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___9

Scripture
 
Matthew 9:36-38 NLT
 

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.“So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

As news grew of all the healing and miracles that Jesus was performing, so were the crowds. Jesus was casting out demons from people, healing the blind, healing the paralyzed, and raising the dead to name a few things.  Jesus was able to meet and help people from all walks of life. Yet Jesus never lost focus on his main ministry while here on earth…recruiting people to God’s Kingdom and sharing the good news with them. But as the crowds continued to grow, Jesus’ heart was filled with compassion for them. He saw a crowd of people who were lost and in need of knowing the truth. But between himself and his disciples there were too few of them. They needed more help! They needed to ask God’s help to provide more workers to help them as they continued their works in ministry.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Being a follower of Christ is not a “spectator’s sport”. It is something that is going to take a total team effort, and involves all to do their part and “get in the game”!

 

I would like to think that all the people in this passage whose lives were touched by Jesus were all able to turn their lives around, repent from old sinful habits, and share with everyone they came into contact with about what Jesus had done for them. I hope that the crowds of people that were coming by the numbers to see him weren’t just there for a “free handout”, or they were just there to witness a miracle. I would like to think these crowds of people all became believers and followers of Jesus that day. That they learned about His teachings and were able to share it with others as well. Now that would be multiplying Christ Followers everywhere!

 

In the same aspect I would like to think that we as Christ Followers aren’t just here “for the ride”. We’re not just in it to receive His blessings/”free handouts” from Him. I would like to think that we as Christ Followers know that we were bought at a price. That we understand that we are called to partner with our Almighty Father in Heaven to help further His Kingdom here on earth. Yes, our God can do ALL things and He is Almighty and powerful. But he desires for us to partner with Him, to be His hands and feet here on earth, to do ministry together, fellowship together, build His Kingdom…together. 

 

The same way Jesus looked into the crowds and had compassion for all the lost souls He saw, is the same way we need to look within our own communities and workplaces and have that same compassion towards them. There is lots to do out there, and so few of us that are willing to step in and help. Like Jesus said in verse 37, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.“  We too should do as Jesus instructed his disciples in this passage and ask God to help provide us more workers to aid us in the field of ministry. Ask God to provide us people who are willing to “get in the game” and make a difference!

 

Life Application

Be an influence out in the world to lead others to Christ, and lead those who already know Him, (but may not truly follow Him), to “get in the game” and partner together and serve in ministry together!

 

DSC is the perfect place to start serving in ministry if you’re not already. Even during this pandemic, we offer outreaches within our community such as the school supply drive and our most recent Trunk or Treat event, and plenty of other ministries such as teaching online for kids church, helping with audio/visual ministry, prayer ministry, soul journal, etc. So, as you can see there are plenty of opportunities to serve and get out in the fields of ministry. And the more hands we can get in there helping each other, the lighter the load it is for our brothers and sisters. So isn’t it time we get in the game and help our team?!

 

“God has shown you his grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gift he has given you in a way that will best serve each other.” 1 Peter 4:10 ERV

 

-Moses Gaddi



Daniel_6

Scripture 

 

Daniel 6:6-7 

 

Then these commissioners and satraps came by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: “King Darius, live forever!  All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors, have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who offers a prayer to any god or person besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.

 

Observation-What does it say?   

 

Daniel, now in his eighties, is in service of a third Babylonian king, Darius.  Nebuchadnezer has died, as was foretold by the interpretation of his own dream in chapter two, and the kingdom has moved through two subsequent reigns that were weaker than that of his.  Throughout the reign of these different rulers, Daniel has maintained his commitment to God and held onto his Jewish heritage.  Aware of his commitment to the Lord, Darius’ advisors devise a plan that should eliminate him forever.  They lied to Darius, knowing Daniel’s faith, he was not consulted in this matter.  Aware of the decree, Daniel did not waver in his commitment knowing there could be consequences.  

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

 

I rode the bus to school during my elementary years.  I have both fond and horrible memories of riding the bus.  All the kids in school were mixed, so there were times when I had to sit across from the scary big kids.  I remember being fairly young when my mom started letting us walk down to the bus stop without any supervision, which felt like a great adventure before every school day.  Granted, it was only a half block down from our house.

When we lined up for the bus home in the afternoon, we had to wait by the parking lot.  Unbeknownst to me, the principal’s assigned spot was the one right by the bus line.  One day, I was seated on the curb, near the tire of this car, playing with a stick, when some older kids approached.  “I dare you to let some air out of that tire,” called out one of the boys.  Not thinking anything of it, I put the stick on the valve and let out a short burst of air.  Like a lightning bolt, the two boys ran off yelling, “He just let air out of that tire, he just let air out of that tire!!”  They ran right to the principal.  I knew then that I was set up.  I was taken directly to the principal’s office and berated for my action and the possibility of causing a tragic car accident.

