We believe we become like Jesus as we read and apply scripture. Engaging scripture through prayerfully reading it allows God's Spirit to show us how we can apply it to our lives.
One easy way to begin to regularly engage scripture is by thinking about S.O.A.P.
S - Scripture passage
Read a scripture passage. It could be a chapter or a couple paragraphs.
O - Observations
Write down your observations as you as "What is the writer saying?" "Who is the writer talking to or who is the story about?" "Why is the writer saying it?"
A - Application
Write down how this applies to you and your life. What is your Next Step?
P - Prayer
Invite Jesus into the process. Ask Him to help you understand the truth. Ask Him to help you act on your Next Step. Ask Him to give you wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.
When we have decided to follow Jesus, we are committing to trust and obey Him. In order to obey Jesus, we are deciding to follow the teachings of Jesus found in the Bible.
In the last words that Jesus shared with His disciples he encouraged them to teach new followers to obey everything that He had taught them. Those teachings are found in God’s word.
The New Testament contains the record of the life and words of Jesus and the activities of His first followers.
The Old Testament contains the record of the nation of Israel that foreshadowed Jesus and also helps us to understand His teachings.
A Next Step is to embrace reading God’s word on a regular basis. Praying is simply talking to God, privately and publicly. Praying allows us to recognize that we are not in control—God is. As we pray, we can share with God that we Love Him, confess our shortcomings, give Him thanks, and share our concerns.
Taking a Next Step of regularly reading our Bible and praying moves us forward to having a mature relationship with God.
1 John 5:14