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!
 

1 Timothy 5

 

Scripture

1 Timothy 5:25

In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.

Observation – What does it say?

Paul continues giving practical instructions in this letter to Timothy, including how to deal with widows, elders and sin in the church. Paul says that some sins and good deeds are obvious and others not as much. But, even if no one notices the less obvious deeds now, they wont remain hidden forever.

Understanding – What does it mean?

God sees and will eventually uncover every deed.

I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

No good deed done for the Lord is a waste of time. Even if no one sees. As a matter of fact, Jesus said that the ones done in secret that we tell no one about are the ones the Father rewards. We don’t have to draw attention or boast of the good things we do  – praying, giving, fasting, etc.  Actually, when we do Jesus says we’ve received our reward in full and will get no reward from the Father.  

Life Application

Do good deeds for an audience of One, trusting that nothing I do escapes his eye.

This is incredibly difficult because praise from others feels so good. But if I have to choose between praise from God and praise from men… I’ll just say I believe God’s reward is probably much better than a pat on the back from anyone I know. Knowing that God sees and will reward me gives me peace and joy in doing good, even when no one else sees.

God, thank you that you see everything. May we live in constant awareness of your eyes upon us, knowing that every deed done in secret, whether good or bad, will eventually be uncovered. Help us to store up treasure in heaven, living in light of eternity. Amen.

– Levi Thompson

 

To check out the discussion or join in click here.



1 Timothy 4

 

Scripture

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Observation-What does it say?

Paul continues to train his apprentice and young Pastor Timothy (commentary says he was probably in his mid 30s), in matters pertaining to the church. I also observed that Paul not only addressed matters of sound doctrine and preaching, but also the way Timothy should be living in his personal life.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Our personal lives solidify what we teach. We cannot be living one way, while teaching something else.

Paul told Timothy to live his life as an example to other believers. He must practice what he preaches in “speech, in conduct, in love and in purity” and that was how he would gain respect from other believers, especially those he was called to serve. 

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.  Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” 1 Peter‬ ‭2:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life Application

Respect and influence are earned through how we live our personal lives for Jesus Christ, and holds more weight than mere words with no deeds. 

As James said, “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”James‬ ‭2:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The most effective way of leading someone is by being one or two steps ahead of them. Basically, live a life that reflects what you want them to follow. No one wants to be led by a blind guide. We cannot guide someone else along the path of purity if we ourselves are living a life contrary to that. We cannot promote love, peace and restoration if we are angry or unforgiving towards a brother or sister who wronged us and continue to hold a grudge against them. We cannot walk someone through how to be joyful amidst the circumstances if we are depressed all the time. We cannot draw others to Jesus if we ourselves are not being filled with Him daily through prayer, worship and His Word.

Dear Jesus, I pray that we would all be an example to others in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity and that men and women would be drawn to You as a result. Amen.

 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


1 Timothy 3

 

Scripture

1 Timothy 3:5

“For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

Paul is writing all the characteristics a church leader should have. They should be someone whose life is above reproach. They must be faithful to their spouse, exercise self-control, live wisely, have a good reputation, enjoy having guests at their home, and they must be able to teach. They must not abuse alcohol or be violent. They must be gentle and not quarrelsome, and they must not love money. They must be able to manage their own home life well, having children who respect and obey them. (Verse 1-4)

Understanding-What does it mean?

Godly leadership begins at home.

My wife and I always say that our number one ministry is our children. We know that God has blessed us with these two girls of ours, and it is our responsibility as their parents to teach them about God and His ways. Ultimately, it is our desire to see our children grow up to not only know God, but love God, and serve Him wholeheartedly.

How can we do that? I know as the spiritual leader of the home, I need to set the tone. My life should reflect one that is honoring to God. I should be living a life according to God’s standards and not the world’s standards. I need to show my family that God is truly number one not only in my life, but in our family’s lives! My kids will have no choice but to see that their father not only “talks the talk, but he walks the walk.” Lord-willing , they see a man who not only leads at home, but also at work, and even at church. I know if I can manage this “small aspect” of my family’s spiritual well-being, I know the effects will only help me when God calls me to lead “bigger things” for the glory of His kingdom.

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” 1 Peter‬ ‭5:2-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life Application

To be a good leader, you must first learn to be a good follower (of Christ).

So many of us are so eager to lead and fail to understand the true meaning of leadership. We just like the idea of being able to tell others what to do. But did you ever hear of the saying “too many chiefs, too little indians”? Well, that usually ends up happening when we are all too eager to step into leadership roles. It starts a bickering between parties and creates more chaos than more structure. What we need to do is follow first. Follow the example Christ has set for us. He came to serve, not be served. And when it came down to it, He gave up His own life, to save those He was leading. 

