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!
 

Philippians 4

 

Scripture

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Observation – What does it say?

Rejoicing is a major theme in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In 3:1, he says, “Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” In other words, “Rejoice! Oh, and I’m going to keep telling you to rejoice. It doesn’t bother me to, and it’s actually good for you.” The Apostle Paul goes on to mention the word “rejoice” 8 times in this short letter. A command that was repeated so often, likely because rejoicing was something the Philippian believers, and some believers today (ahem), struggled with. 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Rejoicing is just as necessary a part of our Christian journey as anything else!

In Luke’s account of the story of 2 sons (aka: The Prodigal Son) the father was determined to rejoice. And although both sons were uncomfortable for different reasons, he pleaded with them individually to come in and celebrate with him. Guess what? If we’re uncomfortable with rejoicing we’re going to be uncomfortable in heaven, because that’s what our Father is about!
 
In the Lord’s presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). We serve a God who is the source of joy, radiating it always, who loves to throw a party. And we are invited, commanded rather, to share in his joy! Not just in good times or when we feel like it, but as the Apostle Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”

The joy of the Lord is our strength. Rejoicing creates a barrier around our faith; rejoicing glorifies God; rejoicing breathes force, passion and confidence into our confession of what we believe about God. And to be honest, rejoicing is, well, a lot more fun! The following adjectives cannot be used to describe a mature Christians: serious, irritable, mopey (think Eeyore), skeptical, negative. Rather, a sign of spiritual maturity is continual rejoicing!

Life Application

Rejoice!

Rejoicing in the Lord is our continual choice. We can choose to give into the drain of seeing our challenges and circumstances from a merely human perspective, or we can call our emotions into alignment with heaven.

God, thank you that because you are delighted in us who believe in you (regardless of our performance) we have freedom to share in your delight. Forgive us for the times we’ve chosen to give into negative emotions when you’ve offered joy. Today, we receive your joy! Help us to choose to walk in it regardless of circumstance. Amen.
 
– Levi Thompson
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Philippians 3

 

Scripture

Philippians‬ ‭3:7-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

I love this chapter! First, Paul talks about putting no confidence in our flesh, and instead consider those accomplishments loss for the sake of knowing Christ. There would be no need for Christ if all we had to do was follow a set of rules and regulations. Next, Paul encourages the church to keep pressing forward no matter what was behind, as they continue to be perfected in Christ and look above to their citizenship in heaven, not on earth. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Less of me equals more of Christ. 

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:39, Matt. 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, John 12:25).
 
As Paul noted, his long list of accomplishments meant nothing and he would lose all of it just to have more of Christ in his life. No wonder God chose to use him for great things! He was more concerned about taking the focus off of his own needs, wants, desires, pride, and security, and laid it all down for the Lord, to put the focus of his life on what pleased the Lord and giving Him glory for all of it alone.
 
We can be the most beautiful/handsome, popular, wisest, gifted, talented, richest, best dressed, charismatic, healthy, happiest, perfect, law abiding citizen on this planet, but without faith in Christ, it means nothing. Without love for others and the heart of a servant, it’s just outward works that God is not impressed with. 

“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life Application

Take on the form of a servant, like Jesus did. 

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:6-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What is the practical application of losing our life for Him? It’s taking on the form of a servant, like Jesus did. He left all the riches of heaven for you and me. He came not to be served, but to serve. (Matt. 20:28, Mark 10:45).

When we think of our own lives, what must we surrender to Him in order to be a better servant to Jesus in our marriages/relationships? In our church? With our finances? With our time? To our supervisors? To our children? To the lost and broken? 

Dear Jesus, you are a prime example of someone who gave up everything, even your own life, for the people you loved and were called to serve. And as Scripture says, You didn’t even use your equality with God to your advantage, but lost your life completely for our sake. I pray that You would give us Your heart of servanthood, and break us of any pride within ourselves that would make us boast in ourselves. May our lives boast in You alone because without You, we are nothing. Amen.

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


Philippians 2

 

Scripture

Philippians 2:5-8

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Observation-What does it say?

