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!
 

Psalm 72

Scripture:  Psalm 72:1-4  1 Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son.  2 May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice. 3 Let the mountains bring [e]peace to the people, And the hills, in righteousness. 4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor
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Observation:   This psalm is a prayer for the King Solomon.  It may have been the prayer at the coronation ceremony, when he attained the throne from his father, David.  The prayer expresses characteristics of the ideal king, and looks forward to the reign of Jesus, the perfect king.  In the beginning of the prayer, we see a plea for the king’s righteousness, that he may reflect God. The prayer also expresses the desire of enduring righteousness, that people would benefit from the king’s wisdom.
  
Understanding:  It’s easy to get caught up in the speed of life, especially in Southern California.  In this age of instant information, we are constantly being bombarded with messages of the newest trends and of the newest life changing product.  Amidst all the new, is the pressure to keep up with the times. I can’t even tell you how often I get made fun of for having an “old” phone (iPhone SE, looks like the 5 but is actually newer).  It’s not like I am dragging around a rotary phone. As a byproduct of the pressure to keep up, we are often looking at situations in the light of how it will benefit us and help us keep up. And the question of “What’s in it for me?” looms in the back of our mind.
I am very guilty of this in my work environment.  There are many instances where I look at what I am doing and try to figure out how it will make me look for promotions, and special assignments.  The people I come into contact with become statistics, instead of people, and the problems they are encountering become statistics, instead of life events.  So, work becomes about the bottom line of promotion and accolade, instead of a way to serve people or as an act of worship to God.  
My paradigm is in need of a shift.  Scripture tells us that our focus should be on bringing worship to God.  In Colossians 3:23-24 Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”  To the Galatians he writes, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (6:8-10). In other places, we find that God’s will for our lives is to be content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-10), and to serve widows and orphans (James 1:27).

Life Application:  Jesus, help me to carry the example of King Solomon into my work.  Help me to put the needs of others before my own. Let me act in a way as to protect the dignity of the afflicted, and serve those who are struggling.  Most of all, give me a heart of worship. Let all the works of my hands bring you glory. May you increase and I decrease.    
 
-Tyler Galloway



Psalm _71

Scripture 

Psalm 71:14 But as for me, I will hope continually,

And will praise You yet more and more.


Observation 

The title of the Psalm is “Prayer of an Old Man for Deliverance.”


The psalmist has gone through hard times but he chooses to call on God and continue to praise him because he is worthy 


Psalm 71:4

4 Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,

Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man,


Psalm 7:7

7 I have become a marvel to many,

For You are my strong refuge.


Understanding

No matter the circumstance my hope is in Him, my praise will keep going. 


Whatever we are faced with, we have hope in God who is more real than our reality. He speaks of the future and we know our future without a doubt. We have eternal life with Him to look forward to. 


He won and those of us who are with him win too!


He gives me the hope to believe that even though we face hardship on earth we still have the “goodness of the Lord” while we are still here.


He is worthy to be praised because he is good, because he first loved me and sent his Son to die for me while I was still a sinner, and made it possible for me to live in righteousness and wholeness and all his goodness that he has available for me. 
 

Application 

My hope is in Him to do what I know his love can and will do for me.


He is worthy to be praised regardless of how my life is going, good, not so good or just bad. 


When I’m in my car, at the park, getting groceries, on my break, making dinner…


Psalm 71:8 My mouth is filled with Your praise

And with Your glory all day long.


This year has been so crappy, so emotional, and so wonderful! And some things  haven’t changed for the better by much but … 


My hope is in HIM! 


He saved me! He saves you and he continues to save us from our sins! 

He is worthy to be praised!
 
Deborah :Lee
 


Revelation 14

Scripture
 
“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.”
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Revelation‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
ObservationWhat does it say?
 
This chapter covers a lot, from the 144,000 believers, to the 3 angels, 2 voices and then the 2 reapers. Each individual entity has their meanings and role. Specifically, I am covering the 3rd angel and what he said regarding the fate of those who get the mark of the Beast. “And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name (verse 11).” Although those with the mark of the Beast will have to suffer literal hell at the hands of Almighty God, the people who become Christ followers after the rapture (based on a pre-tribulation view) and during the Tribulation will have to endure the hardships brought upon them by the Beast as well.
 
UnderstandingWhat does it mean?
 
Don’t wait!  Surrender and have faith today!
 
