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

 
 
 
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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!
 

Philemon 1

Scripture

Philemon 1:21

Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

Observation – What does it say?

Paul is writing to Philemon, his friend and fellow believer, requesting he forgive and embrace Onesimus as a brother in Christ. Onesimus was Philemon’s slave who wronged him and then ran away. He had met Paul, Paul shared the gospel with him and now Onesimus was a solid follower of Christ. It was a huge ask, yet Paul expresses complete confidence in Philemon to do the right thing. 

Understanding – What does it mean?

It is important to believe the best about people!

What Paul is asking Philemon to do is no easy thing. Forgiveness is hard! Not only that, but Paul asks him to do away with their master-slave relationship and embrace Onesimus as an equal, a brother in Christ! This was something unheard of in their day. Yet, in a great demonstration of love, Paul declares his confidence in Philemon as he expresses faith in Philemon’s great character. 

1 Corinthians 13:7

[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Part of loving others means always trusting and being filled with hope regarding them. But what if their track record isn’t so good? 

When Paul met Onesimus he was a slave and a criminal on the run. Yet, he obviously trusted that God could do a work in his life and he was filled with hope for his future. Because, rather than brushing him off as a lost cause, he shared the gospel with him, invested in him, and raised him up to be a great man of God. There is power in believing in people and in God’s ability to change their lives!

Life Application 

Believe the best about people!

God, may I empower people by calling them higher and believing the best about them. May I always be filled with trust, maybe not always in their ability to do the right thing, but in your ability to work in them to do the right thing. Fill us with hope in our relationships with others, and give us your heart of love for them.

Amen.

– Levi Thompson



Titus_3

Scripture
 
Titus‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭NLT
 
“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.”
‭‭‬‬
Observation-What does it say?
 
Paul is writing to Titus. Titus was left on the island of Crete so he could complete the work/ministry there of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, multiplying Christ Followers, appointing leaders and elders within the church they are building there, and teaching the men and women of the town to live their lives that is honoring to God. In this particular verse Paul is writing Titus to remind the believers to submit to those in authority there, and to always be ready to do what is good.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Just know Who truly is in charge and in control.
 
We are living in a time where our nation is divided. We are letting are feelings of who is running the White House interfere with what our main focus should be…Who is running God’s House? You see God gave us all a responsibility on how we should be conducting ourselves as His children. We are supposed be extensions of Him wherever we go.
We are supposed to be doing our part here, running His House, building His Kingdom, on earth as it is in Heaven. How can we do this if we are divided?
 
It’s going to have to start with trust. Are we putting our trust in God, or some man to heal this nation?
We need to trust that God is in control. God doesn’t do anything by chance. Trust that He has a reason behind everything, and at the end of the day His glory will be revealed.
 
“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”
Romans‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭NLT
 
If there is one thing that I have been learning in our study in the book of Ruth the last couple of weeks in church is that God has a plan. Do you really think it was coincidence that it was Ruth who chose to stay loyal to Naomi? Do you think it was coincidence that of all the lands Ruth decided to glean from, it so happened to be Boaz’s? Everything happened because it needed to happen. But Ruth chose to be faithful , humble, and obedient. And at the end of the day, God’s glory was revealed. Am I willing to trust in God’s plan? Am I willing to be humble and obedient to follow it?
 
Life Application
 
Pray for the leaders of the world.
 
As Christ Followers we all need to do our part. We need to act accordingly to His Ways. We need to be part of the solution, not be part of the problem. Instead of making it hard for our leaders by defying them, how about praying for them. Pray that God can speak to their hearts, use them in ways that can better this nation and further His Kingdom.
 
Jesus I pray for our leaders. Speak to them in a way they can hear You. Fill them with Your wisdom. Surround them with Godly counsel to help advise them. Be with our President and his staff. May they seek You for guidance to lead the people that You put them in charge of. Help them to find ways to unite this nation once again. Help us to become “one nation under God” once more. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Psalm_1

Scripture

Psalm 1:1-3

1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Observation-What does it say?

Psalm of David written to encourage us to put our hope in the Word of God and to meditate day and night on it, living out what it says.  As a result, we will be able to stand firm in the faith and yield much fruit.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Meditate day and night on God’s Word.  

There’s power in God’s Word. It truly is our sword when doing battle with the enemy (see Ephesians 6:17). It also feeds us, instructs us, corrects us and grows us. It is still very much alive and active today and not just a history book of the past. The longest passage in the Bible is found in Psalm 119 with 176 verses that speaks about itself. I encourage you all to read it when you get a free moment. 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12 NIV

Life Application

Continue to Soul Journal everyday.

