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!
 

John_18

 

Scripture:

John 18:26-27

26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

 

Observation:

The final betrayal by Judas, after essentially selling Jesus out for a few pieces of silver, Judas leads the troops to where Jesus is praying so they can arrest him.  Peter responds, raising his sword I believe in an attempt to protect and defend Jesus, cutting off a soldier’s ear.  Then, as Jesus is arrested and taken in, the disciples scatter and Peter lives out the foreshadowed events Jesus had shared – denying Jesus 3 times before the rooster crows.

 

Understanding:

Albeit today’s reading reveals a snapshot moment in time of Peter’s life – one I’m sure he’s not proud – I think it’s fitting to remind ourselves of who Peter was leading up to this moment as well as who he became known as even after.

·      Peter was a fiercely loyal man. 

·      Like the other 11 apostles, he left his occupation to follow Jesus for three years, learning directly from Him about the kingdom of Heaven.

·      After being invited by Jesus to come, Peter got out of his boat and for a brief few moments walked on water (Matthew 14:28-33).

·      Peter correctly identified Jesus as the Messiah (Matthew 16:16), not through his own knowledge but the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

·      He was chosen by Jesus to witness the transfiguration.

·      After Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter boldly proclaimed the gospel in Jerusalem as a fearless missionary for Christ, unafraid of arrest and persecution.

·      Most scholars consider Peter the eyewitness source for the Gospel of Mark. He also penned the books 1 Peter and 2 Peter.

https://www.learnreligions.com/peter-the-apostle-member-jesus-inner-circle-701069

 

I listened to a sermon/message this week where this moment was discussed – the moment where Peter denied Jesus for a 3rd time as he heard the rooster crow…just as Jesus had said would happen (and Peter rebuffed).  The speaker raised the question what do you think Peter’s face looked like in that moment?  The universal image of shame comes to mind – face down, shoulders low.  We all know that look, have felt that feeling.  But the speaker then asked what do you think Jesus’ face looked like in that moment?  I don’t know about you but I began to tie a human reaction to it – a face of anger, disappointment, “see, I told you so!” or so frustrated that you don’t even want to make eye contact with them right then.  But he went on to share that God does not look away; He sees the sin [your sin, my sin, our sin] and does not avert his eyes, he doesn’t shame us or hide from us or avoid us but he also doesn’t pretend it didn’t/is not happening.  
 
And if we look to Peter’s story, we also find ourselves forgiven.  

 

Life Application:

The speaker tied this to our current circumstances of a nation dealing with racism.
 
I’m sure every one of us has been forced to face the topic of racism in some form or fashion in these last several months.  So, how do we respond?  Do we get angry and raise up our sword?  Do we look away and pretend as if it’s not happening or it’s not really a problem?  Do we point fingers and blame?  Do we stand up alongside and/or for our brothers and sisters?  Do we have the uncomfortable conversations and recognize our own part in it – regardless of how shameful that may be?

 

My thoughts are that we do not look away.  We keep the gaze – full of love and grace.  We are honest with ourselves and own our part…and walk in forgiveness, not shame, but also don’t allow it to happen again.
 

…and we “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice”

(Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT).

 

Rei

 

PS Loved this from a commentary I read this morning…may we remember His glory today. <3

“Wherever in our Lord’s life any incident indicates more emphatically than usual the lowliness of His humiliation, there, by the side of it, you get something that indicates the majesty of His glory.” (Maclaren)

· Jesus was born as a humble baby, yet announced by angels.

· Jesus was laid in a manger, yet signaled by a star.

· Jesus submitted to baptism as if He were a sinner, then heard the Divine voice of approval.

· Jesus slept when He was exhausted, but awoke to calm the storm.

· Jesus wept at a grave, then called the dead to life.

· Jesus surrendered to arrest, then declared “I am” and knocked all the troops over.

· Jesus died on a cross, but in it He defeated sin, death, and Satan.

