In our busy lives, it is so easy to neglect critical spiritual disciplines like Bible reading/study, scripture memorization, and even prayer. These practices help us grow in our faith and can foster a greater sense of balance, peace, hopefulness, and joy…just what we need when we’re feeling worn down from the demands of everything and everyone around us!
Even so, when work, meetings, practices, laundry, and all the things take so much of our time, Bible study can feel daunting and downright impossible! Trust me, I get it. It used to feel like another task on my to-do list (and one that wasn’t always enjoyable, if I’m being honest.) So let me share how I learned to view and use Bible study as the fuel that keeps me going instead.
STEWARDING OUR TIME
My journey as a Christian has changed my views on time and how I choose to spend it. If you’ve listened to my podcast or spent much time on the Horacio Printing website, I hope you recognize that one of our core missions as a company is to help people reclaim their TIME because it is PRECIOUS! Our planners and Bible studies were born out of the desire to help others steward their time well.
There are a number of Scriptures that speak to the concept of time– where it started, how it’s measured, and what we are to do with it– but no matter our efforts, productivity level, or organizational abilities, the constraints of time cannot be completely removed. Only God exists both inside and outside of its boundaries.
Acts 17:26 serves as a great reminder that God created each of us, determined the time in which we’d live, and established the borders we’d go between:
“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.”
As a Christ-follower I believe that we are called to use our gifts and our time in service to God. In fact, I believe that he has uniquely equipped each of us for exactly THIS TIME where we play a role in establishing His Kingdom here on earth. We do this by living out his plans and purposes for us in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
How do we know his plans and purposes for us? He tells us in His Word!
And the best part? He doesn’t just provide instructions. The Bible actually gives us the encouragement and guidance we need to live the life to which God has called us! WIN, WIN!
GET STARTED WITH SOAP
Whether you are new to reading and studying the bible or you’re looking for a way to help focus your time in the Word, SOAP is a wonderful tool to have in your belt. I like it because it is both simple and effective.
The word SOAP, in the context of Bible study, is just an acronym for the steps involved in this particular method:
S: Scripture- Read a passage or verse and write it down.
O: Observation- Consider as you read– Who is speaking? Who is the audience? What words are repeated? What stands out?
A: Application- Think about how you can apply what you have read/learned to your own life. Are there any steps you can put into practice?
P: Prayer- Remember to thank the Lord for his Word. Ask him for help understanding and applying what you have read, and feel free to bring any other praise, confession, or request. He’s always happy to hear from his children.
Several years ago, I created a tutorial that will walk you through each step of SOAP study. You can view that here.
IT’S OKAY TO START SMALL
Remember, rather you choose to dive into whole chapters of the Bible or focus on a single verse, expect God to meet you right where you are and right on time. He will always be faithful to keep His Word!
There is no right or wrong way to start reading your bible. In fact, a quick Google search for “Bible reading plans” shows that there are SO MANY OPTIONS. You can start at the beginning, read it chronologically, rotate chapters from the Old and New Testaments, and the list goes on. The number of choices can be overwhelming, but don't let it stop you from starting!
WHY I LOVE SEASONS OF SOAP
True confession: I want my desire for God’s Word to grow and to burn from a place of simply wanting to know him more intimately, to learn more about his character, and how I can become more like Christ. Still, I’ve found that I am more likely to read the Bible when I am dealing with a certain feeling or situation to which I want to apply God’s truth. Friend, God knows our needs and he invites us to come to him– no matter the reason and no matter the season!
Isaiah 55:10-11 tells us, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seeds for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
We all walk through different seasons and face a unique set of challenges, but God promises to always be with us. Our Seasons of Soap Bible studies were designed to help you study and apply God’s word to YOUR life. The aim of creating volumes 1 thru 4 was to eliminate the stress of choosing scripture and to allow you to select the one most applicable to your current season. If you’re anything like me, you might find that Seasons of Soap is just what you need to eliminate the overwhelm and forge a new habit of studying scripture!
I'd love to hear how YOU study the bible! What method(s) have you tried? What keeps you focused? Send me a DM or drop me a line at email@example.com.