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This very popular method of devotional scripture study has four steps, outlined in the acrostic SOAP. Begin by opening your journal (this is a written exercise). And by the way, there is an iOS app for this! Check out The SOAP app on iTunes!
Choose the passage you are interested in studying. Write out (or type out – no copy/paste!) the passage. Read it through after you are done.
Observe which sentences or phrases stuck out to you – what peaked your interest? Think on and even research those passages – ask typical bible study questions like:
- Who were the original hearers?
- Where and When was the context in which they heard them?
- What do they mean?
- What do they say to you?
Ask yourself, “How can I apply the observation so that it affects my life today?”
Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.