The grace of our Lord is amazing, as those who rejected Him before the rapture will have a chance to come to the faith after. However, those who become believers after the rapture will have a much harder life to endure. It’s better to have faith in what He says today and share  with other unbelievers now so they can be part of the family, instead of wait until the unholy Trinity composed of the Dragon (Satan), the Beast out of the Sea (the Anti Christ), and the Beast out of the Land (the False Prophet), wreak havoc. The Tribulation period will not be a fun time, especially for Tribulation saints (aka those who become Christians during the Tribulation period). (Source: Gary Parker’s Higher Learning Revelation notes and discussions from a few years ago.)
 
Life Application
 
Wait on the Lord and keep enduring until the end.
 
Hebrews 10:36-Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
 
James 5:7-Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
 
Dear Jesus, strengthen our hearts and minds and help us to patiently endure in faith until the day of Your return. Help us to also share our faith and the Good News with loved ones, family members, friends and other unsaved people before Your return. Amen.
 
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Revelation 13

Scripture
 
Revelation‬ ‭13:9‬ ‭NLT
 
“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
In this chapter, John tells us about the two powerhouses of the Tribulation Period-the Antichrist (political powerhouse) and the False Prophet (the religious powerhouse). These two will merge church and state, and the results will be disastrous! The Antichrist will become Satan in the flesh and will blaspheme God and mimic Jesus in things Jesus did. From performing miracles, to being raised from the dead, the Antichrist will have the world eating out of the palm of his hand. The people of this world (people whose names are not written in the Book of Life) will worship him (vs. 3-4) and wage war against God’s people. 
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
When God speaks, we better listen.
 
Everyone who has ears should listen to the things from our all knowing God. No one has to go through this Tribulation Period that John speaks of in Revelation. GOD LOVES EVERYONE! He is warning everyone. Will anyone be willing to listen and commit their lives to Jesus before it’s too late?
 
“So faith comes from hearing the Good News. And people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.”-‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:17‬ ‭ERV
 
Life Application
 
Share the good news with someone who needs it.
 
I will not be discouraged if they reject it when I do share it. I am there to plant a seed in their heart. It is God who turns and softens hearts. And even if their hearts are hardened, and they reject God’s grace and love all the way up till the Tribulation Period, maybe, just maybe, all the words I shared with them about the things I learned in God’s Word will begin to come to light as they see the things that were written in the Bible are now coming true. Then Lord willing, they can come to the realization that they need Jesus and need to repent from their sin.
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Father God I pray that your warnings, Your words do not fall on deaf ears. May the truth You speak set people free! Give me the courage, the words, and the opportunities to share with people the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray this in Your name Lord, Amen.
 
 
Moses Gaddi
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Esther_4

Scripture

Esther 4:12-14

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

 

Observation

Do not think in your heart that you will escape: Mordecai reminded Esther that she could not remain insulated from this decree any more than anyone else.

If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place: Mordecai’s trust was in the faithfulness of God, not in the faithfulness of Esther. He knows that God will not let His people down, even if individuals let God down.

But you and your father’s house will perish: Mordecai reminded Esther that though the fate of God’s people rested in God and not in her, her own fate depended on her own faithfulness to God.

Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Mordecai knew that God had promoted this orphan in exile for a reason – and Esther must have the courage and wisdom to see that reason and fulfill it.

  1. This principle applies to us also. God promotes us or puts us in a place for a reason, and we need the courage and wisdom to see that reason and to walk in it.
  2. “You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve him where you are.” (Spurgeon)

Taken from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/esther-4/

 

Understanding

I love the story of Esther – a story of bravery, trust, taking risks…but, ultimately of Esther’s obedience and God’s loving response.

We see over and over again in the Bible (and in real life), that God is all up in the details of life.  So much so that I don’t’ even believe in coincidence.  Our lives are a beautiful tapestry of God’s bazillion threads being pulled together into His masterpiece.  Esther’s story is just one example. 

What we see at play here is 1) the placement of Esther – perhaps the least likely candidate – in the king’s house in advance of when she would need to use her position for God’s good and for the good of her people, 2) an accountability partner in Mordecai – who lovingly challenged her, showed her the reality of the situation if she didn’t speak up (the loss of her family) and who was not just looking out for himself but for Esther, her family and ALL Jews.

 

Life Application

Where have you/I been placed?  What situations are we experiencing or lie ahead for which we could be placed for “such a time as this?”  Where do I/we need to be more bold and courageous…remembering God is the one that brought us here, not for our honor, glory or success but for His?  Who is my/your Mordecai and how will we respond when challenged?

