One thing that I am really enjoying is the SOAP Bible study method. Believe it or not I have never heard of this method for studying the Bible until now. I heard of SOAP when I was in massage school for taking client notes, but never in Bible study.
The S.O.A.P Bible Study Method
S. Start with scripture. Write it down. Whether it is 1 verse or 10 write them out on paper. Writing scripture down helps me remember it and really think about.
O. O is for observation. What do I see? This is where I reread the scripture and write down what it tells me. If there are words in the verses I don’t know I look them up and write down the definitions.
A. Application. This is the hard one. Writing it down is not hard, but living the scripture out is. I ask myself during this step, “What is God’s Word saying to me? How can I apply that scripture to my life today? Are there any changes that I need to make in my heart to be able to live this out?
P. Prayer. The best part. Isn’t it awesome that we get to talk to God? I write my prayer down according to what I wrote down in the application step. I pray that God would help me to live these scriptures out. If I did see that there were changes I needed to make (and usually there are) I pray God would give me the strength to make those changes. Also, pray God’s word back to Him.
Here is an example of what I did this morning with Psalm 25: 8-10.
S. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His testimonies.”
O. The Lord is good. He instructs sinners in the way. Not perfect people, sinners. He leads the humble in what is right. Not the proud! He teaches the humble his way. All the paths and ways of the Lord are constant, loyal, reliable, in love, and faithful for those who keep His commands.
A. Because God is good He will instruct me. Most importantly God instructs me knowing that I am a sinner. God knows I am a sinner. God knows I will sin. But He will lead me in what is right and He will teach me His ways IF I am humble. Humble=low in my own spirit and heart, submissive to God. Knowing that I can do nothing without God. And IF I keep God’s commands He will lead me. The path God leads me down will be a path of love and faithfulness. To keep his commands I need to know His word! And when I know His word I need to OBEY His word. And then I can trust in His ways and trust that no matter what happens in my life He will be guiding me with love and faithfulness.
P. Father God, thank you for being good, especially when I am not. Thank you for leading me even though I am a sinner. Thank you for Jesus and for providing a way back to you. I pray that I would accept your instruction and not push away from it and try to do things my way. I pray that you would help me humble myself and live a humble life. I pray that you will lead me in what is right and that you will teach me your ways and how to live them out. I thank you that all your ways are loving and faithful. Please God help me to trust in that and live that out.
in His name, Amen
If you have never tried the SOAP Bible study method before I really recommend you do. It helps you do more than just read the scripture. It helps you dig down in to them and also helps you dig down in to your own heart.