Does just reading the Bible really do anything profitable for Christians? Really now, doesn’t a believer need to dig really deep to receive a benefit? Every Christian ought to read their Bible. We are told to “desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow thereby.” If all a saved person does is read the Bible without any in-depth study, I contend that Christian would still be helped. Why do I believe this? Many verses in the Bible use the picture of God’s word as water. Ephesians 5:26; Ezekiel 36:25; John 4:10,14; Hebrews 10:22; Revelation 21:6; 22:1. What do we use water for in our daily lives? Drinking and cooking. We receive nourishment and hydration from the water. Showering or bathing. Water cleanses our bodies from impurities gathered during the day. Imagine your spiritual life like having dirty hands. You turn on the faucet and water pours over your hands. The dirt and grime begin to wash away. Even without rubbing or soap, a small benefit is had. I think that just reading the Bible is like water flowing over your hands. Now how can you make that water flowing over your dirty hands more effective? You add a little rubbing. Perhaps use a brush or wash rag. What about adding some soap? With each of these efforts a greater benefit is received. The result is cleaner hands. If you want your spiritual life to have better results add a little rubbing (work) and add a little soap. Let me give you an acrostic that has been around for many years concerning SOAP in the Christians Bible study. It is an easy way to get more and dig a little deeper.
- S stands for Scripture. Just read the bible. As a new Christian many years ago, I was challenged to just read the bible. When I began my ministry in youth work, I challenged the teens to just read the bible. I even gave them a challenge. “If you can read at least one chapter in the bible each day for thirty straight days and are not a better Christian, I will give you $50.” I called it the “Big Question.” I didn’t have $50’s to give back then but I never had a person in all those years take the challenge and win $50. You can’t read the bible and not be better. Period!
- O stands for Observe. Think about what you are reading. What is God saying? Who is He saying it to? Is it a command or a principle? Write these observations down in a notebook.
- A stands for Apply. It is now time to get personal. How does this verse or passage affect me? What is the Lord instructing me to do or not do? Write in your notebook how you intend to apply your passage of the day.
- P stands for Prayer. You ask the Lord to give insight to your reading. The little epistle of James tells us to ask the Lord for wisdom.
If you’ll use a little SOAP and work at it, you’ll be amazed at what begins to happen in your soul. Remember this, the water and the soap always work better with rubbing. Get to work every day in the Word.