Why not make the decision to start a new habit that will reward you for a lifetime? It’s not as hard or improbable as it seems.
God has given us the scriptures in the bible to not only teach us about Him but to also teach us how He wants us to live our lives. It’s not just there as head knowledge but so that we can apply the teaching and principles to our lives. And when we do, it will be life changing!
As we read and meditate on the scriptures, the Holy Spirit gives us understanding and revelation. When this happens, the word of God becomes living and powerful; becoming simply life changing.
Oh, the joys of those who … delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
You might have tried reading the Bible and found it hard to stick at. Perhaps you haven’t really even seen the point. There are 3 keys to meaningfully engaging with what the Bible has to say if you want it to truly impact your life.
3 Keys To Engaging With Scripture In A Life Changing Way
- Make a habit of reading and engaging with scripture daily. Real benefits happen when you do this 4 or more times a week.
- Reading is the first step, but don’t stop there. Read, Reflect on what is says, meditating on what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
- Then Respond by deciding to apply what you have reflected on to your life.
It’s as simple as Reading, Reflecting and Responding. And the benefits are enormous!
Some of the Benefits of Regularly Engaging In Scripture
A survey of over 100,ooo people has found that regularly engaging with scripture has the following incredible benefits:
“We find that if a person who engages the Bible four or more times a week their odds of giving in to these temptations decreases:
* Drinking to excess -62%
* Viewing pornography -59%
* Having sex outside marriage -59%
* Gambling -45%
* Lashing out in anger -31%
* Gossiping – 28%
* Lying -28%
* Neglecting family -26%
* Overeating or mishandling food -20%
* Overspending or mishandling money -20%
Bible engagement also produces more peace and joy in a person’s life, by reducing the frequency of various emotional struggles.
Receiving, reflecting on, and responding to God’s Word four or more times a week decreases a person’s odds of struggling with these issues:
* Feeling bitter -40%
* Thinking destructively about self or others -32%
* Feeling like they have to hide what they do or feel -32%
* Having difficulty forgiving others -31%
* Feeling discouraged -31%
* Experiencing loneliness – 30%
* Overeating or mishandling food -20%
* Having difficulty forgiving oneself -26%
* Thinking unkindly about others -18%
* Experiencing fear or anxiety -14%
The impact of engaging in God’s word on a regular basis is absolutely amazing! And there’s a simple tool called SOAPing that can help you on the path to experiencing benefits like those listed above.
SOAPing; a Great Tool To Help You Regularly Engage With God’s Word
SOAPing is simply a tool to help you engage with scripture in a way that becomes life changing as you partner with the Holy Spirit in applying God’s word to your life.
If you aren’t already using amore comprehensive reading plan, you can use the 2 month plan below.
Using this you will read 1 chapter a day over 52 days, starting with the story of Jesus life and then the story of some of the first believers found in the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. After this there are 2 short letters written by the Apostle Paul.
Following this simple plan will help you to develop a habit that will last a life time and be truly life changing, leading you to live the kind of life God will bless.
You can SOAP by simply:
- Reading the scripture for the day
- Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal insights to you
- Selecting a scripture to focus on and then SOAP as follows:
Scripture – write out the scripture
Observation – write what this scripture is saying to you
Application – write how you will apply this to your life
Prayer – commit this to prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to help you
- Take steps towards living the life God wants you to live and that He will bless
You can watch a short video helping to explain how you can SOAP here.
How Long Will This take Me Every Day
On average it takes 3 to 4 minutes to read a chapter form the New Testament. That’s not a lot of time is it? So if you were to read a chapter a day and SOAP on that. it’s likely to take you just 10 to 15 minutes a day. I don’t think anyone can say that they don’t have the time to do this! It’s more a matter of whether you want to make the time to start a habit that will reward you for a lifetime.
A Reading Plan To Help You Get Started
For those who have already developed the habit of SOAPing regularly, we recommend that you keep using a comprehensive reading plan such as the Life Journal reading plan.
However for those starting off, it may be easier to start off using an introductory reading plan like the one below. What’s really most important isn’t how much of the bible that you read and meditate on, but that you develop a regular habit that leads you to meditate on scripture every day.
Below you will see a 52 day introductory reading plan; 1 chapter of the Bible a day through January and February. Why not give it a go and get SOAPing?
Happy SOAPING! May the benefits be life changing!