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Going through seminary, students are taught to study the Bible and uphold its doctrines about God while also being encouraged not to neglect their devotional times with God. Yet during my own devotional time I, and probably many others, often ask, “Is this approach the best way to grow spiritually, or is there a better way? What could I do differently? Should I incorporate my studies with my devotions?”
Each week, I ask a different scholar two questions about how he or she spends time with the Lord and continues to love him with all their mind, strength, and heart. While no one method or style is “the only way,” we can draw on one another’s experiences.
This week, I have asked Dr. Amy Peeler if she would share her thoughts with us.
1. How do you spend your devotional time with the Lord?
It is quite important to me to put this first in my day. I am a morning person, so this time is when I am most alert and thoughtful. If I let other things crowd into that space, simply reading God’s word (rather than working with it) often won’t happen. I have used different models of reading including The Bible in a Year, the Daily Office, or my own program of reading. I begin with prayer of confession, reading, follow with praise and intercession. Pretty simple, but God can do amazing things with simple!
2. How do you practically seek to deepen your love for Christ?
Practicing my vocation of teaching is a big part of loving Christ and being loved by him. Weekly eucharistic worship, as well as Christian friendships, partnering with service ministries, and spiritual direction keep me in the right place with God.
Amy Peeler is Associate Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. She has written You Are My Son: The Family of God in the Epistle to the Hebrews and has online instructional videos through the Greek of Hebrews on Exegetical Tools.