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___14

Scripture

Matthew 14:22-23

“Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus had just finished performing yet another miracle. Not only did Jesus heal all the sick from the crowds of people who were following him from town to town, but Jesus decided to feed the 5,000 men (not including the women and children) that day with only using five loaves of bread and two fish! And all the people ate as much as they wanted that day, and to top it off, they even had 12 baskets of leftovers to spare! Immediately following this miracle, Jesus sent the crowds of people home and sent his disciples back on the boat to cross to the other side of the lake. After everyone was gone, Jesus went up to the hills by himself to pray.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

As busy as Jesus was with helping others, teaching, discipling, and performing miracles, He still found time to recharge and rest through His alone time with God.

Throughout Scripture you will find that Jesus often set aside times to be alone and pray to God. Whether it was spending 40 days in the desert or His time in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew the importance of connecting to His Heavenly Father for strength, comfort, and wisdom. 

We all complain about our busy schedules and the lack of time we have to accomplish our daily tasks. And the first thing we seem to sacrifice in our life is our time with God (prayer time, Bible study, and journaling). Why is that? I know I can be guilty of this. But reading this passage reminds me just how busy Jesus was in life. He had his own ministry to do, He had his disciples to groom, and on top of all that, He had people fighting for His time on all sides of Him so that they could be healed! How did he keep it all together?! I believe it’s because of the emphasis He put in his life with spending time with God. He was purposeful about it. He would sneak away from the crowds and His disciples to get that one on one time He desperately needed to recharge with His Almighty Father. It was in these times Jesus found guidance, strength, and focus on what He needed to do. And He always walked away from those prayer times re-energized to keep moving on to fulfill God’s will. So how did the prayer time in this passage end up for Jesus?..He rescued His disciples who were on the boat experiencing rough waters, as Jesus came to them…walking on water!!!

 

Life Application

If I am to call myself a follower of Christ, shouldn’t I follow the things that He does? Shouldn’t I make my prayer time with God a priority?

We find time in life to do the things that are important to us. Whether it is waking up early to get to work on time or me not sitting on the couch watching television so I can spend time with my kids. We do these things because we prioritize the things in our life that are important to us. So where does God fit in? Where does His people fit in? If God truly is the head of our household and number one in our lives, our lives should reflect it. 

Let’s be purposeful with our time with God the way Jesus was purposeful with His time with God. Let’s re-energize, re-focus, seek God’s strength and wisdom through it. Let’s see what miracle He has in store for us and our church family because of it!

-Moses Gaddi



Matthew_13

Scripture 

Matthew 13:44   

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells everything that he has, and buys that field.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

Jesus often used parables to share his message.  The parables were thought provoking, used to separate those who came to be entertained by Jesus’ miracles from those who came to him to find truth and understand His teachings.  Though, Jesus’ parables used common language and everyday examples, which were relatable to his audience.  By doing this, he differentiated himself from the religious elites of his time, the pharisees, who loved to pray using big words (Matthew 6:5-8) and place heavy religious burdens on people (Matthew 23:1-6) and wouldn’t honor their parents because of their religious traditions (Matthew 15:3-7).  Through his parables, we experience the love of God that is for all mankind (John 3:16), not something that is muddled up with rules and religious requirements.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX-aAg4_U2Q

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

Have you ever had that one thing that you thought, “If I could only have this, life would be so much better”?  When I was a kid, that one thing was a horse.  I wanted to be a cowboy more than anything else in the world.  I had my boots and jeans, my holster and trusty cap gun, and even a real felt cowboy hat.  The only thing I was missing was a horse and saddle.  For years my Christmas wish list included these items, not realizing the true cost of owning and caring for a horse.  When my parents finally broke the news to me, that they could never get me these things, I was heartbroken.  Later on in life, my desire turned to a league championship in track.  I trained all of high school to become the champion of the 800 meter run.  I expected it to pave the way for a college education and a career in professional running.  I succeeded in attaining my league championship and I still have the medal to prove it.  But, life after the championship did not go like I thought and I was again left with an empty feeling in its wake.

 

The kingdom of heaven is like these things, only much, much better.  The kingdom of heaven is that very thing that we are looking for in the horses and trophies, in the homes and the cars, in the careers and the accolades.  However, the kingdom of heaven does not disappoint us.  We will not be left with the need for something more, because it is so much more than we can imagine. The other things in life are the lies that come from the devil.  Jesus comforts us in saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).  In Jesus, we are made whole and can experience the abundant life that this world leaves us wanting.

 

Life Application  

Jesus, help me to always look for your truths.  Thank you for being the only thing that makes me complete.  For in you I find my being.  Help me to share your truths and the message of your love in the same relatable way.   

 

-Tyler Galloway 





Daniel_10

Scripture

Daniel 10:12

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

 

Observation – What does it say?

After having a troubling vision that he didn’t understand, Daniel humbled himself before God and spent three weeks mourning and seeking God for understanding. At the end of the three weeks his answer came via a messenger from God. This messenger explains that as soon as Daniel began to seek God, he was sent in response. But, he encountered opposition by an evil spiritual power he refers to as “the prince of the Persian kingdom,” delaying him 21 days.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

This is a fascinating chapter, and I probably have more questions than answers after reading it. However, this one thing stood out to me: Daniel’s prayers were heard and his answer was sent immediately, although he had to wait 21 days before it arrived.

Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 7 to “Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.”

I wonder how many times we pray about something and lose all faith when we don’t see an answer within 24 hours. The “keeping on” is the achilles heel of our prayer life. There are things going on in the spiritual realm we have no idea about. I imagine many times we fail to “keep on knocking,” giving up and walking away when God’s hand is reaching for the handle on the other side, to open the door. Daniel teaches us in this passage to continue seeking without giving up.

 

Life Application

Keep seeking! For the people I’ve been praying for to come to know Christ, for breakthrough in relationships and in our community, for a powerful move of God in our city.

God, I believe that you hear our prayers and the moment we speak out our prayers the answer is set in motion! I trust that even when I don’t see much happening in the natural, there are things in the spirit that are shifting, angels engaging in battle, hearts being prepared and people being positioned. I believe you meant it when you repeated the promise 7 times, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Fill us with faith and grant that we may be ones who persevere in prayer. Amen.

– Levi Thompson



Matthew___11

Scripture

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
 

Observation

Jesus has just finished speaking to a crowd of people about John the Baptist, and He even goes on to somewhat “call out” certain towns that have not yet repented. He then goes on to say that anyone who comes to the Father must know the Son, yet He reassures those people that his “yoke easy and his burden is light.”
 

Understanding

In the past when I have read these verse I tended to only focus on the one that promises rest for a tired and weary soul. The other verses seemed like added “work” and I didn’t understand how they applied to rest. Upon research I discovered that a “yoke” is a tool that is used in farming to join two animals so that the workload becomes equal and shared. Ironically I used to ignore these verses… which seems to be pretty indicative of how I view God trying to “yoke” me. Here’s what I mean while I thought I was busy toiling with my land, God longed to partner alongside me to make my burden less. However, in my stubbornness I haven’t always taken the time to stop and accept the help. Quite honestly I think other people can relate to this to. Rather than taking the time to understand what taking a yoke from someone is, we would rather just do our own thing when there is a way better (and more efficient) way.

The bottom line: God longs to partner with us in order to make our burdens light.

Jesus even says in these verse “I am gentle and humble in heart,” meaning that if it seems like He’s giving us more than we can handle it’s because He’s going to put in the work with us. He’s not going to strand us on our land toiling with no progress. God desires to see growth just was much as we desire to see it too. We have to be willing to let Him in though.
 

Life Application

Take a rest! You don’t have to keep on toiling by yourself. Where do you see areas that you haven’t let God “yoke” you? Take some time to listen and allow God to reveal the places that He longs to work alongside you. I promise it will provide rest that you thought would never come. Let’s choose to partner with God!

-Allison Khan



Matthew__10

Scripture

Matthew 10:39 NIV

 

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus sends out His 12 disciples in the same authority that He has to heal and cast out impure spirits. The above verse was part of the instructions given to His disciples before He sent them out. He was encouraging them and making them aware of the opposition they would face as His disciples. At the same time, He was encouraging them to take up their cross daily, for when they lose their life for His sake and His mission, that is when they will find it. 

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

The gains of being a Christ follower are greater than the losses.

 

This verse can be taken 2 ways-it relates to the present and to the future. It relates to the present in the sense that our lives as Christ followers are not for our own selfish gain or to pursue our own sinful desires. It is the opposite. While others in the world are seeking to “find themselves,” we seek to “lose ourselves” as a servant of Jesus Christ. That’s when our true purpose is realized.

 

This verse also relates to the future- eternity. When we die, we are not lost in a hellish existence. Instead, we find our life, for our true dwelling place to come in eternity with Christ is where our hope lies.

 

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28 NIV

 

Life Application

Do our lives seek to serve Jesus and others? Or are we living for ourselves?

 

The interesting thing about wanting to serve ourselves is that it never satisfies. We will always want more money, a better title/job, a bigger house and car, a better spouse/relationship, a better body/health, more praise, a better life, more freedom, more justice, etc., and it’s a downward spiral that is a result of discontentment because of a thirst that can’t be quenched. Then comes the high counseling bills or sometimes destructive means of masking that pain through drug/alcohol use, inappropriate relationships, workaholism, etc.

 

Our spirit man longs to serve and love Someone greater than ourselves and the END of the search will always be Jesus. Just like Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:14, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst..”, the best way for us to find “your best life now,” is to lose it for the sake of Christ.

 

Dear Jesus, Your Word says that You’ve given us authority in this world. However, it also says we will face many sorrows in this life as we take up our Cross daily for You, face opposition, as well as give up what we want to serve You and others. Please remind us to find refuge in You and be content in You alone. Please help us to live a life of authority in godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6) and remember to be content because You promise that You will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Please remind me of my purpose when I fall into the trap of being envious of the world’s gains and question the sacrifice of a Christ follower. May Your Holy Spirit remind me of Proverbs 23:17-18, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Amen.

 

-Michelle Gaddi



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