A Scholar's Devotion

A Scholar’s Devotion with Nijay Gupta

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. Nijay Gupta if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

In the early morning, I pray the Lord’s Prayer slowly and thoughtfully. On my commute to work, I often pray for the day ahead of me. Some of my research and writing I do “as an academic,” so it does not lend itself to spiritual reflection and growth. But I like to write NT commentaries precisely because it does a service to pastors and teachers, and I get a chance to dig deeper in a biblical text for my own learning and formation. I get to spend hours a day meditating and reflecting on the Greek text, and thanking God for his powerful Word.

I am thankful that teaching at a Quaker-heritage school (George Fox University/Portland Seminary) has taught me a lot about the power of contemplative prayer. I try to have several “centering prayer” moments throughout the day. And at night I enjoy reading the Bible, praying, and worshipping God with my family before bed.

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

In the last year or so, I have been spending more time journaling in prayer, which has opened my eyes more to Christ’s grace as he responds to my prayers.

Nijay Gupta is Associate Professor of New Testament at Portland Seminary, George Fox University, Oregon. He has written commentaries on The Lord’s Prayer (S&HBC), Colossians (S&HBC), 1-2 Thessalonians (NCCS and ZCINTS), as well as books such as The State of New Testament Studies, Prepare, Succeed, Advance, and his forthcoming Paul and the Language of Faith and A Beginner’s Guide to New Testament Studies

Thank you, Dr. Gupta!

Other Scholars’ Devotions

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