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!

28 Days: Day 22


  • Mark 10:17-22
  • Luke 9:23-25 (NIV) 23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?


The thing about being a disciple is that it will cost us.  There is a difference between being a believer and being a disciple…there are many believers today in the church – they confess that Jesus is God and have asked God to forgive them of their sins, but that is where they stop.  A disciple goes further – he/she has submitted themselves to God and given Him the right to tell them what to do, where to go and what to say.  In other words, they have allowed God to change them from the inside out.  That change does not come easy, it hurts, but it is worth it if we stick it out. 

Being a disciple costs us our time, it costs us surrendering our agenda and plans and being willing to follow Jesus’ agenda and plan for us.  Being a disciple is a covenant relationship not just good intention.  Understand that a covenant relationship is a binding contract that cannot be broken, and when we covenant with God to be His disciple we mean to see it through to the end. 


Sunday we talked about three responses to when God calls us to be about His business…

  • Here I am, I am not going.
  • Here I am, send someone else.
  • Here I am, send me.
I believe that in order for us to live the surrendered life of the disciple who says, “Here I am, send me!” we must be pursuing God in such a way that we have ongoing encounters with Him in His presence.  Are you pursuing God?  A disciple pursues the Master. 

I also believe that when we recognize our sin and God’s holiness and come to realize how much He has showered His grace on us then we find our hearts changing from I have to give up my life to “I get to give up my life for the one who has given all for me!”


Who are you?  Are you a believer or a disciple?  Obviously, God’s desire is for you to be a disciple.  Are you willing to pay the cost?

God I pray that your people will say yes to following you.  I pray that their answer will be yes before they even know the question.  God may they trust you in such a way that they discover your best is better than anything could ever imagine and think for themselves.

28 Days: Day 23

Remember to sign up to pray for an hour during our 70 Hour Prayer Time


  • Luke 5:10-11 (NIV) 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” 11  So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


When Jesus calls He inducts us into the union of fishermen.  Now, some people might say, “Well, I don’t even know where to start.  What do I do?  How do I go fishing?”  The beauty of this is that even if you don’t know about fishing Jesus will equip you to be a great fisherman. 


There are two pointers we can glean from our reading today that can help us be great fishermen – here is all you need to know to be a great fisherman. 

First, go into the fishing trade with the decision to have unquestioning obedience to God.  Peter followed the advice given and threw the net on the other side, even though there was no sensible reason to do so, but the catch was great because of his obedience to the Master Fisherman. 

The second thing is that we need to fish with absolute abandonment.  Peter became a “fisher of men” because he abandoned everything and followed Jesus.   


A disciple goes fishing.  A disciple makes disciples.  A disciple leaves everything to be like Him, follow Him, and do what He’s been doing.  Take some time today to commit to following Jesus with absolute abandonment and unquestioning obedience.

28 Days: Day 21


  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT) 24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.


Those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize. No one would train so hard for so long without intending to win. Yet out of the large number of runners, only one wins.

A great difference between those races and the Christian “race” is that every Christian who will pay the price of careful training can win. We do not compete against each other but against the obstacles—practical, physical, and spiritual—that would hinder us. In a sense, every Christian runs his own race, enabling each one of us to be a winner in winning souls to Christ. Paul therefore counsels all believers to run in such a way that you may win, by setting aside anything that might hinder the reception of the gospel.

Holding tightly to liberties and rights is a sure way to lose the race of soul-winning. Many of the Corinthian Christians seriously limited their testimony because they would not limit their liberty. They refused to give up their rights, and in so doing they won few and offended many.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary, The – MacArthur New Testament Commentary – 1 Corinthians.


The simple definition of discipleship is a disciplined follower of.  If we are to be disciples of Christ then we must choose the path of discipline.  Paul tells us that a disciple is one who trains, who beats his body and makes it a slave.  All too often we have equated discipleship with someone teaching us or training us, but discipleship is more than that.  Teaching is the imparting of knowledge. Discipleship is imparting the knowledge and requiring a response to the knowledge. The difference between discipleship and training is that again discipleship takes it a step further.  Discipleship requires accountability for the training received. 

As believers our responsibility regarding discipleship is twofold; we are to be disciples and then be responsible for others becoming disciples.  We are to be transformed by Christ and be instrumental in transforming other believers, and it should be happening concurrently.  Every one of us are to be disciples and making disciples regardless of if you are a new believer or one who has followed Christ for years. 




How many of us are missing the race and disqualifying ourselves from the prize because we are unwilling to lay down our liberties and rights?  We are afraid of accountability and discipline.  Let’s say yes to God’s way and what He has called us to.  Let’s be about the business of the Great Commission – being disciples and making disciples.  No excuses accepted!

28 Days: Day 20

  • John 17:20-23 (NLT) 20  “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. 22  “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23  I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

Protecting the Unity of the Fellowship

Here are some ways we can ensure that we protect our fellowship…

Focus on what we have in common not our differences:  we share God’s love, salvation, heaven and the grace of God. These are the things we need to focus on.

Be realistic in your expectations of your fellow brother or sister.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer says that the real beginning of community is when we realize that no church is perfect and that it is because all of us are imperfect and in need of grace.

Choose to encourage rather than criticize each other.

Refuse to listen to gossip.

Practice God’s method of conflict resolution.  (see Matthew 18:15-17)

Support and submit to your spiritual leaders.


Today again, as you go to prayer, confess the areas where you have caused the fellowship to weaken and choose today to protect and deepen our fellowship.  Remember as you do this we come one step closer to being a Great Commission Movement.

28 Days: Day 19


  • Romans 12:9-13 (NLT) 9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12  Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13  When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.


Paul gives us some ways to truly deepen and protect our fellowship with believers. 
It starts with a commitment to do what is good and right. 
With that purposing of heart we are to love each other with genuine affection or love. 
We are to honor them. 
We are to pull our weight in the family and we are to work together with enthusiasm. 
Help those in need and be hospitable.

These things help us keep unity in the family.


God loves unity.  In fact it is so important that in the establishing of the church, God, in the New Testament gives more attention to unity of that church than either heaven or hell.

Unity is at the heart of fellowship.  Without unity you destroy the body of Christ.  Without unity there is no fellowship and without fellowship there is no church.

The Bible admonishes that we as believers are to make every effort to keep the fellowship of the church intact.  To be agents of unity, commissioned by Jesus to promote and preserve fellowship among believers.  In fact, there is the understanding that if you are causing disunity among the believers then you are in sin.  Anything that destroys unity and fellowship is sin

In the reading today two phrases really got my attention.

Love each other with genuine affection.  What does it look like for us to love each other with genuine affection?  It would mean looking out for each other, not speaking badly of them and even when they frustrate us we are not dishonoring towards them with others.  And that is just a start.

The other phrase that really struck me is, ”never be lazy, but work hard…”  I didn’t really think about it until I read it that when family members are not pulling their weight and helping it causes discord and disunity.  It wears down the ones who have to pick up the slack and causes there to be resentment.


Today as you go to prayer will you ask God if you have been guilty of destroying unity and fellowship?  And when He shows you will you confess it to God and to His family so that there is healing for you and the family.

28 Days: Day 18


  • Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) 24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Fellowship with God must never become selfish. We must also fellowship with other Christians in the local assembly. Apparently, some of the wavering believers had been absenting themselves from the church fellowship. It is interesting to note that the emphasis here is not on what a believer gets from the assembly, but rather on what he can contribute to the assembly. Faithfulness in church attendance encourages others and provokes them to love and good works. One of the strong motives for faithfulness is the soon coming of Jesus Christ. In fact, the only other place the word translated “assembling” (Heb. 10:25) is used in the New Testament is in 2 Thessalonians 2:1, where it’s translated “gathering” and deals with the coming of Christ.

The three great Christian virtues are evidenced here: faith (Heb. 10:22), hope (Heb. 10:23), and love (Heb. 10:24). They are the fruit of our fellowship with God in His heavenly sanctuary.

Bible Exposition Commentary – Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Confident (Hebrews).


So you have decided to be part of the fellowship of the believers?  You are now on a direct course to fulfill the Great Commission.  Let us look quickly at some ways to deepen that fellowship so that we can get the most out of what God designed. 

Here are five ways we can deepen our fellowship…

  • Meet together regularly
  • Worship together
  • Spur each other on to love and good deeds
  • Encourage each other each time you meet
  • Eat in each other’s homes


Did you notice how easily those aspects of fellowship are met when we are part of a GROW group?

Why not make a commitment today to deepen our fellowship and in so doing strengthen the ability for us to fulfill the Great Commission.  Choose a couple of these to start on and let’s start deepening our koinonia.

28 Days: Day 17

Join us this evening @ 7 for a time of worship and prayer at the church.


Ephesians 1:5 – “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family.”


Fellowship with other believers brings God pleasure because we’re formed for God’s family.  

You know why God made you?

Because he wanted a family, and that family is going to outlast your physical family because it extends into eternity. 

One of the most misunderstood ideas about the Christian life is that it’s just a matter of believing. But God says, “No, you’re not just ‘believers;’ you’re ‘belongers.’” You belong in the family of God. Did you know that fifty-eight times in the New Testament the word “one another” is used?

Love one another, care for one another, pray for one another, exhort one another, encourage one another, greet one another, and on and on and on.


As we read in Acts yesterday, the people who are serious about following Jesus devote themselves to the fellowship.  That word devote means to remain steadfast and faithful, to persevere and not be distracted.  Are you devoted to the fellowship?  There are so many things that fight to distract us from being devoted to the fellowship, things that are good but lead us away from God’s best.  We do a lot of rationalizing as to why we give those things higher priority but in the end the question remains…are you devoted to the fellowship?


