I set a goal at the beginning of the year to read through the New Testament a chapter at a time. While I’d love to read through 7 chapters each week I knew that 5 or 6 chapters would be much more realistic.
However, the question still remained of how to make the reading meaningful and not simply breeze through each chapter in order to check it off of my to-do list. I wanted a simple Bible Reading Plan that also caused me to stop and really think about what I was reading.
Then I read about the SOAP method of Bible Study. SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
I use a composition book to take notes during by Bible reading. I simply write the date and what chapter I’m reading that day. Then I write an “S” for scripture.
Before I read, I ask God to show my what he wants me to see in that particular chapter. Then I read the chapter straight through. After I’ve read, I go back through and look for one verse that stands out to me. I write out this verse next to the “S” in my notebook.
Underneath that I write an “O” for observation and write down what I observe about that verse.
Next I write an “A” for application and write how that verse and my observations are applicable to my life right now.
Finally, I write a “P” for prayer and write out a prayer thanking God for what he has shown me and asking him to help my take a step toward applying what I’ve learned.
So far this Bible reading method has worked wonderfully for me. In the past I’ve always fallen behind in reading plans and then become discouraged. However, since I’ve set the goal for 5 days a week I don’t feel stressed out about reading my Bible. Also, as a person who grew up reading the Bible, this method is helping me to see familiar passages in a new light, which in turn motivates me to keep coming back to the Word.
Today’s Question: What about you? Do you struggle to find time and excitement in reading God’s word? How do you best focus and really make the Bible apply to your everyday life?