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!
 

Acts 13

Scripture

Acts 13:2

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 

Observation – What does it say?

While 5 prophets and teachers were worshiping and fasting together, including Paul and Barnabas, the Holy Spirit spoke to them. He gave direction to Paul and Barnabas, asking them to be set apart for a special job God was giving them.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Worship and fasting is a great way to position yourself to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit!

When desiring direction from God, when craving the sound of his voice, when longing to discover what he has called you to do, you must seek him. Assuming a posture of worship and fasting is what led to Paul and Barnabas hearing God, which is what led to them going on a missionary journey together. That Holy Spirit directed journey resulted in the establishment of several communities of believers in different cities throughout the known world. And it all started because they took time to get together with a few other believers to worship and fast together!

Life Application

Need to hear from God? Worship and fast!

Our time of prayer and fasting every January is always so impactful and a time where we hear God’s voice and gain direction for the year. Lately however, increasing in my heart has been the desire to not wait until January to fast again. After reading this today, I will plan a time within the next month or two to do another extended fast.

God, I long to hear your voice more. I long for wisdom and direction and to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. May our desire to hear your voice be so great that we would be moved to set aside time to fast and worship together. We love you! We worship you! Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Acts 12

Scripture

Acts 12:5, 17

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him… 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison.

Observation – What does it say?

The believers had been praying earnestly to God for Peter, who had been thrown in prison. God answered their prayers by sending an angel for an epic prison break. And once he found himself outside the prison, Peter went straight to the house where the believers were praying. When they finally opened the door he shared the amazing testimony with them.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Miracles DO happen when God’s people pray!

The believers praying for Peter weren’t special by any means. They were ordinary believers who decided to pray earnestly for God to act in a seemingly impossible situation. And he did!

James 5:16b-17 16bThe prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

James stresses that Elijah was a human being just like us! There is something amazing that happens when ordinary people pray earnestly! Even the believers who were praying were ‘astonished’ when the saw that Peter was freed from the prison.

Life Application

Pray with expectation!

God, thank you for giving us such amazing favor that we can come to you in prayer and you will move on our behalf! When impossible situations arise, instead of feeling fearful, may we feel excited because we know that all we need to do is pray. You are amazing! Teach us more about this! Amen.
To check out the discussion or join in click here.


Acts 11

Scripture

Acts‬ ‭11:23-24‬

“When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

Observation-What does it say?

Those who preached the Gospel to Antioch were from Jerusalem. They were ministers who had to leave Jerusalem due to persecution.
Barnabus was sent to Antioch and was very pleased with what he saw.  Because the hand of the Lord was on that city, it resulted in people believing and turning their lives over to Jesus Christ. He encouraged them further to remain in the faith.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Barnabus was a disciple and a discipler for Christ. He was described as “a good man, full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” Because he loved Jesus, he lived his life as a disciple of Christ and discipled others by sharing the Gospel, teaching them and encouraging them in their walk of faith.

Life Application

Be a Barnabus to someone!

As a result of loving Jesus, we are all called to disciple by sharing the Gospel, teaching and encouraging others to remain faithful to the Lord.

Every Christ follower has the responsibility and privilege of ministering the Gospel to the lost and disciple others who come into the faith. We are all ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord, I pray that we would be a Barnabus to others. I also thank you for all the Barnabus type people in my life who minister to my heart and invest in my life. Please continue to bless them. Amen. To check out the discussion or join in, click here.
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Acts 10

SCRIPTURE
“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism…”
OBSERVATION AND UNDERSTANDING
God loves people regardless of race, social standing, country of origin, or any other prejudicial boundary we can think of.  He loves them all and wants to see all of them come into relationship with Him.  Yet one of the biggest problems we face as Christ-followers is the problem of prejudice.  We are quick to dismiss people as less than deserving of the love of God for some of the craziest things.  We despise people because of their weight, or the kind of car they drive, or what kinds of clothes they wear, and that prevents us from sharing the good news with them.  This Peter problem continues to plague us and we need to remember that God does not show favoritism and we should not either.
LIFE APPLICATION
So where does the prejudice show up in your life and what will you do to change it?


Acts 9

SCRIPTURE
  • 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
 
OBSERVATION AND UNDERSTANDING
Saul the persecutor was about to become Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ! His background and qualifications suited him perfectly for the work to which God had called him:
(1) He knew the Jewish culture and language well.
(2) Because he was reared in Tarsus he was well acquainted with the Greek culture and its philosophies.
(3) He possessed all the privileges of a Roman citizen.
(4) He was trained and skilled in Jewish theology.
(5) Because he was capable in a secular trade he was able to support himself.
(6) God gave him zeal, leadership qualities, and theological insight.

LIFE APPLICATION

When God calls us to do something He gives us all that we would need to ensure success. He uses our past experiences and training to His future glory. What we must do is be willing to surrender those things to Him and allow Him to redeem them.


Acts 8

Scripture

Acts 8:35

“Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”

Observation-What does it say?

As a result of Philip listening to the angel and acting upon the direction of the Holy Spirit, God used him to share the Gospel with the Ethiopian eunuch and baptize him in the faith.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Philip reached out to the Ethiopian because the Holy Spirit led him to him. His obedience to love and care for the man and help him understand an Old Testament text actually pointed Him to our New Testament Jesus. This just proves that if we are willing to go where the Spirit leads us, great things will happen.

Life Application

When the Holy Spirit speaks, obeying what He says is the key to seeing miracles happen. 

God desires to do amazing things in and through us, but that requires action and obedience on our end. It requires that His love flow through us and poured out into others. One of the verses that the Lord has been bringing me back to is, “It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35).” The Eunuch went away rejoicing (vs. 39) as a result of Philip sharing the Gospel with him and him turning His life over to Jesus.

Dear Jesus, I confess that it is easier to stay comfortable in what we know and that following the leading of the Holy Spirit sometimes calls us into uncomfortable places. I pray for more faith to follow the leading of the Spirit and get out of our comfort zones to reach out to people. We desire to be used by You to see more souls enter Your Kingdom and more people rejoicing as the Eunuch did when He became part of the family of God. Help us to obey and go where you lead us, just as Philip did. Amen. To check out the discussion or join in click here.

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Acts 7

Scripture:

Acts 7:1, 54-55

1“Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?””

54-55“When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

Observation-What does it say?

Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin to give account and testimony for his faith in Jesus Christ and the Gospel. The Sanhedrin was a governing body in ancient Israel who were known for the mock trials they held that resulted in the crucifixion of Jesus (gotquestions.org). While Stephen was brought before them, he basically accused the Sanhedrin Jews of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, due to their idolatry of the fathers that came before them and resistance to the message of the Gospel. (Verses 51-53).

Understanding-What does it mean?

Because Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit (vs. 55), he was fearless. He was able to speak confidently to the Sanhedrin, and he was able to stand boldly for his faith in Jesus Christ even if it meant losing his life as a result. The power of the Holy Spirit was evident in Stephen’s life all the way up to his last breath.

Life Application

Walk boldly in the Spirit and not in fear!

When Christ ascended to Heaven after resurrecting from the grave, He didn’t leave us alone. He left us His Holy Spirit as our counselor and helper. He also gives us the boldness to walk out our faith everyday without fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

As we are going through this Daring Faith series, we are learning to rely on faith, not on fear. The Holy Spirit is who gives us power to overcome that fear and live boldly in faith.

Dear Jesus, thank you for leaving us Your Holy Spirit. Please forgive us for neglecting the power we have so readily available to us. Please forgive us for missed opportunities to share the Gospel, to give extravagantly, to pray healing over someone, to speak truthfully to someone about a sin issue in their lives and to participate in ministry because we’ve been walking in fear instead of Your Spirit. I pray for more faith and for more dependence on Your Spirit everyday. We need You Jesus and cannot accomplish our mission without Your Spirit. Amen. To check out the discussion or join in click here.

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Acts 6

Scripture

Acts 6:10, 15

10“But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.”
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15“All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

Stephen was known as a man “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.” Members of the synagogue were opposed to him. They tried to argue with him and falsely accuse him, but to no avail. The Holy Spirit was with him. (Verse 10)

Understanding-What does it mean?

God used Stephen to be part of spreading the word of God across Jerusalem (verse 10), however, it didn’t come without some cost. Despite the hardship, Stephen held on to his faith knowing that the Holy Spirit was with him. As a result, the opposition could not stand against him.

Life Application

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

When we remain in Jesus Christ and remain in the covering of His love (through abiding and obedience), the enemy is powerless. Dear Jesus, we know that opposition to our faith will come in both the physical and spiritual realm. We pray that we would not be discouraged, but instead be encouraged that nothing can stand against us when we remain in Your Spirit. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Acts 5

Scripture

Acts 5:42

42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Observation – What does it say?

The Apostles had been arrested twice already for telling people about Jesus. Once they were flogged, and both times they were commanded not to teach about Jesus. Yet nothing could keep them from telling people about Jesus!

Understanding – What does it mean?

Nothing should keep followers of Jesus from constantly telling others about him.

The Apostles faced imprisonment and physical harm for preaching about Jesus. And on top of it, not everyone they shared with would even believe their message. Yet, they had been commanded to tell the world about Jesus and so they devoted themselves to it every single day.

There are many in the church who are passionate about sharing Jesus with everyone they come into contact with. But, there are also those who struggle to remember the last time they shared with anyone.

We either live to please people or to reach people, but one comes at the expense of the other.

Life Application

Live to reach people!

God, may we be more like the apostles! Help us to make the most of every opportunity and for sharing about you to become a daily part of our lives. We choose not to be ashamed of the gospel because it’s the power of God to save everyone who believes! Amen.
To check out or join the discussion click here.


Acts 4

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Scripture

Acts 4:7, 10

They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”…

10 It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 

Observation – What does it say?

Peter and John were arrested after healing the lame man and put on trial before all the rulers, elders and teachers of the law. They asked Peter and John, “By what power or what name did you do this?” They replied by giving Jesus Christ all the glory.

Understanding – What does it mean?

When God does miracles through his people, the time always comes where they will be asked to give an explanation.

I’ve been amazed as I’ve witnessed people pray and ask God for healing or a miracle in their finances and when God comes through they give the credit to a doctor or employer. Peter and John made no mention of their obedience or their methods or their faith but used 100% of their words to point to Jesus Christ.

Romans 13:7 says to give honor where honor is due. As we grow in faith and witness God do miracles in our lives we will have the opportunity to take credit for what God has done. “I worked really hard.” “I prayed faithfully.” But while those things may have played a part, isn’t God is the one who gave you the ability to work and the desire to pray in the first place? Peter and John could have said the man was healed because they had learned to walk in obedience to God or had great faith. Instead they gave Jesus all the glory! They gave honor where it was due.

Life Application

Give Jesus all the glory!

God, you are worthy of all the glory and praise. Anything good in my life is from you, a result of you moving in me and through me! Praise you! You are the miracle worker. Without you we would have nothing good, experience nothing good. When you answer prayer, may we give you all the glory and praise! Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.