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_95

Scripture

Psalm 95:10-11 (NIV)
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Observation

Forever a favorite, David remains.

In this Chapter, he starts with praise, encouragement of others to praise (sing for joy, shout aloud, extol Him) and acknowledgement of the great and poweful God we serve. [I love his description of God – in His hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong tohim. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land (Vs 4-6). So good! <3

Then in verse 8, David speaks to who WE are in relation to God and encourages us to “hear His voice” – speaking of the consequences of a generation who didn’t.

Understanding

At least the last two weeks of PG’s Sunday messages have talked about how “disobedience brings destruction,” while “obedience brings blessings.” Not only blessings, but as was shared yesterday, blessings, cleansing, forgiveness, redemption. It is in obedience that God can make things new, whole. It is in disobedience that we experience death, or separation from God.

And here we see God’s warning of exactly that – disobedience (hearts gone astray) brought anger and they were “never [able/allowed] to enter God’s rest.”

As shared yesterday, this is serious stuff – so much so that God set the example, even at having to sacrifice His own son. He expected obedience of Abraham when He asked that he sacrifice his own son. So what does obedience look like? Simply put, it’s putting first things first. God desires, no…REQUIRES that He be first – no other gods before Him. So, what are we putting before God that may result in the withholding of blessings being poured out?

Life Application

For me, my busy seasons show how quickly I get uprooted, distracted and begin to put other things before God. I feel like this is evidence that I’m simply not deeply rooted enough. So…the application is to simply put God first – simple, but not easy…yet 100% necessary – that I may experience His peace, His rest, His blessings. He pours out His love daily and works in all the details for His good…but I miss it all when I turn my eyes from Him to whatever new and shiny thing comes my way…or whatever obstacle that attempts to block my path. When we keep our eyes up, upon the God who lifts us and carries us and makes us new, we rise above.

God, fill me up. Forgive my wandering heart and bind it to thee. As things get busy, may I stay centered in and focused on you…not just for my own peace but as an example to those around me – that, with you, there is joy, there is peace regardless of circumstances. Fill me up, overflow, permeate this soul…that I may be used by and for YOU!

 

In Your Name, I pray.

Rei

 

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



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-What does it say?  After sending the twelve apostles out on a journey to heal and teach, Jesus appears to be spending some time alone.  He went on his own, from town to town, to teach and preach.  While doing this, He is approached by a group of John the Baptist’s disciples.  On John’s behalf, they inquire of Jesus if He is the messiah.  Jesus uses the words from Isaiah (ch. 35) to tell them He is fulfilling the prophecies about Him.  

Jesus then sheds light on the wisdom of God, who reveals truth to those who don’t fit the world’s definition of wisdom and intelligence.  He then carries on to speak to the hearts of those he is calling.  “It was the ordinary folk who received Jesus – and he was glad.  To all who are worn down by burdens, he offers relief” ( Zondervan Handbook of the Bible p. 561).

Understanding-What does it mean?  One of the things I love about history is reading the stories of supposed underdogs.  Those who succeeded despite being at a “disadvantage.”  Like Albert Einstein who, after teaching himself calculus at the age of 14, was denied entrance into college because of his trouble with language.  Or George Washington who, without a traditional military education, lead the burgeoning United States to victory in the Revolutionary role.  Sometimes in life we can’t see the forest for the trees, and we miss a person’s potential for the lack of their credentials.  

If we were to compare the life of Jesus to what we think of success now, he would probably be an utter failure today.  Jesus lived at home until he was almost thirty.  He quit his job as a carpenter to be homeless.  He hung out with a group of people considered to be less desirable in his culture, men who were known to be rough, dirty, or cheats.  He acted in utter defiance to the political culture.  He hadn’t even finished any type of schooling to teach in the synagogues.  Yet he is the one who completes us and brings us to relationship with God.  

Jesus repeatedly calls those who are sick, who are broken, and who the world sees as useless.  He lets us unload the “requirements” the world tries to place on us.  His rules are few, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart,” and, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).  He knows our deficiencies, and he is ready to make up the difference.

Life Application  Jesus, I trust in you to fill me with the love and knowledge I need to complete your works.  Like the Psalmist cries out, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17)  Even though I am lacking, Jesus I know you have prepared me for a purpose and I trust in you. 

