Last week we discussed studying Scripture, the importance, and some resources to help. This week we’re going to continue that thought, but instead of external resources to aid you in your studies, we’ll look at a way to dive deeper into the Word without having to look anywhere else. Not only can you use the reference Bible and study Bible that we mentioned in part one, but here is a great technique you can use to get more out of your daily studies.
The S.O.A.P Method
S = Scripture – As you read the verses, you physically write them out. Not only can you do this but read the same verses over and over again as you write them out. It will amaze you what God can show you just by doing this one step.
O = Observation – As you read the verses, what are some things that stand out to you? What are your first thoughts, or initial takeaways? Are there any words that stand out more than others? Is there any repetition of words?
A = Application – How can you take what you just read and observed and apply it to your life? Turn what you read and apply it personally to yourself. Ask yourself, “What changes do I need to make,” or “based on what I read, what actions do I need to take?”
P = Prayer – This is when you speak to God after He has spoken to you through the verses you’ve read. Ask God to help you live out the applications you wrote down.
Example – For the sake of this example, we’re going to use a fairly well-known verse.
Scripture – John 3:16 (write it out and read it repeatedly)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Observation (what are some things we see?) – The first thing that I notice in this verse is that God loved me. He didn’t just love me though, He loved the WHOLE world. Because He loved us, He sent his Son so that we could have eternal life. The other observation I see is that without believing on the Son (Jesus Christ), we will perish and not have eternal life.
As you can see, observation doesn’t have to be super deep. It just has to be the things you notice from what you’re reading.
Application (how can I apply what I observe to my life?) – Since God loved the whole world, I need to tell everyone I can. Knowing that if I don’t believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross for my sins means that I perish and don’t have eternal life. I must either accept him or tell others (share the love of God), so others can accept him.
Prayer (talk to God) – An example prayer might be: “God, thank you for loving me enough to send your only son. Please use me to share that love with others so the people I come in contact with can know what you’ve done for them. Thank you for Jesus who came to make a way for me to have eternal life. I understand that without him that would not be possible. Use me to show others that Jesus saves.”
As you can see, it’s not extremely difficult. I do admit that the verse I used as an example was fairly easy, but you can use the S.O.A.P method when diving into scriptures that may seem confusing to you. You’ll be amazed at the fact that when using a method such as this, you’ll find that the verses open up and become more understandable. Try it during your next Bible reading!
If you would like a deeper look into how this method works, and see it used in action with a different verse, be sure to check out the Take Heart Church Podcast on Apple or Spotify. Look for the episode titled “Simple Ways to Study the Bible – The S.O.A.P Method.” It’s a great resource!