So you have an interest in reading the Bible but you don’t know where to start? Maybe you have tried before and didn’t get any anything out of it? These are very common concerns which cause many people to simply NOT READ their Bible. It just sits and collects dust. Even worse, “not reading the Word” actually prevents you from getting to know our Creator and Lord. Learn the SOAP Bible Study Method and benefit immediately.
For the past few years, I have been using the SOAP Bible Study Method. I even used it when I read through the Bible in 90 days. The study involves praying, reading, reflecting and writing. It is easy to remember and even easier to do! The SOAP Bible Study Method works great for a regular daily devotional and study time with the Lord. Following these Four steps will provide great satisfaction and draw you closer to God.
Learn To Use The SOAP Bible Study Method Here:
S – Scripture
Assuming that you will be doing this on a regular basis, it would be good to have a reading plan. YouVersion, BibleStudyTools and BibleGateway are a few websites that have a wide selection of reading plans that can take you through books or topics at any pace you like for as long as you like. I suggest you start reading a single book at a time and let the reading plan break it up into bite size reading times. Use the SOAP Bible Study Method to help you in your reading plan. For example, taking a month to read the book of Mark? It probably would not be a good idea to start with Revelation. Maybe one of the Gospels like Matthew or Luke would be a good start. Now, read a portion of scripture. It may be a chapter or it could just be a few paragraphs. Whatever it is, right down the name of the book, chapter and verses like this “Luke 1:1 -15” . Reflect for a moment about what you just read. Think about the context of your reading. It might be helpful to read it a second time. Was there was a verse that really stood out to you? Write that verse down. Next, allow God to speak to you about the scripture passages you have read.
O – Observation
We want to understand as much about the truth from our scripture reading as possible. Journalists have use the “Five W’s and one H” for a long time while gathering facts. Using each of these will help provide you with a fairly complete understanding of what happened. Who was the passage talking about? It may be more than one person. What happened in the story? When did it take place? Where did this happen? Why did this happen? How did it happen? Take a few moments to try and summarize your reading. Be sure to keep your thoughts within the original context of who the message was written to and why it was being shared. A paragraph is a nice length to write.
A – Application
Now, take a moment to digest what you have observed and think inward about your life and your relationship with God. How is the scripture you read speaking to you? Maybe you read something that gave you hope because you are discouraged. Maybe the reading caused you to think about an attitude or lifestyle change? Sometimes scripture will even share glimpses of God’s nature we may not have seen or rememberd before? Whatever the application to your life, write down how it has impacted and spoke to you and how it may have caused you to respond today.
P – Prayer
God is an awesome God who loves us. We are his children and he desires to have a personal relationship with us. There is no better time to reflect and talk with God than just after reading His Word. Speak conversationally to God about whats on your heart. Reflect specifically about the scripture you read and how it has spoken to you. If it has revealed some sin in your life, confess it. Your prayer may include thanking God for His never ending mercy and love for us. It could include specific requests for a variety of needs. Whatever your prayer, write it down.
Use the SOAP Bible Study Method. So, why do we write down the scripture, observation, application and prayer? Why should you keep a journal? Using the SOAP Bible Study Method can help you reflect on what you have read. Writing helps us digesting what we have read. It’s for your benefit. Trust me, you will come back to those journal entries and read them from time to time. If you need a little nudge or would like to see an example of the SOAP Bible Study Method For Everyone, take a look here.