Bible Reading Plan
bible

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

November 4: Esther 9, Revelation 17, Psalm 73

November 5: Esther 10, Revelation 18, Psalm 74

November 6: Job 1, Revelation 19, Psalm 75

November 7: Job 2, Revelation 20, Psalm 76

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

Psalm_105

Scripture

Psalm 105:8,42-44

He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,

42 For he remembered his holy promise
    given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
    his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
    and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—

 

Observation

Starting with praise, this book shares a summarized version of the story of Abraham, the story of the Israelites – from being set free (with the use of plagues) to the traveling by cloud and fire, to the provision in the desert (manna and quail from heaven, water from rocks)…and why?  All because God had made a promise.

 

Understanding

There was so much good stuff in today’s reading – especially in Matthew, with the “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21) and the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) – it was hard to choose just one theme.  But I think even those can be summed up with…  

God is faithful.

And Psalms brings it home with just how faithful God is…so much so that he remembers his covenant FOREVER, the promise he made for A THOUSAND GENERATIONS.  I’m lucky to remember something for a thousand minutes or a thousand seconds.  Yet the God who spoke us in to creation, who knew the beginning, middle and end of our stories before we took our first breath, He remembers the promises he made FOREVER.

 

Life Application

What promises are you holding on to?  What things have spoken to you and over you by God?  May today be a reminder that He hasn’t forgotten.  Stay the course, you serve a faithful God who remembers you and remembers the promises He’s made you.

God, I thank you that you are a faithful God…a follow through God.  Not one thing comes out of your mouth only to return void.  May I be faithful to you like you are to me. 

Oh, and give me opportunities today to exercise the greatest commandment – love.

In your name I pray. 

Rei

 

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



Matthew__21

Scripture  Matthew 21:28-32   “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’  “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.  “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.  “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered.

Observation-What does it say?  Jesus is speaking with a group of the chief priests, and they decide to question his authority.  Jesus answers with a group of parables: the parable of the two sons, the parable of the vineyard tenants, and the parable of the wedding guests.  The three parables display different aspects of disobedience to Jesus.  In the parable of the two sons, we see an example of a sincere act of obedience in the first son, even though his words would show otherwise.  The second son mocks his father through his disobedience.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy when I am yelling at my kids to clean their room.  I mean how many times do I have to tell them calmly and quietly.  The first 82 times I asked them to clean their room I was able to hold my composure.  Why at 83 did I suddenly turn into the Hulk?  Smashing Lego creations that took them two weeks to build.  Putting their favorite stuffed animals in the trash.  This is when my kids really show concern for their belongings, once the reality sets in that I can make it all disappear.  It’s like they don’t understand the value of a dollar.    

I know that I did the same thing when I was their age.  And, the reality is, I still struggle with being obedient.   I often struggle with being generous with people who I “don’t deserve it.”  Or I treat people the way I feel have “earned.”  I treat the outcasts with disdain because I don’t care for the way they smell, or how they look.  I play favorites and treat people the way I feel they deserve, even though God’s word clearly states this is sin.  I go to church, pay my tithes, I even volunteer to help in different ministries.  But, these things are all in my comfort zone.  

In Matthew 20:1-16, we learn about God’s amazing generosity with us.  In the parable of the workers, we see that God shares equally with all who will come to him.  Why, then, do I find it so hard to show love to the outcasts.  I let my pride get in the way.  

Life Application  Jesus, I am sorry for being so prideful.  I am sorry for showing favoritism and not showing love to those who are “less desirable.”  Help me to love others the way I love myself.  Help me to let go of my biases and see people with the same love you do.            

-Tyler Galloway



Matthew _20

Scripture

Matthew 20:20,16

12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Observation

Jesus was describing what the kingdom of heaven was like. He compared it to a landowner who went out to hire laborers to work in his vineyard. Some he found early in the morning and agreed to pay them a denarius, a whole days wage. Others he found later at different times even towards the end of the day, and paid them the same amount as the laborers who started in the morning. Say what!?

Understanding

Father God is so good!

Ephesians 2:7-8  “7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

I am humbled by God’s generosity of love.I get to share in the inheritance no matter when I started. Father God is so good! I don’t deserve any reward! Certainly not the same reward of those that have gone before me.

I can only imagine what it must feel like to have been laboring, putting in the time and effort for so long only to receive the same reward.

Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

However, I think in this scripture Jesus was commenting on the first workers complaining, bad attitude toward unfair division of wages, and desire to be recognized for hours of laborious work. Their heart was ugly toward their fellow laborers who came in late. He should have shown gratitude for the wages and  having a fellow laborer to help, the humility to be happy for the latecomer who was receiving such an amazing wage!