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/john-18/



Psalm 79

Scripture 

Psalm 79:8-9 & 13  Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us;

Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us, For we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake…So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

“Asaph is featured prominently in Chronicles. He is described as the chief of the Levites appointed to minister before the ark of the Lord, and he and his brothers are appointed to sing the songs of thanksgiving to the Lord (1Chr 16:4-7)” (bibleodyssey.org).  This psalm dates to the time of Israel’s exile and the captivity of Judah by Babylon (near 600 BC).  It is a prayer for the forgiveness of Israel and for God’s judgement on their neighboring countries who have dealt harshly with them.  Israel suffered exile because of the continued sins over generations.  Asaph prays for God’s people to be brought near to His glory, so His great name will go forth for generations to come.  

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

Not that long ago, I found a piece of my sports equipment broken and hiding in our backyard (it was so important to me that I don’t even remember what it was).  I had a sneaking suspicion that one of my boys had used it and accidentally broken it.  But, instead of coming clean about the issue, they tried to hide it and act as if it hadn’t happened.  While normally I could go a little off the deep end about these types of incidents, I was able to gather myself this time and ask what happened calmly.  A little to my surprise, it wasn’t a straight disaster when the item broke.  They boys had a minor problem and tried to fix it, which unfortunately made the problem irreparable.  Embarrassed, they put the item somewhere that they thought I wouldn’t see it.

Sometimes, we act the same way with our sins.  God gives us directions on how to live, but then we try to shortcut those plans or act as though we can do it better.  In our pride, when we totally fail we try to hide it, usually with another bad decision.  In time, we have walked so far from what God intended for us and are paying the price for it.  These are the times when we need to come to God with humility and cry out, “Draw me back to you.”  We, like Paul, are often at odds with our own body.  “ I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.  For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members”(Romans 7:21-23).  In these times, we must learn to rely on the Holy Spirit.

 

Life Application 

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)  Through God, we are more than conquerors.  In him we will not only move past our sin, but we will also overcome death and be wrapped up in His glory for all time, “for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’”(Acts 17:28).  God help me to rely on this fully everyday and live as your child, not as a slave to sin.    


-Tyler Galloway



Psalm 78

Scripture
 

Psalm 78:7 NLT

“So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.”

 
Observation-What does it say?

In this psalm that Asaph writes, he reminds the people of Israel to remember all the glorious things that God has done for them. He encourages them to teach each generation about God’s might, power, and ways so that each generation will know God, follow God, and love God.

Asaph also reminds them of their ancestors who were stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful towards God. How they provoked God’s anger and wrath, and what had happened to them. In short, Asaph wants the people of Israel to learn from their ancestors’ mistakes, remember God’s ways, and to tell each future generation to come about God’s might, power, and love.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Discipleship begins at home.

 My wife and I always say our number one ministry is our kids. We want to make sure that they grow up knowing God, loving God, and serving God. I hope and pray also that it will be something they do, not because they feel “forced” to do it, but because they want to do it. God has blessed us with these kids of ours, and we only really have a short time with them before they grow up and become adults. So why not make it a priority to disciple them the way God intended?! Why not teach them at an early age, before the world’s ways try to get hold of them?! I hope and pray that my wife and I are able to build a good and solid Christ-like foundation in our home, which our daughters grow to love. Lord willing, they too can someday, (not till they’re at least 26 years old ), teach their own kids about God’s love for them.

“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”-Joshua 24:15b

 

Life Application

Take time to pray for the kids in your life.

Father God, I pray for Your wisdom and guidance. Help me find ways to continue to teach my kids about Your love. Help me to build an atmosphere here at home that centers around You. I pray for them as they head out into the world. May You surround them with good people. I pray for our Kid’s Church Ministry. Continue to give them ways to help teach these children of ours, fun and relatable ways to learn about You, and how to apply these lessons in their own lives. I also want to pray for all the parents. I pray that we continue to make it a priority to put You number one in our homes. May we live it out in a way that influences our kids to do the same when they get older. May Your ways supersede the world’s ways in our families’ lives. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi

 



Psalm_77

Scripture
 
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77:1-6‬ ‭‬‬
 
“I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now.”
 