-Tyler Galloway



2 Samuel_7

Scripture

2 Samuel 7:18

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human![c]

Observation

King David is settled in his house of cedar and he realized that God’s presence in the ark was living in a tent. Although, the prophet Nathan had told him to go ahead with his plans, God had a different idea…

Understanding

Humility and Gratitude are always the right response.

The Lord may have rejected his offer to build a house for Him but David recognized to even be this far with God was already beyond his comprehension. And then He speaks of his future house!

2 Samuel 7:12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son

Application

Humility and Gratitude are always the right response.

God may have something for us to do and he may not but choose to be grateful for all that he has done and continues to do for us in spite of our sinful nature, our past, and our present. Choosing shouldn’t even be a choice it should just be natural.

Father thank you for all that you have done for me, past, present, and future. Thank you for redeeming me and sending me your Son. Thank you for having thoughts about me and my family, and my family’s future. Thank you for all that I have big and small! Help me to remember that I am a mere human dependent on you God! In Jesus name, Amen!

Deborah Lee



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. They offer outreaches within our community (Rio Vista Elementary and the blue condos across the train tracks), a recent missions trip to India, and plenty of other ministries within our church. 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


2 Samuel_5

Scripture

2 Samuel 5:18-19

“The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. So David asked the LORD, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The LORD replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.””

Observation-What does it say?

David had just captured the fortress in Zion. He was anointed King by all the tribes of Israel, and David and his army were growing more and more powerful because God was with them. Meanwhile, the Philistines just got news that David was anointed king of all of Israel so they mobilized all their forces to try to capture him. David then turns to God to seek his next move.

Understanding-What does it mean?

As mighty and powerful David has become, he understands that it is all God’s doing.

It could be easy for anyone in David’s shoes(sandals) to get prideful and believe the recent success that they have been experiencing is from their own doings. As for David, he knows better. He remained humble, seeking God for his every military move (vs. 19 & 23). David waited for God’s response before making any move against his enemy. David also honored God by giving him credit for his victories (vs. 20). David realized the victories and blessings he received in life were due to his relationship with God.

Life Application

Having a strong relationship with God is the only way I can get through all of the ups and downs in life. Relying on His strength rather than my own strength is the smartest decision I can make.

Father God, may I involve you in every decision in life. No matter how big or small my problem is, You are always there. May I find Your blessings in life as I put You in the midst of everything I do. Thank You for wanting a relationship with a sinful man like me. 

Thank You for Your son Jesus who makes our relationship even possible.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi



Matthew_7

Scripture

Matthew 7:20 (NIV)

Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

 

Observation

This book is the continuation and end of Jesus’ sermon on the mount – which gives a lot of practical instruction/guidance on how to live the life of a Christ follower (don’t judge, ask God for your heart’s desires, choose the narrow/unpopular gate for it is what leads to life, beware of false prophets, etc.)

Understanding

Ultimately, all of the guidance of the sermon boils down to this one thing…”by their fruit you will recognize them.” Our actions, they way we live out our everyday lives SHOW our faith, SHOW our heart. Our words are an outpouring of our hearts and they have the power to build up or tear down; but our actions reveal where our heart is rooted. Action defined is “the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.” The aim, in this case, is to show our obedience to God and, in that obedience, grow closer to Him.  And, the cool part is, it’s all a chain reaction – our faith in action brings a clear conscious as we walk in/with integrity. (1 Tim: 1:19, 1 Tim. 3:9). In turn, when we walk boldly (yet humbly) in integrity, it brings more action…which leads to more lives being impacted.

Life Application

May our actions show our faith; and may our faith be built through our actions.

God, I love your heart for your people and the way you created and orchestrated things. Nothing is ever a solo, one off, coincidental thing…but it all ties together in this big beautiful world you created and for good in our lives. May we move boldly today, responding in faith and action to what you’ve called us to. May I move boldly today…in faith and action. And may I known by my fruit – as being devoted to and loved by you.

 

In Your Name, I pray.