Father God, give me strength today to live a life according to Your will and Your ways. Help me to live a life filled with honor and integrity. Open up my heart and my eyes to those You want me to serve today. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


1 Timothy 2

 

Scripture

1 Timothy 2:11-12
woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

Observation

In the second chapter of Paul’s first pastoral epistle to the young pastor, Timothy, Paul instructs that he encourage his flock to pray for people in general and persons in positions of authority is specific – both for the blessings of peace and quiet that they will enjoy as a result of their intercession and because it pleases God that they do so. Paul reminds Timothy that the ability to pray, give thanks and intercede is made possible solely by the salvation and mediation of Christ Jesus. After giving instructions regarding proper practice and attitude in worship, Paul gives Timothy counsel to share with regarding how women should dress; the inner source of their true beauty; and the proper roles and hierarchy between men and women concerning learning and teaching within the Church.

Understanding

Of the many verses of the Bible that have been warped and refashioned to fit into current societal and cultural standards, 1 Timothy 2:11-12 has been one of the most debated and has suffered the most re-invention. I believe that the text is plain, understandable and, because it is in agreement with the full revelation of all other biblical doctrine and scripture, it is not in need of re-definition due to changing gender roles and responsibilities. The verse and instruction is valid today because…

  • It addresses and re-affirms God’s order and hierarchy of leadership and submission between men and women established at Creation; reinforced within the marriage covenant and intended for perpetuity.
  • Paul is instructing Timothy regarding proper gender roles because his church was suffering dysfunction and disruption as a result of men and women not operating in those ordained roles.
  • It recognizes the value and honor placed upon women by Jesus and the ushering in of a new era of respect, freedom and access for women heretofore unknown in the culture.
  • It affirms the intellect, gifting and ministries of women and encourages their empowerment and operation.
  • It recognizes the wisdom, harmony and blessing that results when men and women operate in their calling and passion while accepting and embracing God ordained leadership and submission.
  • It exalts the Church as the context within which God displays His wisdom and will for all mankind
  • The wisdom of God’s word transcends changing values, mores and norms.   

Life Application

I need to be careful not to let what the world declares as true and right to cloud my understanding of God’s word. God’s word is never to be bent, fashioned and re-cast to fit current mindsets and definitions. Rather, it is God’s word to which the world is to conform and the means by which men and women are to have their minds transformed and renewed (Romans 12:1-2). While context is one of the most important considerations when understanding scripture, I need to remember that context never updates, redefines or changes the foundational truths of God’s word and character. When the plain understanding of God’s will and word contradict and challenge present understandings and liberal interpretations I need to courageously and unapologetically stand on His unchanging and eternal word.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker


1 Timothy 1

 

Scripture

1 Timothy 1:5

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Observation

Previously, we’ve read Paul’s writings to the churches, but this letter is specifically written to Timothy – an evangelist whose work it was to “plant” and “water” churches…or perhaps stated differently, to multiply Christ followers.  [Hmm…that sounds familiar. J] 

Paul considers Timothy his “true son in the faith” because Timothy was first converted by Paul (Acts 16:3); Paul is now writing to charge Timothy with squashing the teaching of false doctrines that are distracting from the advancement of God’s kingdom work.   

Understanding

I found it very easy to relate this to modern times. 

I believe it was the beginning of the current Q&A sermon series where PG brought to light that the enemy’s most strategic ploy may be to convince us that hell doesn’t exist or isn’t that bad. [This is an example of false doctrine.] Because, if he was successful in doing so, Christians would have less urgency and be less likely to share their faith and those who are not believers would be less likely to choose to become Christ-followers. [This being an example of a distraction from the advancement of God’s work.] 

Paul’s desire to have Timothy command against these false teachings is love – love for God’s people, love for the lost, love of the kingdom work of restoring souls to Christ. I believe this love is the center of God’s heart and what we are called to reflect.  And, as verse 5 says, love “comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

Life Application

Go love on somebody! <3 

Not to be too warm and fuzzy on your Monday morning (especially if you haven’t yet had your coffee), but God is ALL about LOVE…

Romans 13:8-10

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Matthew 5:44

44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

John 13:35

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So, as we begin a new week, let’s keep our hearts pure, our conscience clean and our faith sincere and take every opportunity to love on those we encounter…in a way that brings healing, refreshing, peace and joy…but, most of all, in a way that points people towards relationship with God.

