Bible Reading Plan
bible

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

November 4: Esther 9, Revelation 17, Psalm 73

November 5: Esther 10, Revelation 18, Psalm 74

November 6: Job 1, Revelation 19, Psalm 75

November 7: Job 2, Revelation 20, Psalm 76

 
 
 
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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!
 

Revelation_18

Scripture
 
Revelation 18:8
 
“So in one day she will suffer great hunger, mourning, and death. She will be destroyed by fire, because the Lord God who judges her is powerful.”
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Observation-What does it say?
 
The great city of Babylon, the home of one-world government and global trade, will think she is all powerful. Babylon will control powerful weapons and armies. But compared to the Lord God who will bring judgement upon her, Babylon doesn’t stand a chance!
 
What no earthly army can do, God accomplishes in just one day! From the angel of death passing over her, to this rich city running out of food, and finally the city being burned to the ground, this once proud city which boasted that they will never mourn, will grieve bitterly from its losses. 
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Will the things I stand for and value, hold up against God’s judgement?
 
Babylon believed itself to be almighty. They believed that they had the resources, the power, and the support from the other nations that made them invincible. They stood against God’s ways and His people. Babylon built great wealth and strength in armies and alliances. It gave them a false sense of security. Babylon was a city built on its sinfulness. And although God’s will allowed it, God was about to bring His swift and righteous judgment upon her. God would make an example of the city of Babylon. The message will be heard and seen around the world…just how great and awesome is God.
 
What is my life built on? What’s my underlying foundation? Is it built on material things, that like Babylon, give me a false sense of security? Or is my life built on the principles of God and His ways. If God put my life’s work and held it up against the fire, would it wither away, or would it be refined by it?
 
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
Life Application
 
Focus on building His kingdom, not mine.
 
Something tangible I can do today to help me with my “life application” is to partner with DSC in supporting the families who are helping to share the gospel in Tijuana, Mexico. May God continue to bless families like these who seek out to make disciples of all nations!
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi 


Revelation_17

Scripture

Revelation 17:8 

 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Observation – What does it say?

Apocalyptic literature, I wouldn’t say that I am comfortable with it just yet but I am getting familiar with it.  Bizarre visions, epic spectacles and cataclysmic events assault the apostle John.   Once a loudmouthed fisherman, he is now an imprisoned bishop of the fledgling New Testament Church.  Appearing, “greatly astonished” the angel host explains the mystery of the women and the attending creatures. Two words came to mind as I read verse 8.  The first is implied and the second is plainly stated.

Understanding – What does it mean?

im*i*ta*tion

noun    a thing intended to simulate or copy something else, “an imitation diamond”

Synonyms: copy, replica, reproduction, artificial, simulated, manufactured, mock, sham, fake, faux, knock off, phony, counterfeit, take off …

De*struc*tion 

noun    the action or process of causing so much damage to something that it no longer exists or cannot be repaired    the action or process of killing or being killed.

Synonyms: annihilation, obliteration, elimination, eradication, liquidation …

Throughout the Bible the supreme sovereignty of God is summed up in three attributes: all powerful, all knowing and all present.  The Beast of verse 8 is none of these.  While the Lamb of God “Was and Is and Is to come” the Beast “once was, now is not, and yet will come … to its destruction.”  The Beast is an imitation whose end is destruction.  He is not the opposite of God, not even close.  In fact he is as close as the east is to the west.  Still the battle is to play itself out as it is written. 

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”  John 1:35   

Life Application

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.  Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory and praise. Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  The battle belongs to you Lord.  You rule and reign triumphant.   I have been entrusted with the Gospel; the very power of God unto salvation.   It is the pearl of great price and I am not to hide it away like some earthly treasure.  Nor am I to leave it at home as I go about my day.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Amen

– Warren Vivian

 

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

 



Revelation_16

 Scripture

Revelation 16:1

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”

Observation

“In this chapter we have an account of the pouring forth of these vials that were filled with the wrath of God. They were poured out upon the whole antichristian empire, and on every thing appertaining to it. I. Upon the earth (v. 2). II. Upon the sea (v. 3). III. Upon the rivers and fountains of water (v. 4). Here the heavenly hosts proclaim and applaud the righteousness of the judgments of God. IV. The fourth vial was poured out on the sun (v. 8). V. The fifth on the seat of the beast. VI. The sixth on the river Euphrates. VII. The seventh in the air, upon which the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came in remembrance before God.” [https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/revelation/16.html]

In other words, in this vision, God’s wrath is poured on everyTHING that is left.

Understanding

The wrath of God is terrifying…terrifying because there are likely people in your life and in mine that would suffer if Jesus was to come back today.

I’ve heard of “the wrath of God”…have even read about it, multiple times I’m sure. But I feel like I must forget. Otherwise, why wouldn’t I live my life more on fire? If I recognized each day is an opportunity to be used to save people from “the wrath of God” – including festering sores, being scorched with fire, people gnawing their own tongues, watching things die as rivers, seas and springs of water turn to blood – I feel like I’d live differently.

As a shared a few weeks ago, I’ve had a bit of a crisis of faith over this past year; and, as of late, I feel like I’m having a bit of crisis of identity. It sounds dramatic, I know…but it just feels as though my newest navigation exercise is in the area of who I am, who I want to be and who God has called me to be. Reading Revelation is not my favorite; but it’s important as a reminder of who we are called to be and what we are called to do – to know God and make Him known…anything else is just, well, selfish.    

Life Application

I need to build my faith with urgency and live it out contagiously. Perhaps the imagery expressed here can be used as a catalyst.

God, give me your heart and your eyes for the people I meet today and for those that I interact with in my everyday – family and friends that I claim to love. Remind me what is at stake – eternity experiencing your wrath OR your joy and peace.  May I not be lazy nor comfortable in my faith but continually press in to know you more and share the good news with urgency and passion. 

Even as I write this, I feel resistance…I pray that you remove all resistance, break my heart for what breaks yours, help my unbelief and guide my steps. May I move forward boldly in your name.

– Rei

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



Revelation_15

Scripture

Revelation 15:3

And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and marvelous are Your works,

O Lord God, the Almighty;

Righteous and true are Your ways,

King of the nations!”

Observation

In this chapter, John describes a scene from heaven with a sea of glass and fire. The people who were standing on the sea were singing the song of Moses, a song that was sung on the sabbath in celebration of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. John also saw the tabernacle, the dwelling place of God during the time Israel was wandering in the desert. The tabernacle was filled with smoke, a visible representation of God’s glory.

Understanding

God is worthy to be praised for eternity. He has taken us from a place of brokenness and brought us into completion.

We all have times in our lives that we would just assume to forget. The times we did something embarrassing, or just plain dumb. It could be an instant or a longer period of time. Maybe you got a really bad haircut once, or dated someone that you really regret.

I used to run quite a bit. It was somewhat of an obsession. I would often plan my days, weeks, months, even a full year one time around goals I had with my running. I had certain races I wanted to run, and certain times I wanted to strive for. There were some times where even my relationships would take a back seat to these goals. And while the running and the goal setting isn’t bad, placing an earthly treasure in the place of God is.

When we are in the moment, it can be hard to see what we are doing is in detriment to our selves. And like they say, hind sight is 20/20. It is only when we look back with a grateful heart that we can say, “God, thank you for taking me through this, only to bring me closer to you.”

Life application

I need your forgiveness, and I need your help to mature.

Jesus, help me to overcome myself. Help me to keep moving closer to you everyday. For I know that your love is greater than anything on earth.
 
– Tyler Galloway
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Revelation_14

 
Happy Thanksgiving church family!  We are grateful to all of you who have been reading, commenting and encouraging us on Soul Journal this past year.  Our faith is built on His Word (2 Tim. 3:16), so thank you for being faithful to study and journal along with us!
 
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: Pastor Parker’s Higher Learning Revelation notes and discussions)
 
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 and other unsaved people before Your return. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
 
-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.
‬‬
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.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
 
Moses Gaddi
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Revelation_12

Scripture

Revelation 12:3 

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.

Observation – What does it say?

 The “great and wondrous” spectacle of verse one is quickly interrupted by another ominous spectacle.  The scene is heaven and is meant to showcase the believing Messianic community and the twelve tribes of Israel.  War ensues on an epic scale starting in heaven then violently making its way to earth.  Defeated in heaven the devil and his angels persecute the Church; trying in vain to destroy her.  Finally they renew their war against her seed. 

Understanding – What does it mean?

It wasn’t long after my conversion to Christ that I realized the “honeymoon” was over.  I was joyously introduced to the trinity; Our Father in heaven, Christ the Risen Lord and the indwelling Holy Spirit.  I was a new creation in Christ created in Him to do good works.  I was more than a conqueror in Christ and I was filled with the Holy Ghost.  My true identity, which had been cloaked in sin, was coming into view.  It wasn’t long before I was confronted by a raging enemy, diametrically opposed to the plan of God for my life.   Satan, the world and the flesh make up what I call the “counterfeit trinity”.

Satan means “adversary” in Hebrew.  Tradition holds he was once an angelic being who rebelled against God and was cast down to earth, along with a third of the heavenly host.  Together they parade around like an angel of light attacking believers in warlike fashion.  Though we use the English words “earth” and “world” interchangeably, the bible differentiates: earth is the planet we live on and world is the order of all things that we live in.  Adam’s sin brought death into his world – into our world.  Satan manipulates earthly systems to breed death into the people of God.  In America there is a strategy to remove any and all references to the God of the bible from government establishments, e.g. the Ten Commandments. By flesh I mean our sin nature.  “Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Eph 6).   Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old has gone, the new is here” (Rom. 6:6). The reality of our new status still comes under attack from within.  For example, try a biblical fast and see if you get any pushback.

Though the actual word is not used in the Bible, the truth of God revealing Himself in three persons is included.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God, given worship as God, exist eternally, and are involved in doing things only God could do.  Although, God reveals Himself in three persons, God is One and cannot be divided.  All are involved completely whenever One of the Three is active. AW Tozer.

 

Life Application

Every day is a gift.  The Bible is clear; no man can serve two masters.  If my day is lived out submitted to Christ, I serve Him and his plans for my life. That being said, the safest place for me on this entire planet is at the center of God’s will.   Otherwise, I risk choosing a system that is overseen by a corrupt and created being and whose final destruction is eminent. His time is short.  Those whose identity is in Christ will overcome this “counterfeit trinity” by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.   

– Warren Vivian

 

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

 



Revelation_11

Scripture

Revelation 11: 16-17

16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.

Observation

Revelation continues to speak of the vision of the end times – of death through attacks and destruction through earthquakes. [Sounds a bit familiar doesn’t it?]

What struck me is, in all of this, the posture of the elders – they “fell on their faces and worshiped God,” giving thanks.

Understanding

It struck me this week – in meeting with a friend and accountability partner, in attending the Grateful Gatherings, in reading and just in living out my life…that gratitude is the posture we must find and take in ALL situations.

In my own life, I’ve recently been less thankful and more regretful, shameful, doubtful, etc. But I recognized that all these things are self-centered, selfish and take my eyes, heart and energy away from what I’ve been created and placed here on this earth to do. And the shift from being inward focused to outward focused often is as simple as taking time to be grateful. Gratitude brings healing, wholeness, positive perspective, optimism, etc.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – Colossians 4:2

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe… – Hebrews 12:28

…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

– Ephesians 5:20

Life Application

As Christians, we are called to a life of gratitude. I’ve gone through phases in my life where I’ve had the discipline of taking account of what I’m most grateful for each morning and/or each night. Time to get back to that. Giving myself some homework as we enter into Thanksgiving week.

God, thank you for the gentle reminder to live life from a place of gratitude. Regardless of circumstance, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for! Help me to take this to heart as I go throughout today.  Open my eyes and heart to see all the blessings – big and small – and to turn them back to you for your glory and honor. 

With a thankful heart, I pray, Amen.

– Rei

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



Revelation_10

Scripture

Revelation 10:10 

I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 

Observation

In this chapter, John sees a strong angel that comes with a little book.  The angel announces what is coming in the near future for those who follow christ, suffering and martyrdom (vs. 6).  John is then directed to take the book from the angel and eat it.  The book is sweet in his mouth (this is the gospel), but turns bitter in his stomach (this is the reality of suffering for christ).  John is then directed to go preach this message of the sweet and bitter.     

