How to Read your Bible

As a young girl, I had a penchant for books. The school library became my comfort zone during long breaks. I was even awarded as Top Library User. Some books I scrutinized from cover to cover, while some I only flipped. When I saw an old, neglected Bible lying on the table of my grandmother's house, it was not unusual for me to go after it and flip the pages. I was ten. I was excited and too curious to read it because well,  it's a holy book. Bible reading only happened in church and school, which most of the time, I cannot understand. Much to my horror, I spread it out to the story of Lot and his daughters. I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I READ!!!! Why is there an incest in the Bible?!?!? For days, I was thinking about it. I never consulted anyone for two reasons: they might creep out (why on earth a 10-year-old would talk about incest?!?!) and I was never assertive. Today, when I share this story to my friends, they laugh their hearts out. And now I fully understand that apart from Jesus, the Bible is a story of a bunch of flawed people who have a perfect God. It is all about Him!! 

When I became a Christian, my friends encouraged me to read the Bible everyday. It's not just about grasping history. It's not even about religiosity. It's about communication and relationship. When Bryan and I first met, we would spend time together after our classes, and even when we're not together, we made sure to always find time texting or calling each other for hours, and we never get tired of it. Knowing more about Bryan makes me giggle, makes me happy, makes me love him more. Because of our communication and our eagerness to discover more of each other, our relationship blossomed. This is the same with Bible reading. The more we read, the more we discover God and His amazing love for us, the more we understand His purpose for us and the better we become. 

One of my friends and leader in our weekly discipleship group taught me this simple but effective way on how to read and apply God's word. We even had drills so we could get used to it. Today, I felt the need to share this publicly.  

It's only four letters: SOAP

S- Scripture Reading
Today, I read the book of Philippians. I find that going through the Bible chronologically is more effective, but there are lots of downloadable resources online that have a day to day scripture reading. I have a journal too where I can write down everything during my quiet time, but to be honest, I haven't used it for a while now and instead write my thoughts on the text free part of my Bible. 

O- Objective
While reading, you may notice that some verses seemed to just float and catch your attention. Highlight or write it down. It's the Holy Spirit speaking to you. 

From the chapters I read, this is what God is telling me today. My Bible has the New International Version, but it also helps to look for other versions especially when I cannot seem to understand some interpretations. 

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. - Philippians 4:6 NLT

Don't be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life. TPN (The Passion Translation)

While there are downloadable Bible apps, I still prefer tangible ones. The Letters from Heaven is what I got myself for my birthday. 
A- Application
Application is like a reflection. What is God trying to tell me? How can I apply His word today?

P- Prayer
Thank God for His word and write a simple prayer about what He just revealed to you.

"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." - 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT



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