I am still working on putting together a class for my College and Career Sunday School ministry on how to study the Bible. I am trying to have some methods that are in-depth type of studies and some that are shorter and very pragmatic.
Here is the thing, if you are not reading the Bible you need to start. The Bible is the inspired word of GOD. It is one of the primary ways he communicates with us, prayer being another very important way. I have heard people say for years that if you have not been reading the word and want to begin that you should start with just a small section. “Just read for five minutes,” they say. That is fine, but it really needs to go beyond that. If you are hungry do you eat just a small snack, or do you sit down to a meal each day to a full meal so that you can grow stronger and thrive?
More than that, it is important to meditate on, to memorize, and apply the word in your life. This is hard to do if you are taking in just one or two sentences a day or less. If you want to see more on why we should read GOD’s word then you chan read my post entitled, Why Should We Study GOD’s Word.
Not everyone studies the same way. Not every person can or should go to seminary to learn at a pastoral level. However, everyone that is a disciple of Christ should make a real effort to get to know GOD’s revealed word. Everyone that is a disciple of Christ should make a real effort to fill their minds and lives with the word of GOD. Jesus said that man speaks out of the overflow of the heart. What are you filling your heart with?
Today I made a template for personal Bible devotion called the S.O.A.P. method. I did not come up with the acrostic, but I made it into a template and added some subpoints to help guide your devotion time. The acrostic stands for Scripture, Observations, Application, Prayer. When using this method, (or any other) begin in prayer. Next read and re-read the scripture that you have chosen. If you are reading just a chapter, read the whole book once to get the context. If you are the reading a section out of a chapter, likewise read the whole chapter once to get the context. This method is one page long and can be done in one settings depending on how much you are choosing to read. Always begin and end in prayer. If you have any questions leave them in the comments section. I will be posting other methods later.
To Download the template click here —> SOAP devotional template
To get a chapter summary method, see my post called “What is GOD saying?– A Chapter Summary Method of Bible Study”