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!
 

Ezekiel 42

Scripture

Ezekiel 42:20b

It had a wall around it, five hundred cubits long and five hundred cubits wide, to separate the holy from the common.

Observation – What does it say?

If you’re anything like me, my brain has a terrible time trying to picture the descriptions in these chapters. Here’s a video that might help…

Understanding – What does it mean?

There is this theme throughout scripture of God’s people being in the world, but separate from it. Not just a separation from sin, but as stated here, separated from what’s common. I felt challenged reading this that God has not saved me, or any of us, so we could go on living an average, common life. We have been set apart for specific purposes.

Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Just like the temple we read about in Ezekiel, we were created by God to be holy – set apart for his specific purposes. But as great as those things are that God has in store for us to accomplish, they aren’t automatic. We have been given free-will and if we aren’t careful to guard ourselves from the common stuff, we can miss out on those things.

Life Application

I feel the need to ‘build a wall’ in the sense that I create boundaries; boundaries that would keep me from wasting my time on common things that distract me from living on purpose. Paul said that, “everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.” It’s not just about avoiding sin, but it’s about choosing what you want most over what you want right now.

God, forgive me for allowing the common, un-beneficial things to take the place of what’s most important. Help us to live on purpose and to be better about creating boundaries around those things. Amen.

– Levi Thompson

 

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



Ezekiel 41

Scripture

Ezekiel 41

Observation

In Chapter 40, an account was given of the porch of the house and now this brings us to the temple itself – to include: I. The dimensions of the house, the posts of it (v. 1), the door (v. 2), the wall and the side-chambers (v. 5v. 6), the foundations and wall of the chambers, their doors (v. 8-11), and the house itself (v. 13). II. The dimensions of the oracle, or most holy place (v. 3v. 4). III. An account of another building over against the separate place (v. 12-15). IV. The manner of the building of the house (v. 7v. 16v. 17). V. The ornaments of the house (v. 18-20). VI. The altar of incense and the table (v. 22). VII. The doors between the temple and the oracle (v. 23-26). (Source: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/ezekiel/41.html)
 

Understanding

To be honest, whenever I read stuff like this I tend to zone out on what I’m reading and, instead, turn my mind to how incredibly awesome it is that we serve a God who’s in the details.  And I think about the way he created our bodies, our minds, our gifts – likely with even more precision and thought than the temple buildings of the Bible days.  And it makes sense, after all it is said that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  – 1 Corinthians 6:19

And what do the temples represent?  An invitation to worship and be in relationship with God.

Life Application

Knowing that God loves us enough to care about every single detail…and still want relationship with us still overwhelms me to this day. 

Psalm 18:16-19

16-19 But me he caught—reached all the way
    from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
    the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
    but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
    I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

God, thank you for your love for me, for your love for the lost.  May I live to know you and make you known.  May I mirror your example to show care and consideration in the details.  Thank you for loving me just as I am and may I be an example of that kind of love in the lives of those I encounter today!

In your name, I pray. Amen!

– Rei

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



Ezekiel 40

Scripture

Ezekiel 40:46b

These are the sons of Zadok, who are the only Levites who may draw near to the Lord to minister before him.”

Observation – What does it say?

Ezekiel is given this elaborate vision of a new temple and new city. He has this heavenly tour guide who guides him through the new temple complex. As he measures everything, he finds it’s much larger and more majestic even than Solomon’s temple. It is all part of this redemptive picture of hope; a picture of God’s presence finally returning to his temple, to dwell with his people.

There are new priests serving in this temple, and consistent with the previous temples in Israel’s history, it is only a select few who have God’s permission to draw near to God and minister to him there.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Under the New Covenant, the priesthood isn’t a select few ‘super-spiritual’ Christians, but every single believer.

1 Peter 2:5 NLT And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.

Because we are all priests, we can all take advantage of

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Life Application

Take advantage of what Jesus has done for us! People under the Old Covenant could only come so close to God’s manifest presence, no matter how much they longed to come closer. But we have unlimited access to the throne! We can come boldly to God, confident that we will experience his great mercy and abundant grace to meet all our needs.

– Levi Thompson

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



Ezekiel 39

Scripture

Ezekiel 39:7, 25-29

I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel…..Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.””

Observation-What does it say?

God is saying through Ezekiel that He will take justice against Gog and bury Gog in order to cleanse the nation of Israel. Although God was dealing with the uncleanliness of the nation of Israel, specifically speaking (in this chapter) of taking justice against Gog and burying Gog in order to cleanse that nation, He also spoke about restoring them back to Himself. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” Hebrews‬ ‭8:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This chapter shows the picture of God cleansing a nation, similar to what He did when he sent the flood. However, after the cleansing period, there is a restorative and rebuilding period where He forgets the past and former sin and the nation moves on with the Spirit leading the way.

Life Application

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What do we need to do today to make sure we are in a restorative and rebuilding phase, led by the Holy Spirit instead of falling victim to our past mistakes or the past mistakes done to us? Leave the past behind. Our past does not define who we are and we are not victims of our circumstances. It is the choices we make today and moving forward that count. 