Understanding

God does not promise that this life will be easy.  But he does promise to be our king.  And we also know that once we get past this life, our suffering will be gone for eternity.

Life here on earth can be down right scary at times.  It seems as though we live in a world convinced that we are all going to die at any second.  Take cars for instance, what once was a simple mode of transportation that had four wheels, two bench seats, and could hold from for to twenty people, is now a highly designed piece of equipment with computers and sensors and automatic brakes.  Even my airbags have airbags.  Everything is regulated in the name of safety.

As a kid I had the belief that everything was going to be alright because God was on my side.  He was my safety regulation.  But then one day, that bubble of safety is blown apart when life happens.  Your parents get divorced, your grandmother has cancer, and there isn’t enough money to make rent at times.  On top of all that, God wants us to share his love with the world who doesn’t want to hear it, but needs it so badly.  It’s enough to make me want to crawl under a rock for the rest of my life.

  Ultimately, I know that someday all of the pain from this life is going to end.  I will get to experience being made to feel complete, lacking in nothing, content in God’s presence.  God tells us that, until that day, he will be there for us.  We will not be overtaken (Isaiah 43:1-2) and we will be given a way out when tempted (I Corinthians 10:13).  We just need to hold tight to God in the mean time.

Life application

I need your strength, Jesus, to share Your love.

Jesus, help me to overcome the fear of this world in order to share the most important message of all.  Give me eyes that see in the light of eternity.  Most of all, give me the right words at the right time.
 
– Tyler Galloway
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Revelation_9

 
Scripture
 
Revelation‬ ‭9:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
“The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
‭‭
Observation-What does it say?
 
We have been reading about and studying John’s visions through the 7 trumpet judgments. In this chapter, we are at the 5th and 6th trumpet judgments. The last 3 trumpets refer to the 3 woes, so this chapter starts the first 2 of those 3 woes. Woe means great sorrow or distress (New Oxford American dictionary). In the 5th trumpet judgment, a star from Heaven fell (star is symbolically referring to an Angel) and was given the key to the bottomless pit. The abyss opened, and released smoke and locustlike creatures. During the 6th trumpet judgment, a voice from the altar released 4 Angels bound at the Euphrates and 1/3 of mankind was killed by 200 million horses and riders with lion’s heads, and fire, smoke and sulphur coming out of their mouths and tails like snakes. (Vss. 16-19) (Source: notes from Pastor Parker’s HL Revelation class).  Even through all of this destruction, mankind still hardened their hearts and would not repent to the Lord.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
People choose their fate. We reap what we sow. If we choose the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. If we sow to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life.
 
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 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.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
It’s easy to want to feel sorry for people who are at the hands of a holy, angry and just God, BUT, those people have chosen their fate. If 5 months of torture and wishing to die even though you can’t (Revelation 9:6) and witnessing a 3rd of mankind eliminated (Revelation 9:15) does not cause men/women to repent and turn to the Lord, I don’t know what will. Jesus gives us free will to choose because He loves us. He doesn’t force people to love Him or live in eternity with Him. It just boggles my mind how people still refuse to repent after seeing all of that destruction. I don’t want to go into the debate of predestination vs. free will, but what I do know is that the people who harden their hearts toward the Lord are bound for destruction. They’ve continued to choose to live in the flesh instead of in the Spirit.
 
Life Application
 
Do not give up in praying for unbelievers and sharing our faith even though it seems like people’s hearts have hardened towards God.
 
I’m speaking to myself as well when I say we cannot give up despite the hardened hearts. It’s frustrating when people we pray for and share the Gospel with mock us, turn us away and refuse to accept the Good News. It’s very discouraging. But we cannot give up. Among the hardened hearts are softened hearts that are ready to hear and receive Him today.
 
Dear Jesus, please help us to focus more on the wins instead of the fails of evangelism. We pray for all the hearts that are ready to receive Your message of love, grace and eternity today and we pray that we would not give up in praying for and reaching out in faith the world you came and shed Your blood on the cross for. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi