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!
 

Joshua 15

Scripture

Joshua 15:16-17

And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.

Observation

As the conquest of Canaan winds down, the disbursement of the lands allotted to the various tribes begins. In a foreshadowing of Judah’s future pre-eminence among the tribes the first lot falls to Judah, the tribe from whence the Messiah will come. Caleb is given the land promised to him beforehand (by the command of the Lord) as a reward for his obedience and valor when spying out the land with Joshua. With some inhabitants still needing to be driven from the land, Caleb offers his daughter in marriage to the man who would attack and capture the city of Kiriath Sepher. Caleb’s brother, Othniel, takes the city and so receives Caleb’s daughter, Aksah, in marriage. Before departing to her new home, Aksah petitions her father to extend the field that he had given her to include a portion that includes springs of water, and Caleb does so. The chapter ends noting that the tribe of Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites from Jerusalem.

Understanding

God works in the present with the future in mind.

A quick study of the life of Othniel reveals that God would raise him up as a deliverer to lead Israel away from their idolatry and disobedience in intermarrying with the heathen culture. Othniel becomes the first judge of Israel who, in the power of the Spirit of God, wins a 40 year peace for the nation.

While Othniel was simply focusing on being courageous and obedient to the Lord (and unbeknownst to him), God was using the opportunity as a testing ground that would produce in Othniel the character, faith and strength that would be needed to lead Israel in the future.

Life Application

God wants to use what I am going through today in order to use me in the future.

What a great lesson for my life! God is never just working in the now and there is always a purpose for the things that God is allowing into my life that is greater than I can perceive.
 
Lord, instead of griping about the difficulties and challenges in my life, help me to understand, remember, and be thankful that in all things, you are at work, desiring to perfect my character, mature my faith and strengthen my resolve so that you might qualify me to serve you, your people and the lost in ever increasing and impactful capacities. Help me to have a sense of your future plans for me even in the present moment.
 
To check put the discussion or to join in, click here
Gary Parker


Joshua 14

Scripture

Joshua 14:10-11

10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 

I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.”

Observation

The Israelites had received their land inheritances.  But Caleb already knows his inheritance so in v. 6, Caleb approaches Joshua and gives full account of it – given to him by the Lord through Moses because of his faithfulness and integrity shown when he was sent out to the land of Kadesh.

Understanding

At eighty-five Caleb still feels just as young and strong as he did at forty; and I get the idea that this isn’t just a young at heart or young in his mind type thing…he truly IS just as strong and vigorous. (v. 11).

I haven’t yet experienced what it feels like to be 45 or 85 years old.  But I do know that at 34, I feel far different than I did at 24 or 14 years old…and I love the idea of feeling the way I do now 40 years from now, at seventy-four.

But the point is this…

We are reminded that with God’s promises, we get far more than face value.

 Matthew Henry’s commentary states, “This was the fruit of the promise, and out-did what was said; for God not only gives what he promises, but he gives more: life by promise shall be life, and health, and strength, and all that which will make the promised life a blessing and comfort. Moses had said in his prayer (Ps. 90:10) that at eighty years old even their strength is labour and sorrow, and so it is most commonly. But Caleb was an exception to the rule; his strength at eighty-five was ease and joy: this he got by following the Lord fully. Caleb here takes notice of this to the glory of God, and as an excuse for his asking a portion which he must fetch out of the giants’ hands,” hence the reason he calls out that he is “just as vigorous to go out to battle” (v. 11).

Two things are shown here.

God ALWAYS delivers on His promises and He makes a way…even if the way or the circumstances don’t make sense to us.  While it wouldn’t make sense that someone would maintain their youthfulness and vigorousness for forty years, God knew that Caleb would need that in order to take the land that was promised from the giants.

 Life Application

Dear God, I’m so grateful that with you it’s never a question of IF you will deliver.  Thank you for being a steadfast, trustworthy source of provision.  May I remember that even when things don’t quite add up in my human brain, that you’ve thought of everything and you can, will and do make way.  Knowing that, may I live more fully for you and in a way that draws others to you so they too may experience you.

Amen.

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



Joshua 13

Scripture

Joshua 13:14,33

14 But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the food offerings presented to the Lord, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them…

33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them.

Observation – What does it say?

I imagine all the tribes of Israel are thrilled and filled with excitement. The battle is over for the time being and each tribe is about to find out which portion of this beautiful land they will own and get to call home. As the people of Israel gathered around to hear which portion of the promised land God had allotted for them to inherit, I imagine the excitement on the faces of the Levites. But rather than describing the borders of the Levite territory and the land they would possess, they hear that they were given no inheritance! It sounds like a total rip off at first! That is, until they hear that instead of land they are being given the Lord himself as their inheritance, along with all the food offerings presented to God.

