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!
 

Hebrews_11

Scripture

Hebrews 11:1, 32-34

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

 

Observation

Hebrews Chapter 10 closes out with the recommendation of the grace of faith and a life of faith to avoid apostasy – or abandonment of their religious belief.

Chapter 11 brings us to the actions of faith…with plenty of incredible, God-filled stories to back it up.

 

Understanding

This seems like a chapter to be read on the daily…reminders of all the faith filled lives that have gone before and the transformative work that God did through them.  But, first, a reminder of what faith is…

“…confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Faith is believing – with boldness and trust – in God for unseen, the unknown.

It starts with first understanding and believing that this crazy, big, complicated Earth we live on, the stars and galaxies we see…the entire universe, was formed at God’s command (v 3).

But the chapter shares story after story – so much so that the author “doesn’t have time” to share all of them – of faith in action.  Faith that…

        Took humans from this earth without experiencing death

        Please God

        Saved Noah, his family and the animals from the flood (something they’d never experienced before)

        Brought Abraham to the promised land

        Gave life in a barren womb

        Created descendants “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore” from a man, “as good as dead”

        Saved lives

        Brought healing

        Brought blessings

        Brought Moses, from abandoned child to freer of slaves

        Created dry land in the middle of the Red Sea

        Brought down the walls of Jericho

        Saved a prostitute

        Rose people from the dead

        …conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (v 33-34)

 

Life Application

‘Cause I gotta’ have faith
I gotta’ have faith
Because I gotta’ have faith, faith, faith
I got to have faith, faith, faith

Hard not to read about faith and not sing George Michael in your brain. [But his lyrics are not quite in line with the message of the day. Lol.]

What are the things that build your faith?  What are the ways that God has shown up and shown Himself real to you? 

May we meditate on these things.  May we repeat them because we believe them…or repeat them until we believe them.  May we live with faith, a faith that resonates so deeply within that it MUST turn into action. 

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



Hebrews 10

Scripture  

 

Hebrews 10:35-36  Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

 

Observation-What does it say?  

 

The audience in Hebrews is in an apparent crises of faith.  They are looking to go back to how things were before the good news of Jesus was revealed to them.  In writing to a group of Jewish believers, the author is reminding them that there is no longer a need to turn back to the ways of sacrifice.  Jesus, God’s son, was the ultimate sacrifice and did away with our need to cover our sin.  Because of the work done at the cross, there is victory for those who remain faithful to the end of this life.  Therefore, they are reminded that this life will pass and the rewards will come to those who endure.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  

 

Because of my experience in my recreational pursuits, I often associate the idea of endurance and suffering with a degree of choice.  I chose to run a marathon, therefore I also chose to learn to endure through training runs.  But, endurance and suffering also has another side.  In this life of uncertainty, people are often faced with suffering through pains due to simply being caught up in a circumstance they did not create.  Innocent bystanders tragically caught in horrible accidents.  Toddlers who get sick because their pre-school classmate decided to come to school sick.  The list could go on forever.

I remember being at work and a coworker of mine asked, “How can you believe in God when there are so many bad things happening in this world?”  At the time, I was twenty years old, I was a little bit stumped by his certainty that this was evidence that God did not care, or simply did not exist.  I would be lying if I did not admit that I haven’t had the same question at times.  Having suffered several tragic losses, I was tempted to turn away from the God I know to be so good.  But, every time I would hear God saying to me that he was near.

Through tragedy, I am often reminded of the story of Job.  Job was blameless in this world, and allowed to suffer for no reason.  Through the loss of his family and all his possessions, Job remained faithful.  At the end of his suffering, Job, speaking to God, says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)  For Job, it wasn’t until he had endured such a great tragedy that he saw how great God truly is.  Ultimately, God restored Job greater than before the suffering began.  

 

Life Application  

 

Jesus, draw near to me in time of turbulence.  Help me to know that you are with me, so that I can draw nearer to you.  Help me to keep my eyes on you in times of uncertainty, for I know your reward is coming.  

 

-Tyler Galloway



2 Chronicles 26

Scripture 

2 Chronicles 26:16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 

Observation 

King Uzziah started off amazing. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and as long as he sought the LORD God continued to give him success. 

He became very powerful. He became famous. 

2 Chronicles 26:17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.”

19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple, leprosy[c] broke out on his forehead. 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him.

Awe… man, Uzziah! Darn it, you were so close! Why did you think you didn’t need to follow God’s way anymore?

I am literally asking myself that question. 

Understanding 

Pride – to lift up. Unfaithful – broke commitment. 

