Ever think you can learn about reading the Bible better from a bar of soap? We all use it. At least I sure hope we all do! Now more than ever people are aware of how and when they use soap and washing and cleanliness. But have you ever considered how something as simple as a bar of soap can teach you how to deepen your faith and make your walk with Jesus more intentional?
Today I want to share something I read in a book several years ago. It’s from a book called the Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordiero. This book is pretty fantastic! Cordiero takes us to the quiet place of solitude at the foot of the cross. Now in our day and age with social distancing and relational isolation all the rage we’re being forced to sit in those moments of quiet. We’re mandated to be in times of quiet and even aloneness.
So how are you handling the aloneness? How are you staying connected to Christ? Are you intentionally walking with Jesus or are you accidentally encountering him from time to time? This week as we look at discipleship in a digital age we’re tackling the idea of Bible Journaling. Now before you tune out and think this is all girly or too much work give it a second. Just read through this and maybe even be brave enough to try it. Then if it’s not for you, then pick up next week’s tip!
Remember the question above? How can soap teach you to read the Bible? Well it’s actually as simple as knowing how to spell the word soap! We’re not going to do this in the shower or sink but we are going to use the word SOAP to help us read the Bible more intentionally. Let’s get started!
The letter S reminds us of Scripture. Take a verse or section of the bible and find the passage, sentence or word that is significant to you. Then write it in your notebook or journal. I use Moleskin journals for this because I just like them, but any journal will do!
The letter O stands for observe. What is going on in this passage? Look before that verse and after it. What other things do you see? Who’s talking? Who’s listening? What is the key to this passage? Write these thoughts in your journal beside the letter O.
The letter A is all about application. This is where many of us stop in our reading of the Bible. We read it. We write down a verse. We memorize it. We even look at it in context but then it doesn’t go anywhere. We stop before it makes a difference in our lives. This part of the journaling is typically the longer part. At least it should be the longer part! Write down how this verse helps you see today’s circumstances differently. Consider what woudl happen if you would apply the truths from this passage to your daily life. Actually answer the question what would change if you were to apply this passage in the next 24 hours? Then what will you do and who will hold you accountable?
The easiest yet seemingly most challenging part of this is prayer. It’s challenging because we feel we don’t know how to do it right. It’s challenging because we feel we need the right words to say or the correct formula to get the prayer right. But what if prayer wasn’t some magical incantation but merely a conversation with God like you have with your neighbor or dad or grandma? Next week we’ll talk about how I personally pray. I’ll share with you a few ways I use the tool of prayer in my life. Some are super simple they almost seem wrong. Others are more intentional and time consuming. But all are heard and answered by God.
Ok so there you have it! Reading your Bible and growing in Christ is as easy as S.O.A.P. Give it a try and share a pic of your journal with me in the comments!