HELPFUL TIPS FOR HOW TO ENGAGE SCRIPTURE
READING AND REFLECTING ON SCRIPTURE IS A POWERFUL CATALYST IN YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, WHETHER YOU ARE EXPLORING A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS OR HAVE WALKED WITH HIM FOR MANY YEARS. AS A CHURCH, WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND TOOLS TO ENGAGE GOD’S WORD. READING AND REFLECTING ON SCRIPTURE IS A PERSONAL DISCIPLINE. IT WILL BE UP TO YOU TO READ, REFLECT, AND DISCUSS.
HOW CAN I GET STARTED?
THE SOAPS STUDY METHOD:
One of the most practical tools we can provide is called the SOAPS study method, which is outlined below. Pick up your own SOAPS Journal in the foyer at Live Oak.
WHAT IS SOAPS?
The SOAPS acrostic is designed to help you read and reflect on a passage of Scripture. Journaling helps us hear from God and more importantly apply what you have read to your life and circumstances.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
-Read a passage of Scripture from a reading plan (you can find reading plans at Youversion.com and other online bibles, but Live Oak will almost always have a Church-wide reading plan in place that follows the current Sunday series.)
-Turn to a fresh page in your journal.
– Write today’s date and follow this model…
Write down the main Scripture that stood out to you from a section of reading.
Write down what you have seen in the Scripture. What? When? Where? How? What is happening or what is being communicated? What is God trying to say to me through this part of His Word?
Personalize what you have just read and write down how it applies to your life. Ask yourself, “How will my life be different because of what I just read?” “How does it apply to my life right now?”
Write out your prayer. This can be as simple as asking God to help you use the Scripture, or it may be a greater insight He is revealing to you. Make it honest and heartfelt!
II will share what God has taught me with my small group, family and/or friends. While journaling is a very personal time, you may want to share some of your daily journaling with your family, friends, or small group. By sharing with others, you may gain new insight or encourage others.
2 TIMOTHY TOOL:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
5 Application Questions:
Teaching: What is the basic truth God wants me to know?
Rebuking: What error in judgment, understanding or behavior might this passage be rebuking in my life?
Correction: How might this passage correct, balance or redirect me?
Training: What does this passage present to prepare me for living a God honoring life or for facing some future challenge?
Equipped for Every Good Work: How might this passage equip me for serving God and people
- One final tool to help you engage scripture and to really dig into the application of it into your life is the acronym S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S.
As you read and reflect, ask yourself, “Is there a…”
S. Sin to confess?
P. Promise to claim?
A. Attitude to change?
C. Command to obey?
E. Example to follow?
P. Prayer to pray?
E. Error to avoid?
T. Truth to believe?
S. Something to praise God for?
BIBLE TRANSLATION GUIDE
The Bible was written in Hebrew (and some Aramaic) for the Old Testament, and Greek for the New Testament. Most translators seek to be faithful to the Scriptures but typically translate from two different approaches: a word-for word or a thought-for-thought perspective.
Here are a few of the most common translations:
New international Version (NIV) The NIV is highly accurate and smooth reading version in modern English. It is best characterized as balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought. “The NIV delivers the best balance of accuracy to the original languages and clarity of meaning in contemporary English.”(www.thenivbible.com)
English Standard Version (ESV) The ESV pays special attention to word-for-word translation. It is a revision of the Revised Standard Version (1971 edition). The translators essentially set out to provide a literal translation of the Scripture in contemporary English.
Amplified (AMP) The Amplified was written to create deeper understanding and meaning to the text. It leans heavily toward the word-for-word end of the spectrum. The goal of the amplified translators was increasing the clarity and relevance of the text. However, it can read a little clunky. “Its goal was to take both word meaning and context into account to accurately translate the original text from one language into another.” (www.biblegateway.com)
New Living Translation (NLT) This translation leans toward the thought-for-thought side of the spectrum. The translators sought to take the original Scriptures and bring them into more contemporary language and phrasing. This translation attempts to bring in entire thoughts rather than just words to our modern-day English.
The Message This translation is on the far end of thought-for-thought part of the spectrum. “This is a paraphrase of the Bible by Eugene Peterson, who used the original Greek and Hebrew texts and tried to bring their “feel”—their tone, rhythm, and idiom—directly into contemporary English.” - American Bible Society. Utilizing The Message in conjunction with a word-for-word translation can be very useful for deeper understanding.
Check out these links to help you engage Scripture:
Also…Visit our media library and find the series called BIBLE DIY. This was a 4 part series that will encourage and give you such practical insight into engaging and understanding Scripture.