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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. Frank Thielman if he would share his thoughts with us.
1. How do you spend your devotional time with the Lord?
I spend time in the evening of every day in Bible reading and prayer. I also deeply value weekly corporate worship and small group Bible study and prayer to help me know God better and to challenge me to obey him more faithfully.
2. How do you practically seek to deepen your love for Christ?
Corporate worship and fellowship with other believers, both formal and informal, are important ways the Lord deepens my love for him. In addition, I try not to divorce my preparation for class, and my classroom teaching, from my personal commitment to Christ. So, my love for him deepens as I prepare for class and interact with my students at Beeson Divinity School in the process of teaching the Scriptures.
Dr. Frank Thielman is the Presbyterian Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School. He is a New Testament scholar, focusing mostly on Paul’s letters. His writings include his new commentary on Romans (ZECNT), Ephesians (BECNT), and Philippians (NIVAC). He has written a New Testament theology and a book on Paul and the Law.