We seek to assist our church body to get into His Word daily through Soul journaling so that we could sustain our faith by feeding, receiving instruction, correction and growth from it. Most importantly, we learn about the character of God. His Word is about the Greatest Love story ever told! Everything always points back to Jesus. 

In order to Soul Journal, Pray before reading the Word asking the Holy Spirit what He wants to highlight to you. Read the passage. Then, allow it to marinate and transform our lives by documenting it through the SOUL method. Soul stands for: 

Scripture- what Scripture verse or section of the passage stood out to me?

Observation- What does the passage say? Give a summary of it.

Understanding- What does it mean? Share other Scriptures which support it.

Life Application- How can I apply it to my life? What am I going to practically do about it based on what I just read? 

I encourage you all to try it. Please click on the orange Scripture title at the top in order to join in with the discussion of our church family! We’d love to hear what God is speaking to you in the comments.

-Michelle Gaddi



Deuteronomy_28

Scripture

Deuteronomy 28:2

 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: 

Observation

Deuteronomy was written around 1406 BC, at the end of the forty years of wandering endured by the nation of Israel. At the time, the people were camped on the east side of the Jordan River, on the plains of Moab, across from the city of Jericho (Deuteronomy 1:129:1). They were on the verge of entering the land that had been promised centuries earlier to their forefathers (Genesis 12:16–9). The children who had left Egypt were now adults, ready to conquer and settle the Promised Land. Before that could happen, the Lord reiterated through Moses His covenant with them. [https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-pentateuch/Deuteronomy]

Understanding

We’ve heard PG share before about the premise and the promise.  Well, the “big idea” of Deuteronomy is that the promised covenant is dependent on the premise of obedience…and the consequences are pretty intense.  He spends 14 verses sharing all the goodness and blessings that come with obedience – blessed wherever they go, blessings over their children and the things they put their hands to, blessings over their food, safety from their enemies, abundance – and follows it with 54 verses about the curses of disobedience. 

Granted, we are in New Testament living now; but many of our promises still rest on the premise of our obedience to God.  And, often times, that obedience is just stepping out in faith – not necessarily knowing where the next step is. 

Ruth, as we’ve been learning about on Sunday mornings, is a great example of living by faith.  While circumstances may not have immediately shown it, God was always at work in the details; so she kept working and, sure enough, she was blessed in and through that work because of her obediance. 

Life Application

The premise is where character is built.  If we received the promise, without the premise – or if the circumstances changed, without the heart growth needed to received and/or maintain those blessings, the results could be disastrous.  God cares far more about the people we become (and how useful we will be in His story of transforming lives) than giving in to our momentary wants or needs. 

God, you’ve been incredibly gracious and giving to me.  Help me, in the times of your stretching, to be patient in the process – to hold tight to and rest in your promise, working and praising as if it’s already here. 

So grateful for your love for me; help me to be a conduit of it today, pouring it out on everyone I meet. 

In your name, I pray.  Amen.

-Rei

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



Proverbs_30

Scripture 

Proverbs 30:8-9 

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’  Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Observation-What does it say?  

Agur is only mentioned this one time in the bible.  His origins are relatively unknown.  Some believe him to be of Arab decent, a non-Israelite.  His collection of sayings relies heavily on what he has observed in nature and he has learned humility through these things.  In his observations he compiles multiple lists of his observations.  In these he uses a literary device of “Three and Four” to indicate these lists are not exhaustive. 

Understanding-What does it mean?  

There are a few things that I remember as a kid that helped me form an idea of the kind of work ethic that I wanted to have as I grew up.  One of them was a really ridiculous movie about a group of surfers chasing big waves around the world.  It was a fictional movie that employed real surfers as actors, of which they were definitely better at surfing than acting.  In one of the scenes, one of the surfers was talking about his friend and said, “Before enlightenment, he chopped wood and carried water.  After enlightenment, he chops wood and carries water.”  For whatever reason, this helped me to grasp the idea that I could attain a level mastery in a pursuit and not carry with it an attitude of superiority.   

Multiple times throughout the bible we get lessons on contentment in our lives and our work.  Paul really does set a great example of this contentment.  During his time defending the gospel, and on his way to Rome, he faced such opposition as being stoned, being shipwrecked, being placed in prison, among other things.  When he writes to the Philippians, he tells them, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Throughout his journey, Paul kept his eyes completely set on the Christ.

