We believe God speaks to us through scripture and desires that we read and apply its teachings to our lives. There are many good ways to do this, but one method that many have found to be simple but effective is to journal through the acronym S.O.A.P.
Scripture: As you read the passage of the day, select just one or two verses (or just a few words) that pop out to you! Trust that this verse or phrase is what God wants to use to speak to you. Write that verse or phrase down.
Observation: Observe what today’s reading says about the thought that popped out to you in the “S” step above. What does the surrounding chapter help you understand about it? What did the writer want people back then to know? Write out a few sentences telling what you notice about that topic out of your reading for the day. The intent here is not to take notes on the whole chapter but to zero in on one subject.
Application: Consider how this applies to you personally. What does God want you to do in response to what you have read? How might God want you to change? Or what help and encouragement is God offering you? This step is the most important part of your journaling time. Let God speak to you about your own life, and write what you sense God is saying.
Prayer: Write out a brief prayer based on what God has shown you today. This may be a prayer of thanks for what God has done for you, or you may need to admit some area where you have messed up and admit you want to leave those mistakes behind you. God is eager to walk with you to apply what has brought to your attention!
Journaling through the Bible using S.O.A.P. is simple, but if you do it faithfully, God will use this process to speak to you. He says in Psalm 32:8, “I will teach you and instruct you in the way that you should go.” God wants to help you understand and live the way of Jesus!
Start with this reading plan! This plan takes you through the entire New Testament and then chronologically through the main events of the Old Testament. In one year, you'll get an overview of the big story of Scripture in manageable daily amounts. Just click the link below!