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!
 

2 Samuel 13

Scripture

2 Samuel 13:13

“‘What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace?  And what about you?  You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel.  Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.’ But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.”

Observation-What does it say?

Amnon fell in love with his sister Tamar, but was frustrated because he could not have her sexually, as she was a virgin. So, he resorted to manipulation and deception and raped her.  As a result, Absalom (Tamar and Amnon’s brother), became furious.  The anger he felt for his brother for disgracing their sister resulted in him killing Amnon 2 years later.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Sin always leads to no good and affects more than the individual who chooses to sin.

God’s Word does not sugar coat anything.  In this chapter, we read of incest, rape and murder.  All these sins within the household of David resulted from a man’s desire to do what he wanted, not what God wanted.  Problems always happen when we become lord of our own lives. Innocent people suffer just as Tamar, David and the rest of the king’s sons did because of Amnon and Absalom’s sinful choices (see vs. 19 and vs. 36).

Life Application

Rom. 6:12-13-Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.  Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life.  So, use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.”

We ALL get tempted to sin.  Not even Jesus was exempt from temptation.  Despite being tempted, he remained above reproach and did not sin.  It’s not the temptation that gets us into trouble, but what we do with it.
 
Holy Spirit, wash our minds and hearts to be only about You. Please help us take our thoughts captive, before desire gives birth to sin and innocent lives are destroyed  The sins of Amnon and Absalom all started out as thoughts.  Amnon’s unpure thoughts about his sister and then Absalom’s burning anger against Amnon led to desire, then premeditation to sin, then a plan to sin, and then the sin occurred.  I pray that my thought life would be in submission to You and my heart, soul, mind and strength would be Yours alone.  Please forgive me for the times I have not taken unpure thoughts captive right away.  I desire for my WHOLE being to be used as an instrument to do what is right in your sight for Your glory alone. (Rom. 6:13).  Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi
 


2 Samuel 12

Scripture

2 Samuel 12:13

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die…”

Observation – What does it say?

After committing adultery with Bathsheba, receiving news she was pregnant and having her husband killed, David is confronted by the prophet Nathan. Rather than getting defensive, justifying his actions or minimizing his sin, he confesses. And although he had to face the consequences of his actions, after his confession God forgave him.

Understanding – What does it mean?

When you own your sin and confess it, God forgives.
 
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

In these two chapters (11 & 12), David sets both a horrible and an excellent example for us to follow. Obviously his sin in chapter 11 is an example we should learn to avoid. However, when confronted with his sin, his response is one we should learn to follow.

When someone points out a flaw or sin in my life, my natural reaction is to get defensive and even to push the other person away. It’s uncomfortable and painful to be confronted. Put yourself in David’s shoes when Nathan likened him to the wicked man in the story and exclaimed, “You are the man!”

David’s brokenness over his sin was real and genuine. His heart was tender toward God and he demonstrated great humility. After this confrontation with Nathan, David penned Psalm 51 in which he poured out his heart with prayers like these:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love.”

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

As a result of David’s confession and genuine repentance, he was forgiven and spared the full extent of what his actions deserved.

Life Application

Rather than getting defensive when confronted by others or by the Holy Spirit, choose to examine my heart and actions and to own my wrongs.

God, forgive me for the times I haven’t been open to correction. Forgive me for my pride and defensiveness. Thank you so much for your mercy and grace that you lavish on us when we come to you in humility and repentance. Reveal the areas of sin in our lives that we may repent and receive your mercy and grace. We love you and desire to please you! Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.
 
– Levi Thompson


2 Samuel 11

Scripture

2 Samuel 11:27

27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.

Observation

This all started with David’s attempt to honor Hanun’s father (2 Sam. 10:2).  Now because of good intentions that were misconstrued by Hanun’s people, David’s kingdom was at war.  While his men were away fighting, David was home getting into trouble.  David saw, coveted and committed adultery with Bathsheba.  When he learns that Bathsheba is pregnant with his child, he attempts to cover his adultery; and, when that didn’t work, he set up the death of Uriah – Uriah’s husband.  He then married Bathsheba who bore his son. 

Understanding

It appears that only a handful of people know of David’s acts – David, Bathsheba and Joab…and perhaps the person(s) he sent to “find out about” Bathsheba and the messengers sent to get her.  Even so, though, the number of those aware was limited.  Despite David going to such great extent to hide his sin/actions, verse 27 reminds us that God knew.  And, not only did He know, He was displeased.  The goal is not to appear good on the outside, but rather to truly be Holy and have a heart after God. 

Life Application

Dear God, may my actions never be to my glory but to yours.  May my good intentions be received well.  May I be honest and forthcoming about my mistakes and areas where I fall short.  And, God, may my heart remain true to you…a heart after yours, with eyes to see people they way you do.  May I be merely a vessel through which you shine and give and love…and may I forever give you all honor and glory for the ways you choose to use me. 

Love you!  And I am grateful to be used by you.    

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



2 Samuel 10

Scripture
 
2 Samuel 10:3
 
“The Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
King Nahash of the Ammonites has just died. His son Hanun has just replaced him as king. David wants to show loyalty to Hanun, just as his father was always loyal to him. So David sends ambassadors to Ammon to give the new king his condolences. But rather than take the simplicity of David’s act of compassion, Hanun takes the advice of his commanders. Hanun and his commanders believe that David has some sort of ulterior motive behind his act. They believe he sent his ambassadors to spy on them, so they can conquer them.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
 Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)
 
I believe Hanun was surrounded by very cynical people. People who were out to climb their own “political ladder” and who were out for their own selfish gain when they gave Hanun this advice. These men presumed the worst out of people, instead of expecting the best from God’s people.
Hanun on the other hand should have took a page out of David’s book and seeked God for counsel. Maybe if he did that and surrounded himself with Godly men’s advice, it wouldn’t have ended so badly for him and his people.
 
Life Application
 
 He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
 
Seek God in everything I do. Surround myself with Godly and righteous people. Seek counsel from these God fearing men and women that God has put in my life when life throws me for a loop.
Father God thank You for my church family. Thank You for the leadership here at DSC that shepherds me to grow in my faith. May you continue to bless these men and women for their leadership and their commitment to You. Lord, I don’t have it all together and I do need help. Help me to humbly seek You and Your people in those times of need. In Your Holy and precious name Jesus, Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


2 Samuel 9

Scripture

2 Samuel 9:1

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Observation

David desires to show kindness to someone from the house of Saul. Through Ziba, one of Saul’s former servants, David discovers that Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, is alive, although lame in both feet. David summons Mephibosheth and informs him that not only will he eat at the king’s table from this day forth, but that David will return his grandfather’s estate to him. Additionally, David instructs Ziba and his household to farm the land in order to provide for Mephibosheth.

Understanding

God-like kindness and compassion is active and purposeful

God is the initiator of relationship and blessing. In his book, Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby points out that,” God pursues a continuing love relationship with [us] that is real and personal”.

No wonder God calls David “a man after my own heart”. In showing kindness to Mephibosheth, David mirrors not just the grace and mercy of God but also God’s purposefulness in seeking out those who are in need of such compassion. Like God, David is not passive about showing unmerited kindness. Instead of waiting for an opportunity to present itself, David actively seeks out one whom he can bless – just like the God about whom the scriptures testify:

“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…” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

God is constantly looking for someone and someway that He may bless and show kindness.

Life Application

I need to be purposeful and watchful for opportunities to show God’s kindness to others

I am so glad that Jesus did not wait for me to seek Him before I could be saved. If that were so, then I would be lost because I was dead in my transgressions (Ephesians 2:4-6). Instead of waiting for me to recognize my need, God sought me out to make me alive to His gift of salvation. Since Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), I need to seek out and share the gospel with those who are lost. Instead of merely responding to a revealed need, I need to be as purposeful as was David, asking God to make known to me someone whom I can bless and to whom I may show kindness – and then do so!
 
To check out the conversation or to join in, check here
Gary Parker
 
 
 
 


2 Samuel 8

Scripture

2 Samuel 8:6b & 8:14b

The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

Observation-What does it say?

David defeated and Philistines and Moabites, among many others. He captured and struck down thousands. Scripture mentioned that David continued to have victory wherever he went. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

The Lord blesses those who keep Him first.

The Lord was on David’s side. Why? Because he was a humble King who loved the Lord and put him first. He dedicated his material earnings from his victories to the Lord. Scripture said he dedicated silver, gold and bronze from all the nations he subdued. He also dedicated everything he took from Hadadezar in battle (vs. 11-12).
Scripture also said in verse 15 that he did what was just and right for all of his people. As a result, David continued to become more famous among the people and experienced numerous victories because of the Lord.

Life Application

Dedicate our first fruits to the Lord. We must love him above anything and everything on earth, including ourselves. 

Giving our first and best to the Lord happens as we are grateful and humbled by what He’s done for us to save us from the hell that we all deserve.
It comes when we return 10% of everything we earn, back to him and give freely whatever he has called us to offer materially as David did. It comes when we lose our lives (meaning losing our personal wants, dreams, and desires) for what His wants, dreams and desires for our lives are,, which is always better.

Dear Lord, thank you that whenever we are in line with Your desires for our lives, you will bring us victory, success and joy, even better than the world gives. Thank You for David’s humble example. He did not have to uplift himself, but You made Him victorious because His heart was for You and for leading the people of Israel well and with integrity. May our Source of victory come from You alone and may we give You our lives in grateful submission as a result. Amen.

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


2 Samuel 7

Scripture

2 Samuel 7:18-19

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!

Observation – What does it say?

After conquering Jerusalem, settling into the temple the King of Tyre had built for him there, and bringing the ark of the LORD into Jerusalem next to his palace, David felt it was wrong for him to be living in a grand palace while the ark of the LORD was in a simple tent. He expressed this to the prophet Nathan and the LORD spoke through Nathan to David. The LORD reminded David of how he had promoted David from shepherd to king and then went on to declare he had even greater plans for David’s future.

David didn’t respond with, “Oh yeah! God is lucky to have me… the giant killer, the warrior and great king – I’m pretty awesome. Pshh, of course God would choose me to play a big role in any of his great future plans.” Instead he responds in great humility.
 
Understanding – What does it mean?

Unmerited favor and exalting is what God has in store for the humble.

James 4:6 God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.

Matthew 23:12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

David sets such a great example for us in his humble response to God’s words. In all the great things he had accomplished, he recognized it was all God’s doing. He never forgot who he was before God found him and remained humble before God. And, as a result, God continued to promote him!
 
Life Application

Humble myself!

Taking a moment to reflect on where I came from quickly brings humility. I now find myself agreeing with David, “Who am I, that God would choose me?!” He took me from the addiction, the loneliness, the humble broken state I was in, and not only brought me this far but has spoken to me about my future!

God, your love and grace is amazing! Forgive me for my pride. Uproot any sense of entitlement or ungratefulness from my heart. It’s all about you! Give me a heart that longs to honor you and exalt you. Give me a heart that is centered around loving you and loving others. Amen!

To check out the discussion or join in click here.
 
– Levi Thompson

 



2 Samuel 6

Scripture

2 Samuel 6:21-22

21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord…22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes!…

Observation

David had found a rightful home for the Ark of God and received a blessing from God.  As a result, he was finally able to bring the Ark to the City of David.  When he returned home, he was ready to celebrate; and he went all out!  The celebration including a sacrifice, shouts of joy, music and dancing – David dancing “with all his might” and “wearing the priestly garment.”  I’m still not 100% sure what “the priestly garment” means…but I gather it would be similar to him dancing in his underwear.  Saul’s daughter was outraged and didn’t have a problem letting David know. 

