Do you remember when you first started reading your bible? I sure do! I would often jump from book to book, opening the bible at random and praying a scripture would jump out at me. Ha! Has anyone else done this? Let’s be honest - this ‘method’ of going through the bible wasn't really a method at all - I was only taking in bits and pieces - I really didn’t have an in-depth knowledge or understanding of the bible!
Since then, I’ve found a much more effective and exciting way to study the bible, and I’m going to share it with you so you! Here are four simple steps to studying your bible.
1. Choose a book to study
First, research the books in the bible and the sort of topics you’d like to cover - then choose one to get started with! If you're stuck on a place to start, I recommend familiarising yourself with the gospels, as they detail Jesus’ life and ministry on earth. Start with the gospel of John, as it focuses on who Jesus is, not just on what he did on earth.
2. Read a chapter a day.
Or if you find that too much, simply break the chapter down into a few sections - usually each chapter will already be broken down for you with headings explaining what the main theme or action is in the passage.
3. Write your thoughts!
It can be really fun to write your thoughts and underline words and phrases that jump out at you in a journaling bible. Journaling bibles include a blank column on either side of the text on each page so that you can do just this! It can be fun to use some different coloured pens and highlighters to make your notes. If you don’t have a journaling bible, this one is my favourite, and this one is great too.
If you’re looking for some bible-safe pens and highlighters, I like these ones.
4. Get out a notebook and pens - I love this journal.
Use the S.O.A.P method to analyse the passage and apply it to your life - it’s a simple and effective way to get more out of your bible study.
S.O.A.P stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. For each chapter you go through, you're going to make notes about each of these four things. Next to each letter you will write down the following.
S: The 'S' stands for scripture. Next to the 'S', write down the verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading.
O: The 'O' stands for observation. Next to the 'O', write down what you observed about the scripture. This could be a word, verse, idea, action that caught your attention.
A: The 'A' stands for application. Next to the 'A', write down how you can you practically apply the observation so that it affects your life today.
P: The 'P' stands for prayer. Next to the 'P', write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth to your life.
This method will help you go deeper with your understanding of the bible and its application to your life.
I look forward to hearing about how these four simple steps help you get more out of your bible study time.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. How do you study your bible? What tips and tools do you find helpful? Comment and let me know.