Paul is writing the church of Philippi and is encouraging them to take on the attitude of Jesus Christ. He implores them to be compassionate and loving. He reminds them to love one another and to work together for the one purpose of spreading the gospel to others. Paul tells them to not be selfish; to think of others as better than themselves. Paul tells them to humble themselves, to not only lookout for their own interests, but take an interest in others as well. Ultimately, Paul is able to point to the life of Jesus, and use that as an example of how they all should be living their lives.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Jesus not only talked the talk, but He also walked the walk.

You know the old saying “Actions speak louder than words”? Well Jesus spoke volumes through His actions. Here is God in the flesh, who gave up His throne from Heaven, to come down to earth and be born in a lowly manger. He came not with a sense of entitlement, but rather came to us with a humble heart. He came to serve, not be served. He came to not only tell us how we should live our lives, but he also demonstrated with His actions how to do it. And above anything else, He took the fall for our sinful nature. Jesus put God’s plan, and others well being, ahead of His own. I cannot help but admire, respect, honor, and love Him for that! 

There is something about following someone that you know put in the work themselves. You know that they were once in your shoes, and found a way to get the job done. There is something about following someone that you know, when times are tough, that they don’t mind rolling up their sleeves, and getting dirty. There is something about following someone that is willing to do life with you, and has your back no matter what! There is something about following someone who puts your needs above their own, and is even willing to die for you. Now that is someone I am willing to follow and strive to be like each day!

“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 1 John‬ ‭2:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life Application

Does my life reflect one of Jesus Christ? What areas can I improve in?

Thank You Jesus for leaving the comforts and riches of Your throne in Heaven,  to lead us and show us how to live. Give me a humble heart to serve others the way You did. Give me the eyes for the lost so that I may help guide them and lead them to You. Give me discipline to not be stuck on my own selfish ambitions, but to instead be more driven to serve Your kingdom. In Your name Jesus I pray, Amen.

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


Philippians 1

 

Scripture

Philippians 1:27          
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Observation

Paul writes to the Philippian church while a prisoner in Rome and his deep love for this church is evident from the introduction and throughout the entire letter. In this first chapter, he thanks the brethren for their partnership in the gospel and offers encouragement by reminding them of Christ’s promised faithfulness to complete the good work He has begun in them. Paul then points out that his imprisonment has actually served to advance the gospel, both by his witness within the palace and amongst those who guard him as well as outside of the prison walls as others preach the gospel more fervently in his absence, albeit from various motives. As an example of the intimate nature of this epistle Paul shares the struggle that he is experiencing; being torn between his desire to depart and be with Jesus or to remain and continue to minister with and to the Philippian church. The chapter ends with an exhortation to perseverance and unity even in the midst of struggles and as they contend for the faith.

Understanding

As metal is tested, strengthened and purified by the silversmith’s furnace, hammer and anvil; so are the Christians faith and works refined through the fires of affliction and struggle (Acts 14:22) . The question is not if one will be so tested, but when.  Jesus promised that we would suffer trials and tribulations but He also assured us that we would overcome in Him. Troubles and afflictions are God’s proving ground and His preferred arena within which He matures our faith and displays His power and glory. Charles Spurgeon says that, “[Christ] has allotted our trials to us; he has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us. Good people must never expect to escape troubles.” The Christian who would only sing, “Blessed be your Name when the sun is shining down on me and the world’s all that it should be” but not “on the road marked with suffering, when there’s pain in the offering” would be guilty of Satan’s accusation against Job; that we worship God only because He has put a hedge around us and blessed us.  Paul exhorts the Philippian church, and believers throughout the ages, to live a life that is worthy of the gospel no matter what happens – be it in times of peace, safety, health and plenty or in times of conflict, peril, weakness and want. Our ability to worship God in the midst of trials provides witness to His power and faithfulness to deliver us from the fire (Daniel 3:17).

Life Application

Lord, I pray that those who observe my life and faith from day to day would, at face value, be unable to tell if all is right in my life or if I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death; because my life of faith, love, joy, peace, praise and worship would be the same in either season. Let me not use times of trouble as an excuse to gripe, grumble and complain, but as opportunities to magnify and exalt You. May I live a life worthy of the gospel, no matter what happens.
 
To check out the conversation or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker


Ephesians 5-6

 

Scripture

Ephesians 6:18-20

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Observation

Paul is writing to the Ephesians, during his first Roman imprisonment.

An excerpt from The Bible-Teaching Ministry of Charles R. Swindoll’s page on Ephesians states, “While Galatians offers instructions particularly important for those churches overrun with legalism, Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice—regardless of any particular problem in the community.”

Through Chapter 5 and the first part of Chapter 6, Paul encourages the Ephesians in living out the actions that reflect Christ in them – following God’s example (5:1), loving as He loved (5:2), remaining pure and without greed (5:3), giving thanks in everything (5:20), he provides instructions to Christian households (5:21-6:9) and being prepared for spiritual warfare by putting on the armor of God (6:10-17).  So much good and practical stuff here!!!  And his final encouragement is in the matter of prayer.

Understanding

God has been speaking to my heart about the matter [and power] of prayer.  As I pick apart these verses, here is what I found…

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

We are to pray at ALL times.

Anyone else find their prayer walk varies – even if slightly – dependent on circumstances.  However, just as God is constant, we are called to be constant in our communication with God.  Sure, the language of our prayers may change depending on circumstances; but God’s heart is that we stay in relationship and communication with him ALWAYS.  I find it easiest to pray when things are good (with gratitude and praise) or bad (with requests and sometimes despair)…but where does my heart go when things are, well, neutral?  May I become more present in my times with God at al times.

Our church family and fellow believers need our prayers!

I was reminded several times yesterday of the needs within our own church.  Families suffering illness, marriages facing challenges, brothers and sisters in Christ facing financial issues, family struggles…people seeking restoration and healing.  It’s all present right here in our own little church family.  May we glorify God and release His power in our prayers for our church family.

 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

THIS verse.  This is what I want my heart’s cry to be – that I will move FEARLESSLY in obedience to God and recognize my position – an ambassador for Him – in every situation I find myself in. 

Life Application

Dear God, thank you for reminding me of the necessity and the power of prayer.  I am so grateful for all the blessings that you’ve poured out on me; may I use them to glorify you.  I am forever grateful for this family that you’ve placed me in; may I glorify you in the way that I love on them, lift them up to you and be your hands and feet to them.  I am honored that you have chosen to me to partner with you and for the things you have spoken to me; may I move fearlessly in obedience as I respond.

In your precious and Holy name, I pray.  Amen.

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

PS In digging in, I found and really enjoyed this…https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-pauline-epistles/ephesians

– Rei



Ephesians 4

 

Scripture

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Observation – What does it say?

The Apostle Paul gives some of the most practical instructions in this passage. Jesus has given us a new life where we have put off our old sinful nature and are learning to put on the new nature, which is created to be like God, righteous and holy. In other words, a true Christ-follower will stop sinning and learn to live a good life like Jesus did. So Paul lists several practical examples/instructions of what it looks like for us to put on this new nature. And, it’s lumped together with these instructions that Paul tells the Ephesian Christ-followers to be kind, compassionate and to forgive. Not just forgiving like they’ve witnessed other people forgive, but forgiving in the same way that Jesus forgave them.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Jesus told a story in Matthew 18 when asked, “How many times should I forgive my brother or sister?”  

To sum it up, a servant who owed the king 10 bags of gold begged him for mercy because he couldn’t pay. The king had mercy and cancelled the debt completely. Leaving the king, the man found his fellow servant who owed him 100 pieces of silver. His fellow servant couldn’t pay it. And rather than showing mercy like the king showed him, he had his fellow servant thrown in prison until he could repay the debt. The king found out and reprimanded the servant for not showing mercy as he had been shown mercy, and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could repay his debt.

