I have often had people tell me that it was very non-productive to just grab a Bible and start reading. It is often told to me that it is “boring” to do that. I understand and have felt the same way. However, I believe the Bible is the word of God and it has all the answers to every question that we may ever have. Thus, it deserves our study. So, how do we make that study meaningful? My first suggestion is to try another version of the Bible. I love The New Living Translation and I love “The Message” by Eugene Peterson. Both are written in a way that is common today. We no longer speak the kings English (by the way, neither did Jesus) and it can be confusing to try and discover the meaning of life in a language that we don’t speak.
The other method of Bible reading that I have found to be extremely helpful to me is through journaling. Here is the process that I have begun to use…thanks to Wayne Cordero for introducing this to me.
Step 1 Find the Scripture for the day using a Bible reading plan. A plan such as this allows you to be guided through the Bible in a systematic way. It also encourages us to read the books of the Bible that are our least favorites. If left up to me, I would never leave the Gospel of John, but there is so much value that I would be missing if I only stayed in John or just the New Testament.
Step 2 Read the passages. Read them with an open heart and Jesus will give you the words of encouragement, direction, correction and hope that you need.
Step 3 When you get a life lesson from the Scripture you have read do the following:
1. Write today’s date.
2. Give your lesson a title.
3. Write out your main Scripture. (Scripture)
4. Write what you see in the Scripture (Observation)
5. Write how you will be different today because of what you have just read. (Application)
6. Write out your prayer. (Prayer)
The SOAP model can help you really get into the Bible, but most importantly it can help the Bible get into you. We have been given the greatest resource of all time and all we have to do is take time to read and study it. It will change your life!!