When this happened, I was shocked that there are people who would treat me so unfairly without just cause.  At the ripe old age of eight, my innocence was gone.  Unlike Daniel, my action wasn’t done in commitment to what I knew was right, I was just being a dumb kid who probably should’ve known better.  I imagine Daniel saw this coming from miles away.  But, there is no mention in the text of him worrying about the consequences of his actions.  His resolve was to honor his God above all else.  

Jesus warned us of similar behavior from the world.  In the beatitudes, Jesus said, ““Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).  

The gospel message, though it brings us into a relationship with God the father, is contrary to the “wisdom” of the world. Later in Matthew, Jesus tells us of the division he brings.  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.  For I have come to ‘set[a] a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)  In today’s world, it is clear that the message is hated by the world, and we are going to see persecution because of this.  

 

Life Application  

Holy Spirit, help me to be strong and courageous like Daniel.  When the world presses around me, don’t let me be crushed (2 Corinthians 4:7-12).  Even when I feel like I may drown, I know you will keep my head above water (Isaiah 43:1-3).  Even though I may be facing trial, I know you use these times to make me better (James 1:2-4)

(oldie, but a goodie)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1cv1tzzgbk

-Tyler Galloway



Daniel_5

Scripture – What stood out?

Daniel 5

5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

 

Observation – What does it say?

This chapter in the book of Daniel centers around King Belshazzar, who ordered that the plundered goblets of the temple of God in Jerusalem be brought out so that he and his wives, concubines, and nobles could drink from them. All his wise men are summoned to interpret the writing on the wall, but it is only Daniel, a man of God, who is able to interpret them.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Fingers of a human hand “appeared” and wrote on the plaster of the wall. I am sorry but I love stuff like this. Presumably God’s response to his temple goblets being used so haphazardly by the king, God makes fingers appear…like what?? If you are into science fiction/fantasy you loved this section as much as I did. It immediately made me think about tongues of fire, talking donkey’s, giant whales, and luscious locks of power…

 

2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”. 

 

What do you think about when you read about these supernatural, logic defying happenings in the bible? As for myself these thoughts took me down a path that questioned my own level of faith and spirituality. Do we live in a time, in a culture where our ability to interact with the spiritual world is at an all time low? If so how can we get that back?

 

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

Lord I would like to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit. What can I do to be able to experience more of your supernatural abilities? Help me to move deeper into my faith with you, into deeper connection to you, so that I may experience more fully your amazing capability as the prophets of old and the apostles did. Show me the way Lord to living a life that not only sees the writing on the wall – show me how to understand it.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

 

-kenneth lee

 



Daniel_4

Scripture‭‭

Daniel‬ ‭4:30

 
“As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’”
‬ ‭
Observation-What does it say?
 
King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that frightens him. He has Daniel interpret the dream for him. Daniel is initially frightened upon hearing the king’s dream. He tells the king that the dream shows the king being driven away from human society, that he will be living in the fields with wild animals, he will be eating grass like a cow, and being drenched by the dew of heaven. Daniel tells the king this will happen to show him that God is the One who rules over all the kingdoms of the world and God chooses who to put in power. Daniel then advises the king to stop sinning and do what is right. Maybe this way the king would be able to still prosper. But, I don’t think the king listened because 12 months later, this dream came into fruition.
 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Pride comes before the fall.

 
“Pride is the first step toward destruction. Proud thoughts will lead you to defeat.” –Proverbs‬ ‭16:18‬ ‭
 
We all heard that saying and we have all seen it come to fruition too. Whether it was King Nebuchadnezzar thinking it was his mighty power that built the great city of Babylon, or John Lennon saying The Beatles are more famous than Jesus Christ, or Muhammad Ali boasting that he is the greatest, or even the engineers who constructed the Titanic, claiming that their ship was unsinkable…we all know the outcome for each of their stories. Each person that I mentioned above, had a moment in their life where they became prideful. They forgot who was truly the One behind all their success. They forgot who was the One who blessed them with all their talents, drive, and determination. They forgot who was truly the Lord of the most high. And it was at that moment when they forgot and chose to believe it was from their own doing that got them their success, that (in a snap of a finger)!..it was taken away from them!
 
“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”-‭‭Psalms‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭
 
“This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches.”-‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭9:23
 

Life Application

Everything that I have is for God to keep and use for His glory.