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

– Rei



Proverbs 31

 

Scripture

Proverbs 31:10-11

10A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.

Observation
This final chapter in Proverbs contains one of the best descriptions of a godly woman. 

Understanding

I love The Message translation:

A good woman is hard to find,
    and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
    and never has reason to regret it.

So rare is a good woman, a wife who has noble character, that she is worth more than the most precious stones. Because of her character her husband trusts her. He doesn’t have reason to feel jealous and he doesn’t get suspicious of her because he knows she is faithful. And the best part is that he never has to deal with the regret of trusting someone who isn’t trustworthy.

Whenever I read this passage I’m always filled with so much gratitude. God has blessed me with two Proverbs 31 women in my life, my mom and my wife.

 

I was blessed to have the example of my mom – a godly, hard working, compassionate, selfless woman. She was and is the first real life example I have had of a Proverbs 31 woman. And she showed me by her example the characteristics I should be looking for in the woman I choose marry.

Then came Katie… praise the Lord! All I have to say is that GOD IS GOOD 🙂 I’m not just going to attempt to flatter my wife here. I’m thankful that I don’t have to try to stretch things and force her into the mold of Proverbs 31, and I don’t have to exaggerate or be dishonest in order to honor my wife. If you know her you know she loves Jesus with all her heart, more than she does me or anything else. And out of that love for Jesus, she loves people (especially me!) and challenges them to be the person God created them to be. She works hard, she’s a great mom to our children, and though she would try to tell you she isn’t the most compassionate person, I can tell you she has one of the biggest and most generous hearts of anyone I’ve met. After nearly 10 years of marriage, I continue to be amazed at how much God has blessed me.

Life Application

Praise God and honor the Proverbs 31 women in my life!

God, thank you for giving me such an amazing mom and wife! You’re so good to me! Help me to honor them well and to treat them as the valuable treasures they are. Show me how I can be better at expressing my gratitude and appreciation to them. Amen.
 
– Levi Thompson
 
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Proverbs 30

 

Scripture

Proverbs 30:5-6

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. “

Observation-What does it say?

This chapter was written by Agur, son of Jakeh and he wrote this to Ithiel. I studied several commentaries on who these people were and there were differing opinions. While others say that he was a man in Solomon’s time, some say that Agur could have been Solomon himself. Others say that Agur was not even the author’s real name, but spoke of the character of this man as a collector, who collected the wise sayings of others. Whatever the case, we know that what was written was inspired. This chapter are prophecies from God that were passed on to Ithiel, who was either Agur’s child or a student. In the above verse, Agur was teaching Ithiel that the source of all wisdom and truth is found in the word of God.

 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 

God’s Word is flawless. It is perfect. That’s why nothing more should be or needs to be added to it. Adding to it would indicate that there is a flaw in it, but it is flaw-LESS. 

Psalm 119, the longest Psalm in Scripture, as well as the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses, speaks all about the word of God and loving His commands. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17-“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Here at DSC, we say that where the Word of God is silent, we are silent. We say that it is our Source of all Truth and our lives are based on what it says, not what our emotions say. It is why we post SOUL Journals every day and encourage every one to do the same. Being in God’s Word is a discipline that is vital to every Believer’s life.

Life Application

In order to experience the transforming power of God’s Word in our lives, we must read it, study it and apply it.

As James says in ch. 1:22-24, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect Word. Thank You for men and women of faith who have and are dedicating their lives to read it, study it and apply it in their personal lives. I pray that if we are living a life contrary to Your Word, that You would bring us back to the Truth. I pray we would continually meditate on Your Truth instead of the lies that the enemy and the world throws at us. Thank You that Your Word is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path.(Ps. 119:105). Please continue to direct our paths through Your Word and may we submit to its Truths. Amen.

 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Proverbs 29

 

Scripture

Proverbs 29:11

“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

Solomon shares in this passage that fools are quick to anger, they lack self-control, and they lose their composure quite easily. Meanwhile, the wise are in control of their emotions, they think before they speak, and even know that some things are better left unsaid in those times of conflict.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Think before you speak.

We’ve all been there before. We’ve all been in situations where conflict arises and we begin to hit our boiling point. If steam could come out of our ears, it probably would, and our head would be like a boiling tea kettle. And how do we respond in those situations? Unfortunately, a lot of us are the fools here, and we vent out our anger. We go old testament here and do the whole “eye for an eye” thing. If someone hurts us verbally or physically, we tend to quickly retaliate and hurt back. Many times these confrontations end up damaging relationships permanently.  

So what should we do? How does the Bible tell us to react in those situations?