Understanding

There was no shame in David’s game.  He was quick to confirm his actions AND express that he was willing to do more?!  This got me thinking…What is the most “embarrassing” thing I’ve done for God?  This isn’t to say we should start dancing naked in the streets “for God” or anything…but could we perhaps be a little bolder in our actions as we seek Him, love Him, honor Him?  I know the answer for me is an emphatic “YES!”  In fact, just yesterday a friend/former coworker was visiting me at work; and, as we were in the coffee shop talking about God and what He’s been doing in our lives…I caught myself feeling a little hesitant and almost looked around to see who may be listening. How’s that for a pathetic example of boldness?!  May we take notes from David – willing to bare it all for God!

Life Application

Dear Lord, thank you for the ways you reveal yourself in my life each and every day!  I’m so grateful to be called by you and used by you.  May I be as bold as David in my pursuit and celebration of you in my life!  May I be willing to share my testimony, to share my heart and the things you’ve put on it, to speak of you and celebrate you often…not just in my day to day conversation with you, but with those around me.  And please forgive me when I forget what a PRIVILEGE that is.  

May my heart be on fire for you in a way that burns so bright that people can’t help but be drawn to you.  I love you!  Amen. 

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


2 Samuel 5

Scripture
 
2 Samuel 5:18-19
 
“The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. So David asked the LORD, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The LORD replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.””
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Observation-What does it say?
 
David had just captured the fortress in Zion. He was anointed King by all the tribes of Israel, and David and his army were growing more and more powerful because God was with them. Meanwhile, the Philistines just got news that David was anointed king of all of Israel so they mobilized all their forces to try to capture him. David then turns to God to seek his next move.

Understanding-What does it mean?

 As mighty and powerful David has become, he understands that it is all God’s doing.

It could be easy for anyone in David’s shoes(sandals) to get prideful and believe the recent success that they have been experiencing is from their own doings. As for David, he knows better. He remained humble, seeking God for his every military move (vs. 19 & 23). David waited for God’s response before making any move against his enemy. David also honored God by giving him credit for his victories (vs. 20). David realized the victories and blessings he received in life were due to his relationship with God.

Life Application

 Having a strong relationship with God is the only way I can get through all of the ups and downs in life. Relying on His strength rather than my own strength is the smartest decision I can make.

Father God, may I involve you in every decision in life. No matter how big or small my problem is, You are always there. May I find Your blessings in life as I put You in the midst of everything I do. Thank You for wanting a relationship with a sinful man like me. 
Thank You for Your son Jesus who makes our relationship even possible.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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


2 Samuel 4

Scripture

2 Samuel 4:8-11

They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.” David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

Observation

As the body count in the war between the house of Saul and the house of David increases, Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul, is murdered in his sleep by Baanah and Recab. In a bit of a flashback from the events surrounding Saul’s death, these two offer the head of Ish-Bosheth to David in order to show their loyalty and perhaps gain some reward. Instead, David orders that they be slain for shedding innocent blood.

Understanding

When we decide to help God without securing His direction and approval, more often than not we end up hindering instead of hastening the plans of God.

Many times I have seen parents step into a situation in order to spare their child from experiencing the painful consequences of their actions – consequences and pain that God intended to use to show them that they are sinners in need of deliverance or rebels in need of repentance. Sparing them from experiencing the harm and damage of sin actually facilitates their continued disobedience and error. In our attempts to do what we think is best for someone or for a situation we may actually be delaying a work that God has well in hand. It’s important to understand that God does not need my help. Yes, in His great grace, He chooses to use me as part of His redemptive plan for those within my sphere of influence; but my job is not to assess the situation, come up with and implement my plan of action. Rather, my responsibility is to seek the heart and voice of God in prayer and act (or not) according to His wisdom and will. To do anything else is to usurp the sovereignty, plan and purposes of God in my life and the lives of others.

Life Application

I am wise if I seek to discover where God is working and then join Him there

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Lord, help me to remember Your word that says, “In me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18) and that You, “O God…know my foolishness…” (Psalm 69:5). Help me also to remember that You are the Vine and we are the branches. Apart from you, we can do no good thing (John 15:5). May all that I do for you flow out of abiding in You. May I not endeavor to help you but live to serve you.
 
To check out the discussion or join in, click here
Gary Parker