REAP Study Method

Overview

"One of the primary reasons we need to be in a disciplined study of the Scriptures is so we can saturate ourselves in the truth. When we know the truth and we are presented with that which is false, we will instinctively recognize it. Measuring philosophies or theologies or opinions or sermons or books or doctrines or counsel by the Word of God is like exposing the crookedness of a stick by placing a straight stick beside it. I am authentic as a Bible teacher only in proportion to my faithfulness to God’s Word." - Anne Graham Lotz

REAP is a study method built on the three steps of inductive Bible study:  

REAP has Four Steps – Read, Examine, Apply, Pray. 

How It Works

Read
the Scripture and list the facts
  • What does God's Word say?
  • Make a verse-by-verse list of the most obvious facts. Use actual words from the passage itself. Do not paraphrase.
Examine
the Scripture with a question
  • What does God’s Word mean?
  • First pray and ask God to reveal the spiritual lesson or principle within each fact. Ask yourself:
  • What are the people in the passage doing that I should be doing?
  • Is there a command I should obey? A promise I should claim? A warning I should heed? An example I should follow?
Apply
the Scripture with a question
  • What does God’s Word mean to me?
  • Put the lessons you found above into the form of a question that you would ask yourself or another person.
Pray
the Scripture with a question
  • What will I do to live it out?
  • Read the lessons prayerfully, objectively, thoughtfully, and attentively as you listen for God to speak. He may not speak to you through every verse, but He will speak.
  • Journal your prayer and record what God seems to be saying to you and your response to Him.

Example

REAP the following Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16-4:3

[3:16] All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

[4:1] In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Read
the Scripture and list the facts
  • [3:16] All scripture is God breathed. It teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains in righteousness.
  • [3:17] It equips God’s servants for good works.
  • [4:1] Timothy, in the presence of God and Jesus who will judge, and in view of His appearing and kingdom, charges listeners...
  • [4:2] to always be prepared to preach the word, correct, rebuke and encourage, with patience and careful instruction.
  • [4:3] He warns of a time when people preach unsound doctrine that suits their own desires. Many will gather to listen to teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear.
Examine
the Scripture with a question
  • [3:16] God’s word is GOD’S WORD. And we have access to it! It is amazing. It teaches me, it convicts me of my sin and corrects my wayward heart. If I spend time in it, it will train me to be righteous like Jesus.
  • [3:17] It’s God’s Word that directs me to do what God wants me to do.
  • [4:1] Timothy charged his congregation. It is not only the job of the pastor to know God’s Word - IT IS OURS!
  • [4:2] I need to prepare myself by knowing God's word in order to share it if the opportunity arises. I am charged to be able to carefully instruct, correct, rebuke and encourage others in God's Word.
  • [4:3] Warning! We are in this time that Timothy speaks of where preachers do not stay true to God’s Word because people want to have their itches scratched.
Apply
the Scripture with a question
  • [3:16] Do I spend time in God’s Word and allow it to teach, rebuke, correct, and train me in righteousness?
  • [3:17] Do I set out to serve God without being equipped by His Word?
  • [4:1] Because all Scripture is God breathed, do I recognise that Timothy’s charge is for me today and not just my pastor? Am I taking on the responsibility to know God's Word for myself?
  • [4:2] Am I taking seriously the charge to know God's Word so that I can carefully instruct, correct, rebuke, and encourage others?
  • [4:3] Am I more excited to listen to personalities, books, podcasts, etc that reflect my desires, than God’s plain and clearly spoken truths? Because of my time spent in God’s Word, can I identify unsound doctrine?
Pray
the Scripture with a question

Heavenly Father, I pray that you would soften my heart so I can be changed by your Holy Word. Please unhook me from any beliefs that are not from you. Bring them to my mind so I can repent of them. Make my unrighteousness clear so I can be changed by your power within me. Prepare me with your Word to serve you today. Help me to bring it to whomever you put in my path. Give me revelation of your truth from your word so I can easily recognise false teaching and any false comfort that is luring me away from you. AMEN

Watch this video of Anne Graham Lotz's overview of the REAP study method.