In 2 Kings 15:3-4, it says that He did what was right in the LORD’s eyes but he never took down the high places (places lifted up) and so people could go and offers sacrifices to other gods (unfaithful).

So you do the right thing on one end  and have a side-fling on the other…hmm. 

Well… you know… I am mostly Christian but the other stuff is my escape, it’s what helps me cope. Anyway, I don’t need God in every area of my life, I can take care of some things on my own!

Application 

Tear down the high places of pride and fully commit yourself to the LORD your God! 

These high places of pride are where we have exalted our own abilities and our places where we find comfort (other than God). These are places set up by human hands. 

Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.

God sees our heart. There is no where we can hide from him or anything we can keep a secret. 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. Casting down imaginations (thoughts), and every high thing that exalteth (lifts up) itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

We all have thoughts of how to save ourselves and are tempted to do so but God has given us the tools and the power of the Holy Spirit to discipline our flesh into obedience to Christ. 

CHOOSE THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE

The LORD only has good plans for us. No matter what valley we pass through to get there, He is with us. Let’s get rid of all the high places and fully commit our way to following and obeying Jesus!:)
 
Deborah Lee


Psalm 31

Scripture
 
Psalm‬ ‭31:24
 
“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”
Observation-What does it say?
 
David was under constant distress. His enemies from all over were plotting his death. False rumors were being spread about him everywhere. Even his friends are giving him the cold shoulder and ignoring him. They fear to be around him, almost like they didn’t want to be caught in the crossfire, while his enemies were plotting to take his life. But David had one constant in his life-his faith and trust in God.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
God never fails.
 
In the final sentence of this Psalm, David encourages all who put their faith and trust in God, to “be strong and courageous”. You see, although David is considered to be a man after God’s own heart, that didn’t exclude him from life’s troubles. On the contrary, he seemed to always have opposition in his life. David had enemies who wanted him dead, he had neighbors who despised him, he had false rumors spread about him, and he had friends who left him. It was his trust in God that gave him the strength and courage to get through no matter what was sent his way.
 
There are multiple times in the Bible where the phrase “be strong and courageous” appears. I believe it serves as a great reminder for us that there is no problem out there too big or small that God cannot handle. When it seems like the odds are stacked against us, there is One who is always with us. God is at His strongest when we are at our weakest. The question is are we willing to fully commit our faith and trust in Him? David did, and God fought his battles for him…and we all know that God is undefeatable!
 
So when life’s storms hit you, (and they will), when you’re feeling beaten and overwhelmed, remember to take heed to God’s word, “be strong and courageous”! Remember who is truly fighting those battles for you. Fully commit and trust in God the way David did, then see what miracles God can do in your life.
 
Life Application
 
What does being strong and courageous look like today?
 
We may be facing financial struggles, health issues, relationship problems, or even facing a crossroad in our faith. I want to encourage you to take heed on those words and biblical principles of being strong and courageous. Like I said earlier, the Bible mentions this phrase multiple times, and I don’t think it’s by accident either! I believe it’s of great importance to listen to those words. Why else would the Bible mention it so many times?!
In 2 Timothy 1:7 it mentions that God didn’t give us the spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self discipline. God gave us His Holy Spirit to live in us. A Spirit filled with power! What should we fear then if He is with us, and He is on our side?
 
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”-Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭
 
So why not be strong and courageous in whatever circumstances we face? The God of the universe has our back, and He is STILL undefeated and is STILL our reigning Champion!  
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Psalm 30

Scripture 

Psalm 30:1-12

I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” Lord, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? 10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” 11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Observation-What does it say?

This is a Psalm of Thanksgiving written by King David. King David was thanking the Lord for what He had delivered him from. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

David knew who was responsible for his healing and deliverance. It wasn’t his own will or better choices he made or a human counselor/adviser, etc. He gave credit first and foremost to the Lord. 

One passage of Scripture that makes me a little sad is Luke 17:11-19. It’s about the Samaritan man who was healed of leprosy by Jesus. He went back to thank and praise Jesus in a loud voice! The only problem is that Jesus had healed ten lepers in that Scripture, not just one. Where did the other nine go? The other nine were Jews and quite possibly felt entitled to that healing. Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans, so the fact that Jesus, born a Jew, chose to heal him too was a big deal!  The Samaritan was so grateful to Jesus!

Life Application

Take time to worship and thank Jesus for what He has delivered you from!

It could be from as far back as when He first encountered you and saved you from sin; it could be the 2nd encounter you remember with Him or it could be something as recent as yesterday.

Dear Lord, I pray that we would never have a sense of entitlement when it comes to all the great things You have chosen to do in our lives and the ways You have healed and delivered us. I pray our attitude would always be one of gratitude. Even the hardships, trials and discipline from You warrant praise because of how we’ve been trained by them. May we always acknowledge You first, just like King David did, and be the one to return to give you thanks and praise just like the Samaritan you healed. Amen. 

“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.” Luke‬ ‭17:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

-Michelle Gaddi

Reference Article:  Christiantoday.com (“Jesus healed 10 men from leprosy: why only one came back to thank him.”)



Hebrews__5

Scripture 

Hebrews 5:14 

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Observation-What does it say? 

The author of Hebrews is showing a bit of frustration with the members of the Hebrew church.  By many accounts, these are not new converts, and yet they are turning away from their faith.  Through the next chapter, the author both gives warning of the perils of falling away and gives encouragement to press on.  

Understanding-What does it mean?

I hate to make mistakes, especially when I am in the middle of having a self righteous attitude.  Like when I offer up an answer at a training, and I have the most experience in the room, including the person in charge of the training, but the answer I give is incorrect because I have failed to remember one of the more elementary principles of my job.  Outside of the embarrassment of being wrong, I have to eat crow a little because of losing my humility somewhere before getting to the class.  But, that seems to be when I make the most elementary mistakes.  And as the saying goes, pride comes before the fall.

Humbling ourselves after a mistake is not fun.  Many times, I have watched my kids, after I catch them doing something wrong, act as if all life has fallen out of their bodies.  They lie down on the floor, in great agony, refusing to clean up the mess they have created, or refusing to apologize for taking a swing at their brother.  The longer they refuse to fix the problem they created, the longer it takes to move on to what may have been next, like dessert (which they often lose because of these situations).  But as a father, I know how important for their personal development it is that they fix the problem.

Many times in the Bible we are reminded that our life with Jesus is not a “one and done” situation.  We don’t ask Jesus to be our savior, and then everything is perfect.  Our spiritual lives require discipline, much like an athlete trying to get to the olympics.  To the Corinthians, Paul writes as if he is giving a half time pep-talk to a losing team, “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)  Later on in Hebrews, we are told to lay down the sin that keeps us from moving forward (12:1).

Moving forward, and growing in our faith, takes a conscious effort to shut off the things of this world that don’t matter, and reach out for the things that are the building blocks.

Life Application  

Jesus, help me to remain humble today and everyday after.  Help me to gain perspective on what truly matters.  I don’t want to let my pride stand between knowing you more.  I also don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to serve another because I have a desire for a material thing, like a new car.  Help me to have the discipline to get up everyday and seek you first.  

 

-Tyler Galloway



Psalm _27

Scripture 

Psalm 27 

Observation 

David was being hard pressed by either Saul or some say by his son Absalom. Either way, he felt the pressure and longed for God’s rest and salvation, He chose to trust in Him.  

Understanding 

In the times where it seems like everything is going so wrong, He will be my light in the darkness, He will be my strength and I will not be afraid. 

Even though everything seems to be crumbling around me, relationships are dividing and tumultuous and causing sorrow, I will trust in Him. 

Help me LORD to always seek you, seek your beauty in the sacred secret place. There I will find my rest. 

When things  start to go wrong I know you will keep me safe. I will lift my eyes toward you and worship you. You are worthy to be praised. 

Please hear me when I call. It gets so hard to stay focused with all the turmoil around me. My heart says to seek you! Please make yourself known to me! 

You are my only help! It seems that even my closest relationships are at stake. Even though I may be rejected by the closest to me, I know you will not leave me. 

Please LORD show me your ways, show me the path to take! It’s hard to see the right way with so much around me. 

Please don’t let me fall. Even through all of this, 

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living”

I will wait for you. I will be strong and have courage. And I will wait for you. 

Application

The LORD is our only help! 

Sometimes the weight of the world presses down on us until we feel like we can’t breath. 

He is our only help! 

Say to yourself that you will trust Him, you will worship Him, you will wait for him! Even though you feel like giving up and giving in, wait for Him! He is coming with the answer, with the reconciliation, with whatever breakthrough we need, He is coming!
 
Deborah Lee


Hebrews_3

Scripture
 
Hebrews 3: 13-14
 
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold to our original conviction firmly to the very end.
 

Observation

The chapter begins by exalting God and declaring above every living thing, as He is the creator of every living thing. However, the person writing Hebrews recognizes that sin still taints people’s perspective regardless of how great God is. For this reason the author pushes the readers to lift each other up and encourage one another in their faith, so that they might not encounter a forty-year roadblock like the Israelites.
 

