Last Sunday we finished a short sermon series on “Embracing God’s Word” where we looked at the importance of embracing the Bible as authoritative, inspired, inerrant and infallible. We also talked about how God illuminates our hearts to its truth and understanding.
We talked about the fact that there are at least three ways to read/study your Bible.
1st – The “Random Flip & Read” Method – this is when you pick-up your Bible, flip through the pages and pick any verse or passage at random to read. (While quick and easy – it’s not really the best way to go about it.)
2nd – The “Start at Beginning” Method – this is when you start on page one and read the Bible just like any other book, from front to back. (While this is a bit more organized, and it will tell the story of redemption – there is still a better way.)
3rd – An “Interact and Ask Questions” Plan – This is when you ask questions and dig out details and helpful applications as you read the passage. There are many “interactive plans” to try.
One is known simply as “S.O.A.P.” It’s explained like this:
S – Scripture: Write out the passage. If you read a large section, write out the verses that speak to you the most.
O – Observe: Ask – What do you see? What stands out? What didn’t you notice before? Is there repetition, comparison, or contrast?
A – Application: Ask, How does this apply to my life? What is God saying to me? How can I employ what I have just read? What changes do I need to make? What actions do I need to take?
P – Pray: Ask God to work these truths and challenges into your life. Ask God to make the truth now comprehended in your head a truth that is realized in your heart.
Another plan we can call the “10 Dig & Reveal” Questions. After you read the passage, work though these 10 questions:
Depending on your passage, there may not be answers to some of these questions. That’s okay! The purpose is to learn and not just do a “fill-in-the-blanks” homework assignment.
The last plan will take the most effort, but also might be the most helpful. We’ll call it the “Inductive Study” method. As you read the passage, work through these 7 points:
So this month, take some time to open your Bible, give it a read and try one of these plans to interact with God’s Word. You will be glad you did.