The challenge is that you will choose to be devoted to the fellowship here at DSC.  That means choosing to be present at our Sunday celebrations, being in a GROW group and choosing to be open and trusting with God’s people.  It also comes with the understanding of serving with God’s people.
So, will you devote yourself to the fellowship?  Why not join the family this evening as we worship God together.

28 Days: Day 16


  • Acts 2:42, Ephesians 4:2-3, Hebrews 10:24-25 & Romans 14:19


Fellowship is the spiritual duty of believers to stimulate each other to holiness and faithfulness. It is not just getting together and having a good time but it is encouraging one another and spurring one another towards loving God, loving His people and serving His mission. 

It is most specifically expressed through the “one anothers” of the New Testament.  The basic meaning of fellowship is “partnership,” or “sharing.” Those who receive Jesus Christ become partners with Him and with all other believers (1 John 1:3). It carries with it the issue of accountability – being accountable to whether or not we are fulfilling God’s purposes for us.


“For a Christian to fail to participate in the life of a local church is inexcusable. In fact, those who choose to isolate themselves are disobedient to the direct command of Scripture.  (Hebrews 10:24-25)    The Bible does not envision the Christian life as one lived apart from other believers. All members of the universal church, the body of Christ, are to be actively and intimately involved in local assemblies.”

MacArthur New Testament Commentary, The – MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Acts 1-12.


So the question is, “Are you a part of the fellowship or are you just attending a Sunday meeting?” 

God’s desire is that when you believed and were baptized, you were to be part of the fellowship where you gave others the permission to encourage and spur you on to fulfill God’s assigned mission.  By the way, spurring is not always a pleasant experience is it?
Why don’t you renew your commitment to the fellowship and allow them to help you be all you can be for God?  Commit to being involved in a GROW group where you can experience deep fellowship.

28 Days: Day 15


  • Mark 1:9, Matthew 28:19-20, 1 John 2:3 & Acts 18:8


When we believe God and accept His gift of grace and love we are then washed clean and baptism reminds us of that work of God, as well as provides a testimony to others of the work of God.  Baptism is to be yet another avenue where we are given the opportunity to be His witnesses. 


Some reasons for baptism…

To Follow The Example Set By Jesus

(Mark 1:9 NIV)  At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

Because Jesus Commands It

(Mat 28:19-20 NIV) “ 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, {20} and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 (1 John 2:3 NIV)  We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.

It Demonstrates That I Really Am a Believer

(Acts 18:8 NIV)  Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.


Baptism is one of the ways that we align ourselves with other believers, in essence it is an initiation into the fellowship of the believers, the church.  In aligning with the fellowship of believers we agree to be part of the Great Commission team. 

Are you a part of the Great Commission Team?

28 Days: Day 12


  • James 5:16 (NIV) 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
  • 1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV) 1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–  


“One thing more, the soul-winner must be a master of the art of prayer. You cannot bring souls to God if you go not to God yourself. You must get your battle-axe, and your weapons of war, from the armoury of sacred communication with Christ. If you are much alone with Jesus, you will catch His Spirit; you will be fired with the flame that burned in His breast, and consumed His life. You will weep with the tears that fell upon Jerusalem when He saw it perishing; and if you cannot speak so eloquently as He did, yet shall there be about what you say somewhat of the same power which in Him thrilled the hearts and awoke the consciences of men. My dear hearers, especially you members of the church, I am always so anxious lest any of you should begin to lie upon your oars, and take things easy in the matters of God’s kingdom. There are some of you—I bless you, and I bless God at the remembrance of you—who are in season, and out of season, in earnest for winning souls, and you are the truly wise; but I fear there are others whose hands are slack, who are satisfied to let me preach, but do not themselves preach; who take these seats, and occupy these pews, and hope the cause goes well, but that is all they do.”

(The Soul Winner Charles Spurgeon [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989]


All around us we see evidence of people who are struggling with and breaking under the stress and strain of everyday life; lost people who are at the end of their rope and without hope. In their time of need, they do not need judgment or condemnation or pithy Christian clichés. What they need is to feel the mercy and compassion of God from the people of God. There is no better way to convey that we care than to offer to pray for someone. Even the most skeptical or unreligious person will accept our offer and see it for what it is.

There is power in prayer! Not only in it’s power to communicate our love for the hurting, but it also releases the redemptive power of God into that person’s life and circumstances. Whether they ever admit it or not, they will understand that your prayers helped and God will use that truth to touch their hearts with His love.


The next time someone shares a struggle or concern with you, offer to pray for them right then and there. If they decline, don’t be offended. Respect their feelings and let them know that you will be praying for them. Check in with them often, continue to walk with them through the struggle and be ready to rejoice with them when God answers your prayer on their behalf. Remember, people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Care enough to pray!