This class is for people who are familiar with the Bible and are ready to go to the next level in their spiritual journey. This class requires a higher commitment, but the reward is tremendous. In one year, you will read through the entire Bible. Actually, you will do even better than that; you will read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice!
This class will teach you how to use the SOAP method to reflect on what you’re reading and how to capture in your own words that lessons that God is teaching you through God’s Word. The key to success in this class is consistency. Try to consistently set aside time with God every day, and if you miss a day, don’t try to catch up on missed readings. Just jump back in with the new day’s reading. Don’t stress about writing eloquent or insightful things in your journaling; instead, use your own God-given voice and personality to express your thoughts, questions, and ideas in your own unique way. Remember that the Holy Spirit can speak to us through our mind, our imagination, our memories, our dreams, our conversations with others, and even through our environment.
Many people find that journaling about the Bible becomes much easier the more they do it, so simply start the practice and trust that God will shape and form you over time. You will read things that are difficult to understand at first, and that’s OK. The world’s most intelligent scholars have studied the Bible for thousands of years and still have not figured out what everything in it means! Instead of focusing on parts that you don’t understand, focus on what you do understand.
This class assigns 2-4 passages of scripture each day, usually pulling from both the Old and New Testaments. Plan on reading for about 20-25 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of journaling. In addition to the tips suggested in the One Word and One Sentence classes, here are some more suggestions to help you get the most out of SOAP:
- If you are comfortable with technology, you might prefer to journal in a digital way, maybe with a phone or tablet or laptop computer.
- The SOAP reading plan is available on the Grace Church app, which also has the ability to read the scripture out loud to you from your mobile device.
- SOAP works best when you share the journey with someone else or in a small group setting. Examples include: spouses who do SOAP together in the mornings before work, small groups that gather to do SOAP together once a week, friends who share their SOAP journals with each other by email or text or social media.
- It’s inevitable that you will miss days along the way. When this happens, don’t try to catch up on the readings that you missed. Simply jump back in with the new day’s reading. Think of it like an exercise program, where the goal is to cultivate a daily habit of investing in your own development and discipline.
Daily Journaling Plan
- Before you start reading, pray and ask God to speak to you while you read.
- Read slowly, without rushing.
- Bible reading is not just about using the intellectual part of your mind; the Bible comes alive when you read it with your imagination and the creative part of your mind.
- As you read, circle, underline, or highlight ideas that are important to you. Feel free to write your own comments and questions in the mar- gins of your Bible.
- When you finish reading, write or type the following:
S - SCRIPTURE: Pick one verse from your reading that captured your attention.
O - OBSERVATION: Reflect on anything you can observe about this verse within its context.
A - APPLICATION: Explain how this verse touches or applies to your life right now.
P - PRAYER: Close your time with a simple prayer asking God to help what you learned come alive in you.
Learn more about other UHS classes!