Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Studying Philippians {do you want to join me?}

I wanted to share with you what I am going to be doing over the next 8 weeks, in my quiet time.  I have, in years gone by, joined in with Good Morning Girls group studies, which I found very beneficial. I particularly enjoyed studying through a whole epistle.  We had used the SOAP method, and only looked at a couple of verses a day.

I wanted to do something similar again, but having just had my husband preach through the book of Philippians, I wanted to dig back into it again.  I find, as a mother of small children, that I don't always get to hear the entire sermon with full concentration levels.  Doing this kind of study means that I can just look at a few verses each day, but in a bit more depth, and am more likely to remember the few truths I find.

Let me explain the SOAP method to you.  It's an acrostic, funnily enough.  Not, as someone on Facebook asked, the one used in the medical field - Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan!

It's this...

S - Scripture
O - Observations
A - Application
P - Prayer

First of all, you need a notebook.  A pretty one is good, but not at all necessary! This is mine that I am using, kindly given to me by my sister and her family. Also, my new Bible, which is actually purple, but comes out more pink in artificial lighting!

Now for the SOAP part.

For "S, you need to write out the scripture for that day.  As I said, it's only a few verses at the most, so doesn't take long.  Writing something down helps to imprint it in your mind, so it's a good thing to do.

Next comes "O" - observations. What particular truths can you see in these verses, that really spring out at you? IS there some doctrine you have never noticed before, or some more practical teaching?  Maybe a lesson that is new to you, or something that you have only now seen to be there at all?  Jot it down, again to help you remember it.

Following on from that is "A"- application.  How can you apply the observations to your own situation? How does it apply specifically to YOU? Take a note of it.

Lastly is "P" - prayer.  How are you going to pray, and ask the Lord to work out those truths in your life? Is there something you need to repent of? Something you need to ask for? Something you need thank the Lord for?

I have also come up with an additional "P".  PLAN! How do you plan to apply what you have learnt in a practical way? It's similar to the application, but it's going that extra step in working it out in a tangible and evident way.

That's how the SOAP notes work.

How about the reading plan?

Well, you can get it here, and then you can print it out and use it. As I mentioned, it will take 8 weeks, the last couple of days thinking about events that happened IN Philippi, in the life of Paul.

I began yesterday, but it would be easy for you to catch up and join in with me.  I plan on doing a blog post to sum up each week, and you cam chime in with your own thoughts. I also have a closed group on Facebook, called "Bible Study Blessings", if you want to join in! Just drop me a PM and tell me how you know me, and a bit about yourself. We already have a lovely group of ladies how are joining in, and I'm happy to welcome more!

It's a good way to keep accountable for your Bible Study, as well as having others to encourage you and bless you with what they are learning too.  I am also amazed at how many different things can be found in just a few verses. It's truly wonderful.

Another great idea is having some family members join you, such as your husband, your daughters or sisters. There's nothing as precious as studying God's Word with those you love.

Oh, and it only runs Monday to Friday. I find weekends are sometimes harder to git things into, so it give you a chance to just read God's Word, and soak it in on its own. Perhaps take the weekends to look back over your week, and reread a longer passage. You could simply read some favourite Psalms or other Bible portions over the weekend - maybe something  your heart has been drawn to, through reading Philippians?

So, please join in with me as I study over the next couple of months, and do share in the comments section, if you are studying along too.

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