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

 
 
 
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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!
 

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.



Philemon_1

Scripture  

Philemon 1:9-10  yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.

Observation-What does it say?  

The author of this letter is clearly stated as none other than Paul.  It was written to Philemon, who is a slave owner and a member of the church in Colossae.  Paul, writing this letter on behalf of Onesimus, is making an appeal for his forgiveness.  Onesimus, a former slave of Philemon, “had apparently stolen from him and then run away, which under Roman law was punishable by death” (Zondervan NASB Study Bible, 1999).  In writing the letter, Paul took his time getting to the point, using the first portion of the letter to appeal to Onesimus’ lighter side.  After establishing rapport, Paul then makes his request, the forgiveness of wrong doing.

Understanding-What does it mean?  

Most of my life, I have tried to be self-reliant.  I have always wanted to be the kind of person that doesn’t need to rely on anyone else.  There are, I’m sure, a number of deep seated reasons from my childhood, of which I should probably seek counseling for, that bring this feeling about.  But, regardless of where it comes from, more often than I should, I try to be the stoic who puts his nose to the grindstone and just continues on, instead of asking for help.

That was, until I found myself in a position at work where I was in need of an advocate.  In my field, wrongs doings are documented and not quickly forgotten.  So after committing a violation of policy, I accepted my punishment and attempted to carry on as if that were the end of it.  I quickly found out the importance of having an advocate.  As I attempted to put in for transfers, special assignments, and collateral duties, I was met with the same answer on many occasions, “We would like to have you, but you have discipline in your background.”  After hearing this for about the tenth time (I’m a slow learner), I realized the importance of having an advocate, someone to vouch for your personality, work ethic, and sometimes your remorse.

Paul was acting as Onesimus’ advocate, in much the same way Jesus acts as our advocate to our father.  Jesus, in his humility, suffered greatly on the cross to ensure our debt of sin was payed.  He then approaches The Father as our advocate, realizing that we cannot speak for ourselves and ensuring we have an audience with God.  

At work, I had to humble myself, change my pig headed ways, and ask for someone to vouch for me in order to move past a failure.  In life, I have to humble myself, change my pig headed ways, and ask Jesus to completely cover all of my sin.  In Micah 7:18-19 we read, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Life Application  

Jesus, I want to run to you before it’s too late.  When I have made a wrong turn, help me to run to you who is quick to forgive and delights in mercy.  Help me to also act as an advocate for the lost and hurting, in order to help show the love that you have poured out on me.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqSz6URsPro
 
-Tyler Galloway


2 Chronicles_16

Scripture

2 Chronicles 16:9 “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”

Observation 

2 Chronicles 16:1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa’s territory in Judah.
 
King Asa decided to seek out the King of Aram for help instead of calling on the LORD their God. Even though the situation looked grim God wanted him to call out to Him. 

He would have saved them, he would have given them victory. 

Understanding 

He is committed to us. 
 
OMG! Sometimes it feels like life is so hard, one thing after another. Sometimes we have victories that are quick, and obvious that the Lord came through for us. 
 
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”
 
The NKJV says it this way, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

In our prosperity and in our poverty.

In our health and sickness.

In our good times and bad times. 

He is looking for those who are seeking hard after him. 

Application 

My soul will cling to you and you will uphold me. Ps. 63:8

Father, your are good and you are my champion. Forgive me for turning to other things to save me from my problems, from my distress. I am committed to you. I will cling to you, for my life depends on it. I will cling to you, because I am yours and you are mine. I will cling to you, because you are the only help I will ever need. Oh Father, when you are looking throughout the earth, let your eyes see me! In Jesus name, Amen. 

Deborah Lee



Titus_2

Scripture
 
Titus‬ ‭2:7
 
“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Paul is the mentor to Titus. Titus is a young pastor on the island of Crete. Titus needs help starting up churches on Crete and Paul is there to encourage him, and disciple him along the way. Paul understands the difficulty ahead for Titus, but he encourages the young pastor to stand strong, speak boldly the Word of God, and he gives Titus a practical plan for strengthening and bringing order to the churches. Paul knows Titus will be effective in his ministry, as long as he stands strong in Christ.
 
Understanding-What does it mean? 
 
Do life together.
 
