We encourage you to get a small journal (1/2 sheet or smaller in size) and start each day by writing the date and passage at the top of the page. Then write the letters S O A P along the left side going down the page and walk through the plan below. Enjoy the spiritual momentum that this process will produce in you!
Read through a passage* (1-12 verses) and then take the time to physically write out a summary of the Scripture you just read. Try to keep this to 2-3 sentences. This process of slowing down and writing out the passage in your own words can be a powerful time. Be careful not to add things that are not there.
In bullet form (preferably 2), write down what stuck out to you in this text. What do you know about this book/author? Who is the audience? What is happening? (Historically, background, context) What words stand out to you? What is God saying in this passage?
This is the MOST IMPORTANT step. Using 1 or 2 bullets, write out how you can apply this passage to your life TODAY*. In order to do this, it must be SIMPLE and SPECIFIC.
- Today, I’m going to write Julie a note of encouragement.
- I’m going to take my daughter on a date tonight and tell her how beautiful her heart is.
- I’m going to spend five minutes today remembering all the things God has done in my life and thanking Him for it.
Take some time and make it personal. What is God saying to me today? How can I apply what I just read to my life? What changes do I need to make? Is there something specific I need to do?
*Note: Your temptation will be to read more of the Bible and apply less of it to your life. Fight this! We encourage you, as you start this process, to limit your Bible reading to what you can apply each day. Then, as you’re able to apply more, read more. This makes your interaction with God’s Word more tangible, powerful, and life-changing.
Write out a 2-3 sentence prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask Him to help you apply this truth to your life. If God has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. If He has revealed some sin in your life, take the time to confess it.