Observation-What does it say? 
 
This is a psalm of Asaph. In this psalm the author writes of his yearning for God’s help in the midst of all of life’s struggles. He writes how he feels his prayers are unanswered, that God has turned away from him, and forgotten him in his time of need. But just as Asaph seems to be losing hope, he remembers all the times that God had been faithful. He remembers God’s holiness. He remembers God’s might! Then this psalm from Asaph which began with him feeling hopeless, turns out being a psalm of hope and praise! 😊
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Jesus turns my fears into faith!
 
As I was reading this psalm, I related so much to it. I hate to admit it, but this whole pandemic thing has gotten me depressed. Then to add all the violence and disunity in this world, (especially in this nation alone), it would really leave me feeling frustrated and down. Then to add on top of that, all of life’s other struggles and stresses that seemed to kick me down, when it seemed I was turning the corner on the other stuff. I too, like Asaph, would question God if he turned away from me. “What is going on God?”, I would ask. Or “When is this season of life going to be over?” I just wanted things to go back to the way they used to be.
 
Then I too, like Asaph, would remember God’s faithfulness. I would remember all of the times God had been there for me and gotten me out of bad situations. I would remember His provision and protection in my life. I would remember all His blessings as I would look around me. Then finally I would remember His love for me. I would turn to His Word, read my Bible and see just how much He loves me. It would really change my mindset in life when I would do that. Remembering what God did for me on the cross, by sending Jesus to die for my sins, helped me remember that even Jesus wasn’t exempt from going through life’s struggles. That Jesus would get His strength from God. That Jesus overcame the world and overcame death! That I too can do the same by putting my hope and trust in Him. That with Jesus on my side, I can do all things! All these things God has reminded of these past couple of weeks, has brought me peace, and has brought me hope to continue running the race of life.
 
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”-‭‭John‬ ‭16:33
 
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”-‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:13
 
Life Application
 
Continue to look to God in prayer and reading His Word.
‬ ‭
Thank You God for Your faithfulness. Thank You for always being there, never leaving me or forsaking me. Thank you for Your Living Word that speaks to me and reminds me just how great and mighty You are. Thank You Jesus for Your unconditional love. Forgive me for doubting or questioning You. I know You will use all these things going on in my life right now for good, if I continue to put my faith and trust in You. May You continue to mold me into the man You want me to be. May You continue to use me to bring glory and honor to Your name. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi


John 14

Scripture 

John 14:12; 25-27; 30-31

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father….25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid….30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

 

Observation and Understanding-What does it say and mean? 

In this chapter, Jesus is speaking to His disciples and preparing them for His departure from this world. He gives them comfort and encourages them with 4 important truths: 

  1. He will prepare a place for them in Heaven.
  2. They will do even greater things than He did.
  3. He will send His Holy Spirit to teach them, remind them, be with them and empower them in His name.
  4. The devil (prince of this world) has no hold over Jesus and Jesus leaves with them His peace, not the world’s peace. Jesus also told them why the devil must come-so that the world would learn that He loves the Father and does exactly what the Father has commanded Him to do. (Without evil, we cannot recognize good. We need the darkness in order to see the light.) 

 

Life Application 

Jesus’ legacy lives on through us, since we are His children/disciples.

This past month, I’ve been grieving over the death of my Grandma, who passed away on July 21st. Actually, tomorrow, we will be sealing her urn in a wall in a memorial park. Tomorrow is also her birthday and she would’ve turned 92.

Besides grieving with my family, death has made me think a lot about legacy…Grandma’s legacy of faith, 63 years of marriage, family and music, and the legacy that I want to leave behind for my kids and the generations after me. As Jesus was speaking to His disciples to encourage and comfort them because of His upcoming physical death from this world, His words were basically a passing on of His legacy on to them.

