Covington Bible Church

2140 S. Carpenter Drive

Covington VA 24426

540 965 4256 

covbc@ntelos.net

S.O.A.P.  Working Up Some Lather In The New Year:

This was a basic plan that we used in preparation for our Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration.  We think it is well worth using again.

In short the S.O.A.P. plan is a way of getting:

  • you into the Bible,
  • the Bible into you.
  • something out of the Bible for your daily life, and
  • (asking) God to help you live it out.
    • I don’t have a devotional plan that I’m following.
      OK, here is one.  Get going!

    • I’m committed to a plan that I really think I should stay withreading through the Bible this year, Word of Life Olympian or Teen Quiet Time, Daily Bread, etc.
      If you have a plan that works, don’t let me derail you.  Perhaps you can piggy-back the S.O.A.P. plan onto what you are doing during January.  If so, great.  If you figure you are about “maxed-out” with what you are doing, and it is working for you, or if you are committed to working with the Word of Life program, and can’t add anything else right now, then stay with what you are doing, but do it! 
      If you can find a way to work with us, though, that would be great.

    • I’m currently involved in a regular plan, but I could use some freshness in my devotional life right now.
      OK, here is your chance.  It may be that you could simply use this plan for Janurary.  If it works for you, stay with it.


S
cripture – From the assigned passage choose some brief portion that “jumps out at you.”  It may be the verse that is the theme of the passage, or it may simply be something that you need that day.  Though the two disciplines are related, this is primarily a devotional plan, not a Bible study method.

Observation – Jot down something you see that is significant.  Hopefully, the example below will help you know what I mean.

Application – Convert the observation into a way of putting it to use in your life.  And finish it off with,

Prayer -- Confess, ask for help, intercede for others, give thanks in relation to what you have found above.  Write at least a portion of your prayer in the journal.

Go on from here with the rest of your prayer and praise.

For the month of January we’ll provide you with some forms that you can use.  We’ll post a digital form on our website.  The passages we’ll work through will coordinate with our Sunday messages.

How can this fit with other devotional plans?

 

Sample S.O.A.P. from Psalm 52:

Scripture:

Verses 4&5, “You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.  But God will break you down forever. . . .”  (If you are doing your journaling electronically, I encourage you to actually manually enter the scripture portion.  Writing/typing something helps us focus.)

 

Observation:

The person David is writing about, Doeg the Edomite, is fond of delivering powerful destructive language.  God however will break him down forever.

 

Application:

God has the last word.  I may not be able to do anything about the boastful and destructive words of the wicked.  It would be good if they realized this truth, but I can’t make them do so.  I can, however, live my life in the knowledge that their threats and curses—and sometimes worse, Doeg’s words led to the death of the priests—will not be the last entries on the page.  God always has the last word, and His word is always true and just and right.

 

Prayer:

Lord, Help me to not be discouraged by those in my world who speak as if they had the last word.  I acknowledge, Lord, that they don’t.  Give me the strength to remember that and act on it.  Help me, as well, to warn even these folk of the coming judgment.  Help me to remember Saul/Paul.

Two more suggestions:

  1. Get a partner and keep one another on track.
  2. Start an index.  Make a simple database in your computer or use some 3x5 card, whatever works.  Say that today what jumps out to you has to do with God’s faithfulness.  On a card labeled “Faithfulness of God,” or in your DB, list today’s date & the scripture passage.  If you save your devotional journals by date, then years from now, if you are doing a lesson on God’s faithfulness, of just need to be reminded.  You can quickly turn to all the times you found that truth in your devotions.

I have included a couple of versions of the S.O.A.P. form below.  Hopefully, one will meet your needs.