God expects those who have received his forgiveness to extend that same forgiveness to others.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul says that the Gentile unbelievers had “lost all sensitivity” and “given themselves over to every kind of impurity.” What he was referring to is sensitivity to the Holy Spirit who, among other things, acts as the Christ-follower’s conscience. When you are about to sin the Holy Spirit will bring conviction, a warning you sense in your spirit not to go through with the sin. But if you ignore his voice repeatedly over time and keep sinning anyway, you dull your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Just like we learn to tune out unwanted noise, we learn to tune out his voice. Then, when faced with temptation we don’t even really hear the warning anymore. Some of us have lost sensitivity to the Holy Spirit because we have ignored his nudging us to forgive.

Regardless of how bad we’ve been hurt or wronged, it doesn’t compare to how bad we’ve hurt and wronged God. And regardless of how bad we’ve been hurt or wronged, we are still called to forgive.

Life Application

Consider who I need to forgive.
 
Holy Spirit, restore any lost sensitivity to your voice. Speak to me right now and bring to mind anyone I need to forgive.  Even if I think I’ve forgiven them, show me any bitterness, resentment or offense I’m still carrying toward them… (wait and listen for a moment). God, you forgave me completely for all my wrongs. I didn’t deserve it but you forgave anyway. As hard as it is, I choose to forgive them now, just like you forgave me. Please remove all the pain and resentment in my heart and replace it with your love for them. Amen.
 
– Levi Thompson
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Ephesians 3

 

 
 
Scripture
 
Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬ 

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

In this chapter, Paul is reminding the Ephesians of sound doctrine regarding who they are in Christ and the work Christ has done in their lives, including his own life in verses 7-9. He ends this chapter with a prayer for the Ephesians.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus highlights God’s covenant with His church and how it is only by His power, His grace and His love that they will be filled to overflowing to do the works Christ has called them to do. 

In the verses I chose above, the Apostle Paul prays specific things over the maturing church in Ephesus in his letter to them. 

First, he acknowledges that it is through the riches of Christ and power of the Holy Spirit alone that their inner being is strengthened. 2. That their power in Him would not only be grasped for themselves personally, but also together with the whole church in community (vs. 18). 3. That they would be filled up and take hold of God’s undeniable and deep love for them.

Life Application

The love God has for us, His church, His bride, is very deep and surpasses knowledge. Just as Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus to grasp this love, I pray the same over our church as well.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 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 ‭8:35-39‬ ‭‬‬

There will always be one specific God encounter moment that I reference back to that reminds me of His great love for me and that was the time when I was sick and God took me alone to be with Him to restore me (during a hospital stay). He did this by pouring His love into me and proving His faithfulness over me, assuring me that He would never leave me or forsake me. No condemnation or judgment, just love. Another example would be in the context and picture of my marriage. Going away recently for the marriage retreat with my husband, being alone with him, spending time with him, and getting to know him again deepened my love for him and I was able to grasp his deep love for me as well. I will always reference that weekend when things get tough in our marriage. 

What is your God encounter moment? What moment in time do you reference back to when the struggles, trials and temptations of life hit and try to take us away from our calling and God’s will for our life? Paul briefly explained his in verses 7-13 in this chapter, as he was encouraging the church not to be discouraged by his suffering for them.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your great love for us and how nothing can separate us from Your love. I pray over our church. I pray that You will deposit specific God encounter moments that we can reference back to to remember Your great and immense love for us…A love that won’t let go and a love that will continue to sustain us here on earth. Thank You Jesus for all You do to work in and through us as we submit to Your love. Amen.

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


Ephesians 2

 

Scripture

Ephesians 2:7

“So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

Paul is writing to the Ephesians, reminding them all about who they were before Jesus Christ. They were dead in their sins. They were dead spiritually and therefore unable to have a relationship with God. They were defiled and unfit for God’s holy presence, living according to their own selfish lusts. By their very nature, they were subject to God’s wrath, and were doomed for eternal destruction. But God, who is rich in mercy, grace, and love, provided a way for all mankind to be saved from His wrath. He gave us His only son, Jesus. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

What story or legacy is my life leaving behind? Is it one that will bring glory and honor to God?

One thing that stuck out to me this past weekend at the marriage getaway was an illustration that Pastor Parker gave about how our marriages were in God’s trophy case. Occasionally, God will take those marriages out of that trophy case, dust them off, and boast about them. Imagine that?! Our God using our marriages or our individual life stories to boast about to others, to tell the wonderful story of how we  were once without Him in our lives. How we were once lost, sinful, and on the road to destruction. But then He found us. He transformed our lives to what it is now. Imagine the smile it brings to Him. Imagine the glory and honor it brings Him when the people we do life with see the transformation within us, because only God is the One who can change a sinful, prideful, and lowly man like me, and change me to the man I have become. Praise be to Jesus!

“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” Colossians‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” ‭Titus‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life Application

Share with someone today something that God has transformed in you.

Father God thank You for loving me while I was still a sinner. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, and the countless times You have forgiven me. May Your Holy Spirit abide in me today. Help me to live a life that is honoring to You. Help me to live my life today in a way that can point to Your amazing grace, mercy, and love. May the life I live and the legacy I leave behind be a great example that You can use to bring glory and honor to Your name for generations to come. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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


Ephesians 1

 

Scripture

Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

 

Observation

Paul writes to the church of Ephesus and praises God for the spiritual blessing that are theirs (ours) in Heaven through Jesus Christ; these being: predestination, holiness, adoption, redemption, grace, forgiveness, revelation and inheritance; all guaranteed by the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. He then prays that the church may be given the wisdom and knowledge to fully understand the power of God that is at work within them (us) – the very same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father with all authority.

 

Understanding

“Our thanks are due God for all temporal blessings; they are more than we deserve. But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders and hallelujahs for spiritual blessings. A new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of God is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. To have God as our portion is blessed, infinitely more blessed than to own broad acres of land. God has blessed us with spiritual blessings. These are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value.
                                                                                                                                                                               Charles Spurgeon

Life Application

I pray to have a heavenly value system, where my wealth is measured in the economy and commodities of Heaven; and to have my peace, joy and hope founded upon the same. Only then will I be able to praise, worship and trust in God though I lose every earthly accommodation.  
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker


Galatians 6

 

Scripture

Galatians 6:9-10

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Observation

As we continue through Galatians, I’m reminded of something that struck me from yesterday’s message…

The person of faith does not pass on the chance to help family.

  • It doesn’t matter if you’re outnumbered and it seems like you don’t have what it takes.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’ll have to convince your spouse/family to get on board.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’ve had conflict with that person in the past.
  • It doesn’t matter if they’re in trouble because of their own poor decisions.

As Levi shared yesterday, Abraham set aside the excuses and the comforts in order to protect his family…despite it being Lot’s own choice that brought him to the situation he was in, despite their past conflict, despite being outnumbered – going out with 318 household members against an ARMY (Genesis 14).

God blesses us so that we can be a blessing.

Understanding

Yesterday, I was convicted on the matter of my own blood-born family. But in reading today’s passage, I’m equally convicted on the matter of doing good to “the family of believers” to which I belong – our church.

In our Grow group, we discussed how often times it’s easy to “do good” to people at our work or when we are out and about…but somehow more difficult when it comes to our own family. We often have more patience, consideration, forgiveness and kindness to show strangers, colleagues, employees, etc. than we do our own flesh and blood or towards the church family where God has placed us. Why do you think that is?

In searching my own heart on this matter, I think – for me, at least – it is because we have less of a backstory and context with those we don’t know as well. We only see the parts of their story that they are willing to make known…which is probably closer to a highlight reel or filtered view.  And, perhaps with less backstory comes less judgement.  And, with less judgement come more grace.  In some ways, it’s almost as if the less we know, the more compassion we are able to give. 

Proverbs 3:27 (NLT)

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.

I think where it’s easy to get hung up is…WHO decides “who deserves it”? Newsflash! It’s not us. J We are called to see people through God’s eyes, have His heart for them and His compassion for them, give to others out of the abundance that He has given us.

Life Application

Dear God, may I see the world through your eyes! May we see the opportunities throughout today and this week to do good to others in Your name.  Lord, help me to remember that I was once lost yet received the greatest gift – salvation through Christ; and may I live in such a way that brings others to that same saving grace.  Until then, may I partner with you to “plant” and “water” as often as possible, that the harvest may come.  In your precious and holy name, Amen.

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

– Rei