If you are a Christ follower reading this, how would you rate yourself regarding continuing the legacy that Jesus left behind for us? Even in a difficult season of life, are we living like victims of this world or conquerors through Christ? Do we truly believe that we could do greater works than He did through the Holy Spirit living in us? Remember, the enemy has no hold over Jesus, so that means he should have no hold over us either.  The life Jesus lived on earth lives on through us.

Dear Lord, help us to fully believe and live out the legacy You have left behind for us, with the help of Your Holy Spirit. Amen. 

-Michelle Gaddi



John_13

Scripture:

John 13:15-17, 34-35

15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Observation:

John 13 covers Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, then his prediction of betrayal (by Judas) and denial (by Peter).  But it also reveals his heart of love and servitude to his disciples.  As usual, I found a commentary that captures the lead up far better than I could.

Now before the feast of the Passover: This gives us a time reference. Jesus was about to share a meal with His disciples…

Jesus knew that His hour had come: Jesus lived His life in anticipation of this hour

That He should depart this world to the Father: The cross is not specifically mentioned in John 13:1, but casts a shadow over almost every word. We see the shadow of the cross over His hour had come. We see the shadow of the cross over loved them to the end. But we also see the shadow of the cross over depart this world. It is phrased softly, but there is an iron-hard reality underneath the soft cover. Jesus would only depart this world through the cross…

Having loved: Surely, Jesus had loved His disciples. He led them, taught them, cared for them, and protected them. What Jesus gave them was already more than any other teacher or leader would or could give his followers…

Having loved His own: There is a love Jesus has for all people, and then there is a love for His own. It isn’t so much that Jesus’ love is different, but the dynamic of the love relationship is different. The love of Jesus for His own is greater because it has a response, and love answers to love…He loved them to the end: Jesus had loved His own. But He hadn’t finished loving them. He would love them to the end. The idea behind the phrase to the end is “to the fullest extent, to the uttermost.”

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you: Jesus was far more than an example to the disciples and they needed more than an example. Yet Jesus certainly was an example to those disciples and all who would follow Him. They must take Him as an example for both attitude and action…

A servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him: If Jesus – who is our master and who sends us – if this Jesus humbly served in this way, it is even more appropriate for His servants and sent ones to do soIf you know these things, blessed are you if you do them: The theory of being humble and being a servant isn’t worth very much. But the practice of being a servant pleases God, fulfills our calling, bringing blessing and happiness.

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/john-13/

 

Understanding:

So, let’s drill it down…

  • Jesus LOVED His disciples…even those he knew would ultimately betray and deny him.
  • The example He gave was one we must follow in both attitude and action.
  • “The theoryof being humble and being a servant isn’t worth very much. But the practice of being a servant pleases God, fulfills our calling, bringing blessing and happiness.”

Jesus loved and served. 

Jesus said the example he gave was one His disciples [and we] should follow.

We are called to respond both in attitude (love towards others) and action (love and serve others).

 

Life Application:

It may seem oversimplified to sum things up week after week with the phrase “Go love on somebody,” yet it also seems quite biblical.

Galatians 5:14

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Mark 12:28-31

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’c] There is no commandment greater than these.”

So, as we go throughout our day, let’s LOVE – love God, love others, showing this love in ways big and small, through our actions and attitudes towards those we know and those we don’t.  Let’s go! <3

Rei



John_12

Scripture:  John 12:3-5  Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?”

