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!
 

28 Days 2020: Day 11

Jesus Gives Authority

 
Read Luke 10
 

What does this passage say about what authority Jesus has given us?  List all the things you see we have authority over?

Do you think that this was only for the apostles and the 70? 
Do you think that we as believers today have that same authority?
 
Check out what I believe in the comments section today.


28 Days 2020: Day 10

JESUS GIVES AUTHORITY

 
Read Matthew 10
 
  • Matthew 10:2-30 (NKJV) 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3  Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4  Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. 5  These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7  And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

 

According to this passage what did Jesus give the apostles authority over?

What do you think it means to move in the authority of Jesus?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 9

Jesus authorizes us

 

Read Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 10

Jesus’ task was to restore mankind back to the Father and to proclaim that Good News that the curse of sin had been broken.  When He left He authorized the disciples to continue

  • “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
 
Jesus gave this command to the apostles shortly before He ascended into heaven, and it essentially outlines what Jesus expected the apostles and those who followed them to do in His absence.

 

It is interesting that, in the original Greek, the only direct command in Matthew 28:19–20 is “make disciples.” The Great Commission instructs us to make disciples while we are going throughout the world. The instructions to “go,” “baptize,” and “teach” are indirect commands—participles in the original.
 
How are we to make disciples?
By baptizing them and teaching them all that Jesus commanded.
 
“Make disciples” is the primary command of the Great Commission. “Going,” “baptizing,” and “teaching” are the means by which we fulfill the command to “make disciples.”

 

A disciple is someone who receives instruction from another person; a Christian disciple is a baptized follower of Christ, one who believes the teaching of Christ.
A disciple of Christ imitates Jesus’ example, clings to His sacrifice, believes in His resurrection, possesses the Holy Spirit, and lives to do His work.
The command in the Great Commission to “make disciples” means to teach or train people to follow and obey Christ.

 

Is there more to be done?
  • Romans 10:11-15 (NIV) 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15  And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
 
Authorized to make disciples by going and proclaiming the Good News, and baptizing and teaching those who believe.
  • Who is supposed to do this?
  • What do you think it means to be authorized by Jesus?
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 
 


28 Days 2020: Day 8

AUTHORIZED

 
As we pursue the harvest in 2020 we started by consecrating ourselves.  Very often when the people of God got ready to walk into His promises and fulfillment, He would ask them to consecrate themselves, to set themselves apart and to re-focus and re-prioritize.  
 
There is another step I would like us to explore as we get ready to be harvesters – that is understanding that God has called and authorized us to continue His mission.
 
Read Luke 3:21-4:44
 

Jesus has authority

Luke 4:14-20

Something happened before Jesus began His ministry, what was it?  See Luke 3:21-22, Luke 4:1 and 4:14.

Are those two things true of you as well?  
We will look at the second one more closely this week but click here if you want to take that first step.
 

Jesus has a mission

SO…what does Jesus say his mission is that we are being authorized to partner with Him?  See Luke 4:18-19
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 6

STEPS TO CONSECRATING YOURSELF BEFORE GOD

 
Read Joshua 5
 
Step 1: Remember God’s grace in our lives
Step 2: Remove our idols and distractions
Step 3: Repent of sinful attitudes and actions
Step 4: Recommit our hearts to God.
 
Consecration is not ultimately about clean living, it is about worship. We consecrate ourselves before the Lord not to prove ourselves to our neighbor or feel good about ourselves. We consecrate ourselves before the Lord for the Lord. We pursue holiness as an act of worship, out of a deep love and awe for the worthiness of God. In this way, true consecration seeks to bring the Lord the glory and honor that He is due.
 
Finish your consecration process by declaring your love and devotion to God as your highest and greatest pursuit.  Spend time today in extended worship.  
 
Here is a Spotify playlist I use when I just want to spend some time soaking in God’s presence just worshipping Him. Hope you can enjoy it as much as I do.


28 Days 2020: Day 5

STEPS TO CONSECRATING YOURSELF BEFORE GOD

 
Read Joshua 6
 
Step 1: Take time to remember and rehearse God’s grace in our lives.
Step 2: Remove our idols and distractions.
 
