SOAP

Vernon Rainwater lead the worship and teaching at Northland this morning. The very direct, very clear point of the hour can be stated in three words: READ GOD’S WORD. Of course, the 75 minute service was an immersion experience in God’s Word — singing songs with Scripture lyrics, reading the Word together and listening to it being read by others, teaching about the Word, personal testimonies about the impact of the Word, sharing of the sacrament of the Word become flesh and sacrificed on our behalf, and admonition to put what we read into action. Good, solid basic teaching delivered clearly and creatively.

One snippet of the teaching – an example Vernon shared of how he approaches Bible reading – uses an acrostic as a way of remembering the four interactions: S.O.A.P.

S = Scripture. Read the text.

O = Observe. Consider what is happening in the text. Who, what, where, how, when…even why?

A = Attribute. What do you learn about the character/nature of God from the passage.

P = Practice. How can I practically and appropriately respond to what I read/observed and came to understand about God?

Like the acrostic used to help give structure and focus to prayer (A.C.T.S. = Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication.) this is a very helpful tool.

What struck me in his comments was the importance of the A. Vernon reminded us that we too often approach God’s Word as if it is our story — looking to find ourselves in it. But it is NOT about us. It is about God. This is God’s story.

My take-away from this weekend’s service at Northland it to be more intentional and consistent in my looking for God is His story — both the one which is written down and shared (Bible) and the one we are all living as history is being made. This is all HIS story.

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