 

Observation-What does it say?  A feast is prepared for Jesus, as a way of celebrating the resurrection of Lazarus.  As Jesus’ time before his ultimate sacrifice is drawing close, he spends time with those who are close to him, as if he is saying goodbye.  It is in this time we see some contrasting behaviors towards Jesus, and some slight modifications of behavior.  Martha, who in Luke 10 was complaining about her sister’s behavior, is still serving, but has dropped the complaining.  There is also the contrasting behaviors of Mary and Judas.  “ Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God’s Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)  Judas was still looking after his own interests.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  There was a clothing company that put out a line of comedic t-shirts a few years ago that really struck a chord with me.  They had sayings like, “World’s Okayist Dad!” and “Medium speed, Some drag.”  While they were most definitely celebrating mediocrity, they may have been one of the more truthful line of shirts you would ever see anyone wear.  It was a breath of fresh air to see a shirt that wouldn’t make the wearer try to live up to an arbitrary and impossible to meet standard like “World’s greatest dad!”  For one thing, there isn’t enough data to prove that anyone wearing that shirt really is that great. 

 

Unfortunately, sometimes this is also the attitude I want to carry into my worship of God.  I want to bring forth a mediocre effort and have it be good enough for God.  But God doesn’t just want part of us.  He wants all of us.  We learn this very early on, with the story of Cain and Abel.  Cain offered a mediocre sacrifice and God told him it wasn’t good enough.  Cain, like Judas, was trying to hold the best back for himself.  But, God wasn’t having it with either.  

 

Mary, though, poured out her all on Jesus.  In return, God lavished His love on her.  God also tells us that we can give him our everything because He will make our burden light.  Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”  Even in times where the world seems to make it impossible to give everything to Him, God makes a way.


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to let go of the sin I am holding onto (Hebrews 12:1-3), help me to leave my anxiety at your feet (Philippians 4:6), help me to fix me eyes on you.  I want your best for me, and I know I can’t hold anything back, or give you my “Okayist” gift.  

 
-Tyler Galloway      


Lamentations_3

Scripture – What stood out?

Lamentations 3

21 Yet this I call to mind

    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

   therefore I will wait for him.”

 

Observation – What does it say?

This chapter begins with a reminder that sometimes affliction is not from the enemy, sometimes it is from God. Lamentations 3:1 states “I am the man who has seen affliction, by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.”

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

I think upon this particular dichotomy a lot, potentially a tri-chotomy. If something negative or pain inducing happens, is it from the enemy, God, or…neither? Only three options but when I am not hearing clearly from the Lord picking apart which is which can make my head spin! I have had the opportunity to live a life which has been given room for introspection. That in itself is such a gift considering all the lives out there that struggle for food and shelter on an hourly basis. 

 

Reading this chapter and this verse makes one point stand out for me. If the affliction is of the enemy…I serve a God that has conquered the enemy. If I truly accept that, then that pain is suddenly not as scary to deal with. My God conquered the source of that issue! If the affliction is from God however…the source of that pain is from the One whom I serve…

 

I remember growing up I had a healthy fear of my father. And I LOVED my mom…Until it was time to get punished! For such a slender woman she generated great power when wielding a stick. Over time, the sting of the discipline would fade, my parents would shower me with love, and I couldn’t help but reciprocate. 

 

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

 

I often feel like God is angry with me. And I feel like much of my adult life has been a series of discipling seasons filled with pain. But this is the hope I cling to, because of the Lord’s great love I am not consumed. Growing up I didn’t know who I was more afraid of, getting mugged and beaten by strangers or my parents. At the end of every disciplinary moment I received from my parents I learned something. They were always trying to teach me something. 

 

In a society where pain is the antithesis of civilized living, it is not condoned in any way shape or form. I don’t want to give in to that way of thought Lord. If you are trying to teach me something through affliction I want to learn. Thank you for modeling that through my parents. Thank you Lord for being consumed by your love for me

-Ken Lee



John__10

Scripture

John 10: 14-15

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 

Observation

As Jesus speaks to the Pharisees he uses a parable of sheep and a shepherd to further the assertion that He is the Son of God. Throughout this parable He repeats that He is a good shepherd, and that if anyone wishes to come through the gates (or gain eternal life) they must got through Him. Jesus also states that a good shepherd lays down their life for their flock, which is exactly what Jesus has come to do for the world at this time. As He continues, however, the Pharisees accuse Him of being demon-possessed. 
 

