Links, Downloads, and Tips To Help You Grow
Whether we are beginning in faith or have followed Jesus for years, the Bible can be intimidating. The vast majority of people want to read the Bible, but most don't know how. It can be intimidating. We want to help take away all the fear or anxiety surrounding the Bible and give you some tools to help you learn and grow. At any time if you have a question, you can use the linked buttons below to text or email a staff member and they'll jump in to help.
Above is a simplified breakdown of the Bible.
We call it the Seven C's:
To give you a reminder of the breakdown of each book of the Bible, we have bookmarks of the Old and New Testaments to help give you a snapshot of what the Bible is all about.
They are quirky. Our hope is that they peak your interest to start reading the Bible and encounter God, your heart, and Jesus in the process.
The internet is full of resources to help you engage the Bible. We wanted to give you a few to begin that journey. As you encounter the scriptures, take time to write down/journal what you're learning. It's a great way to stay engaged and see how you're growing.
The Bible Project:
Bible App (Reading plans, Audio Bible, and more):
Open Bible (Topical Search):
Bible Gateway (Online Commentaries):
There are plenty of ways to engage the scriptures, but we know of one method that has been helpful to many we've talked to. It's called, S.O.A.P.
So... WHY S.O.A.P.?
It’s one thing to simply read scripture, but when you interact with it, when you learn to slow down to REALLY read it, suddenly words start popping off the page. By SOAPing your verses you are able to dig deeper into scripture and “see” more than if you simply read the verses and then went on your merry way. Let me encourage you to take the time to S.O.A.P. the daily verses and see for yourself how much more you get out of your daily reading……you’ll be amazed.
WHAT DOES S.O.A.P. MEAN?
S– The S stands for Scripture- you physically write out the scripture……you’ll be amazed that what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you are reading!
O– The O stands for observation- what do you see in the verses that you’re reading? Who is the audience? Is there a repetition of words? What words stand out to you?
A– The A stands for Application- this is when God’s Word becomes personal. What is God saying to me today? How can I apply what I just read to my own personal life? What changes do I need to make? Is there an action that I need to take?
P– And finally P stands for Prayer. Pray God’s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. Confess if He has revealed some sin that is in your life.
Studying God’s Word like this can take as little or as long as you have time to give. Some days it can take just 10 or 15 minutes, other days longer.
Here's An Example of S.O.A.P. in action with some Bible verses:
Bible Verses: Colossians 1:5-8
S– The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
O– (Many times I just bullet my observations……what I’m seeing at first glance when looking at the verses)
When you combine faith and love, you get hope.
We have to remember that our hope is in heaven…….it is yet to come.
The Bible is the word of truth.
The good news of Jesus is continually bearing fruit and growing from the 1st day to the last.
It just takes one person to change a whole community…..Epaphras.
A– Something that stood out to me today was how God used one man, Epaphras to change a whole town!!! I was reminded that we are simply called to tell others about Christ……it’s God’s job to change people….to grow it and have it bear fruit. I felt today’s verses were almost directly spoken to Forefront…..“all over the world this good news of Jesus is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” Isn’t it cool when God’s Word becomes so alive and speaks directly were we are at?!!!!
P– Dear Lord, please help me to be a “Epaphras”…..to tell others about you and then leave the results in your hands. Please help me to understand and apply what I have read today to my life personally, becoming more and more like you each day. Help me to live a life that bears the “fruit” of faith and love……anchoring my hope in heaven, not here on earth. Help me to remember that the BEST is yet to come!
The most important ingredients in the S.O.A.P. method is YOUR interaction with God’s Word and your APPLICATION of His Word for YOUR life.
Each week we have small groups all over Hampton Roads (and in NC) meeting and learning together. Our team writes weekly Bible studies that go along with the message coming up the next Sunday. Basically, our groups start the conversation and we keep that going in the message each week.
If you'd like to check out the studies, linked below is our Weekly Studies Page. Also, while these studies can be done alone, they work best when done in a small group. We've linked our Small Groups here as well for you to contact someone about jumping into a group today!
In our teaching series, 'The Bible Doesn't Say That" we tackled why the Bible is important, how to read the Bible, and what tools are available to encounter it, not simply be a student of it. Take some time to engage these messages. We pray they encourage and challenge you in your faith.