4 Principles for Growing Closer to God (Part 1)

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me— watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

– Matthew 11: 28– 30 THE MESSAGE

How do we follow Christ in this manner, learning to live freely and lightly in the unforced rhythms of grace? Let me suggest four important principles for growing closer to God through Scripture.

A Life of Worship

A Bulwark Against the Enemy It was the day of the triumphal entry, when Jesus came down off the Mount of Olives. He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. As He did, people would break palm leaves and lay them in front of Him. The children began to cry out, “Hosanna … Blessed is he who comes in the name of …

Put The Big Rocks First

A physics teacher handed each of his students several big rocks, a wide-mouth mason jar and a container of sand. He said, “You will have fifteen seconds to put all of the rocks and sand into the jar. Ready, set, go!” The students frantically poured the sand into the mason jar and began to shove the rocks in… twelve…thirteen… fourteen, …

Securing Your Devotion

Last week, we introduced the SOAP method for daily devotions. Today, we offer the first of many sample devotions from the Mentoring Leaders storehouse.

P is for Prayer

The final stage of your journal entry is recording your prayer. It could read as simply as:

Lord Jesus, help me to be a person who listens to Your Word. Today I will take time to hear what You are saying to me. Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.

A is for Application


After you’ve carefully observed what the text says, take some time to write out how you plan to put into practice the lesson the Divine Mentor has just brought to your attention. How will you be different today as a result of what you’ve just read?

O is for Observation

The question is never ‘ Does God speak?’’ but rather ‘‘ Am I listening?’’

To best hear what God has to say to you, you must still your heart. Set aside your pressing demands. Turn off all your electronic distractions. Rarely does God shout to make himself heard!

S is for Scripture

As you peruse Scripture reading for a given day, ask the Lord to bring home to your heart one text in particular.

That is a prayer the Holy Spirit loves to answer.

He will highlight one verse or thought that momentarily stops you in your tracks or seems to shine out from the page. He will whisper, “This is for you – this is a promise you can hold to” or ”This instruction will get you back on track.” Whatever the text is, write it down in your journal. Copy out the verse at the top of your entry for that day.

Why use SOAP?

This week, we’ll be sharing excerpts from Wayne Cordeiro’s book, The Divine Mentor, and sharing tools for daily devotions.

At New Hope, we’ve done any number of things over the year to help our church grow, but one thing we’ve one stands head and shoulders above everything else.

Taking Hold of Your Future

“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 Solomon is teaching us a “life essential.” It is a class on taking the initiative to take hold of your future. What is it that needs to be accomplished? What needs to be done this week that you have been procrastinating for the last …