Now that I am older, I can get a little distracted by the stress of life and other distractions around me.  When I am at work, I often get focused on a position I want to attain or promotion that I want.  I also have a tendency to get frustrated when I feel I have been overlooked for someone with less experience.  I ask God, “Why haven’t I gotten what I want?”  Instead I should be asking, “What are you trying to teach me, and who should I be looking to bless?”  Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

Life Application

Jesus, I know you provide all things for me.  The roof over my head, the food in my cupboard, and the job that pays for those things, are all because of your goodness.  Help me to remember the birds and the flowers and how you dress them so elegantly, yet they don’t ever worry about the clothes they will wear or if they have food stored up in barns.  Your word tells me that not even a sparrow falls apart from your will.  So I know I can trust you with my life, and all the little details too.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOiZG4Vy_x0  

-Tyler Galloway



Proverbs_29

Scripture

Proverbs 29:18a

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;

Observation – What does it say?

As Solomon continues to share the wisdom God has given him, he points out that when revelation is absent, so is restraint.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Several other versions translate “revelation” to “vision.” When you have a vision or a revelation of something you are pursuing, you limit your options. Consider fitness for example. If I want 6 pack abs, I am going to place some restraints on my diet; there are parts of the menu I’m not going to order from anymore. Sleeping in is no longer an option because I am going to go to the gym. If I begin to lose sight of that vision for that physique, I will start to get lazy and cast off the restrictions I’ve put on myself. And, in turn begin to drift farther and farther from what I once wanted. Likewise, we have vision of a better financial situation so we discipline ourselves to go to work and refrain from making certain purchases. Or we have a vision of attending a certain college so we sacrifice time with friends and other interests to study and make sure we get good grades in high school.

The same is true of following Jesus. If we have no idea of God’s vision for our lives, there is no motivation to discipline ourselves to do anything. When I read about people in the Bible who had these amazing encounters with God and who God used to do incredible things, I get a vision for what’s possible in my own life. And, the passion that is awakened to experience the same things drives me to sacrifice sleep, social media and other things to spend time with God. Coming to church is no longer an option. Sharing the love of God with others, even those I don’t particularly enjoy, is what I choose. And I do these things voluntarily because I am compelled by this vision of knowing God intimately and being used by him to bring many people to know him!

Life Application

Take some time to prayerfully consider God’s vision for my life.

God, please fill us with fresh revelation and passion for the vision you have for our lives. As a church, you’ve given us a vision to create a great commission movement – a movement of people who have given themselves fully to bringing people into saving relationship with you and teaching them to follow you. May we grow in our faith and excitement around that vision and do whatever it takes to attain it! Amen.

– Levi Thompson



Proverbs_28

Scripture
 
Proverbs‬ ‭28:24‬ ‭NLT
 
“Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Another one of King Solomon’s wise sayings that runs deeper than you think. If a person is willing to justify stealing from the very people who has brought them life, provision, guidance, and unconditional love, what else are they willing to do to others? King Solomon says that they are no better than murderers! Ouch!
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
 
Who has the audacity to cheat or steal from their own parents and believes they did nothing wrong? Talk about total disrespect! Your parents are the people who have raised you, cared for you, met your every need, and loved you unconditionally. We should know better than that! Yet here we are with our sense of entitlement, believing we deserve it, and are willing to take from anyone who gets in our path. That’s cold blooded!
 
It can go the same way with God, our Spiritual Father in Heaven. He has given us so much. Yet we feel we deserve more. And so we cheat Him. We will even find ways to justify it to make it seem we’re in the right. We can find ourselves saying things like “I don’t need to tithe this month. I have too many bills to pay off.” Or “I don’t need to go to church today, I just finished a really busy week, and I just need to sleep in and rest.” It’s this kind of mindset that can hinder our relationship with God. But if we take a moment to think about it, isn’t it because of God that I’m able to wake up every day and have the strength to go to work and finish off a work week? Isn’t it in His commandments to honor the Sabbath? Doesn’t everything I have and own belong to God anyway? Why try to take and take from the One who gives and gives? God gave me His very best in Jesus to free me from my sins. That is more than enough for me.😊
 
Life Application
 
Be grateful for all the things God has given me.
 
Father God, thank You for being such a great provider. Thank You for Your unconditional love, Your grace, mercy, and Your willingness to forgive freely. Please forgive me if I ever took advantage of Your kindness and the way You forgive so freely. Forgive me for ever trying to cheat You with my time and money. It all belongs to You and it’s all because of You I am where I am. I love You Lord. I dedicate my life to You to honor what You continue to do for me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Deuteronomy_24

Scripture

Deuteronomy 24:17-22 NIV

“Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”

Observation-What does it say?

Moses is speaking to the Israelites and giving them rules as a means of setting them apart to the Lord, who delivered them from their bondage to slavery in Egypt. In this section of the chapter, he was instructing them to show compassion to the fatherless, foreigner and widow; the same compassion that God had shown them.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Remember where we came from and what we truly deserved in order to appreciate the undeserved gift we’ve received and share it with others. 