Dear Lord, I pray we would be people who forgive from our heart and don’t allow the bitterness and hurt of the past to define our lives in the future. I pray we would be led by Your Spirit instead of our flesh. I pray for a cleansing in our hearts, mind and body in order to experience the joy and peace of your restorative power whether that be in marriage, with our parents, in relationships with brothers and sisters Christ or even our relationship with ourselves. Amen.

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

-Michelle Gaddi

 


Ezekiel 38

Scripture

Ezekiel 38: 15-16

“You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army, and you will attack my people Israel, covering their land like a cloud. At that time in the distant future, I will bring you against my land as everyone watches, and my holiness will be displayed by what happens to you, Gog. Then all the nations will know that I am the Lord.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

God gives Ezekiel directions to prophesy against Gog, the ruler of the land called Magog. In this prophecy God informs Gog that he will build a vast army. Gog will form alliances with many nations, and see Israel as ripe for the taking. As the whole world awaits the outcome of what will happen next, God uses this opportunity to display His holiness, power, and might! Now the whole world will see just how great and awesome is God!

Understanding-What does it mean?

Just when you think the odds are stacked against you…God has you right where He wants you.

Gog has formed himself quite an army. The Bible describes it as a vast army. He formed alliances with many nations. Each nation on its own would be a handful for Israel to stop. But all these nations combined together?! It almost spells DOOM for the nation of Israel. I said almost. You see, this was all part of God’s plan. The odds weren’t looking too good for Israel. It looked like this was going to be a total annihilation of Israel! But God was using this as an opportunity to show the whole world (even His own people of Israel), just how great and awesome He is! 

So the next time the odds are stacked against us in life, and things seem insurmountable for us, just remember what kind of God we serve. Because when some people may see the situation we are in as a “death sentence”, God sees it as an opportunity. An opportunity to turn those tests in life into testimonies. Testimonies revealing that our God is an awesome God!

Life Application

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”-‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I pray that I may see those moments in life where it seems all is lost, as opportunities for Christ to perform miracles and display His true power and strength. I pray that these moments may continue to build my faith and be able to witness to the non believers around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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


Ezekiel 37_

Scripture

Ezekiel 37:22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.

Observation – What does it say?

As God continues to promise hope and restoration for his people, central to that restoration is a uniting, not only of people to God but people to each other. Where the people were divided, God was going to bring them back together as one.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Have you ever wondered what God’s will was? This verse in Ezekiel gives us a clue. The first chapter in Ephesians makes it a bit more clear:

Ephesians 1:9-10

[God] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

God’s will is to bring all things together under the lordship of Jesus Christ. This is the same picture we see in Ezekiel. Unity is important to God! It’s central to his cosmic plan.

The challenge is that it demands we forgive. It demands we let go of bitterness. And it demands we move beyond peacekeeping to pursuing genuine reconciliation.

Life Application

Prayerfully ask…

– “Are there any people you’re asking me to be reconciled to?”

– “Is there anyone I’m holding onto bitterness toward that I need to forgive?”

– “Are there any people groups (race, gender, denomination, political affiliation) that my heart needs to change toward?”

God, we recognize that unity is so important to you. A house divided cannot stand, so may we build bridges and not walls. Change our hearts so we can genuinely love all people. Amen.
 
-Levi Thompson
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Ezekiel 36

Scripture

Ezekiel 36:26-27

 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Observation

This chapter contains 2 prophecies, both relevant to the Jews of Israel.  The first reviews their current physical state and the coming redemption – including abundance, peace and settling in their land once again.  The second concerns their spiritual status – first humbling them through remembrance of their sin, then the redeeming power of God’s mercy and grace. 

Understanding

The Jews find themselves in a bad place – both physically and spiritually – because of their sin and rebelliousness against God.  But we see throughout the Bible that our God is gracious and merciful.

The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness… – Exodus 34:6

…for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate.  He will not turn his face from you if you return to him. – 2 Chronicles 30:9

…AND…thus far, the Jews have done nothing to “earn” God’s mercy.  Thankfully,…

It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  – Romans 9:16

God even makes it known it’s not for their sake (v. 32).  But the great news is our God is good.  He knows are deepest darkest parts yet still loves us enough to choose us, call us and clean us up from the inside out. 

Life Application

God, continue to create in me a new heart, a clean heart…one that resembles you more and more. <3  Fill me with your spirit and help me to follow your will for my life – that I may be used to my fullest potential and make you known!

– Rei

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



Ezekiel 35

Scripture

Ezekiel 35:6b

Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.

Observation – What does it say?

Israel has no more implacable enemy than Edom. As the descendants of Esau, whose brother Jacob stole his birthright and his father’s blessing, the Edomites view the Israelites as illegitimate rulers and thieves. So shortly after Nebuchadnezzar razes Jerusalem in 586 b.c., Edom seizes its opportunity for revenge and swoops in to fill the political vacuum that results. The Edomites are not operating as God’s instruments. They attack Israel out of their own greed, thinking no one is left to oppose them. They are wrong. The land of Israel never belongs to the people themselves; it belongs to God. When the Edomites sneak in to pillage the land of Israel, they find the stewards of the land gone or severely weakened, but the true Owner is at home and is ready to prosecute them for their actions. (From The Voice Bible)

Understanding – What does it mean?

The language God uses in his judgement against Edom is interesting. He doesn’t say, “Since you shed blood…” but “Since you did not hate bloodshed.” There is something about not just doing the right thing but actually loving what is right; not just avoiding sin because God hates it but truly hating it ourselves. In other words, it’s about our heart condition.

This makes more sense when you consider what Jesus said in Matthew 12:35, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” 
 
He also said in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” Our actions, good or bad, flow from within; the outward actions are a reflection of the heart.  C.S. Lewis said something to the effect of, “God isn’t so concerned with the specific actions you take but with the kind of person you are becoming.”

Life Application

Ask God for more of his heart.

God, please chance our hearts! May we not just try to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. Instead, may we truly love you! Please also give us your heart toward sin. May our primary motive in avoiding sin not be fear of punishment, but a hatred for it as we live in awareness of it’s destructive consequences and the suffering you endured to do away with it. Give us more of your heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– Levi Thompson

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



Ezekiel 34

Scripture

Ezekiel‬ ‭34:30-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”” 

Observation-What does it say?

Babylon had just fallen and the temple destroyed, but it was not the end. God was giving the nation of Israel a glimmer of hope, letting them know that He had not given up on them, but was going to raise up a king that was different than what they were used to. A king who would truly care and shepherd them, instead of be out for his own gain, which the former shepherds were guilty of. (The Bible Project video commentary part 2 on Ezekiel 34-48)

Understanding-What does it mean?

God doesn’t give up that easily on those He loves.

It’s easy to think that it was the end for Israel due to all their wickedness and the fall of Jerusalem. However, this chapter proves that God doesn’t give up that easily on His people, and instead was raising up something/Someone new who would “search for the lost, bring back the strays, bind up the injured and strengthen the weak (vs. 16).”

After all God’s anger and destruction as a result of the wickedness of the nation, there was still hope for the nation..

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life Application

Jesus continues to offer hope to a broken and hurting world in need of His love.

Just like how Israel’s destruction was not the end of the story, our sin is not the end of our story either, thanks to Jesus. 

Those of you reading this post are most likely Christ followers already, but no matter how long we’ve been Christians, we can’t stop reminding ourselves of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. I’ve been loving the new series at church-Hopefull, as we are being reminded to remember who we are in Christ and how Christianity is not a one time event, but rather “we keep coming to Jesus over and over everyday.”

Also, understanding the hope we have in Him, we should be sharing it with others and not keep it hidden, hoarding it for ourselves. There are so many in this world who have no hope and it’s our duty to gently share the hope that is in us.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter‬ ‭3:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 
Dear Jesus, help us to keep our hope alive in You everyday and share that same hope with others. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Ezekiel 33

Scripture

Ezekiel 33:31-32

“So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

God assigns Ezekiel as the watchman of Israel. He is to warn the people to turn from their wickedness or they will surely die. If Ezekiel fails to warn them, then God will hold him responsible for their deaths. God truly wants all people to repent from their sinfulness and be saved from death. But God knows that the human heart is so corrupt, and tells Ezekiel of those who will gather and listen to what he has to say, speak of love and righteousness from their mouths, yet they are only in it for their own personal gain (vs.31). These people merely hear God’s Word, yet they fail to put it into use. The time will come when these people will realize that they were sitting amongst a prophet of God, but they failed to listen and obey, and now they will have to suffer the consequences.

Understanding-What does it mean?

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”-‭‭James‬ ‭1:22‬ ‭NLT

Pastor Gary asked us a couple of weeks ago if we are SOC or 247. Meaning are we Sunday Only Christians (SOC), or do our lives reflect our faith 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (247)? I hope and pray that we all strive to be 247’s in life. But like in the verse I chose, God knows that there are those in life who are “Sunday Only Christians”. They come to church week to week, listen in on the sermons, yet fail to put what they learn from these sermons into practice. Come Monday morning, (some even as soon as church ends), they are back to living their sinful lives. 

You see, God placed these spiritual leaders in our lives for a reason. They are our watchman. They are there to help guide us and direct us to a more Godly path. So when we just merely listen to what they say, or even blow off the Godly guidance they give us, we are just being foolish! If we are to call ourselves Christ Followers, our goal in life is to grow closer to God and righteousness each and every day. 

“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” James‬ ‭2:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life Application

Submit to the spiritual leaders that God has placed in my life, and listen and obey to the things they have to say.

 
Thank you God for the leadership here at DSC. Thank you for their guidance, their leadership, accountability in life, and their friendship. I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for them. Thank You for their Godly example that they lead in life. I pray that you continue to bless their homes and protect them from any attacks from the enemy. May You help me to continue to grow closer to You in their guidance and leadership. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi