Bible+Theology, Spiritual Practices

How to Read the Bible

Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be intimidating! We read Scripture not just to learn new things, but to actually meet with God, to grow in our relationship with Him, and to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Try out the SOAP method with a passage from the gospel of John below. If you like to write things down, you can print out this worksheet.

Before you begin, pray for God to open your heart and mind, that you would experience Him as you read and get to know Him better.

Scripture

Read slowly, and soak in the passage. Feel free to read through the passage a couple of times.

John 1:1–14, NIV

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Observation

  • What stands out from the passage?
  • What does this passage tell us about who God is?
  • How might God be speaking to you through this passage?

Feel free to underline, highlight, or write notes in the margin of your Bible.

If you’d like to try a different format, here is another list of Observation and Application questions that you can ask yourself as you read.

Application

Prayerfully ask God how you might be able to apply this passage of Scripture to your own life.

  • What action might God be asking you to take as a result of this passage?
  • What are you going to do about what you just read?

Write it down so you don’t forget!

Prayer

To close your time of reading the Bible, spend some time talking to God. You can thank God for what He showed you, ask for His guidance as you head into the rest of your day, pray for courage to follow through with the application you wrote down, or pray that God would transform your life to better align with the truth you’re learning. Either way, take some time to talk to God about what you just read and experienced.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105, NIV