Understanding – What does it mean?

The Levites were set apart as the priests, those who would serve God in the temple and be the mediators between God and the people of Israel. Rather than cultivating the land like their Israelite brothers, they would spend their days ministering to God on behalf of Israel and then ministering to Israel on behalf of God. That was the role of a priest under the old covenant. Here’s the twist: Under the new covenant (established through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus) every single believer is declared a priest.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Speaking to all believers, Peter calls us a royal priesthood and God’s special possession. We are all the ‘new Levites’ if you will. We are God’s special possession and he is ours. 

All believers are called to be priests, who don’t covet a worldly inheritance like the rest of the world but who pursue God as their inheritance.

Life Application

Take my eyes off of the material things and celebrate that God is my inheritance!

God, how amazing is this truth! Thank you so much for giving us yourself as our inheritance. May we live to minister to you, to seek you on behalf of others and to be your voice to them. Keep us from getting pulled into the pursuit off the things of this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.
 
– Levi Thompson


Joshua 12

Scripture
 
Joshua 12:1

These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern side of the Arabah:

Observation-What does it say?
 
This chapter is basically a list of all the kings defeated by the Israelites from the time of Moses’ reign to the time of Joshua.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
The victories of Israel and the kings they conquered were important enough to be listed name by name in Scripture. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), but His past mercies must not be forgotten.
 
Commentary states, “The vengeance of a righteous God, inflicted on all these kings and their subjects, for their wickedness, should make us dread and hate sin. The fruitful land bestowed on his chosen people, should fill our hearts with hope and confidence in his mercy, and with humble gratitude.”
 
Romans 15:4-For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 
 
Life Application
 
Keep a log or journal and document all the ways the Lord has shown up in our lives. Also, document all the ways He has shown up for His people in His Word. Be specific. Look back on it when the enemy tries to discourage us in our walk with Him.
 
 The victories we have experienced individually and as a church in the past and the present as His adopted and chosen children, is powerful enough to make the devil flee.  It encourages us back on His intended path for us. I have shared that I keep a list of Scriptures that encourage me to stay the course.  In addition, I also document all the ways God has shown up in my life and I look back on it, especially when the devil tries to discourage me in his crafty ways.
 
Dear Jesus, thank You for the constant encouragement that we receive from Your Word and our ongoing testimonies of how You continue to show up in times of adversity. Great is Your faithfulness! I pray that we would not forget what You have done specifically in the past or the present and we would meditate on it constantly. We love You and worship You. Thank You for always protecting us from what the enemy seeks to steal away. All glory and victory is Yours alone. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Joshua 11

Scripture
 
Joshua 11:15
 
“As the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.”
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Observation-What does it say?
 
It’s time for Joshua and all of Israel to capture the land that God has promised them. It seemed that the odds were stacked against their favor. All the kings and their armies from the north joined forces to wage war against Israel. But God told Joshua not to worry because He was going to hand all of them over to them. All Joshua had to do was step out in faith, and follow God’s directions completely.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Seek out God’s plan for you. Leave nothing undone, and He will lead you to victory!
 
“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭NLT‬
 
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT
 
God does not leave any of His plans or works unfinished. He uses people like you and me to finish His good works. It is up to us to accept the challenge, step out in faith, and follow His instructions for us. If we are able to do that, that is when we are able to see what was once impossible, become possible. We can see and tell all around us all the awesome things that God can do!
 
Life Application
 
 Trust in God’s plan. Take no shortcuts!
 
Father God, reveal Your plan to me today. Please give me strength to see it all the way through. Help me to not be tempted to take the “easy way” out. Help me to stay the course, no matter how rough the terrain may be sometimes. For I know You are with me. I know that the road You have me take is the one that will build my character and my faith in You. Allow me to rely on Your strength, and not my own, to get me through the day. In Your name Jesus, I pray, Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi 
 


Joshua 10

Scripture 
    
Joshua 10:14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

Observation

After hearing of the Israelite’s defeat of Ai and their treaty with the Gibeonites, Adoni-Zedek, king of Jerusalem, petitions the kings of four surrounding cities to join him in attacking Gibeon. The Gibeonites send word to Joshua for aid against the attack and, with the Lord’s promise of victory; he musters the army of Israel to fight against the five kings. As promised, the Lord fights for Israel by throwing their enemies into confusion before them and raining down hailstones upon them as they retreat. Inspired by the victory and no doubt the Spirit of God, Joshua commands the sun to stand still in order to prolong the day so that his victory over the Amorites might be complete. God listens to Joshua and the army of Israel routs its enemies; killing the five kings and conquering the Southern cities.

Understanding
That a holy God would listen to a sinner like me is no less a miracle now than it was considered to be by the writer of Joshua.

It does me good to read how amazed the writer of Joshua was that the Living God would listen to a man. His amazement at such a thing causes me to newly appreciate that I enjoy the unhindered access to God that was unheard of in the OT dispensation. What was, in its time, a once in a lifetime event is a daily occurrence in the lives of NT believers. The Word of God is full of scripture that invites me to come boldly to the throne of God, to cast all of my anxieties on Christ because He cares for me and to, in all things, by petition and prayer, bring my requests before God so that I may receive well timed help. Because Christ is the only mediator between God and man and because He lives to intercede on my behalf, unlike the writer of Joshua who wondered at a one-time event, I enjoy access to, and fellowship with, Almighty God at any time and for all time.

Life Application
So…I have unhindered invitation and access to God’s presence. Do I take it for granted or do I take full advantage of it?

Lord, inspire me to remember the cost at which you purchased access to your presence so that I may value it properly and take full advantage of the reason for which you provide it. May I remember that you incline your ears to my prayers and, if they originate from your throne, they will be in perfect alignment with your will; then I will see them answered in miraculous ways – in my life and circumstances and the lives of those for whom I pray.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
Gary Parker


Joshua 9

Scripture

Joshua 9:14

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.

Observation

God was making a name for himself through Joshua.  As the kings west of the Jordan heard this, they decided to come together to fight; but the people of Gibeon came up with a different plan.  Their intent was to essentially trick Joshua into making a treaty with them, protecting their people from the plight of what many others had faced.

They had gone through quite the effort of carrying out the trickery – making it appear as though they had traveled from far away.  It seems Joshua and his people knew something was up.  The Israelites asked in verse 7…

The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?”

And Joshua in verse 8…

But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

They had questioned the people and even tasted the provisions but as we see in vs. 14, they did NOT “inquire of the Lord.”

As a result, they made the treaty, only to find that they had been tricked and that the “far off travelers” were practically neighbors.

Understanding

First, this is a reminder to me to ALWAYS inquire of the Lord.  Despite what “intuition” may tell me, as a Christ-follower, I must consult with, inquire of, seek God before and as I take action.

In this case, though, I have to question what would have happened had Joshua and the Israelites “inquired of the Lord.”  Would the deception have been made known?  Would the Gibeonites fallen to the same fate as the rest of the surrounding areas?  It’s unknown. 

But what we are able to see here, is that – because of the treaty – the Gibeonites were brought within the covenant community.  Because of the fraudulent way they got there, they were excluded from liberties and privileges of true-born Israelites.  BUT  their “curse” of being woodcutters and water carriers put them in a unique position to be exposed to Israel’s God-centered beliefs and rituals. 

It takes a lot of wood to keep the fire of the altar burning.  It also takes a lot of water to carry out all of the washing and cleaning that must be done in and around the altar.  As such, as woodcutters and water carriers, the Gibeonites would be required to personally attend the altar of God – which would bring them to the knowledge of the law of God.

In fact, as we read elsewhere in Lev 25:44 and Num 3:9, it seems that’s exactly what God designed the work of the altar for – to minister to the “heathens.”  This appears to be just another example of our holy and redeeming God graciously at work.  God desires to bring people into knowledge of and relationship with Him.  

Life Application

Dear God, thank you for always seeing the big picture.  Your redemption and grace are crazy beautiful and intricately woven throughout our lives.  THANK YOU! 

Help me to remember to seek you first in all I do so I may avoid the “trickery” of those who don’t have my best interest in mind; but, moreover, may I be reminded that, even in those moments, that you can and do work as The Redeemer. 

Use me today to show grace and mercy and to expose others to your redeeming love.  May you be honored and glorified in my thoughts, my words and my actions today.

Amen.

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

– Rei



Joshua 8

Scripture

Joshua 8:2

You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves.

Observation – What does it say?

When conquering Jericho, God commanded Israel to destroy everything in the city and not keep any plunder for themselves. But now in Ai, God allowed them to take all the plunder they wanted. If Achan would have waited just a few more days, he could have had all the riches he could imagine! Instead, he ran ahead of God and took what was forbidden and ended up paying the ultimate price.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Waiting on God and trusting him results in the greatest blessing!

Every sin comes from an attempt to meet a felt need. We don’t want to wait on God so we take matters into our own hands. And, as a result, we exchange the lasting pleasure God offers for the temporary pleasure of sin.

If we could just learn to wait on God and let Him lead and bring into our lives the things that need to be there, we would be far better off. Unfortunately, our flesh wants what it wants and it wants it now! It doesn’t want to wait. 