Rei

 

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



Matthew__6

Scripture  Matthew 6:25-27   “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

Observation-What does it say?  The book of Matthew sheds just a brief light on Jesus’ birth.  It then takes a rather quick jump into the ministry of Jesus.  After being tempted and fasting in the desert for forty days, Jesus gets right into the mix of his ministry.  Chapter six is right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount.  This is one of the first times we see Jesus talking about our motives for our actions, warning us not to desire the adoration of men.  He tells us to tithe and give to the poor in secret, act as if you are not fasting when you are, and don’t pray in a way as though you were putting on a show.  Jesus then tells us how we ought to pray.  Interestingly enough, he tells us how to pray before telling us how to get rid of anxiety.  There must be a direct correlation here.

Understanding-What does it mean?  I learned to hustle pretty early in life and have always been proud of the way that I have been able to “take care of myself.”  My parents didn’t always have extra money for some of the superfluous things I wanted.  So I started looking for ways to make money for myself.  I roamed the neighborhood looking for cans to recycle, asked my neighbors to mow their lawns or walk their dogs.  One of my dog walking jobs went absolutely haywire once.  I was approximately nine years old, maybe 55 pounds soaking wet, and took my neighbors Labrador, of equal weight and much greater strength, for a jaunt down the street.  All of the sudden, the lab took off chasing another dog on the opposite side of a wrought iron fence.  For about two minutes, I was in tow, being dragged through the shrubs, back and forth as these two dogs battled it out to see who could bark the loudest.  When I walked through the door with twigs in my hair and green stains all over my clothes, my mom asked what happened, to which I replied, “You don’t even want to know.”

More than once in my life, I have found myself in the hospital for longer than anyone really wants to be in the hospital.  A few of those times were as a result of my own doing, and some as a result of things outside of my control.  You get a lot of time to think when you are in the hospital.  Every time I found myself getting worried that I would no longer be able to take care of myself, that I was right on the verge of my whole life coming down around me, because of my inability to get better miraculously.  But through these times, I got a glimpse of how small my faith can be that I don’t trust the God who made the universe to take care of me and my finances.

Throughout scripture, God shows himself faithful to his people, even when they are unfaithful.  He brought Israel out of the desert, even after the stunt with the golden calf.  He used Jonah in Nineveh, even after he ran away.  Jesus reminds us in Matthew 10:29 that not even sparrows die apart from His will.  We know from Psalm 139 that we are God’s craftsmanship and He cares for us.  If God can do all these things, then he can take care of me too.

Life Application  Jesus just like the father in Mark 9 asked, help me in my unbelief.  When things get tight, help me to know there is a bigger plan.  When it seems impossible, help me to find ways to give beyond my means.  And when I feel like all the odds are stacked up against me, just let me know you are there.

-Tyler Galloway



Matthew_5

Matthew 5:14- 16

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Observation – What does it say?

Jesus saw the multitudes, so he decided to go over to the mountainside and give  his Sermon on the Mount which include the Beatitudes and the fulfillment of the law. He then delivered the hard stuff like loving your enemies (ouch), divorce, taking oaths, murder, and adultery.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Your good deeds are the light!

I always thought if we were sitting on a hill, shining our light bright, we could shine on people’s darkness and reveal their sin to them so they could know what they needed to fix and how Christian we are to help them, after all, they are poor sinners.Today I read the  scripture with my new Holy Spirit led eyes and I noticed it says to let your light shine before others that they may SEE your GOOD DEEDS and GLORIFY the FATHER.

Ohhh…so it’s not about us and how Christian we are about seeing other people’s sin. (I’m so embarrassed I actually used to think like this. Father, please help me not be so full of myself!)

So here are some of the good deeds he spoke about in Matthew 5. Love your enemies, don’t lust, forgive and ask forgiveness, and have integrity. He’s raised the standard higher than what’s already expected of both sinners and Christians alike.

Your good deeds are the light! That is what makes you stand out! That is what puts you, the lamp, high on a lamp stand and when the people look up…at the light… They see our Father in heaven.

Application – How can I apply this today?

This is how we show our Good Deeds, that we’re not like what is expected of every fallen human being… but when you have every right to be upset, every right to be a lustful,every right to show hatred… we instead decide to show love, we decide to show respect, decide to humble ourselves and extend forgiveness.

Father thank you that you are not a critical God that shines light only to to condemn but that you are a God that shines light to draw us to your abounding love. Help me, help us, help DSC to be a people that will chose to walk in the opposite spirit of the darkness. Thank you Jesus for teaches us how to draw people to our Father. We want to become more like you and less of ourselves. Holy Spirit empower us to be the light and shine our good deeds on people so that they may see the Father in heaven. In Jesus name, Amen.

Deborah Lee



Matthew__4

Scripture

Matthew 4: 19-20 (NIV)

19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
 

Observation

 
Jesus is in a state of regrouping and evaluation after learning that John has been put in prison. He’s been fasting (for forty days!), He’s been tempted, He’s been preaching, He is tired. Despite this while on a stroll He is actively looking for men who are willing to follow Him.
 

Understanding

When Jesus does speak, our first response better be to obey, and to obey immediately.

Ironically, my last post was about resting in the waiting. However, God ultimately doesn’t stay silent forever. Most of the time when He speaks He requires an action out of us. We must be willing to respond with first-time obedience! Simon and Peter easily could’ve questioned Jesus and He would’ve moved on. The Message translation puts it like this:

Matthew 4:20 (MSG)

They didn’t ask any questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.

“Dropping their nets” was equivalent to dropping their livelihood, dropping everything they knew, dropping their only stability. They were willing to give it up for someone they didn’t even know. When God called, they were willing and eager to answer. We know God’s heart for us and people, we know that God has plans and futures for every one of our lives. Yet we hold onto reservations that are otherwise unfulfilling in the place of an action God has called us to. If we want to get out of the waiting we have to be willing to move. God is asking for first-time obedience, not sloppy seconds, or thrashed thirds; He wants us to respond the first time! Drop your nets, I promise you it’s better wherever Jesus is. Now more than ever God is looking for a people who will stand before the world and declare that they are fishers of people. Listen for the call, answer the call, and act on the call. He’s not going to ask us more than once. At times we know the answer because He’s already told us, yet He graciously reminds us hoping we’ll act.
 
Life Application

Matthew 16:24 (NIV)

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Now is as good as time as any to drop our nets, and take up our cross. I want to respond obediently the first time, and I pray for strength to do this. I pray for a courage to leave everything behind for eternal life in a world beyond this one. We can do this!

-Allison Khan


1 Samuel_31

SCRIPTURE

1 Samuel 31:7

“When the Israelites on the other side of the Jezreel Valley and beyond the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines moved in and occupied their towns.”

OBSERVATION-What does it say?

The Philistines have attacked the Israelites. They just finished killing Saul’s three sons and now they are in hot pursuit of Saul. Saul would rather kill himself than be caught,  taunted, and tortured by his enemy. So that is exactly what he does. After his armor bearer refuses to do Saul’s “dirty work” for him, Saul does it himself. He falls on his own sword, killing himself. Soon after, his armor bearer follows Saul’s lead and does the same. Once the people of Israel see all these things going on, they begin to flee and abandon their towns.

UNDERSTANDING-What does it mean?

As Christ-Followers, we are called to lead. Whether it is leading our family, friends, neighbors, or even the people we work with, we are called to be leaders. We have to lead by example.

Saul’s lack of leadership, the way he led his people by example, was the reason the people of Israel were put into this predicament. Saul’s non-existent relationship with God had an effect on his own people’s relationship with God. Saul’s willingness to just give up in life (kill himself) when times got tough, reflected poorly on the people he was leading. His armor bearer followed his lead in committing suicide, his remaining army began to flee, and the Israelites started to flee and abandon their towns when things were getting too difficult.

LIFE APPLICATION

What kind of leader am I? What kind of example am I displaying to those I am supposed to be leading?

As Christ-Followers, we are not exempt from difficult situations. As a matter of fact, we should expect some hardships. But it is how we handle ourselves during these difficult times that is important. We have to remember that we have people watching us. They want to see how we react to life’s difficult circumstances. It’s easy to give praise to God when everything is going well for us. But it is during our hardships when our faith is tested-(Read the story of Job for example). So when those times come, how will I react? What will I do? Will I flee and cower in the sight of danger? Or will I stand firm in my faith, having confidence in God’s plan and love for me.

Father God, help me to be mindful of my actions today. Help me to be obedient to Your will. Help me to live my life in such a way that causes others around me to want to follow my lead. May it bring these people into a relationship with You. In Jesus name I pray these things, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi