Bible Reading Plan
bible

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

 
 
 
divider
 
How To Soul Journal
pencil
 
soulj
 
divider
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!
 

2 Kings_15

Scripture

2 Kings 15:35 Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the Lord.

Observation

2 Chronicles 27:3 Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the LORD and did extensive work on the wall at the hill of Ophel.

Fortifying the walls of the city would help to protect against outside enemies.

Understanding

Protect your relationship with the LORD.

Song of Solomon 2:15  Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoke the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.

Little foxes can be such a nuisance for gardeners. Little foxes come in and eat your fruit that were not intended for them. They can ruin your garden, your days and months of hard work.

You may not see them when they actually come in but you see the damage that is done, the holes that were dug, the flowerbeds that are torn.

Little things can cause a big problem that can ruin a relationship.

Watching T.V. Is not a big deal but when I am watching my favorite show instead of talking to my husband that I haven’t seen all day, that could create a distance in our relationship if it’s done consistently.

It’s the same way with all our relationships but especially with the LORD which is the most important of all.

There are so many little things throughout the day that can deter us from staying connected to the LORD, the mundane things like chores or down time, or no time. The list could go on.

Application

Guard your time with the LORD.

Psalm 63:3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’

We have experienced Him and know that He is and has to be our foundation. Let’s fortify our walls of protection that secure our relationship with the LORD, that will keep us from falling away.

Have a set time that you spend with LORD, like a date, an appointment, that is not meant to be interrupted or broken.

Worship is one of the best ways that keeps us connected and we can stay connected throughout the day.

Start fortifying your walls today.

Take a look at your day and get rid of the little foxes that are creeping in. Seal up the holes by first guarding your most important relationship.



Galatians_6

Scripture
 
Galatians 6: 9-10
 
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
 
Observation
 
Paul continues to urge the church to act in according to the Spirit, but rather than looking at this through the lens of the law he centralizes it around the church itself. He also encourages the church to continue acting in goodness as it will lead to an abundance in return.
 
Understanding
 
A proper harvest will be reaped when the body of Christ moves in unison.
 
I find it ironic that Paul places these verses in tandem with one another. Often as a church we focus on bringing people to Christ, outside of the church, that we forget to recognize our family whom we gather with frequently. I’m not saying that we mistreat one another, but showing the goodness of God to people who already believe is just as important as showing it to someone who doesn’t. The phrase familiarity breeds fondness comes to mind, as we become fond and comfortable with one another yet we don’t always extend goodness to one another. Again, I want to emphasize that I am not indicating that we mistreat our church family, but we don’t always show our gratitude. Gratitude is not designated to only a small time in November when people are forced to say what they are thankful for. Gratitude expresses appreciation and goodness about a given thing. It’s the little things like buying the person you sit next to every Sunday a coffee from Mainstream, it’s posting one of PG’s one-liners that resonate with you, it’s offering to take someone out to lunch after service.
 
So why am I saying all this? Knowing each other and truly showing the goodness of God to those who we serve with will lead to not only a move of God within our own church but an overflow into our community. If we desire to see other people come to know Christ we must first hold the mirror up to our own church and ensure that we act with integrity and goodness with each other. As Paul says the moment we give up of doing good with each other is the moment we give up on doing good elsewhere. How do we act when we are comfortable with each other? Does it glorify God and bring goodness and gratitude to those we serve with?
 
Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
 
Life Application
 
Prepare for the harvest by appreciating the workers.
 
Let’s be more intentional about connecting with our family and letting them know how thankful you are for them. It could a simple gesture like writing a note to someone in the church, or hanging out them outside the church walls. The point is the harvest is plentiful but the workers must be motivated to reap the harvest.
 
-Allison Khan


Galatians__5

Scripture

Galatians 5:22-26 NIV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Observation-What does it say?

Paul was encouraging the church that they were free from the law because they now walked in the Spirit. The church was trying to be justified by the law.  Paul was reminding them that they were now free from the law. Being free from the law didn’t give them a license to live in the flesh and bondage to sin, but rather, gave them freedom to be led by the Spirit.

Understanding-What does it mean? 

As Christ followers, we are led by the Spirit, not by the law.

