I just attended our circuit assembly with the theme “Maintain Your Love For Jehovah”. It was a great day of bible discourses on all subjects relating to the theme of maintaining your love for God. One major point made regarding Matthew 22:35-40 was that the commandment to love Jehovah God, described at the greatest commandment, is connected inextricably to the second commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself.
37 He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah* your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul* and with your whole mind.’+ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’+ 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40
So I made a graphic containing some of the key scriptures from my notes and will use a modified SOAP (scripture, observation, application, prayer) method to meditate on them. Let’s call my method the SOAP-JW method 🙂
The SOAP method itself is very simple but allows for deep meditation on the scripture you choose to study. In adding JW to the method I will ask myself ‘what does this teach me about Jehovah’ for J and ‘how can I use this while witnessing’ for W. I can use the method for all the key scriptures I took notes on.
How SOAP-JW works:
- SCRIPTURE: The first step is scripture. Since I use this for personal study I always start off with prayer. Then I choose a verse that I want to study more fully; a scripture I heard at meeting, the theme from a new song, from a morning worship, during the monthly broadcast, or from a friend and I write it out in its entirety.
- OBSERVATION: The next step is observation. This is where I write down what I think the scripture means and why it was included in the bible. What did Jehovah want us to learn from it? Is it similar to others I have read? Is there a prophecy or fulfillment connected with it?
- APPLICATION: Step three is application. What does it mean? How can I apply the scripture to myself, my life, or something I am going through? How could it help me? I look up the scripture on wol.jw.org and see if there are further explanations in reference material that could help me understand the scripture and application more fully. I take notes on what I uncover.
- PAUSE: In the original method I would end the process the same way I started- prayer. I could even write out the points I prayed on… but for my modified method I will label this step pause. I pause and take some time to think about what I learned and how it applies to me.
- JEHOVAH: This is a key step, the step where I think critically about Jehovah, our creator. What does the scripture teach me about Jehovah? We use this question during our Christian Life & Ministry Meeting (LMM) and it is a really good one to ask during personal study, too.
- WITNESSING: Another question from the LMM, how can I use this information while witnessing to others about the good news of God’s kingdom?
When I follow this method I know I will meet all the points recommended in our Ministry School book (see first reference link for the entire article):
Prepare your heart
Preview the study material
Isolate important facts
Consider how the scriptures provide reasons for statements made
Review the main points
Meditate on how your own life should be influenced by what you study
Seek opportunities to use the material to help others
Reference Articles On Personal Study
Study Is Rewarding http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102001056
Study – Rewarding and Enjoyable http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2000723