Why should we read the Bible?
First and foremost, we read the Bible to enjoy Jesus! The Bible is the primary way God communicates with us about the Gospel and what it means to be a disciple. When we read Scripture, we encounter Jesus and connect with Him. We get to spend time reflecting on and enjoying Jesus!
We read the Bible because “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Reading, studying, and praying God’s word helps know what it means to follow Jesus.
We read the Bible because it reveals God’s unchanging character and love He has for us. Our world is constantly changing with the newest trend or technology, but the nature of God and the sin of Man are constant. The Bible shows us who we are and our need for a Savior. When we read the Bible, it gives us a chance to slow down and see the beauty of the Gospel.
We read the Bible because it is the only book in the world that is completely true and without error. We can be confident that when the Bible says Jesus conquered sin and death and whoever believes in Him has eternal life, that it’s true! Not only that, but we should read the Bible because the world is filled with false teaching and knowing God’s word helps us distinguish God’s truth from error.
How to SOAP in God’s Word
SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. It is a way to hear from God through His Word, the Bible and is a great tool for discipleship as we seek to follow Jesus!
When you sit for your daily time with God, grab your Bible and a journal and use SOAP to help you think through, process, and apply what you’re reading. (If you’ve never read the Bible before, it can seem like a daunting task. The Gospel of Matthew is a good place to start. You’ll hear about Jesus’ ministry, learn from His teachings, and witness the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the grave!)
Write down the verse(s) that stuck out the most to you. As you’re reading ask questions like: Is this before or after Jesus came? Who is in this passage? What happened just before and after this passage? What things are repeated or emphasized?
What did you observe about the Scripture you read? The most important question to ask is: How does this anticipate or relate to Jesus and the Gospel? To help answer this question, ask things like: What does this say about Jesus? What does this say about Man? What does this say about God? How do you think the author wants his audience to respond?
How can you apply what you learned so that it affects your life today? What truths about Jesus and the Gospel do you need to believe? What thoughts, actions, or attitudes do you need to confess to God and turn from? Getting practical with the Bible helps it come alive in your life.
Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned. Praise Him for the good news of the Gospel and the grace God has given you through your faith in Jesus! And ask God to help you apply the truth you learned to your life.