The church was trying to gain their righteousness through following the law. Paul knew that justification through the law would make Christ’s sacrifice null and void. There would be no need for His grace if that was the case (Verse 4). Paul understood what he was saved from and the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice that had given him freedom from the law.  He was the most zealous religious person there was. He followed the law to a T. He was blameless if his righteousness was based on the law (please read Philippians 3:5-6). 

Life Application

Be led by the Spirit, not the law.

Once a Believer makes the decision to accept Christ’s invitation for salvation and makes a public declaration of it through baptism, the Holy Spirit enters his/her life. The Holy Spirit produces His fruits in us as we continue to be led by Him. He is the One who convicts us of sin. He is the One who enables us to follow God’s Word and apply it. We cannot mistake the law for the Spirit. The law keeps us in bondage. The Spirit frees us from sin and bondage. 

I’ve personally noticed that I feel a bigger burden on my life when I try to be a law abider and try to check off everything I need to do right as a Christian. Outwardly, I can sometimes pull it off, but in my heart and mind, it’s impossible. I tend to create an even bigger struggle for myself. However, when I allow His Spirit to lead me, there’s more love, peace and joy in my life because those are HIS fruits produced in me. We are not meant to produce our own fruits. That has always been His job, not ours. That has always been His burden to carry, not ours.

Thank You Jesus for Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for His role in giving us faith in You and molding and making us to be more like You. I pray that we would continue to walk in step with Your Spirit and not the flesh. Thank You for being greater than the one who is in the world and that we are overcomers, as 1 John 4:4 says, because of that truth. Amen.

Here is the chorus of one of the songs we sing in church called “Freedom”. It fits today’s chapter.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is

There is freedom, there is freedom

Where the Spirit of the Lord is

There is freedom, there is freedom

Come out of the dark,

Just as you are

Into the fullness of His love

The Spirit is here

Let there be freedom

Let there be freedom  

-Michelle Gaddi



Galatians_4

Scripture

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[b]Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Observation

“The apostle, in this chapter, is still carrying on the same general design as in the former-to recover these Christians from the impressions made upon them by the judaizing teachers, and to represent their weakness and folly in suffering themselves to be drawn away from the gospel doctrine of justification, and to be deprived of their freedom from the bondage of the law of Moses.” [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+4&version=NIV]

Paul is speaking to the church communities of Galilee – basically working to undo the messaging they’d received about who they are and who God is.  The “Judaizing teachers” were bringing up the law of Moses in competition with the gospel of Christ and holding those in Galilee to legalistic ways of the Old Testament.  In other words, they were focused on the wrong things.

Understanding

Paul wanted the Galileans to recognize who they were in Christ – no longer slaves, but children of God. 

I feel like this same messaging needs to be undone today.  People view Christians as hypocritical and judgmental and Christianity as being bound to some legalistic set of rules geared towards perfection. 

Our message today should be the same as Paul’s then – you/we are no longer slaves, but loved by God…called His child and His heir.  I think many Christians today, myself included, struggle with image and recognizing who we are in God and who God has called us to be…not a lowly slave, but a son or daughter of the Most High.  Not someone bound to sin or to perfection, but set free and walking in victory as heirs to the kingdom. 

Life Application

Walk it out! 

We sang “You Are My Champion” yesterday and there’s a line that says “Let all the striving cease.  This is my victory!”  May we walk in victory today…but may we also live in a way that draws others into that victory.  People need freedom today and God has called us, placed us and equipped us to be part of His process of setting them free. 

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



Galatians_4



Galatians__3

Scripture:  Galatians 3:24-25  Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 

Observation-What does it say?  Galatia, part of what is modern day Turkey, was a large province, which consisted of many cities that Paul had visited on his missionary journeys, including Antioch, Iconium and Lystra.  After his missionary trips here, other Jewish-Christian teachers arrived in the area and instructed the new converts that, in addition to their faith in Jesus, they had to follow certain Jewish traditions, such as circumcision and observance of certain Jewish Holidays.  Here in chapter three, Paul points out that God made a covenant with Abraham before there was the law.  Therefore, it was always faith, not works, that has connected us to God and set us free.