Don’t you think it’s great that a young pastor like Titus didn’t have to attack such a daunting task, and figure things out on his own? Isn’t it nice to be able to get counsel and advice from someone who has “been there, done that?” Isn’t it nice to have someone to do life with and help you with your faith along life’s struggles?
 
Living the Christian life is not meant to be done alone. It’s about relationships. Our relationship with Jesus, and our relationships with others. We all know the challenges that life brings. ‬ ‭And we surely know that the enemy is just waiting to jump on any opportunity to catch us when our guard is down. The enemy will lie, cheat, and steal his way into our lives if we are not careful and strong with our faith. That is why it’s SO important to surround ourselves with fellow believers; people who can encourage you, pray for you, and help you grow in your walk with God. God wants to put these people of faith in your lives to help strengthen and mature you in your faith.
 
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”-‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:17‬ ‭NLT
 
So stay sharp and stay strong in Christ Jesus! Be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to protecting ourselves from the lies and attacks from the enemy. Surround ourselves with people who have the same goals and the same beliefs. Be there for one another. Pray, encourage, and help each other through life’s struggles. Praise and worship together as God brings you through “life’s ringer” and shapes and molds you into who He wants you to be.
 
Life Application
 
Join a small group, be discipled, or find someone you can disciple.
 
Before I arrived at DSC, I was one of those Christians who thought I can do life on my own. It was Jesus and I against the world. All I had to do was go to church on Sunday mornings, maybe just watch church on tv for a half an hour, and I was good. I didn’t need to be part of serving in ministry. I didn’t need to attend a small group and make my schedule even more busy. My time was precious. But you know what? I wasn’t growing as a Christian. I was struggling with the same things over and over. The people I hung out with weren’t Christians, so they would just laugh at me if I opened up to them. I was a loner of some sort in need of refreshing.
 
Enter my life at DSC. I began serving in ministry, became a leader in ministry, joined a small group, and even discipled someone. My schedule was packed! And as tired as I was from work and having kids, I made time for these things in my life. I may not have felt like going to some of these things at the time, but believe it or not, I actually walked away from them refreshed! I felt a sense of fulfillment. I now have friends who are Christ Followers like me! I can turn to them for prayer and encouragement, and I know they can do the same with me. I’m able to share my life’s experiences with someone a little younger, in hopes they don’t make the same mistakes I made. What joining a small group, being discipled, and discipling someone has done for me is given me a sense of purpose. It helps me stay connected to God and His people. It helps me make sure I’m walking the path God has chosen for me. In doing so, it has strengthened my relationship with Jesus, and has made me into the man I am today.
 
So I just want to take the time to encourage those of you who aren’t part of something like Paul and Titus, or something like I have been a part of here at DSC, to come in and join! Be part of something bigger than ourselves. Be part of a family that you can do life together with. Be part of God’s family. 
 
-Moses Gaddi
 
‬‬


Titus_1

Scripture
 
Titus 1:1-4
 
1 This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. 2 This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began. 3 And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him. 4 I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share.
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
This is a letter from Paul to Titus. Paul is reminding Titus of the vision of the ministry and why he left him on the island of Crete. Titus’ job was to complete the work that they both started by appointing elders in each town there. Paul also mentored him by telling him what to look for in an elder.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Paul continues to mentor young leaders and Pastors even while away from them. Timothy was one of his protégés and now we are reading a letter written to Titus, who he describes as his “true son in the faith that we share (verse 4).”
 
Life Application
 
Are you discipling and/or being discipled by someone?
 
Discipleship is at the heart of ministry here at DSC. Everything we do is an excuse for discipleship. In one of my previous posts, I shared that if we are a Christ follower, we are already a couple steps ahead of someone who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Our testimony points to how we came to know and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and also how we were baptized.
 
It is also important to be discipled by someone a couple of steps ahead of ourselves. I have several people that I mentor and disciple, but I also have a discipler for myself. She keeps me accountable in my own walk in the Lord, she prays for me and I get advice and wisdom from her on things she has already experienced in the faith that I haven’t or am currently struggling with. I love my discipler and can’t imagine life without her!
 
Let’s be on mission for Jesus and multiply Christ followers everywhere through discipleship! Let’s actually live out our call of Matthew 28:19-20-“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
 
-Michelle Gaddi