Understanding

There is power in the name of Jesus, but there is even more power when many come together to call upon His name.

What I like about these verses is how it perfectly exemplifies strength in numbers; because let’s be real no one gets through life alone no matter how strong they may think they are. However, what goes along with this strength in numbers is the very real aspect of the deceptiveness of sin. As hard as it is to openly admit it becomes so easy to give into its lies. I recently realized that when their is a strong foundation of faith in one place or within a certain group of people, the enemy seeks to destroy that firm foundation even more than a weak one. If a mighty house falls then weaker ones are bound to crumble as well. So if your life in the moment seems hard, and it seems like temptation is constantly coming your way, then congratulations you’ve threatened the enemy. And guess what? You probably aren’t the only one. Which makes the above passage all the more important.

God is faithful to those who seek Him in the days gone by. Even though God hears our little voices in the night, I’m sure He loves to hear a loud roar of worship from the many who love Him. So encourage others in their struggle, let them know that the Father is worth it because when we “hold to our original conviction to the very end,” God has an even better surprise when you finally get to meet Him. Don’t let the sun go down without encouraging someone. They may need it more than you’ll ever know. 
 

Life Application

Make an effort in encouragement.

I know for a fact that when I receive encouragement from someone I admire I feel like I can do anything, so I shouldn’t hold back either. The same idea extends to all of us. You may never know who looks up to you until you step and encourage the person that God is placing on your heart. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. I could a simple “hey, I’m praying for you,” or texting them to see how they’re doing, or (if you’re feeling really generous) taking them out for lunch or coffee. When you make an effort in encouraging people, you’ll find that it’s a gesture that doesn’t return void, I promise.

-Allison Khan



Hebrews__2

 
 
Scripture
 
Hebrews 2:16-18
 
16For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Jesus was made fully human in every way, including being tempted to sin.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Temptation is inevitable if we identify as a child of God.
 
Even Jesus was tempted and suffered. He was tempted by the devil in the desert. He was tempted to back away from His mission and calling to die to save the sins from mankind. He sweat blood because of knowing what He would face. Physically, that only occurs if under tremendous stress and anguish. However, Jesus never sinned and always chose God’s will over His own desires of the flesh (while He was in human form).
 
Life Application
 
When tempted, run toward our Advocate and High Priest, Jesus. Don’t run toward the temptation.
 
Because Jesus was tempted and overcame, He is able to help us in our time of need. He is loving and compassionate and has literally been in our shoes. I love how Scripture not only says that He will be with us through the temptation, but it says He will HELP us through it too.
 
We are conquerors over sin because of Jesus. When His Spirit resides in us, we no longer have to fear or fall into the same traps of the past. Christ is greater and He conquered sin and death on our behalf.
 
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” Romans‬ ‭6:5-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
If you feel overcome by the weight of your sin, run to Jesus, ask for forgiveness and repent. Allow the Holy Spirit to take over. Submit to God’s will for your life. Every time we say no to the flesh, it gets easier.
 
Dear Lord, thank You that You are our advocate and High Priest. Thank You for doing ALL the work on the front end so that we no longer have to struggle and be in bondage to sin. Thank You for freedom in You! I pray that we would run away from sin and sprint towards You when temptation hits. Thank You that You have already gone before us and can walk us through and help us in our time of need. Amen.
 
“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.” Psalm‬ ‭25:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Hebrews_1

Scripture

Hebrews 1:10-12

10 He also says,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”[f]

 

Observation

“The Book of Hebrews begins with no mention of the author, only of God. The human author of Hebrews remains unknown, but the book’s inspiration by the Holy Spirit is evident.”

Read more about the interesting history of Hebrews here…

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/hebrews-1/

 

Understanding

I didn’t necessarily find some deep profound meaning in today’s reading but I do love the artistry in the words here…picturing God – the ultimate creator – laying the foundations of the earth; the heavens, works of His hands.

I also love the reminder of the constant and never changing nature of God.

 

Life Application

God, I love that you surround us each day in the works of your hands, the creative touch of a true artist.  Thank you for the daily reminders of your presence.  And as I’m reminded of your omnipresence, may I also be reminded of your unchanging nature.  May I remain as steadfast in search of your heart as you do in search of mine, because… 

The more I seek you, the more I find you.

The more I find you, the more I love you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di3O7nViVCE

May I seek you more, may I find you more, may I love you more.
In your name I pray.  Amen
 
-Rei

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