Application

Desire to serve over wanting to be used.

When we want to be used it comes with a longing to be seen for our work and to be recognized for our gifts and talents. When we desire to serve it comes with a longing to do what is being asked of us even if it doesn’t fit into our gifts and talents and it remains unseen.

Let’s be okay with being unnoticed, outranked, and unpaid. Store up treasure in heaven. Let’s rejoice with our brothers and sisters who come into the kingdom of heaven and share in the same inheritance.
 
Matthew 20:28 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Humility and gratitude are always the right response. Do away with pride and allow humility to reveal our true condition.

Father, thank you for your salvation through your son Jesus Christ that allows me to be a laborer in your kingdom. We take off our pride that distorts the truth and put on humility that reveals our true condition. Holy Spirit come empower us to work alongside my brothers and sisters with a happy heart of gratitude for them coming into the kingdom and forever grateful for your immeasurable grace and mercy! In Jesus name, Amen!

Deborah Lee



Matthew__19

Scripture

Matthew 19:13-14

13Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

Observation-What does it say?

When the little children were brought to Jesus, His disciples rebuked them. They rebuked the people who brought the kids to Jesus. The Oxford American dictionary defines rebuke as, “express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.” The disciples were critical of the fact that little children were brought to Jesus, but Jesus told His disciples to let them come. Jesus welcomed the children, blessed them and prayed for them. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

It doesn’t matter what age, race, gender, or past we have. We can all come to Jesus and He will accept us with open arms.

Children were just like women back in those times in Jewish culture. They were not highly regarded. However, Jesus continued to break those social barriers. When doing research on gotquestions.com, it said that, “It is likely that their (the disciples’) move to hinder the parents from bringing their children to Jesus was motivated not by unkindness, but by a desire to respect Jesus’ position as a teacher.”

To the disciples, Jesus’ position as a teacher gave Him no time to pray over children because He had more important matters to attend to. However, Jesus continued to show His disciples that He was there to serve people no matter what gender or age they were. He came to serve everyone, to die for ALL and to resurrect from the grave so that we could have life in Him. The Kingdom of Heaven did not only belong to the religious leaders or to men, but to the sinners, the poor, the women, the children and everyone else who weren’t socially accepted in those days.

Life Application

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28 NIV

Think of people today who are not socially accepted or people we write off because they are unlike us. Poor/homeless, mentally ill, sick, broken, needy, hurt, dependent….you fill in the blank. 

Those are the people that Jesus went out of His way to minister to and who we should to as well. There are no cultural, social, age, gender, or political gaps with Jesus. Everyone has an opportunity to be part of the Kingdom of Christ because in His Kingdom, those barriers do not exist.

Dear Jesus, thank You that You loved and love the “least of these” and as we were adopted into your family, we inherited more than the world has to offer, life with You. I pray against any cultural or social filter/barrier that prevents us from reaching out to those You desire in Your Kingdom. As Your Word says, “the last shall be first and the first shall be last (Matt. 19:30).” May we have a humble servant’s view towards people just like You had towards us. We love You Jesus and thank You for choosing us despite who we were. May we extend that same love and grace towards others when reaching out. Amen. 

Source:

gotquestions.org/let-the-little-children-come-to-me.html

-Michelle Gaddi



2 Samuel_15

Scripture

2 Samuel 15:13-14

“A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!” “Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.”

Observation-What does it say?

David’s son Absalom has started a rebellion to dethrone his dad David. David gets wind of this news, and seems to panic! He gathers his people, and begins to flee out of Jerusalem.

Understanding-What does it mean?

David let fear get in the way of his judgment.

Time and time again before this, David was able to overcome obstacles in his life because of his trust in God. Whenever David ran into a predicament, David sought out God for His wisdom and advice. This time around, David seemed to let fear get the best of him. I mean, how big and bad can Absalom’s army be anyway?

David defeated much more formidable foes than this one I would think. Why did he choose to flee instead of fight? Was it because it was against his own son? Why did he forget to turn to God for wisdom and advice on something like this? David sought out God for His wisdom and advice on more difficult circumstances before, and God delivered him from them. If I were David, why quit now?

Life Application

Prayer should precede and pervade everything we do.

Sound familiar? It should. It is one of DSC’s core values. It should also be a core value we live by as Christ Followers. Prayer is one of the vital parts of communication with God, (the other is reading His Word). With our God being all knowing and all powerful, I would be foolish not to seek His advice in everything I do.

Thank you Lord for always having time to hear my prayers. Thank you for allowing me to come to You freely with anything that concerns me. Nothing is too big or too small for You. May I continue to seek You in everything I do. May my ears, heart, and mind be open to anything You want me to do. Help me be obedient to Your instructions. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. 

-Moses Gaddi



Psalm_100

Scripture

Psalm 100:5 (NIV)
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Observation

Short and simple. Five verses…but, those 5 verses lived out, create a lifestyle of worship, joy, gratitude, confidence (in who we are – His).

Understanding

The last verse struck me something extra special this morning.

Just a reminder that we serve a powerful and unchanging God.  The same God we read about that split the sea, that released His people through bringing 10 plagues on a nation, that created the Earth, that allowed Abraham and Sarah to conceive welllllll into their years, that caused actual food to rain down from heaven (manna), that spit Jonah out of a whale and on to dry land, that kept Daniel safe in a den full of hungry lions, that caused a virgin to conceive, that turned water into wine, that turned a few fish and loaves of bread into enough to feed thousands (more than once!), that walked on water in human form…and so much more!  That same God loves us, guides us, desires us, speaks to us, empowers us and wants what is best for us.

The human form changes as time goes on, we often watch our parents become frail, forgetful and while still incredibly lovable, just not as we remember…but our Father God never changes, never weakens, never forgets, never fails.

Life Application

The knowing that God is the same yesterday, today and forever creates trust; trust that God does not change His mind, He is not fickle or moody, His love never changes, never fades, never goes away.  So, knowing that, we can trust Him fully with our hearts, with the decisions He guides us towards…knowing that He’s always at work in the details, wants His ultimate best for us and that we can fully surrender to Him and His will for our lives.  So…let’s live that out – in the big and the little decisions and actions we take daily.

God, may I remember your faithfulness today…and live in a way that shows it!  Amen.

Rei

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



Matthew__16

Scripture  Matthew 16:5-6 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.  “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Observation-What does it say?  Jesus takes a moment to warn his disciples of the teaching of those looking to change God’s word, in honor of their tradition.  During Jesus’ life, the pharisees saw religion in terms of an outward cat and ritual, the cleansing of the body.  The sadducees saw religion, were wealthy and highly political, and looked at religion as a means to increase the prosperity.  Jesus is reminding his disciples that religion is that which affects the heart, and translates into actions rooted in love.       

Understanding-What does it mean?  “You shouldn’t be eating that,” my co-worker told me, while I sat quietly eating my ham and cheese sandwich.  I was totally confused as to what he was talking about.  As I inquired, he went on to tell me that eating ham was sinful and that I shouldn’t call myself a Christian.  At this point I still wasn’t grasping what he was getting at, which made him all the more upset. He went on to berate me about going to church on Sunday instead of Saturday and a number of other things that I did, which had never dawned on me as being “sins.”  I remember feeling like my co-worker had gotten lost in some details that were really not important.   Like the pharisees and the sadducees, this person had turned something that had been intended for good and turned it into an unnecessary burden that he was trying to place on other people.

Jesus is concerned with our hearts, not whether or not we wash our hands the right way, or pray at a certain time.  He simply wants our hearts devoted to him.  We live in a world full of things competing for our attention and the devotion of our hearts.  Our miniature computers beeping at us and entertaining us at all hours of the day.  There are disciples of all different schools of thought trying to convince us to eat only meat, or only vegetables.  Even in Jesus’ time, we see a glimpse of similar things competing for the disciples hearts.  While some of these are good things, they can also distract us from what God is trying to do in us.

In Proverbs we learn of the importance of guarding our heart, because “it is the wellspring of life” (24:3).  In his letter to the Romans, Paul warns them about conforming to the ways of the world, and he challenges us to continue to renew our minds into what God wants us to become (12:2).  Peter tells us that if we stand firm in our faith, God will be faithful to restore us in him (1 Peter 5:6-10).

Life Application  Jesus help me to find You before anything else.  Help me not to waiver in my faith.  Help me to guard my heart, so that I may not lead others astray over “religious” issues.  Help me to lay down my desires to you everyday.  

-Tyler Galloway



2 Samuel_12

Scripture
 
2 Samuel 12:20
 
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
 
Observation
 
David has just committed a horrible sin against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband. Nathan, the prophet, confronts David and reveals that the Lord is so hurt by what he did. David, a man after God’s own heart, has done a terrible thing and now brings consequences against his whole family for years to come.
 
Understanding
 
Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
 
Here is David, a man slaying giants and leading armies. At one point he had Saul in his perfect view to kill him, instead. David would not touch God’s anointed. God gave him more than he could have dreamed and would have given even more had he asked. He spoke of Davids future for his family promising to establish his throne and build a temple with his son.
 
After all we read about him I seriously thought…this guy is it! He has got this God thing down. He does so many things right, he has amazing faith, he wrote all these Psalms, of course God chose his line to send his Son to us!
 
2 Samuel 12:9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.
 
David!!!! Noooooo! Heartbreaking.
 
Then God speaks through Nathan and issues a judgement on David and his family. Then he pays the price for his sin, the loss of his son. David humbled himself as he always did, fasted and lied on the floor for seven days. After the consequence had been fulfilled David got up, got dressed, and ate. He had to move forward with being king.
 
Application
 
Philippians 3:13-14  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
 
I have never committed the exact sin that David did but one thing for sure… I have fallen super short of the glory of God on many occasions. Humility and gratitude will always be the right response but then we need to get up, get dressed, and move on. Sometimes we like to sit in our dirt and feel sorry for ourselves that we are such wretched losers and we stop moving.
 
God forgives us through Jesus and we need to accept it and move on. Father, thank you for loving and forgiving me even though I clearly don’t deserve it. Holy Spirit help me to live out my life as Jesus did, receive forgiveness from our Father, and empower me to move forward in the path God has paved for me. In Jesus name Amen!

Deborah Lee



Matthew__14

Scripture

Matthew 14: 19

“And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the people.”
 
Observation
 
Ironically, Jesus is seeking solitude after learning that his cousin John the Baptist is dead. There is met by people who long to just be with Him and hear Him speak and preach. Rather than turning them away He delights in their company and even feeds the “mere” five thousand people there. But before feeding them, He does one important thing: He gives thanks.
 
Understanding

In order to be effectively used by God to do His work, we must come before Him with a heart of humility and thanksgiving.

Over the many years of reading this story I always got hung up on the idea that Jesus fed five thousand people with a tiny amount of food, but this time something else stood out to me. It doesn’t just say “Jesus took the bread and the fish and miraculously gave it to everyone there” it emphasizes that Jesus gave thanks. The Son of the Most High gave thanks, even though He was God in the flesh. He didn’t thank Himself either, He humbled Himself, and looking to heaven lifted up gratitude and thanksgiving. He honors His Heavenly Father by giving Him all the glory, honor, and praise.

If I am to live a Christ-centered life, then I am to model Christ in all my actions. I constantly find myself saying: “I want to be used by God, I want to carry out His will,” yet I hype myself up when God uses me in His plan. Then I find myself once again in a “dry time” where I feel that God isn’t using me. I simply haven’t come before the Father with a heart of adoration and thanksgiving. Zechariah 4:6 sums it up perfectly:

“’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

We are not people of circumstance, nor are we people of divine power, we are a people living for a mighty God. A God who deserves all the praise imaginable. Jesus models to us how to be used by the Father. In order to truly be used, we must rid ourselves of any boast or brag. God is breaking us to promote us and place us to where we need to be, and it all begins with a heart of thanks and humility. Let’s face it, without Him we are nothing.
 
Life Application

If we are to be people of God, we must break this idea that self is at the center of everything. It’s time for a change of culture where we honor the one who created us no matter how big or small the miracle is. The miracle is the fact that we are alive and have the pleasure of living freely for the King!

-Allison Khan


2 Samuel_10

Scripture

2 Samuel 10:3

“The Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!”

Observation-What does it say?

King Nahash of the Ammonites has just died. His son Hanun has just replaced him as king. David wants to show loyalty to Hanun, just as his father was always loyal to him. So David sends ambassadors to Ammon to give the new king his condolences. But rather than take the simplicity of David’s act of compassion, Hanun takes the advice of his commanders. Hanun and his commanders believe that David has some sort of ulterior motive behind his act. They believe he sent his ambassadors to spy on them, so they can conquer them.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)

I believe Hanun was surrounded by very cynical people. People who were out to climb their own “political ladder” and who were out for their own selfish gain when they gave Hanun this advice. These men presumed the worst out of people, instead of expecting the best from God’s people.

Hanun on the other hand should have took a page out of David’s book and seeked God for counsel. Maybe if he did that and surrounded himself with Godly men’s advice, it wouldn’t have ended so badly for him and his people.

Life Application

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Seek God in everything I do. Surround myself with Godly and righteous people. Seek counsel from these God fearing men and women that God has put in my life when life throws me for a loop.

Father God thank You for my church family. Thank You for the leadership here at DSC that shepherds me to grow in my faith. May you continue to bless these men and women for their leadership and their commitment to You. Lord, I don’t have it all together and I do need help. Help me to humbly seek You and Your people in those times of need. In Your Holy and precious name Jesus, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi