As we begin our teaching series through 1 Peter, this accompanying devotional will invite us to think deeply about Peter’s thoughts about suffering. This week, we will introduce a way of reading and interacting with Scripture that will “get it into our bones” called S.O.A.P. We are called to live out this teaching as Apprentices of Jesus. Whether you’ve followed Jesus for a long time, or you are brand new to reading the Bible this will be helpful to live out these teachings. No matter what stage of your apprenticeship, we would invite all of us to come back to these foundational ways to be transformed! Today, we focus on the first Letter of Soap – S for Scripture.
There are a lot of entities vying for our attention in this age. Our News Apps are screaming at us, “Open Me!”. Our Social Media interrupts our day with red badges that promise us new information. Our friends, colleagues, and neighbors all have opinions, thoughts, and musings about our current crisis. As good and as helpful as our information age is, it can be a distraction from what Jesus Followers have used as a Northern Star for millenia: Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 says,
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
ALL Scripture is both INSPIRED and USEFUL. Other versions list it’s uses: teaching, “rebuking”, correcting, and for training. Scripture has been and will always be the filter and the compass for the life of the Jesus Follower. Psalm 119:105 says,
Your word is a lamp to guide my feetPsalm 119:105 (NLT)
and a light for my path.
As a child I loved to play with Legos. While some children would break open the box, dump out the contents, throw out the instructions (the HORROR!), and begin building I would have a much different approach. As I would stare at the front of the box, a beautiful creation of intricately placed plastic building blocks, the instructions would synchronize this chaos of polymer into a beautiful creation. The creator of the set would have a vision for how to best utilize the blocks. I could do my own thing; while creative, this would not utilize the full potential and vision for the blocks. Like an instruction manual, Scripture invites us to a correction vision for what Jesus calls, “an abundant life.” As we read a few verses, there are a few assumptions we need to make to come with the correct heart:
- God wants to speak to us.
- God primarily uses His Word to communicate with us.
- God made us, knows us, and can communicate in a way we understand.
Throughout the next few days, we will learn more about how to interpret and apply, but for now, read these few verses and be of faith that God WANTS to speak to your heart! Find a quiet place and take 5 deep breaths. Read the following verse. Read it slowly. Read it again. Close your eyes and think about it. Read it aloud! We’ll see you tomorrow!
Note: Grab a journal or notebook! It will be helpful as you move through this process to have a place to make observations and reflect.
1 This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
May God give you more and more grace and peace.1 Peter 1:1-2 (NLT)