| Click here for an audio version of this post. |
Day 3 | Studying the Bible
“Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Ps. 119:18)
Many Christians struggle deeply when it comes to the topic of studying the Bible. The simple task at hand can be daunting. Maybe you’ve heard preachers parsing Greek verbs or pronouncing Greek words with an impressive expertise. This leads you to begin to think that apart form a seminary education, you could never study the Bible. First of all, let’s be honest, when it comes to these “Greek experts,” they probably don’t have a clue how to really say the word either, and who will ever know, right? :). All joking aside, the task of studying the Bible is incredibly important and doesn’t have to be a “mountain to climb” if you know a few simple steps to take.
While there are many different strategies to unpacking the biblical text, a very practical and simple one is what’s known as the S.O.A.P Method. No matter how much experience you have studying the Bible, this method can be used to expose very complex and transformational Truths. These Truths, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will unleash the depths of our amazing God and reveal how the Bible not only transcends time but also applies to our everyday lives.
Here is how it works:
Scripture – Read John 15
Take today’s reading, pray over it and then read through it slowly. God will direct your attention to certain verses or sections. Write these down and focus on them.
Observation – What is God saying to you?
Write down or underline any words or phrases that stand out.
“We can only know God and see him rightly through knowing and internalizing his Word.”
- What does this passage teach you about God?
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a lesson to learn?
- Is there a new truth to carry with me?
Application – What are you going to do about it?
Write down a couple action steps for today.
- How does this Truth about God effect how you will live today?
- How will you obey this command today?
- In what circumstances, today, can you cling to this promise?
- How will I avoid sin and walk in victory today?
- Based on the lesson in this text, how will you live differently today?
- Based on this new truth you’ve learned, how will it change your hope and actions today?
Who can you ask to hold you accountable to obey Jesus today?
Prayer – Ask God to empower you by his Holy Spirit to walk in obedience to what He is saying to you today.
Pray throughout your day as you seek to live for Jesus according to the things He’s revealed to you today. Take a portion of today’s reading and make it your focus in prayer, meditation, and memorization. Maybe even write it on a notecard or make it your phone background.
- In prayer – praying God’s word is praying God’s will. It’s asking God to do what He’s already willed He will do.
- In meditation – Rom 12:1-2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Meditation is renewing your mind in the beauty of Christ and taking ungodly thoughts captive to replace them with gospel Truth.
- In memorization – Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (NIV). Take today’s passage and try to put it to memory. The goal isn’t to just remember but to internalize the truth of the Bible so that it changes how you think and act.
It’s that simple! Rely upon the Spirit and get to work studying God’s word. Have fun and remember, the Bible reveals the person of Jesus who bled and died so that you might live. In your study today, don’t get distracted. Look for Jesus.
*Let us know what God is doing in this journey by leaving a comment below.
*Audio versions of all #40daysNC content can be found on our podcast.