The most important thing in your life is your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For that reason we cannot encourage you enough to cultivate this personal relationship through the daily practices of prayer and engaging with the Bible. One great way of doing this is SOAP.
Below you'll find a guide to help you apply the SOAP practice to in your daily devotions.
Why do Christians read the Bible daily? Christians have found over the centuries that God speaks uniquely through this book. This is because, "the Bible is God’s Word spoken in human words in history" (Gordon Fee). The Bible is the primary way God instructs, guides, and reveals truth to His people. This is important because knowing truth in Christ sets us free (John 8:32).
Emil Brunner said "The Bible is the soil from which all Christian faith grows." By applying the SOAP practice daily, we grow in our relationship with God and increasingly align our lives with His good, liberating and loving will.
Take your time reading each chapter and allow God to speak to you. Look for a verse that particularly spoke to you and write it in your journal. Discuss what you have read with others doing the SOAP practice. To gain further understanding on a particular Bible passage, see Commentary Resources below.
What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this Scripture down in your own words in your journal.
Personalise what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Write how this Scripture can apply to you today.
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say and journal about it. For a great story that illustrates one way of praying, check out Coffee with God
Journalling is an excellent way to record and process what God has spoken to us. Without writing it down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons! While journalling is a very personal time with the Lord, you may want to share some of your daily journalling with your Lifegroup or mentors. Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insight and even encourage others.
In order to help explain the Bible in more detail, many people who have devoted their lives to the study of God's Word (Bible scholars and theologians) have written commentaries on the Bible. Many hundreds of such commentaries exist some of which are freely available on the internet. Here are links to a collection of New Testament commentaries and audio teachings of an experienced Bible teacher who has taught through the whole Bible. For further resources please see the Resources page.