[featured_image]Many people make New Year’s commitments to read the Bible every day. As you start 2013, you may be considering whether or not to make daily Bible reading a habit in your life. I want to encourage you to go for it (even if you read this post after the beginning of 2013).

The S.O.A.P. method is a great way to feed yourself spiritually on the Word of God. And it’s a simple tool to pass on to anyone that you are discipling to make disciples.

S – Scripture
O – Observation
A – Application
P – Prayer

Recently, my friend Steve Ogne sent me some simple instructions with a great list of questions to ask for using this method effectively.

How Do I Study the Bible?

STOP and clear your mind.

PRAY and ask God to speak.

READ the passage in a comfortable translation/.

ASK the right questions.

WRITE your insights, questions, and applications.

S – Scripture

— What testament am I in? (before or after Christ)

— What kind of literature is it? (history, law, prophets, poetry, gospel, letters)

— Who is writing to whom and why?

— Copy the verses that spoke to you into your journal.

O – Observation

— What are the commands to obey?

— What are the promises to claim?

— What does it teach me about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?

— What questions do I have?

A – Application

— How will this truth change me or my family?

— Where do I fall short and who can help me?

— What will I change in my attitudes, behaviors, or relationships?

— What will I do today as a result of this study?

P – Prayer

— Where do you need God’s help?

— Where do you need God’s forgiveness?

— What are you thankful for?

— Write them in a prayer right now.

The most important part of using this S.O.A.P. method is your commitment to obey God and His Word. Your response in loving obedience to what you’ve just read and studied is critical.

Don’t skip asking and answering the question in bold above!

The apostle James writes, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Today’s Missional Challenge

Commit yourself to feed yourself spiritually on God’s Word everyday in 2013! Start SOAP Journaling!