 
Third, we need to repent of sinful attitudes and actions.  
When we turn from our idols to seek the Lord, we must confess the sins that have become second-nature to us.  We must be mindful of the sins that we most easily excuse – the selfish attitudes, evil thoughts, and harsh words.  We need to agree with God that our laziness and spite and lust and greed and apathy are sins against His holiness.  We need to repent of our flippant attitude toward our own sin, and recognize the damage that our sin causes to our relationship with God and with others.  
 
As you consecrate yourself before the Lord, ask Him to show you the sinful attitudes and actions that are offensive to Him, especially those that you cannot see.  And turn from those sins back to the Lord.  
Come up with a plan of action for how you will respond to the things that God reveals to you and consider sharing with someone else who can help you to live it out victoriously.
 


28 Days 2020: Day 4

STEPS TO CONSECRATING YOURSELF BEFORE GOD

 
Read Joshua 6
 
Yesterday we took step one in consecrating ourselves before God by taking time to remember and rehearse God’s grace in our lives.
Second, we need to remove our idols and distractions.  
 
As the people of Israel moved into the promised land, they found it full of other nations who worshipped other gods.  This is a helpful picture of the church’s position in the world today – surrounded by people who worship everything and everyone else other than the one true God.  And because our hearts are naturally bent away from devotion to God, we will drift naturally drift toward idolatry.  This is why Jesus commands us to “seek first” the Kingdom of God ahead of everything else, and why God warned His people to not adopt the gods of the peoples around them.  
 
To consecrate ourselves before God, we need to recognize where we have adopted the idols of our surrounding culture and remove them from our lives.  
 
Continue your consecration by writing down the distractions that keep you from loving God first and most in your life.
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 3

STEPS TO CONSECRATING YOURSELF BEFORE GOD

 
Read Joshua 3
 
After the Lord rescued the people of Israel from brutal slavery in Egypt and delivered them from the powerful hand of Pharaoh, He called them to consecrate their lives.  The consecration was not a prerequisite of Israel’s salvation, but a commanded response to God’s faithful love for His people.  The Lord commands the nation of Israel to “be My holy people” in Exodus 22:31, to set themselves apart for worship and devotion to God.  The command has not changed now that we are under the blood of Christ.  Our salvation is still a work of total grace, based on the perfect righteousness of Jesus and not our own.  At the same time, Jesus has commanded those who have been purchased by His grace to “obey all that He has commanded us” and to “be holy as His Father is holy.”  In other words, we are still directed to consecrate ourselves before the Lord, not as a means of earning His favor, but as the appropriate response to His favor.  
 
What does this process of consecration look like?
First, we need to remember God’s grace in our lives.  
 
One of the most common commands in the Bible is to “remember” all that God has done for us.  The festivals in the OT and the sacraments in the NT are means of remembering the gracious work of God on our behalf.  A drift in our commitment to holiness is usually connected to a lack of awe and wonder at all that God has done for us.  
 
Spend some time today thinking about and writing down the good gifts that God has given to you that you do not deserve.  
 
SHARE A COUPLE WITH US IN THE COMMENT SECTION.
 
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 2

  • Exodus 32:29 (NCV)  Then Moses said, “Today you have been (consecrated) given for service to the LORD. You were willing to kill your own sons and brothers, and God has blessed you for this.“
  • Leviticus 20:7-8 (CEV) 7  Dedicate (consecrate) yourselves to me and be holy because I am the LORD your God. 8  I have chosen you as my people, and I expect you to obey my laws.
  • Joshua 3:5 (NIV)  Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
  • Joshua 7:13 (NIV)  “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.
 

Consecrated to serve God 

At one time the job of the priest was set aside for a specific few, but with Jesus’ life, death and resurrection He made us all priests.  We are now all set aside as priests to serve God, so as you read today’s observation and understanding keep in mind that when they talk about priests it is referring to all who have been saved by Jesus.
 
  • Read Exodus 29
  • Exodus 30:30 (NIV) “Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.
 

The priest’s first obligation was to minister to the Lord and please Him. If they forgot their obligation to the Lord, they would soon begin to minimize their responsibilities to the people, and the nation would decay spiritually.

That God chose Aaron and his sons to minister in the priesthood was an act of sovereign grace, because they certainly didn’t earn this position or deserve it. But, that God should save sinners like us, make us His children, and form us into a “holy priesthood” is also an act of His grace, and we should never lose the wonder of this spiritual privilege. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16, nkjv).

God’s people today must remember that our first obligation is to please the Lord and serve Him. If we do this, then He will work in us and through us to accomplish His work in this world. When Jesus restored Peter to discipleship, He didn’t ask “Do you love the ministry?” or even “Do you love people?” His repeated question was, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:17) Just as a father’s most important obligation is to love his children’s mother, so the servant’s most important obligation (and privilege) is to love the Lord. All ministry flows out of that relationship.

A part of pleasing the Lord was wearing the priestly garments. The high priest, the priests, and the Levites couldn’t dress as they pleased when they ministered at the tabernacle; they had to wear the garments God designed for them. God provided these garments for at least three reasons:
(1) they gave the priests “dignity and honor” (Ex. 28:2, niv) and set them apart, just as a uniform identifies a soldier or a nurse;
(2) they revealed spiritual truths relating to their ministry and our ministry today; and
(3) if the priests didn’t wear the special garments, they might die (vv. 35, 43).  Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Delivered (Exodus 25-20).
 
What do you think are our priestly garments that sets us apart and identifies us today as priests of God?  Share some of your thoughts with us in the comment section.
 
Here are a couple of ideas to get you going.
Ephesians 6:10-18
Romans 12:1-2
Phil 2:14-16
John 14:23-24
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 1

Welcome to our 28 Days of Prayer and Fasting.  Our focus this year is on the harvest.  I am believing God for a great harvest of people coming to know Him as a result of the ministry of DSC.  For the next 28 days our regular SOUL Journal will be suspended and we will be doing a prayer and fasting devotional.  A couple of things I would ask…
Purpose to read the devotional each day.  Using the app on your phone you can easily access the devotional by going to SOUL Journal entries.
The other thing I would like is for you to interact.  Use the comment section to share what God is saying to you.  In order to make comments you must sign in to Disqus (it does not take very long to do so) and on your phone or computer click on the blog title in order to see the comment section at the bottom of the page.
 
Get ready for a great 28 days.
 

DAY 1: CONSECRATION

Read 2 Chronicles 29
 

Hezekiah succeeds his father Ahab to the throne.  Ahab was a wicked and idolatrous king.  He did not follow God’s commands.  Now along comes Hezekiah and his first act of rulership is to assemble the priests who have been out of commission because of his father.

I like what the sequence…

Hezekiah realizes that they have sinned and they are under a curse not God’s blessing.  He recognizes his place is not to be king and priest, but to be king.  The king sets the moral tone but the priests performs the spiritual duties.  So instead of trying to act as the priest he gathers the priests who have been inactive and speaks vision to them. This was the way that God had set it up and Hezekiah’s father had disobeyed God.

Now the priests spring into action – the action was to consecrate themselves.  They did not just go into action they prepared themselves spiritually.

Hebrews tells us that God rewards those who passionately seek Him.  The consecration is the beginning of that diligently seeking Him.

Only after the priests have consecrated themselves did they go into the temple to purify it and to do what God had commanded them to do.

 

What does it mean to consecrate ourselves?

In a general sense, the term “consecration” refers to the act of dedicating oneself to a specific purpose or intention. To “consecrate” yourself essentially means to wholly dedicate yourself to something of greatest important.

It means to be set apart, to be holy, to show oneself holy, to treat as holy, to dedicate, to be made holy, to declare holy, to behave, to act holy, to dedicate oneself. 

It is the act of  withdrawing someone or something from profane or ordinary use. 
  • The Lord set aside Aaron and his sons, consecrated them, and made them holy for the priesthood (Ex. 29:21).
  • The altar was made holy, and anything coming into contact with it became holy (Ex. 29:37).
  • The Tabernacle, the ark, the table of showbread, the altar of burnt offering, and all the smaller accessories and utensils used in worship in the Old Testament were anointed with a special anointing oil so they became holy. Whatever came in contact with them became holy (Ex. 30:26-29).
  • The men accompanying David as his military were declared holy (1 Sam. 21:5)

 

So consecrated things are set apart to be holy and anything coming into contact with them was made holy.  Think about that for a moment and what are the implications for you and your life.

 
In this first week we will be looking at this understanding of consecration.  Will you take time today to ask God to give you more insight into what it may mean for you to consecrate yourself for His purposes?  Using the definitions above what are some ways you think a consecrated life would look like for you?