How To Read The Word Of God?
Published on 18 August 2020
Fundamental to any relationship, communication is key. It is the same in our Christian walk: Our Heavenly Father desires to speak to us constantly— as much, if not more than, we speak to Him. Whether in the big or small matters of life such as how to bless others, what career path to take, what is our purpose in life, how to live in joy, what God thinks about us etc.,God is interested in speaking to us because He loves us deeply.
One of the ways that God speaks to us is through the Bible—His Word. Hidden in the Bible, are God’s promises and His detailed guide to navigating the journey of life. But like any treasure, His promises and roadmap may never be found unless there is a committed hunt to seek them out!
The Bible contains answers to every situation we may ever encounter. Sometimes, these answers are explained in plain English, but others are to be discovered through the challenging journeys of people who lived in Bible days.Through the powerful stories of ordinary men and women, God provides us with a detailed guide to navigating our way through life and reaching the wonderful destination He has planned for us. Each individual’s unique story has been documented in the Bible, to teach us important lessons that we can apply to our lives today. God’s Word is alive, timeless, relevant and applicable, no matter who you are, where you are from or when you were born!
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
Let’s begin our journey of discovering these hidden treasures in the Bible. To some, the search may seem intimidating and overwhelming, but treasure is seldom found without actively searching. There is nothing more rewarding than the moment God’s Word jumps out of the pages of the Bible to answer a pressing question regarding something that is going on in our lives!
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV)
How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!
Proverbs 16:16 (NLT)
The Planetshakers Eternity Magazine—a discipleship and training resource written to assist new Christians— outlines the following simple method for reading and understanding the Bible. For the sake of our memory, it is called the S.O.A.P. method—a simple, step-by step guide to getting to know God’s Word and applying it to your life. Each letter of the word SOAP signifies a different task and together, the tasks represent the biblical process of being ‘washed’ or ‘purified’ in God’s Word.
Christ did this so He could set the church apart for Himself. He made it clean by the washing of water with the Word.
Ephesians 5:26 (NLV)
S . O . A . P method
S - SCRIPTURE
When you read a scripture that captures your attention, write it down. If you can, memorize it.
O - OBSERVATION
After reading that scripture, list down some observations surrounding that verse. Perhaps, read the whole chapter to help you answer the following questions: Who wrote this verse? When was it written? Where was it spoken? What else was happening at the time? Why was it said?
A - APPLICATION
Ask yourself how the verse applies to YOUR life —past, present or future.
P - PRAYER
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what He intended the verse to mean for YOU. As He begins to reveal the condition of your heart, if necessary, repent for falling short of His best for your life. Be grateful for what He has done and provided, and ask for His help to bring permanent breakthrough into areas of your life that need it.
These 4 simple steps can help bring revelation of what the Word of God means to you in your life, right now. It is only when we see our circumstances clearly, through the truthful lens of God’s Word, that we can activate our faith and see the change that is needed. Just hearing God’s Word or seeing it written on a page, isn’t enough; we must DO something about it!
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
Studying the Bible might be new to you, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Every new relationship takes time to grow and a willingness to seek more knowledge about the other. It is no different in our pursuit of God. Receiving what you need from God’s Word starts with a positive attitude and refusal to allow a little effort to get in the way of hearing from your Creator! This relationship will be the most rewarding of your life, and like any great one, will grow with time, patience and commitment. As you set aside a little time each day to read God’s Word and apply it to your life, gaining insight into His incredible character and personality and experiencing moments when He speaks directly to you through His words on the page, the relationship will begin to take form and flourish organically. Eventually, you will crave this time with Him and make reading His Word, a serious priority in your life! But it all starts with a DECISION to open the Bible and start reading!
Following is an example of how the S.O.A.P. method can be used to study God’s Word—found in our recently-developed devotional resource called, “Word of the Day” . These are great resources to help you begin your own journey of studying the Bible. We have personalised the following one for you:
A Devotional by Pastor Heidi Worgu
S - SCRIPTURE : Ephesians 3:17-19
You being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NKJV)
O - OBSERVATION
This scripture firstly encourages me to be ‘rooted and grounded’ in love. In the Amplified Version, it says, “being deeply rooted and securely grounded in love”. This is the key—not allowing my life to be rooted in fear and anxiety, but instead, rooted and grounded in God's love. I must ask myself these questions daily: Do I truly understand how much God loves me? Do I fully understand that He is a good father and He’ll provide for me every step of the way?
The scripture goes on to say that we “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge”. God wants me to truly and fully know His love. That word, “know”, in Greek, actually means to, “know by experience”. God wants me to experience His love—His powerful, life-transforming, never-failing love. This is the love that God wants me to experience every single day!
A - APPLICATION
When I read this scripture, the picture I get in my mind is a tree! A tree that is deeply rooted and securely grounded. Even when the wind and the storms come, that tree is immovable, not going anywhere, and unshaken! This is the picture that God wants for my life. No matter the storms or circumstances that come my way– when I am deeply rooted and securely grounded in God’s love, I am unshakeable. God wants His sons and daughters to be so securely grounded in His love. In another Bible verse in 1 John 4:18, God reminds me that perfect love casts out fear, so when love comes in, fear has to go!
Every day, God wants to reveal His love to me. Today is an amazing day for me to have another encounter—another day for me to go deeper in my experience and understanding of His love. Not just an intellectual love where I just know it in my mind, but truly knowing it in the depths of my heart.
P - PRAYER
Father, I thank you that You love me so much. Take me into a deeper revelation of Your love for me. Thank you that You are a good Father—providing, caring and protecting me. Help me find security in Your love for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Our prayer is that you discover more and more of God as you study the Bible.
But don’t just pursue more knowledge of God! Instead, pursue HIM— the One that loves you and calls you His child.
Let the adventures begin!
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