Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me a purity of heart, so that I may honor you. Psalm 86:11
As I look over my years of reading and studying the Bible, I have found 2 methods stand out as most beneficial. The first has been studying each book of the Bible inductively using Precept upon Precept workbooks written by Kay Arthur. In the beginning, some people discouraged me from this because I had 3 little children and these studies necessitate about 5 hours of homework each week 😊 Even then I realized if I am going to invest my time into something, time in the word of God is always wisely spent.
But for those seasons when I was not prepared to commit to an in-depth study, I found SOAP, an acronym introduced to me through the Hawaiian pastor Wayne Cordiero. This technique is so simple and now provides a written journey of my time spend in the word of God.
Scripture – Under this heading, select one or more verses to write out.
Observation – What do you notice about this verse? Some questions to consider…
Who is speaking? To Whom? Do you learn something about God’s character? What does it say to do or not to do? Is there a promise? What is the historical context? If you are really curious, you can look up a word in its original language (Hebrew or Greek) to gain more insight.
Application- What does God want me to do as a result of reading this? Perhaps my response will be to worship our amazing God. Or do I need to repent? Do I need to incorporate this truth into my thinking so my worldview resembles God’s and not man’s? Is there something God is placing on my heart to do or to stop doing?
Pray – Talk to the Lord and enjoy the privilege of coming boldly to His throne of grace to find help in our time of need. (I record a 2-3 sentence summary of the prayer.)
My prayer for you is that you will delight in God’s word, His love letter to us.