Christmas. It is a time of fun, family, food, laughter, and good cheer. It is for me and I hope it is for you as well. We take time away from school, from work, from life to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Christmas is practically the reason we are here. The reason we are Christians. I often find myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas only to let it pass behind me, getting hit smack in the face with the New Year. So if this seems to happen to you every year, what can you do? Maybe you want to read through the Bible but don’t really know where to start or how to do it? That is a great goal. Take time to look up some guides online and see which fits you best. Find a friend who will hold you accountable all year long. Or even better find someone who lives far away and do it with them to help you feel closer to them. What if reading through the Bible seems way too big of a task? I say start with understanding how to study small portions of the Bible for yourself. Here I will share with you how I learned to study small scripture passages in Mr. Harris’s 8th grade bible class (I will also link a way that you can add onto this artistically, which includes 30 day verse challenge).
Here is what we would call the ‘SOAP’ method of studying a verse or chapter of scripture:
Start with the ‘S’. This stand for scripture. Take time to write out the verse or verses you want to study. Read the passage three or four times to really understand what is going on and what God is saying to you through it.
Next is the ‘O’. This is simple. Write what you observe about the passage. This can be people places, ideas, concepts, or even your personal interpretation of the passage.
After that is the ‘A’. This step is a little trickier, but it is the application. Ask yourself these questions: How does this apply to me? What does this mean to me? Why is this important and how can it affect my life? What can I take from this scripture and share with other people? And make up some of your own questions along the way!
Finally, the ‘P’. This is the prayer. You can do several things with this step. You could add you prayers to the bottom of your journal page. You could say your prayers out loud. You could do both! Whatever works for you. Personally, I love writing my prayers and looking back later to see how God has been working in my life.
Here is a visual for you (feel free to print this out and stick it in your Bible or notebook):
So that’s it. It is that simple to study the Bible and understand what is happening and how it applies to you. Yes, it takes time to sit down and be still with God but it is oh so worth it.
I challenge you, and myself, to sit down for the next 30 days, to take one scripture each day. Analyze it. Synthesize it. Try your hardest to understand what God is speaking into your life. And let it change you.
Have a great holiday. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Don’t let this season pass you by and don’t let anymore time go by before you dig into God’s Word.
Check out this link for the 30 day verse challenge that I will be doing: http://s7d9.scene7.com/is/content/LifeWayChristianResources/BibleJournalingWorkbook-LifeWaypdf.pdf
By: Sarah Jeanne