God, thank you for your all powerful love.  Thank you for ALWAYS keeping the bigger picture in mind.  And I thank you for where you’ve placed me in it – within my social circles, in my work, in areas of leadership, as a parent, etc.  May I never, EVER take it for granted or think for a second that it was on my own accord.  May I walk humbly yet boldly in Your Name, using every success, every bit of power, every leadership moment, every gift for your good, your honor, your glory.  Use me today.  Open my eyes and heart to see people and situations through Your eyes and to pour out Your transformational love on others.   

Rei

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



Esther_3

Scripture:  Esther 3:2  All the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down [b]and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage.

Observation:   In this chapter, we see an edict from Haman aimed at destroying the Jews in Persia.  In pointing out Haman’s genealogy and giving him the title of “Agagite,” it is likely that this is showing him in the line of Agag, the king of Amalek.  In the story of the Exodus, the Amalekites attacked Israel as they were fleeing from Egypt. Because of this attack, “the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:16)  Mordecai, a Jew, is exiled in a foreign land and refuses to obey the edict in obedience to God.  

Understanding:  In the major themes of the Bible, the story of Esther falls under the theme of redemption.  Throughout the Bible, we see both the nation of Israel and individuals go from creation to fall, from fall to redemption, and finally into unity with God in His kingdom.  God is in the process of redeeming us from our exile. And we find ourselves in a personal exile, exiled from the complete relationship with God.  

In our personal story, we face different trials that hinder us from experiencing our redemption.  Whether it be a struggle with addiction, believing a lie about our character from Satan, or our inability to accept the free gift of grace.  We are all in need of a character, or a moment in time, to help us realize we are made for more than what we are currently struggling with. We all need a Mordecai to remind us that we are God’s children and that He is longing for an intimate relationship with us.

Life Application:  Jesus, I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Thank you for your love and your grace which covers a multitude of sins.  And thank you for the process you are bringing me through, making me complete so I lack in nothing.  

-Tyler Galloway 



Psalm 66

Scripture 


Psalm 66:16


Come and hear, all you who fear God;

    let me tell you what he has done for me.


Observation


The psalmist speaks about going through hardships but God bringing him out of all of it and answering his prayers. 


Ps. 66:17 I cried out to him with my mouth;

    his praise was on my tongue.


Understanding 


God answers prayers! 


Remember the day you saw or heard that your prayer had been answered! And you were overwhelmed with joy, even “tears of joy”, and humility, knowing that you deserved none of this except for the fact that the LORD is a good God and does not withhold his love from us! 


 What about a prayer that was deep in your heart? A prayer that only you prayed, a prayer that only you and the LORD know about. 


God has been answering prayer for me this past year like crazy! I have been overwhelmed with how good He is! I have been able to share with those close to me and it has been building their faith also. 


God answers prayer. Let’s share it with those around us!


Application 


Keep on Praying!


As we have seen our prayers answered by God let our faith continue to grow and lets keep asking! 


Let’s ask for our families to be restored! 

Let’s ask for our children’s lives to be in God’s will! 

Let’s ask to be better neighbors! 
 
What will you ask for? 
 

Let’s ask for the impossible! 

Father, thank you for your goodness! Thank you for your love that keeps pursuing me! Thank you for the miracles that you have been doing this past year! Thank you for growing my faith! Holy Spirit speak to my heart what is in the heart of God. Help me to pray the will of God in my life and for those around me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Deborah Lee 



Esther_1

Scripture

Esther 1: 12 and 19

12 But when the the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger… 19 let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. And let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she.
 

Observation

After a lavish party thrown by King Xerxes, he requests to see his queen, Vashti. Granted, he makes this request while drunk and disorderly, so Vashti refuses to come before him. This angers Xerxes, and he calls his advisors together to find a way to bypass the law. He then creates a royal decree, and begins his search to find a new queen.
 

Understanding

Your story is completed when you help someone else realize or step into theirs.

I’m probably going to take these verses way out of context, but I feel there is still an important lesson to be learned: if it wasn’t for Queen Vashti, Esther never would have been in the picture. Let’s face it, we would be reading and living a much different story than this one. For as strange as this encounter and situation was, it provided the necessary backdrop into the courageous queen we have all come to know and love (I won’t give away too much for those who haven’t read it). Let’s step into Queen Vashti’s shoes for a second. Imagine preceding the main event, or the main person that people have waited to see or didn’t even know they needed. You constantly live in the shadow of something that you’ve been told is greater than you. We see this kind of exchange again in the New Testament with Jesus and John the Baptist. However, these people are so influential to the rest of the story because without them, there really isn’t a story. Crazy right?!

Lately, I have been thinking about the whole idea of those I am “setting up.”  A lot of times I find myself thinking about the generations behind me, and I want to feel confident that I am treating them and their future well. This is so hard for me if I’m gonna be really honest. I love to feel appreciated and like I’m doing a great job, but the reality of setting someone up well is that often times you go unnoticed. You kind of get glossed over. But as depressing as this sounds, it means you are doing your job right.
 

Life Application

Our reward lies in Heaven!

So how effective are you in paving the way for those behind you? Are you being influential to the story, while still giving others their time to shine or are you simply looking for all the attention?

To the ones who feel they are being looked over or going under-appreciated: without you someone else’s “story” doesn’t begin, you are doing your job well (even if it feels like no one notices). God rewards those who earnestly seek Him, and lead others to His Kingdom. Your reward is far greater than the ones that this world have to offer. Finish your race, and finish it well. I believe in you!

-Allison Khan    



Revelation 8

Scripture
 
Revelation‬ ‭8:13‬ ‭ERV
 
“While I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying high in the air. The eagle said in a loud voice, “Terrible! Terrible! How terrible for those who live on the earth! The terrible trouble will begin after the sounds of the trumpets that the other three angels will blow.”
 
ObservationWhat does it say?
 
In this chapter, the seventh seal from John’s revelation is revealed. The opening of the seventh seal reveals the appearance of seven angels with seven trumpets. When the first angel sounds his trumpet, hail, fire, and blood come hurling down to earth, burning up a third of the earth’s trees and grass. When the second trumpet from the second angel sounds, something like a huge mountain gets thrown into the sea, killing a third of the living sea creatures and ships, and turning a third of the sea into blood. The third trumpet being sounded will cause a great star to fall from the sky and land on a third of the rivers, and contaminating a third of the earth’s water supply. Then when the fourth trumpet is sounded a third of the sun, moon, and stars are struck, turning them dark. This causes a third of the day and night to be without light. It’s then in John’s vision that he hears an eagle call out “Woe! Woe! Woe to the people of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”
 
UnderstandingWhat does it mean?
 
Just when you think it can’t get any worse…
 
John’s vision from God is a pretty scary thought. With all those calamities just from the first four trumpets being sounded, and then an eagle flying by pretty much saying “you ain’t seen nothing yet folks!” I don’t want to imagine what it would be like living on earth during these times. I mean it sounds like the weather is going to be really cold and dark, and food and water are going to begin to be really scarce. It’s a really scary thought for anyone who is left behind during the rapture. Something a person shouldn’t wish on anyone! But the good news is we still have time. We don’t know how much time we have left, but I think it’s best we better take advantage of what time we do have. Time to tell our family and friends the good news of the gospel of Christ. Time to share to anyone and everyone. The signs are upon us that time is counting down towards the end. We should take the Marine Corps attitude that we “leave no man behind.”
 
“And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.”
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Matthew‬ ‭24:6-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
Life Application
 
Like a good boy scout, I must be prepared.
 
“A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:45-51‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
-Moses Gaddi


Psalm_63

Scripture

Psalm 63:3-5

Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

 

Observation

Because Your [lovingkindness] is better than life: This is the reason why David was so motivated to pursue God. The [lovingkindness] of God was better, more meaningful to David, than life itself. This means that David both knew and experienced something of God’s [lovingkindness] that many believers today do not know and experience.

  • People regard life as natural; David regarded God’s great love as natural.
  • People enjoy life; David enjoyed God’s great love.
  • People value life; David valued God’s great love.
  • People will sacrifice to live; David would sacrifice for God’s great love.
  • People want to give life to others; David wanted to give God’s great love.
  • People despair without the sense of life; David despaired without the sense of God’s great love.

David spoke of a satisfaction that too few people know, even among believers. He spoke of the deep satisfaction that comes in a surrendered seeking of God, of receiving His great love, of praising God without reservation.

Taken from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-63/

 

Understanding

Pastor Gary closed out yesterday’s message with a call to action – to step into our destiny!  He also spoke to how the “inoculated God” is how many people live…a little God here, a little there just enough to make us feel good but not enough to live in His power. 

But it is in His power, in our destiny that we get to experience what David is talking about here – a love better than life.  That power, that full satisfaction won’t come in the inoculated version, but only when we turn, about face towards God and seek Him fully. 

 

Life Application

God, I want to experience you fully!

May I stay unsatisfied with the pieces of you or the fragmented love of the world…may I turn to you – fully, wholly, completely – and may I be unwilling to settle for anything less.

In your name I pray, Amen.

Rei