There’s nothing quite like invoking holiness as a way to brag about your life. But calling something “blessed” has become the go-to term for those who want to boast about an accomplishment while pretending to be humble, fish for a compliment, acknowledge a success (without sounding too conceited), or purposely elicit envy.
— Jessica Bennett in a column for The New York Times
Compared to most people you’ll run into, Jesus has a very unique take on what it looks like to be blessed. None of these descriptions sound like a “hero” or a “conqueror” or a “self-made person,” and really, that’s the point. In each case the blessing is not in their present state, but in how God will bring justice to—and restore the joy of—His hurting and suffering children. “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- Psalm 34
- Job 42
- Ecclesiastes 7
- John 3:22-4:3
- Proverbs 29
- 1 Corinthians 15
Use SOAP through the summer
Growth Groups take a break during the summer months, so we don’t have specific discussion questions for these Engage passages. Instead, we encourage you to use the SOAP Method (Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer). It’s a systematic way to engage with the Bible, encouraging personal reflection, spiritual growth, and a deeper understanding of Scripture. The tabs below will explain each step and offer some specific guidance and questions to ask as you reflect on the Scriptures.
Pray before you begin asking God to help you understand and apply what you read. Read the passage through once or twice before moving on to observation.
Consider any of these as you study the passage:
- Unpack the passage by answering who, what, where, when, why and how.
- Look for words that stand out to you or are repeated throughout the passage.
- List the characters involved and write out what you learn about them.
- Write out the passage in your own words.
- List any question you have about the passage.
Summarize the truth of this passage in your own words. Then ask yourself, is there some area of my life where this truth is needed?
- Is there an example for me to follow?
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a verse to memorize?
- Is there a promise to claim?
Write out a brief prayer to close your study:
- Tell God what you learned in his Word.
- Commit to applying the truths you learned in this passage.