 
Whether it’s my talents, time, and even my finances, it all belongs and comes from God. It’s a mindset that I like to have and pray that everyone can have. Because once you realize that, it helps put things into place. I am a servant of God. I was bought at a price. My life is not my own, but for His glory and honor.
 
Thank You Jesus for all You have given and done for me. Thank you for the abundance of blessings in my life. I’m truly humbled that You choose to partner with me, an imperfect man, to carry out Your mission. May I continue to be a good steward of all the many blessings You’ve given me to bring glory and honor to Your name. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Matthew__5

Scripture 

 

Matthew 5:21-22 -“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘ Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

 

Matthew 5:23-24-““Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

 

Observation-What does it say?

 

This chapter is Jesus’ sermon on the mount. It is a sermon that Jesus preached to His disciples, covering various topics that is still applicable to Christian disciples today. Based on Matthew Henry bible commentary, “It is the longest and fullest continued discourse of our Saviour that we have upon record in all the gospels.”

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

 

The highest form of worship is loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is worship that is acceptable to God.

 

Here are a few Bible verses and quotes from several commentaries that I did research in. 

 

“Forgiveness and reconciliation is the highest form of worship on earth.” (The Geneva study bible)

 

“Reconciliation takes precedence of all other duties, even of offerings made to God…..The lesson teaches us to be reconciled with all who bear grudges against us, and says nothing as to whether their reasons are sufficient or insufficient, just or unjust.” (McGarvey and Pendleton)

 

“This shows that one guilty of wrongs to his fellow-man cannot offer acceptable worship of God. (B.W. Johnson’s Bible commentary)

 

“We ought carefully to preserve Christian love and peace with all our brethren; and if at any time there is a quarrel, we should confess our fault, humble ourselves to our brother, making or offering satisfaction for wrong done in word or deed: and we should do this quickly; because, till this is done, we are unfit for communion with God in holy ordinances. And when we are preparing for any religious exercises, it is good for us to make that an occasion of serious reflection and self-examination.” (Matthew Henry’s concise commentary)

 

A gift or a prayer does not substitute for love. “For neither thy gift nor thy prayer will atone for thy want of love: but this will make them both an abomination before God.”-(Wesley’s Explanatory notes)

 

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 NIV

 

““But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”Luke 6:27-28 NIV

 

““If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.” Luke 6:32-33 NIV

 

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:18-19 

 

Life Application

 

God is a God of love, relationships and reconciliation. We cannot claim to love God, yet hate a brother or a sister in Christ. God wants us to forgive our brothers and sisters from our heart or else He will treat us the way the Unmerciful servant was treated in Matthew 18:21-35. 

 

“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 1 John 4:19-21 NIV

 

This is one of the, if not the longest Soul Journal I’ve written as an opening post because I believe it is important to God’s heart. I grew up in church and I’ve seen way too many times people look for another church or leave church altogether because they say they love Jesus, but they don’t love His people. They don’t love His bride. Scripture specifically states that that thinking is wrong!! We must love, reconcile and forgive our brothers and sisters from our hearts. When you forgive someone from your heart, you forego getting even with them, even in a passive way. Passive ways of getting even are gossip, slander and leaving the relationship/church family without first trying to work it out. We cannot say we love God, yet be bitter and unforgiving towards a brother or sister in Christ. Jesus says being angry with a brother/sister is the same as committing murder.

 

In Scripture, Jesus goes as far as saying to leave our gift at the altar. When I personalize it, He’s basically telling me not to do ministry until my relationship with my brother/sister is reconciled, especially if I was the one in the wrong. If I don’t do it, that gift is unacceptable to God. Sounds harsh, but then again, the God we serve is a God is love and relationship and relationships are more important than how heartfelt it is when I pray, encourage, sing, play piano, lead worship, write a SJ, tithe, administrate or teach for Him. I must love Jesus and people first before the music or gifts I want to offer Him. 

 

Dear Lord, You know my life and my heart and some of the ways You’ve had to personally walk me through this. I’ve had to put aside my gifts so that I could reconcile with my brother and sister because of miscommunication, misunderstanding, or hurt/anger that we had to work through. I desire to worship You and prove my love for You not just through song, but also through loving and submitting to my spouse, my children, and loving my brothers and sisters in You. I desire worship that is acceptable to You. Amen. 

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Matthew___4

Scripture

Matthew 4:19-20

““Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”

 

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

Jesus began recruiting his first disciples. As he was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Peter and Andrew. They were fishermen and they were casting out their nets into the lake when Jesus approached them and asked them both if they would follow him so that he can make them fishers of men. How did the brothers respond?..They dropped everything immediately and began to follow Jesus.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

To truly follow Jesus means we have to trust Him, leave our old mindset behind, and be willing to get out of our comfort zone.

It must have taken a lot of faith and trust in Peter, Andrew, James, and John to drop everything they knew in life, leave their families behind, and go onwards in following this man named Jesus. They were fishermen after all, and fishing is all they knew. Was Jesus that great of a “salesman” to sell them on this new life of fishing after men? Were they all just sick and tired of living the lower lifestyle of a fisherman, that they yearned for so much more in life, and believed this was their shot at it? Either way, these men all took a GIANT leap of faith when they decided to go ahead and follow Jesus. Just imagine being well crafted at a particular skill, a skill that has helped you make a living, and leaving not only that behind, but leaving your own personal “safety nets”, your family, behind as well?! Now if you were to fail at this, who will be there to help support you?! These men literally put their lives Jesus’ hands. They trusted Jesus to provide for them and help show them the way to something much bigger in life. Even if it meant learning something new and stepping out of their comfort zones, they were all willing to make that sacrifice. These men all knew that there was more to life and that they were going to be serving a bigger purpose. These men’s lives were forever changed because of it, and their stories will be shared for generations to come!

 

Life Application

When Jesus calls us in situations where we may feel overwhelmed or inadequate, that’s exactly where He wants us! So we can fully rely on Him!

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 
-Moses Gaddi


Daniel_1

Scripture  

 

Daniel 1:1&6  

 

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it…Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

 

The beginning of Daniel places us at the time of the siege of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezer of Babylon.  In 2 Kings 23 & 24, the story of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, kings of Jerusalem, is given to us, explaining the siege was a result of both these men doing evil in the sight of the Lord.  When Nebuchadnezer took the land, he also ordered some young men be taken to Babylon to be trained in their ways.  Most likely this was done to implant the men back into Jerusalem and change the Jewish culture from within.  Among the men taken were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, whose Hebrew names mean “God is my judge,” “Jehovah is Gracious,” “Who Belongs to God,” and “Jehovah Helps.”  They are given the new Babylonian names, which carried importance to the Babylonian gods of the moon and sun.  The names were given to them to encourage them to forget their heritage, who they are in God’s eyes.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

 

Naming our three boys was very important to my wife and I.  The meaning in their names, to us, is a reminder of their God given identity.  We named them Jedidiah, “loved by God,” Ezekiel, “God’s strength,” and Matthias, “gift of God.”  Matthias, with the twinkle in his eye, great smile, and his ability to win over anyone is quite the charmer.  So, we decided it probably is best not to tell him his name means “God’s gift” until he is mature enough to understand it.  He’s too likely to try and use that information to his advantage.

 

As Christians, we become adopted sons and daughters of God.  We now assume a life of sojourners in a foreign land.  Much like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, we are living in a place that is not our home, and the world is trying to distract us from our identity in Christ.  All around us are messages of slavery to this world.  It’s in advertisements, in music and movies, Satan is waging a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12) on our new identity in Christ.  Just like these four young men, we also need to cling to our identity in Jesus during our sojourning on this earth.

 

To the Romans, Paul wrote, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  This transformation is done through the continual dependence on God’s word, through worship, and through fellowship with the body of Christ.


Life Application  

 
Jesus, help me to remember my new identity in you (2 Corinthians 5:17).  As I make my way in this life, help me to encourage and remind those around me of their new identity in you.  Help me to sharpen others, as others help to sharpen me.      
 
-Tyler Galloway


Ezekiel_48

Scripture – What stood out?

Ezekiel 48: 35

“And the name of the city from that time on will be:

the Lord is there.”

Observation – What does it say?

A new temple and a new city to close out the book of Ezekiel in chapters 47 and 48. A new temple with a river flowing out of it that would bring a dead sea to life. And a new city that would reunite the fractured people/tribal groups of Israel.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

While biblical scholars debate the literal and figurative meanings of the final two chapters of Ezekiel, my mind can’t help but imagine what the figurative interpretation of this new city would be like. That last line of Ezekiel is just so…inspiring. What if that was the name of the city that we lived in today?!

 

“Hi my name is ken, i live in the city of “the Lord is There”. Where are you from?”

And the other person responds, “Oh, I have lived in California my whole life and I have never heard of that city before!”

 

No but seriously, I daydream about what heaven is like, what is eden is like, but I have never dreamed of what it would be like to live in a city where God was there. That just sounds so intense and amazing to think about God living and ruling within the framework of…Santa Clarita! We could all drive by His home during his 5am walks…and pester Him with life’s hardest questions! What would our city look like, feel like, be like, if we were the city of “the Lord is there.”

 

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

Lord whether we resembled eden, or heaven, or none of the above, I would love for our city…really all of our cities to be named “the Lord is there”. Help your servants here on earth to make that statement a reality. I pray for the city that I live in today. I pray for the city of Santa Clarita, that we would all desire that precious mantle and reality- to live in a place where You are There.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray. Amen

-kenneth lee

 



Matthew__1

Scripture

Matthew 1:1 and 5

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham… Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth…
 

Observation

In this chapter we are introduced to Jesus’ lineage which not only seems pretty self-explanatory but also very daunting. The first few many remember, but as the family tree extends all the connections get even more messy, but they all are key to Jesus’ arrival.
 

Understanding

Alright… I have to be honest… I don’t think I have ever read the full genealogy of Jesus before. It just seemed like too much, and those names… geez I’d hate to be a teacher doing that roll call. However, this time I decided I would read through it and I am so glad that I did! Jesus came from a line of some pretty unperfect people. All of them seem to have flaws, but I had to stop on Rahab. For those who do not know her, here is some quick background on Rahab:

  • This woman was a prostitute
  • She lived in this place called Jericho (during the time of its invasion)
  • She houses two Israelite spies, and lies to the Jericho authorities when questioned about them
  • Frequently they come to her house where she gives them protection
  • Because of this, her home is not destroyed
Here’s what I am getting at: God doesn’t care about your past that may not have been aligned with His. Not only was Rahab’s house not destroyed when all the rest of Jericho was, but she was added to the lineage of arguably the most awaited person in human history. The same applies to us! God doesn’t care what you may have done in the past, He’s concerned with whether or not you wish to be added to His story. Jesus comes from a long line of prostitutes, liars, murderers, and some extremely flawed people… but that’s why He came.
 

Life Application

Here’s a reminder that I think is very important here:

The enemy will tell you that sinning is not that big of a deal… until you do it… then he’ll tell you that you don’t deserve to be forgiven… but again, THAT’S WHY JESUS CAME!

I’m sure Rehab struggled some days with this fact, but she still was a part of ushering in the King of Kings. God not only forgave Rahab by protecting her home, but He rewarded her ten-fold by adding her to His family tree. God is asking us to be obedient! Not only are the rewards far greater than we can imagine, but others take notice and wish to be added to the “family tree” too. Let’s be purposeful in how we live, and let’s grow our big happy family even further.

-Allison Khan


Psalm_127

Scripture

Psalm 127:1-2
 

1  Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

 

Observation-What does it say?

The writer of this Psalm, King Solomon describes what meaningful labor looks like, not meaningless labor. It brings me back to the book of Ecclesiastes, where he describes throughout the book that all the toiling under the sun is meaningless. (See Ecclesiastes 1:3, Eccl. 2:11, Eccl. 2:17-26, etc.)
 

Understanding-What does it mean?

King Solomon was a man with TRUE wisdom.

I love King Solomon’s story. (By the way, he is King David and Bathsheba’s 2nd child, after the 1st one was taken away as a consequence of their sin.) In a dream, the Lord told King Solomon to ask him for anything he wanted. Instead of asking God for wealth, possessions, honor, to defeat all his enemies, etc., he asked God for wisdom. Because God saw that his heart wasn’t for those things, He blessed King Solomon with the knowledge and wisdom he asked for PLUS all of those other things anyway. (See 1 Kings 3:1-15 and 2 Chronicles 1: 7-13)

King Solomon knew that true success wasn’t a byproduct of what he could do in his own strength. As the Psalm says, unless the Lord is behind it, it is all in vain. All the toiling and labor is in vain. It’s all meaningless. However, if we give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord in His strength and wisdom, none of it is in vain.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
 

Life Application

Are we spending our time and energy in vain, toiling and fighting for things that don’t last in light of eternity?
 

On Sunday, Pastor preached about using our words to build up, not destroy. He also spoke about what true wisdom looks like, as opposed to false. Here’s a reminder of the verse Pastor had in his sermon, regarding exalting ourselves. 

James 3:13-14 NLT- If you are wise and understand God’s ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth.  And if you don’t brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise! But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise.  That is the worst kind of lie.

The only reason why there is good in any of us is because of Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, we are nothing. Let’s toil and labor to build His Kingdom and not our own. If God is in it, it will not be destroyed.

-Michelle Gaddi