Understanding-What does it mean?  A few years ago, when it was still affordable, and before I had three kids, I was an Annual Passport holder at the happiest place on earth.  I’m not one of the really crazy Disneyland fanatics, I like to be a little more subtle about my obsession.  Instead of having all of the shirts, lanyards and pins, I buy wall art and glassware, things that can be hidden but still display my appreciation for the magical kingdom.  

One of the things I love about going to Disneyland is the drive there.  I love the anticipation of the journey and the build-up of excitement during the trip.  As a kid, my family would leave before sunrise, so we could be the first ones in the gate.  Well, actually it was so my parents could skip the traffic, but I didn’t know that until I had kids of my own.  On the trip, as you get closer and closer to Mickey’s house, there are more and more signs that point you to the final destination.  Big signs on the freeway, signs on the side streets.  Even the street names let you know how close you are with names like Disneyland Drive and Magic Way.

But as exciting as it is to see these signs and to drive on Magic Way, these things aren’t the point of the trip.  It would be silly to go all the way and then hangout in the parking lot all day.  The law we are given, things like the ten commandments, are not the endgame, they are the signs.  Our goal is to make it into God’s Kingdom, not just the parking lot.  

Life Application:  Jesus, help me to keep pressing into you everyday.  Help me grow in my faith everyday, and not to be satisfied with simply being a good person.  I want to move mountains and I can only do that with faith in you.  I know that through following you, I am able to do more than I ever knew. 

-Tyler Galloway



Psalm _143

Scripture

Psalm 143:1
 
Yahweh, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
 
Observation
 
“It is the outcry of an overwhelmed spirit, unable to abide in the highest state of spiritual prayer, again and again descending to bewail its deep temporal distress; yet evermore struggling to rise to the best things. The singer moans at intervals; the petitioner for mercy cannot withhold his cries for vindication. His hands are outstretched to heaven, but at his girdle hangs a sharp sword, which rattles in its scabbard as he closes his psalm.” Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David Psalm 143
 
Understanding
 
“It is the outcry of an overwhelmed spirit…”
 
Have you ever felt like you have been punched in the spiritual gut. The kind of punch that takes your breath away. As I write this i am still trying to catch my breath.
 
The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And sometimes after you get punched he stands over you and dangles in front of you what he stole. It seems so utterly mean, to attack you when you did not see it coming. When you were trying to take care of important things, godly things, right things. Or maybe you were doing it all wrong but somehow what was stolen just doesn’t seem fair.
The enemy is not fair. He is not good.
 
Yahweh is good.
 
Application
 
Psalm 143:8 Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
 
Run to God. No matter what the enemy has hit you with, it is not too much for Him. Pour out your heart the way David did, cry in His lap. Let God restore. Let God defeat.
 
Years ago I would have blamed God and lost hope. I would have decided to do things my way.
Yahweh is good. Yahweh is life. Yahweh is love.
 
I put my hope in you, there is no other that will lift me from despair. No matter how close to the ground I fall, no matter how far I fall in the depths of my despair, you are not far from me. My hope is in you, My hope has to be in you!
 
My soul cleaves to you and your right hand upholds me – Psalm 63:8
 
Deborah Lee


Galatians__1

Scripture
 
Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NLT
 
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Paul is writing to the churches of Galatia. He reminds them that there is only one true gospel message… a message of grace and freedom found in Jesus Christ. Anyone who dares to pervert this message should be set aside for God’s destruction. However, Paul’s opposition accused him of preaching a gospel of grace and freedom from the law in order to please the Gentiles, so he can be more “popular” amongst the people. Paul insists that his desires is to please God only. He reminds his opposition of the man he once was, and it is only through a direct experience he had with Jesus Christ, (on his way to Damascus), in which the true gospel of God was revealed to him. And now his one mission is to please God and share this revelation of the true gospel to everyone!
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Please an audience of One.
 
More than often I get caught up with what others may think of me. I struggled with this way too many times as a youth. I often fell into peer pressure just to try to fit in with a crowd. Some of the things I would do are things I’m not too proud of either. Fast forward to the present time. I still find myself struggling with these issues. Now like Paul, I too know my mission in life that God has given me, a mission of multiplying Christ Followers everywhere (Matthew 28:18-20). But I hate to admit, sometimes I cower in those situations. The Holy Spirit will tell me to pray for someone, or provide an opportunity for me to share the gospel, and instead of boldly following God, I am passive and get too concerned what others around may think or say. “What a weirdo!”, or “He’s one of those Jesus freaks!” they may say. But this verse reminds me who cares what others may think or say?! There is only One person I should really care about pleasing. Am I doing whatever it takes to make sure that happens?
 