Understanding

When I was younger I always wondered how my parents knew that I was calling out for them. We would be at the park with lots of kids, yet every time I said “Mom!” Or “Dad!” they seemed to instinctively know my voice. In the same way I always knew my parents voice, granted I had it easier since they were using my name and not “daughter.” Hearing them say my name always brought ease and comfort (except when they used my first and middle name, then I knew I was in trouble). My main point here though is that I knew my parents’ voice and they knew mine (and still do).

I think this is the same concept that Jesus puts forward here. His sheep (us) know His voice like a parent knows their kid’s voice. We constantly call out to Him, so He has become trained to know what we sound like because He longs to respond. I don’t think that we quite know the gravity of this either. The Creator of the Universe doesn’t just know my name, but He also knows the sound of my voice, and He responds to it! Here’s the tough part: I don’t always train myself to know the sound of His voice. If I call myself one of His sheep, then I should therefore know Him. Part of knowing Him is knowing His voice, and hanging on every word that He speaks to me.

Lately, I haven’t been a good sheep to my shepherd. Sure, I know Him and I understand the nature of God, but I haven’t taken the time to listen. And He’s willing to lay down His life for me and His entire flock then the least I can do is listen to what He has to say. I want to instinctively know my Heavenly Father’s voice like I know my earthly father’s voice.
 

Life Application

So how exactly do we do that?

Some people hate this exercise, and although it is extremely uncomfortable it’s really successful. I find I listen the best when I am… wait for it… it’s really profound: NOT talking. So if we just sit in silence for like fifteen minutes we might be amazed at what we hear. I hope you join me in sitting in silence for fifteen minutes this week to tune into the voice of our Heavenly Father. He may say exactly what you needed hear, but were too busy to talking over Him to listen to.

-Allison Khan 


John_9

Scripture

 

John 9:41-Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus healed a man who was born blind. Not only did He heal his physical blindness, but His spiritual blindness as well. The man was healed of his spiritual blindness because he recognized he was blind, he believed in Jesus as the “Son of Man” and worshipped Him. As Jesus was talking to the man, Jesus said that He came “so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” A Pharisee heard this and took offense to it. He asked Jesus if they were blind too. Jesus’ response in verse 41 says it all.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

The Pharisees did not acknowledge their blindness (sinful nature). Jesus cannot save those who think they are not guilty of sin. He came to save sinners like you and me. He didn’t come to save those who do NOT think they are sinners, for they have no need of Jesus, and as a result “their guilt remains.”

 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19 NIV

 

Life Application

Admit our need for Jesus, thank Him for His saving grace and pray for a heart to share with people who are spiritually blind, that their eyes (hearts) would be open to the Truth. 

I grew up in the church, which means that I went to church with my parents from the time I exited my mother’s womb. (Actually, I started attending while still in the womb, according to my mom.) However, I was spiritually blind because I remember at 14 years old thinking to myself that I was NOT a sinner and I hadn’t broken any of the 10 commandments, so why do I need Jesus? I just wanted to live my life and decided that I would not say the sinners’ prayer yet, but wait until I got older. I was blind and did not recognize it at that time. Praise God that 2 years later, I opened my heart to His invitation for salvation, as I admitted my need for Him and recognized my sin and blindness.

There are so many in the world and even in churches today that are still spiritually blind. They are unable to recognize their need for Jesus because they don’t think that they are sinners. Just like the Pharisees who pointed the finger at “those sinners,” I pray that we would not fall into that same trap, but rather pray for a heart for the lost and spiritually blind to come to know and receive His saving grace.

Dear Lord,

Thank You for saving a wretch like me.  Your grace is amazing.  Please forgive me for the many times I have acted like a Pharisee, because I had forgotten Your saving grace over my own life.  I pray for healing over people in our families, in our churches and in our community who are still spiritually blind.  May they recognize their need for You and use me as You will to reach out to sinners just like me.  “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost, but now I’m found.  Was blind, but now I see.”  Amen.

 

-Michelle Gaddi