A Scholar's Devotion

A Scholar’s Devotion with Melissa Kruger

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, though not a “scholar,” I have asked Melissa Kruger if she would share her thoughts with us.

1. How do you spend your devotional time with the Lord?

I typically spend my devotional time with the Lord in two primary ways: reading the word and journaling my prayers. I usually switch up how I spend my time in the word from year to year. Some years, I’ll read the Bible using a daily Bible in the year plan. This five day a week version is my favorite. Reading the Bible through in a year always keeps me grounded in the text, remembering and reflecting on all parts of the Bible. 

I also like to dig deep and spend chunks of time in one particular book. A few years ago, I spent about six months studying through the book of Isaiah. It was refreshing to be in that one book and glean wisdom from studying it day after day. Usually, when I do a study like that, I’ll use a Bible study guide to help keep me on track. I find it helpful to have daily questions and the reading apportioned out for me so that I really engage the text.

The second part of my devotional time is journaling my prayers. I’ve done this since I was 15 years old (so that’s now 30 years of journals stored up in my attic!). It helps me to focus in my prayer time, slow my mind, and to be faithful in praying for those I love. It also helps me to see when my attitudes are sinful and when I’m being overly self-focused. I write it all out and as I do so, the Spirit is faithful to convict my heart, remind me of truth, and help me apply the gospel to my own life. 

One thing I’ve really enjoyed about journaling my prayers is when I see the Lord answer (sometimes that very day!) the requests I’ve placed before Him. There’s something about writing them out that serves as a special reminder of God’s faithfulness and kindness—he truly does listen to us and work through our prayers. What a wonderful God we serve!

2. How do you practically seek to deepen your love for Christ?

Like any relationship, I need time with Christ to deepen my affection for him. This involves hearing the word preached on Sundays, being in Bible studies with others, and daily time in his word and in prayer. Daily time with Jesus has been an anchor for my soul for thirty years. When I’m weary, his words revive my soul. When I’m sorrowful, his promises bring comfort. When I’m troubled by my sin, his word reminds me of the joy of my salvation. Walking daily with Jesus builds affection, love, and adoration.

I also truly enjoy reading Puritan authors. They have a beautiful way of explaining truth that causes my heart to delight in God’s word with new appreciation. To hear their concerns, struggles, and hopes also reminds me that there is nothing new under the sun. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The gospel message is never old-fashioned or out of date, but will resonate with all generations because it’s true. The way these authors faithfully illuminate the message of the gospel reminds me of the greatness of our God and encourages my soul to love him more.

Melissa Kruger is an author and speaker, an editor for The Gospel Coalition, and she works on staff at Uptown Church in Women’s ministry. She blogs at Wit’s End, tweets at @melissabkruger, and has written 5 Things to Pray For Your Kids, Identity Theft, In All Things (a 9-week Bible study on unshakeable joy), Walking With God in the Season of Motherhood, and The Envy of Eve

Thank you, Melissa!

Other Scholars’ Devotions

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