Are you a student of Scripture? Or do you read it occasionally, when you’re in the mood?
The Bible is a book, meant to be read, again and again. Reading the Bible is a daily discipline that will change your heart and help you to grow in your knowledge of and love for God.
When we think about God’s Word, here are some important truths to remember:
The Word of God transforms us from the inside out
2 Timothy 316-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
The Word of God demands obedience
Deuteronomy 11:1 “Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.”
James 1:22 “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Luke 11:28 “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”
The Word of God is eternal
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.”
Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
As you’re reading your Bible, you may want to follow a pattern to organize your thoughts and help you retain what you read. One popular idea is the SOAP method. It’s an easy and effective way to study the Bible and record what you’re reading and learning. All you need is your Bible, a piece of paper/journal, and a pen.
When you SOAP you write down the:
- Scripture (one verse or a short passage)
- Observations you make about the text (audience, repeated words/themes, cross-references etc.)
- Application to your life: how you will apply a truth/action item from the passage?
- Prayer based on the passage
Here’s a sample:
S | Scripture:
- “You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (CSB)
O | Observation:
- You will keep: God designed and sustains us.
- Perfect peace: not freedom from suffering or hardship, but a peace in our soul because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
- “Peace that surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
- Dependent: steadfast, unwavering, devoted
- Trust: choice, not based on emotion
A | Application:
- God’s job: to keep me in perfect peace
- My job: to be dependent and trusting
- Too often I look inward or outward for peace, instead of upward
- Whether or not my surroundings feel peaceful, I can rest in the perfect peace that comes from trusting my Creator, my Savior, and my Helper
- I must not waver in my devotion. Blessing comes from being steadfast.
P | Prayer:
- Lord, thank you for the perfect peace you freely and generously offer to all who would come to you. Help me to train my mind to depend on You, trusting You at all times.
That’s it! I love looking back through my Bible study journal to see the different passages I’ve studied and the truth God has revealed to me through His Word.
Now, this may feel a little clunky at first. You may not have much to write. And that’s okay. Reading the Bible is a habit that we must develop. If you read a passage and don’t feel incredibly inspired, that’s okay. We don’t read for the emotional high. We read out of obedience. Like working out a physical muscle, it gets easier the more you do it. Spiritual weight-lifting takes time and effort.
Free for You!
I have created a free printable for you to reference when using the SOAP method.
It includes some notes and a sample, as well as a blank template you can print again and again to use when reading the Bible and going through the simple S.O.A.P. steps.
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