“But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.”-Matthew‬ ‭5:39‬ ‭NLT

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” James‬ ‭1:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them.” Proverbs‬ ‭15:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Remember, being quick to anger is not a characteristic that comes from God. Instead allow ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control-(Galatians 5:22-23).

Life Application

Take a moment to step back, breathe, and pray.

I understand that I cannot control the circumstances around me. I cannot control how people are going to act towards me. Things in my life will become stressful and tensions will rise in certain situations. The key is how I respond in those situations. How does God call me to respond in those times? So not if, but when these times arise, I know that God left me His Holy Spirit to empower me, to enable me to rise above the scene. Take a step back, remove myself from it, and turn to Him for counsel and strength. Don’t say or do anything we cannot take back. I know if I can manage that, I will be wiser because of it!

‬‬
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Proverbs 28

 

Scripture

Proverbs 28:9
If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.

Observation

Sanctification has two facets. The first, instantaneous sanctification, is positional and the second, progressive sanctification, is relational. At salvation, I was made holy and sinless in God’s sight; forgiven, cleansed and placed in the position of being “in Christ” – having His righteousness imputed to me. It is a position that I can never lose since I did nothing to earn it. The faith by which I received Christ as my Lord and Savior was not of myself; it was the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. The second aspect of my sanctification is the ongoing, life-long process by which God the Spirit transforms me more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. Though my position with God can never be lost or lessened, my relationship with the Father can certainly be damaged and strained as I walk in seasons of sin and rebellion. When I maintain unrepentant of sinful actions and attitudes, intimacy with the Father is lost as God waits for me to surrender, submit and position my life in alignment and agreement with His will, which is the recipe for answered prayer.

Understanding

Though a child can never lose their position as son or daughter, relationships between father’s and their children are often broken by rebellion and sin. Both father and child know that, because of the rift caused by disobedience, it is ridiculous for the child to ask the father for gifts and favors. No matter how much the father wants to bless and give to his children, he is wise to withhold these until the child adjust his or her actions and returns to a heart of submission to the father’s authority and will. This repair of the relationship must occur before the child can once again enjoy the favor of the father. Right relationship is the door through which petition is heard and blessings flow.

Life Application

Obedience, respect, surrender and submission are the attitudes that I must have when approaching God in prayer. Whenever I feel that God and I are not on speaking terms; whenever it seems like my prayers are not being heard, then I need to ask the Holy Spirit to search my heart and see if there is any sinful way within me that has me in wrong relationship with God. If so, I need to confess and repent of my sin so that I may receive the forgiveness that restores me to intimate fellowship with God – not only that the blessings of God may freely flow into my life but, more importantly, that I may return to a faith walk that is unhindered and fully empowered to bring God the glory that he deserves.

To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker


Proverbs 27

 

Scripture

Proverbs 27:19

19 As water reflects the face,
    so one’s life reflects the heart.a]

Observation & Understanding

Proverbs continues to deliver wisdom verse by verse. 

Chances are you’ve heard Ralph Waldo Emerson quote – “Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying.” How we live day to day is a direct reflection of our hearts – how we speak, how we show up to business meetings or school classrooms, how we parent our children or treat our parents, how we engage with random strangers, etc.  It all is a reflection of our heart.  And, as Christ followers, I believe our hearts should reflect that of our creator.

As parents there’s almost always something from our own raising up that we are trying to guard against or “fix” as we raise up our children.  For me, I grew up in a home where we went to church every Sunday but I don’t remember a daily living out of God being real in our lives.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t there but it wasn’t the main trend.  Does that make sense?  I can remember specific times where I “fell back” on God and the Bible and Christian truths but I don’t remember it being my foundation.  And that created a lot of frustration and instability in my teenage and young adult years.  I didn’t know who I was so I was easily swayed among the many outside forces. 

One thing I pray over my kids regularly is that they come to know and trust God and that they find their value in being a child of God – not the funny kid in class, or Rei’s kid or so-and-so’s friend.  Sure, they can be all those things too; but, first and foremost, my heart’s desire is that they develop deep, unshakeable roots in who they are as children of God because, ultimately, that’s mankind’s biggest heart issue – is our God-sized hole that we try to fill up with all kinds of junk, which of course affects how we live.

Life Application

God, may my heart be a reflection of yours…and my life be a reflection of that.  I’m forever grateful for the cost you paid on the cross so that, we as your children, could enjoy eternity with you.  May I remember the cost, remember the consequences for those who don’t yet know you and live in such a way that draws them to you. 

In your name I pray. Amen.

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

– Rei