Consider Esau forsaking his birthright because he was hungry in the moment, or David committing adultery with Bathsheba when God had told him, “And if all I had given you had been too little, I would have given you even more” (2 Samuel 12:8). 
 
Regardless of the desire we have, we will be far better off if we wait on the Lord to bring that thing into our life – spouse, finances, ministry, etc. God’s timing is perfect, he knows exactly what we need and he is working everything together for our good.

Life Application

Learn to wait on God.

God, forgive me for the times I grow impatient and seek to take matters into my own hands. Help us to be a people who trust your goodness and wait patiently for you to satisfy our every need and longing. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope (Psalm 130:5). Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.
 
– Levi Thompson


Joshua 7

Scripture
 
Joshua 7:11
 
Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
In the previous chapter, chapter 6 verses 18 and 19, the Israelites were commanded to keep away from the devoted things (silver, gold, bronze and iron) for they were to be given to the Lord and kept in a special treasury. Achan did not obey and as a result, the Lord’s anger burned against ALL of Israel.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
One man’s sin had consequences for all of Israel. 
 
The Lord’s anger did not just burn for Achan, who was the one who had sinned by taking some of the devoted things, but for the whole nation. The Lord held all of Israel accountable. Joshua had to search for the source of the sin, the person responsible. In verse 12, the Lord said that He would not be with them anymore unless he destroyed whatever among them is devoted to destruction.
 
Life Application
 
As Christ followers, we are called to the business of restoration. 
Sin that is undealt with in the Body of Christ can spread like a cancer and destroy us.
 
I’m honestly thankful that God doesn’t call us to stone and burn each other, which was Achan’s fate, but rather restore each other gently. Also, this is not just the job of the Pastors and ministry leaders, but ALL who live by the Spirit.
 
Galatians 6:1 says,
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
 
‭‭The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He seeks to destroy our marriages, our church and eventually our relationship with Christ. If we allow our brothers and sisters to continue sinning, we are also susceptible to that same destruction and fate. That’s why we are called to gently restore that person, while at the same time watching ourselves so we don’t succumb to the same temptations. 
 
Dear Lord, please help us love our brothers and sisters enough that if they are caught in a sin, whether it be gossip, unfaithfulness, lying, immorality, etc., that we would love You, them, the church and ourselves enough to restore them gently back to the faith and back to abundant life with You. Use us to help them back on their path with You, so they live out their intended identity and calling and stop making unwise decisions. I also pray that I/we would continue to live by the Spirit so that we would be able to recognize the sinful behavior among us and save ourselves from destruction. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Joshua 6

Scripture
 
Joshua 6:1-2
 
“Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. But the LORD said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.”
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Observation-What does it say?
 
Now the city of Jericho and its people were a formidable foe for Joshua and the army of Israel. The people of Jericho were well protected and fortified behind these walls, which probably gave them a false sense of security. Meanwhile, the LORD already told Joshua that the city is his for the taking. God even gave Joshua a detailed layout on how to take the city. All Joshua had to do was to take God for His Word, instruct the people of Israel, and follow through with the LORD’s plan.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
God’s way is not always the most conventional way of doing things.
 
When the LORD laid out the game plan on how to take down the city of Jericho, Joshua at first must have thought, “Are you pulling my leg God?” He probably thought that God had something a little more theatrical in mind.-(Maybe fire from the sky, a howling wind like no other, or even a mighty earthquake to bring the walls of Jericho crumbling down). But instead, God instructs his people to march around the walls for six days straight, (one time around the wall each day), as the priests blow on a ram’s horn. But on the seventh day, the people of Israel shall march around the walls seven times, and on that seventh time they are to wait for the priests to make a long blast of the ram’s horn, in which all the people are to make a great shout. This shout will flatten the walls of Jericho to the ground! 
As unconventional as this battle plan may sound, Joshua could move forward with confidence, knowing that God’s plan will work. He’s seen what God has done for His people before. So why would Joshua have any doubt now?
 
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:24‬ ‭NIV
 
Life Application
 
We are to take the LORD’s instructions for what it is, and we must follow them completely…one day at a time and one step at a time.
 
Joshua did not tell the people how many times they had to circle the city or precisely what would happen once their marching was done. The people received instructions from their leader one day at a time, one step at a time, and they obeyed them completely each day. The faith they displayed by following through with God’s commands allowed God to demonstrate His favor, protection, love, and provision for those who trust in Him.
 
Father God, I want to experience the great things You have in store for me. I want You to break down the walls in my life that are hindering me from experiencing them. Give me the faith to step out in this world each day and follow Your instructions completely. May I not question Your tactics, but instead choose to trust in them, because I know You have a plan for me and it is good. In Your name Jesus, I pray these things, Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi