Start Small Pt. 1

Welcome to part one of our weekly devotional tied to our series, Start Small.
Podcast notes:

Today is a great day to kick off our first devotion for our Start Small podcast series. Today the topic is Scripture. As we are creating new habits to grow from, our goal is consistency and growth. The only way to accomplish consistency and growth is to start small. Many things that can keep us from starting anything include people, time, passion and more. But don’t worry about where other people are in the process. Comparison will keep you from starting.
Zechariah 4:10 says, Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.

So let this verse be your bible study for today. We will make it easy for you. Think about it. We always feel guilty because we aren’t adding up to someone else. Or maybe we haven’t met a goal we wanted. We can get down on ourselves and even treat our beginnings as having no value. But that verse tells us not to despise it. God doesn’t. In fact He rejoices that you are starting something. It doesn’t say He rejoices because you have been doing it for a long time. It says He rejoices to see the work begin. He celebrates something in you starting new. See there! You just have a devotion!

So it’s a celebration really to begin something new. At the start of this new year I encourage you to not think about where you have to get to but just Win the Day as Mark Batterson puts it. So if you have ever wished you could have a healthy study life or knew more about the Word of God, here’s the starting point. So let’s dive in.

I want to give you three ways to start reading and understanding scripture.

The first is the S.O.A.P. method, which is very common. It’s an acronym for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is taking a scripture and going through 4 steps to really soak and think about it. What’s nice is many times it can take as little as 10 minutes. So it’s a great step for those starting small. Let’s talk about the components:
Scripture - You read the scripture for the day and focus on the context.
Observation - You start thinking about what the verse means and what it means for you.
Application - You take the scripture and apply it to today. How can you use this each day this week? Sometimes it’s a great thing to ask this at the end of the day as well.
Prayer - Then you pray and ask God to instill this in your life. Ask for strength to apply it.

The next method is the Topical method. This is where This is a great way to study the Bible because you are cross referencing a certain topic and seeing different ways it was used. For example, you could choose the topic of Love. You then go to your concordance and find the word, Love. It will give you multiple scriptures to choose from and read. You can use the same topic over the course of a week if you wanted to really dive deep. But this is a great way to understand all angles of that specific topic.

The last method is simply this. Read it. Listen to it. Whatever you do, sometimes the best thing to do is to just read it. We are in our starts small series after all. And the reason why I’m trying to sell this method is because it’s the best starting point to the other methods. When all else fails. You had a rough day. Time got in the way, just playing a verse or two on audible can be so rewarding. And maybe that’s a good starting point. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Actually a proper estimate is more like 2 months. If all you can do for two months is read, you have formed an amazing habit of God’s word. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t go deeper right now. That’s why I’m giving this as a way to do it. Just read it. It still gets in your soul. It still makes a difference. It is still alive.

I hope this short devotion is just what you needed to jump start you into going deeper in God’s Word. As we continue in this series, I encourage you to use one of these methods. Once you get it down, maybe shift to another method or stay with the one you like. The point is, take action this week. Start with a verse today. Think on it. Use it. See you next week for another devotion in start small.