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!
 

Ecclesiastes_2

Scripture

Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 

Observation

King Solomon seems to be documenting his struggle to find meaning in his life. 

He documents his pursuit of things other than God – projects, houses, properties (even beautiful ones), stuff (from slaves to animals to gold and silver), women, selfish/personal ambition, wisdom, etc.  Yet, he found the pursuit of pleasure to be lacking and “meaningless.” In part this is because it ultimately all ends in death – the great equator, making equal the wise and fool, the rich and the poor, the evil and the good.  [That is, if you believe that life ends when our time on this earth is up.]  He seemed to wrestle with the belief that death defeats all accomplishments and, if true, lends the time here on this earth nothing more than meaningless toil and trying to maintain some sort of positive air despite the despair.

Understanding

These verses struck me because it’s the complete opposite of anything that rings true in my heart.  Yet, it reminds me that there are people out in the world RIGHT NOW searching for meaning, trying everything they can think of to feel fulfillment, people that may be passing along the time in despair. 

The good news, though, is that WE have the answer to what they are searching for.  So, may we be about the mission…

“…to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners,

…to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve…”

“…everlasting joy [can be] [theirs].”

  • Isaiah 61:1-3, 7

Life Application

I’ve loved the focus on sharing the gospel these last few weeks.  May we embrace and implement what we are learning.  We don’t have to have it perfect; God is great at preparing hearts and taking over our tongue when we don’t know the words.  All we need is obedience and an open heart and eyes to look for, here and respond when God reveals opportunities or presses on our heart.  So, will you take action today?  May we Pray, Invest and Invite; may we be on mission to share God’s love in big and little, tangible and spiritual ways. 

God, thank you for calling me, finding me, pursuing me.  I know you have so many more than you want to encounter, so many more that you want to experience your incredible love.  Show me ways where, how, who you want me to do my part.  Impress upon my heart your heart for those I meet, see or spend time with today.  May I be humbly bold and obedient in my response. 

Rei

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28 Days 2020: Day 27

Spiritual Battle

 

If we are to operate in victory over the evil one so that we can win the battle for people’s souls there are some things we need to know and do.

Yesteday we talked about putting on the full armor of God.

We also need to pray with faith and power.

We need to remember that the power and authority is from God and not from us so we pray with confidence that it is God at work in and through us.

 

Today I want to end with us realizing or reminding ourselves of who we are.  To be victorious in the fight we must know who we are.

 

Read them out and declare them today and everyday.

  • I am a child of God.  John 1:12
  • I am a friend of God.  John 15:15
  • I am the light of the world.  Matthew 5:14
  • I am Jesus’ personal witness sent out to tell everybody about Him.  Acts 1:8
  • God is my Father.  Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 3:26
  • I am a coheir with Christ.  Romans 8:17
  • I am a temple – a dwelling place – for God.  His Spirit and life live in me.  1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19
  • I am a new person.  My past is forgiven and everything is new.  2 Corinthians 5:17
  • I am a part of the family of God.  Galatians 3:26, 28
  • I am a saint, a holy person.  Ephesians 1:1 Colossians 1:2
  • I am God’s masterpiece, created in Christ to do His work.  Ephesians 2:10
  • I am chosen by God, holy and dearly loved.  Colossians 3:12
  • I am a child of light not of darkness.  1 Thessalonias 5:5
  • I am a citizen of heaven.  1 Peter 2:11
  • I am blessed with every spiritual blessing.  Ephesians 1:3
  • I have the mind of Christ.  He gives me His wisdom to make right choices.  1 Corinthians 2:16
  • I am free and no longer condemned.  Romans 8:1
  • I have been given a spirit of power, love and self-control.  2 Timothy 1:7


28 Days 2020: Day 26

SPIRITUAL BATTLE

 

As we go about fulfilling God’s mission here on earth we find ourselves engaged in a battle.  We have become soldiers in the army of God contending for the lives of people.  There is an unseen spiritual world where a guerilla warfare is going on as the moment and that warfare spills out into the physical world in which we live.  The spiritual battle determines the outcome of the physical world.  Our ability to really reap the harvest (see people come to know Christ and live in His fullness) hinges on our ability to fight a spiritual battle.

  • Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

 

We talked about the fact that we have been authorized and empowered – given exousia and dunamis.  We have authority over the authorities and the power of the Holy Spirit against the powers and spiritual forces of evil. 

 

One of the descriptions of a believer in the NT is that of a soldier. 

Read the following verses and write down what are some of the responsibilities of a soldier.

  • Ephesians 5:11 (NIV)  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
  • Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Read verses 10-18)
  • 1 John 2:12-14 (NIV) 12  I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. 13  I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. 14  I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

 

So we are in a battle and should be prepared for it. 
 
Read Ephesians 6:10-18 and write down the different parts of the armor we need to put on and how you think it helps us to overcome the evil one.


28 Days 2020: Day 25

Proclamation and Demonstration

 
  • Read Acts 3

Do a SOUL Journal

 

By whose authority did Peter and John heal the crippled man?

What was the response of the people when they saw this miracle?

What was the response of Peter



28 Days 2020: Day 24

Proclamation and Demonstration

 

Acts 14 – Do a SOUL Journal entry regarding demonstration from this passage.

 

How do you see the power of the Holy Spirit at work in these passages?

 
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28 Days 2020: Day 23

The Power of Demonstration

  • Acts 5:12-16 (NIV) 12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13  No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14  Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15  As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16  Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

 

Do a SOUL Journal on this passage paying attention to explore what happened as a result of the miracles, signs and wonders?

 

 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 22

Some People Need More than the Proclamation

 
  • Romans 15:17-19 (NIV) 17  Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18  I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done– 19  by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
  • Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV) 15  And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18  they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 

 

  • John 4:46-54 (NIV) 46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47  When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 48  “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49  The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50  Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51  While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52  When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.” 53  Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed. 54  This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.

 

Was Jesus upset when He said what He said in verse 48?

Did it stop him from performing the miracle?

What happened when the child was healed?

What does this story tell us about what Jesus believes about miracles, signs and wonders?
 
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 
 


28 Days 2020: Day 20

THE GOOD NEWS IN SEVEN STEPS

 

Creation: God created mankind to be sinless, righteous, and in right, intimate, cooperative relationship with Himself;

Sin: We all fail by disobeying God and doing our own thing out of our own self-centered will (this is called “sin”);

  • Romans 5:12 (TLB) 12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. His sin spread death throughout all the world, so everything began to grow old and die, for all sinned.
  • Psalm 51:5 (NLT2)  For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
  • Romans 3:23 (NLT2)  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
  • Romans 3:10-18 (TLB) 10  As the Scriptures say, “No one is good—no one in all the world is innocent.” 11  No one has ever really followed God’s paths or even truly wanted to. 12  Every one has turned away; all have gone wrong. No one anywhere has kept on doing what is right; not one. 13  Their talk is foul and filthy like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are loaded with lies. Everything they say has in it the sting and poison of deadly snakes. 14  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. 15  They are quick to kill, hating anyone who disagrees with them. 16  Wherever they go they leave misery and trouble behind them, 17  and they have never known what it is to feel secure or enjoy God’s blessing. 18  They care nothing about God nor what he thinks of them.

 

Death & Hell: The penalty for our sin is death and hell. We cannot remove this penalty ourselves no matter how hard we try; in our sin, we are all finished, condemned, and without hope, unless something above, beyond and outside of ourselves changes that;

  • Romans 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death…

 

Redemption: God stepped into time and space and took all our punishment for sin on Himself by offering His righteous Son up to a criminal’s death in our place; He raised Christ from death to life that we might also be raised from death to life, free from the penalty of sin;

  • John 3:16-17 (NIV) 16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of  the only Son of God.
  • Romans 4:25 – He [Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.ß A good “short version” of “The Gospel” to memorize!
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-6 – …I want to remind you of the gospelBy this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. …For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that  Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to  more than five hundred…
  • Romans 5:15-19 – … …The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

 

Belief & Faith: If we have faith in Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification, and if we believe and have faith that He died, was resurrected to life, and is the eternal King of Kings, then we will be saved from death and hell;

  • Romans 3:20-30 – no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known… Thisrighteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement … so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.  …we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

 

Salvation by grace: When we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, then we are no longer “under” law or any requirement to perform “well enough” to save ourselves, which would be impossible in the first place; 

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith  … it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.

 

Freedom: We are both free and called in Christ to pursue and observe His commands without fear of condemnation when we fail; we are free to have a close, growing relationship with God and with each other in the Kingdom of God and in the fellowship of faith, and we are called and privileged to share this Gospel with others.

  • Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
 
 
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28 Days 2020: Day 19

Called to Preach…the gospel

 

  • Romans 8

Do a SOUL Journal.

 
Here is number 7 of the Gospel in Seven Steps
  1. Freedom:In our newfound freedom from sin and death, we are called to pursue and observe Christ’s commands without fear of failure or condemnation; we are free in God’s grace to have a close, growing relationship with Him and with each other in the Kingdom of God and in the fellowship of faith; and we are called and privileged to share this Gospel (good news!) with others, to both be and make disciples.
   
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.
 


28 Days 2020: day 18

Called to preach…the gospel

 
  • Romans 1:1-17

Do a SOUL Journal about what this passage says about the gospel.  See especially vs 16-17

 
Here are steps 4-6 of the gospel in seven steps…
  1. Redemption:God stepped into time and space and took on human flesh, in order to live the righteous life we could not, and to take our punishment for sin on Himself by dying a criminal’s death in our place; He rose again from the grave so we might also be raised to life, free from the penalty of sin; 
  2. Belief in Christ: If we have faith in Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification, that is, if we believe He died and was resurrected for us, and that He is who He is – the eternal God and King of Kings – then we will be saved from death and hell – we are as good as innocent in God’s courtroom; 
  3. Salvation by grace:When we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, then we are no longer “under” judgment of the law, nor any requirement to perform “well enough” to save ourselves, which is not possible in the first place; rather we are “justified” (proclaimed innocent!); 
 
 
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.