21 Days of
Just like prayer and fasting, reading your Bible is about connecting to God in a more powerful way. It is not about duty but about relationship. When we engage God through reading His Word, we engage the very presence of God. His Word is living and active! As we read our Bible, we are drawing closer to God and positioning ourselves to hear from Him in particular ways.
Once again, as with prayer, choose the time and the place where you are going to read your Bible and devotional every single day, and come prepared to hear what He wants to tell you.
Here are three quick things we’d like to share with you about how to get the most out of your devotional time with God.
1. Read Consistently
It is better to read a little every day than to try and knock out two hours of Bible reading or devotions in one sitting. It is so important to digest the Word in absorbable chunks. In the Fasting Devotional we have included a Bible Reading Plan that helps with that, as it leads you through about a portion a day. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and certainly don’t compare your “performance” with that of others. If you miss a few days, pick up at the next reading, but stay with it and don’t give up.
The key is to keep this simple and make it sustainable.
2. Read Prayerfully
Talk to God as you’re reading. Don’t rush through. If you come across something you don’t understand, pause for a moment and ask God about it. Reading prayerfully is making space and time to talk to God and giving Him time and space to talk to you. Taking time to meditate on God’s Word is just as important as reading it.
3. Read Expectantly
You are about to partake of the bread of life, so foster an attitude of expectancy. Believe that God is going to speak to you through His Word. With meditation on the ideas and thoughts recorded in your journal, be prepared to do something with what He shows you. A great, simple way to journal your devotionals is to use the SOAP method.
4. SOAP Method
The SOAP method is used like this:
S for Scripture.
Read prayerfully. Take notice of which scripture(s) catches your attention and mark it in your Bible. When you’re done, reread the verse(s) you marked and look for one that particularly speaks to you. Write it in your journal.
O for Observation.
Focusing on that scripture, tune in and listen to what God is saying to you through His Word. What is it about this scripture that specifically stands out? What does God want to reveal to you or teach you? Ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide and show you what God is saying.
A for Application.
Think of how this verse(s) applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or correction for a particular area of your life. Use your journal to write how this scripture applies to you today.
P for Prayer.
Wrap up your SOAP time in prayer. Talk to God about what you’ve just read. This can be as simple as thanking Him for revealing a truth from the scripture, or it may be asking Him for greater insight or wisdom as to how it applies to your life. Remember, prayer is all about relationship. It’s a two-‐way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say.
That’s it! SOAP. It’s as simple or deep as you want it to be.
If you want to go deeper in your study, here are additional tips:
Reread the daily passage in a different Bible translation or paraphrase.
Utilize online resources, such as those available from www.crosswalk.com.
Utilize a commentary, such as those by Matthew Henry or online at www.biblegateway.com.
Cross-reference your daily reading, using the footnotes in your study Bible.
Research words in their original language using a Strong’s Concordance.
Our prayer for you over the next twenty-one days is that your passion for God and His Word will be ignited, and that you will develop a hunger for His presence that is greater than ever before!