One of my professors in Bible college said that the only thing we deserve in life is hell. Whenever we feel entitled, selfish and focused on what we don’t have, we need to remember what we ultimately deserve, but was graciously saved from. Whenever I feel tempted to become upset with the Lord when things don’t go my way or I start feeling entitled like I deserve more, I always think about the greatest Gift He’s given me.  That never fails to bring me back to a humble and grateful state.

I’ve really been enjoying Pastor’s current sermon series on Ruth. On Sunday, we discussed how there was a parallel between Boaz and Jesus and a parallel between Ruth and us. Boaz was a man of high standing who could have had any woman, however, he chose Ruth, a woman from another country, no prestige, and nothing to offer. Boaz chose her, invited her to his table, protected her and provided for her. She didn’t do anything to deserve his favor, but he still gave it to her.

Life Application 

Remembering how Christ had chosen and saved us, how will that make us in turn treat the fatherless, foreigner and widow? AKA sinners, the lonely and forgotten in society?

Our mission at DSC is to multiply Christ followers everywhere. We are not able to do that by only associating with those we are comfortable with who are clean, righteous, and already have Jesus. I am reminded that Jesus came for the sick, not the righteous. I am reminded that He ate with tax collectors and sinners. I am reminded that He died for sinners like you and I. As a result, let’s go out into the world, out of our place of comfort and pray for, invest in and invite the mentally ill, drug addicted, homeless, poor, widows, orphans, sinners and allow the Lord’s grace to change them from the inside out. As Ive heard it been said, “At the foot of the Cross, we are all the same.” Without the grace of God, we would all be alone, lost, and broken. Without God’s willingness to reach out to foreigners like us, we would all be doomed to one dark fate. 

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace. I pray that Your Holy Spirit would continue to lead us to connect to the Father like You do, love others like You do, forgive like You do, serve like You do and reach out like You do in order to multiply Christ followers everywhere. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi



1 Timothy_6

Scripture

1 Timothy 6:11-12

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.  12 Fight the good fight of the faith.  Toke hold of the eternal life to which you were called…

Observation

Paul, writing to Timothy, begins Chapter 6 with lessons of respect, servanthood and warning against the love of money.  Then, he submits his final charge.

Understanding

I love what Pastor Gary shared yesterday about us being called to be “agents of grace.”  Ruth is a tremendous example of what Paul writes here – faithful, full of love, having endured loss.  She was an example of fighting the good fight of faith.  Looking at the circumstances, it may have been easy to fall into a “woe is me” type of outlook – she lost her husband, was a foreigner in an unknown land, a lone woman left to care for herself and for Naomi. 

This charge and Ruth’s example are good for all of us.  A reminder of what it means to live out true faith, trust in God, knowing that He will provide…resting and working in His love.  We may be living in similar times – where the world around us is doing what is right in their own eyes; but we are called to set ourselves apart, to share God’s grace and love…even with those that may make it challenging. 

Life Application

Make this charge my own.  Fight the good fight of the faith. 

God, I’ve been distracted lately.  And I think that’s as much of the fight of faith as anything – remaining focused on you and what you’ve called me to do.  Help me to fight the good fight of faith with endurance – pursuing righteousness and godliness, showing love and gentleness.

In your name, I pray.  Amen. 

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


1 Timothy_5

Scripture
 
1 Timothy 5:25
 
“Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.”
‭‭
Observation-What does it say?
 
In this part of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he is giving him advice on how to address the behavior of different groups within the church. He paints a picture of acceptable and appropriate ways to live.  He wraps it up by giving a reminder that the way we live, our reputation, is usually what people hear about us first. So we ought to seek to live in a way to bring honor to God.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Recently I have been attempting to simplify a lot of the aspects of my life.  The goal is to get rid of things that bring more stress, and ultimately distract me from Jesus, than what they are worth.  Where I run into problems with this attempt is in actually letting anything go that has “sentimental” value, or if I think there is any possibility of it being remotely useful in the future.  Which is why I have a 1975 Honda motorcycle sitting on the side of my house, rusting, not doing anything.
 
I have struggled to make my actions line up with my intentions. Similarly, I can struggle making my daily faith actions line up with how Christ has called me to live.  This can be especially frustrated by the culture we live in, which seems to have no care for prudent behavior. 
 
God has called us to higher purpose.  Our behavior is to line up with his purpose, which is to share His love and saving grace with the world around us.  Jesus directed us in much the same way saying, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.””
‭‭John‬ ‭13:35‬
 
Life Application
 
Jesus help me to have endurance past Monday morning, because following you gets way harder after Sunday.  Help me to see the person next to me as someone in need of your love.  Grant me the humility to ask for forgiveness when I have sinned against you.
 
-Tyler Galloway