In the last article I began sharing one of the two ways I journal. Today I offer you my second technique I strive to do each day. This method is much more related to how I process my Bible reading. Therefore, it could serve as a great means for you to not only journal effectively, but understand scripture better. So here it is:
Method #2: S.O.A.P. (by Wayne Corderio: The Divine Mentor)
After reading the heading you may be thinking, “What does soap have to do with journaling?” To be fair, had I not read Wayne Corderio’s book, The Divine Mentor, I would be asking the same question. S.O.A.P. is an acronym that describes the steps to journal through the Bible. Specifically, each step means the following:
(S) = Scripture – Each day I try to journal in response to scripture. This means I write down the text I’m about to reflect on next to the letter “S.” For example, if I’m reading/reflecting on I Corinthians 13. I write, “S = I Cor. 13:1-13.”
(O) = Observation – In this section I write out observations from the text. I pay attention to the people, places, things, and events that occur. I simply notice what the scripture says, period. This means I DO NOT interpret or apply the text. That comes next. Continue reading “Journaling: The Importance of SOAP”
Devotionals can be a dime a dozen. The way they are laid out is almost as predictable as a crime show procedural. Readers know there will be an entry for each day and that the entry will not be very long. Usually there is a scripture to accompany the devotional and after each one is read a reader moves onto the next day. As a result, it is tough to add something new to the genre, but Paul Tripp does this with his yearly devotional, “New Morning Mercies.” He does this by simply focusing on the foundational aspect of the Christian life, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel is a mystery that Tripp helps the reader unpack each day in this devotional. As one learns from the book, it is uniquely simple, yet completely profound. As a result, Christians can pursue two paths towards the Gospel. First, they can believe they understand all they need to know about the Gospel and never go any deeper. This can stem from teaching that mainly emphasizes the saving element of the Gospel and not much else. However, the grace of the Gospel does much more than that, it sanctifies and grows a person in Christ. This is the second path Christians should take in regard to the Gospel once they are eternally secure by the grace of God. By growing in one’s understanding and application of the Gospel each day transformation occurs that eventually leads one to fall more in love with Jesus. There becomes a deep affection for Christ that encourages one to continue to unpack the mysteries that the Gospel has to offer. In other words, the ability to understand the Gospel is without end and Tripp masterfully writes about it each day in this devotional. Continue reading “Book Review: New Morning Mercies, by Paul Tripp”