is recognized by all around, may we walk in such great obedience to you that all around us see our good deeds and give you glory. It’s all for your glory. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Exodus 10

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Scripture

Exodus 10:2

that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”

Observation – What does it say?

God’s purpose in hardening Pharaoh’s heart and performing all these great signs, was that the Israelites would have a testimony to share with the generations to come and that they would know that he is God.

Understanding – What does it mean?

God’s will is for his people to share the testimony of how he has demonstrated his love and power.

One thing I felt God impress on my heart toward the end of our month of prayer and fasting is the need for testimonies to be shared. God has done amazing things in the lives of those in our church family! Healing bodies and hearts, supernaturally providing financially, speaking through visions and dreams, and many other things. And it’s his will for you and me to share those stories!

In Mark 5, Jesus delivered a man who was possessed by a ‘legion’ of demons. The man’s life was completely changed. And when he begged Jesus to go with him afterward, Jesus told him no. Instead Jesus gave him the assignment of going home and telling his friends and family what God had done for him. What the man did next is incredible.

Mark 5:20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Decapolis means 10 cities. He couldn’t keep his testimony to himself or even to just his family! He had experienced God’s power and love in such a life transforming way that he had to share it with the world!

Life Application

How did God save you?

What has he done in your life recently?

When you have the answer, go tell someone!

God, may we be like the man in Mark 5. May we give you glory by sharing about all the things you have done for us and continue to do. And as we do, may it cause people to be amazed by you, to be drawn to you, and for their faith to be ignited. Amen.

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



Exodus 9

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Scripture

Exodus 9:16

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Observation – What does it say?

God declares through Moses that he could have easily destroyed Pharaoh and all the people of Egypt by now. But he has kept Pharaoh in power for a reason, to reveal to Pharaoh his greater power and to cause his name and reputation to be spread throughout the world.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Pharaoh thought he was the one in control. He thought he was the one with power over God’s people and had the final word on whether or not they would leave. But what he didn’t realize was that God was playing him like a game piece on his chess-board. Pharaoh, like every human being, had free will. But God, knowing how he would choose to use that freedom, positioned him in this specific time and place to be used for his glory.

God is always in control, working everything together for his glory.
Even when people think they have power and authority, they are still subject to God who is Lord over all.

Life Application

Don’t fear men! God is ultimately in control.

When looking at those in positions of authority and leadership around the world, it’s easy to get discouraged and to live in fear. But God is the Lord of Hosts. He is sovereign over all the hosts of men and is ultimately in control. Certain people may think they are in control and have power, but God is the one who gave them the power and will take it away when he pleases.

God, I put my trust in you today! Although there are wicked people in positions of authority, I believe that you are in control and using every one of them for your glory! Amen.
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Exodus 8

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Scripture

Exodus 8:19

…the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.

Observation – What does it say?

The magicians spoken of here are not like many of those performing in Vegas today who use illusion and slight of hand to wow people. Pharaoh’s magicians used ‘secret arts,’ and were summoning other spiritual powers to produce counterfeit miracles. Up until this point the magicians had attempted to recreate the same miracles of God by their ‘secret arts’ and been somewhat successful. I say somewhat because their staffs turned into snakes but were eaten by Aaron’s, and they were able to make frogs come up out of the Nile but they couldn’t make them leave! By the time the plague of gnats came, they couldn’t produce gnats and they finally realized, “This is the finger of God!” They recognized a greater power. And from this moment forward, they gave up trying to see if the demonic powers they were tapping into were as powerful as the God of Moses and Aaron.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Pharaoh is a picture of our enemy the Devil. He tries to keep God’s people in slavery, close to him, so they can’t go worship God. Despite witnessing all the beauty and greatness and wonders of God, he is incapable of repentance. His heart will always remain hard toward God and he will always seek to keep people in bondage. However…

Those who serve Satan are capable of recognizing the power of God and giving him glory.

After this exclamation of the magicians, we don’t read of any more attempts to use their secret arts. They seem to have given up once they recognized the activity of God among them.

Acts 8:9-13 records the story of a man named Simon the Sorcerer. With his sorcery, he amazed all the people and had a great following. But Phillip, a follower of Jesus, came to town preaching about Jesus and many believed and were baptized, including Simon.

Acts 8:13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

Many of those who get involved in demonic stuff (psychic powers, summoning the dead, witchcraft, the occult, etc) are drawn in by the power in the spiritual realm and often the sense of control it gives them over people. But I have heard of many stories of these people giving their lives to Christ. When God moves in power through his followers, these people are astonished by the great signs and miracles, recognize a greater power at work, renounce their ways and turn to Jesus!

Life Application

Pray for those modern day ‘magicians’ to recognize a greater power and to turn to Jesus!

Father, you are the Almighty God! Thank you for choosing to move in power through us your servants. Fill us with increased faith that we may witness an increase in great signs and miracles. God, reveal yourself, your power and great love, to those serving Satan. We know you love all men and desire that none should perish but all come to repentance. Help us not to fear those who serve Satan, but to love them as you do and to pray for their salvation. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.