Life Application
 
Here is verse to ponder on this morning:
 
“But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”-Matthew‬ ‭10:33‬ ‭
 
That verse may strike home really hard for some of us. But here is a verse that should encourage you:
 
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”-‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7
 
I pray that we can all walk out our faith in this world being courageous and bold like Paul did. That we use every opportunity given to us, whether it’s an ideal situation or not, to share the gospel of Christ to others. May our father in Heaven welcome us in by name, and tell us “Good job my good and faithful servant.” All glory and honor to our God in Heaven! Amen.  
 
-Moses Gaddi
 
 
‬ ‭


2 Kings 8

Scripture

“Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever.”

2 Kings 8:19 NIV

Observation– What does it say?

The leadership in Judah were doing evil in the sight of the Lord. For instance, Hazael murdered Ben Hadad in order to succeed his throne as the new king. It was an event that Elisha had prophesied about. Also, Jehoram, king of Judah, did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Scripture stated that “he followed the ways of the kings of Israel”, which was not a good thing. Ahaziah was another king mentioned in this chapter who “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” (Verse 27)

Although all the evil warranted God’s justice and consequence of destruction, the Lord would not destroy them because of a promise He had made to his servant David. There is a parallel to 2 Kings 8:19 in 2 Chronicles 21:7, where yet again, Scripture talked about how Jehoram, king of Judah, did evil in the sight of the Lord, yet God was not willing to destroy the house of David.

“Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.” 2 Chronicles 21:7 NIV

Understanding– What does it mean?

God keeps His promises and His promises are always good.

“The Hebrew Bible makes it clear that all of the kings of Judah were descendants of David (Bibleodyssey.org).” Although he was a man after God’s heart, unfortunately, not all of his descendants were.  The worship of foreign gods all occurred after Solomon’s (his son’s) death. They did evil in the eyes of the Lord, yet God wouldn’t destroy them because He stayed true to His promise to not destroy the house or descendants of David.

God knew what He was doing. There was a purpose behind it despite all the evil happening around them and how hopeless the situation may have looked for Israel.

““Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.” Psalm 132:17 NIV (Commentary: “Horn” symbolizes strong one, that is king in this verse).

Life Application

All hope is not gone or lost.

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a hopeless situation with no end in sight? Imagine how the people of Israel felt.

It really looked like a hopeless situation for Israel because of the corrupt kings in leadership. But (BIG but), God saw the bigger picture, as He always does and knew that His promise included a better King who would come through the line of David. That King is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The enemy’s job is to steal, kill and destroy and to make us lose all hope. However, even when it feels like all hope is gone, it never is when we trust that God is in control and knows what He’s doing.

Thank You Lord that You always see the big picture. May we trust that Your plans are always for the best and put our hope solely on You. Help us to put our faith on the unseen and not lean on our own understanding. Amen.

 
-Michelle Gaddi
 


2 Corinthians_12

Scripture

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  

Observation

Paul speaks to the type of man he would boast about – a man he knows who was “caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell;” then he makes a clear delineation that he will not boast about himself, except about his weaknesses – “so no one will think more of [him] than is warranted.”  He recognizes God’s power and work in his life, but also recognizes the “thorn” that was given to keep him humble.    

Understanding

What a refreshing view of weakness in a world of social media highlight reels – with picture perfect poses, photo staging, filters, etc.  But God’s not looking for perfection…he’s looking for humble hearts, ready to serve.  In fact, it’s in our weaknesses, if we’re willing to be vulnerable and submit them to Him, that His power is made perfect.  His perfection takes all forms – healing, feeling loved, being known…the point is, it takes humble and willing hearts.  And our “worst” weaknesses can be the source of God’s greatest good, greatest power!

Life Application

May we boast in our weaknesses – for it is in our weakness that we are made strong in God.  

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