A Scholar's Devotion

A Scholar’s Devotion with Darian Lockett

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 asked myself, “Is this 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?”  

In this series 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. Darian Lockett if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

Over the years I have experienced difficulty at times navigating between engaging the text of Scripture as a means of hearing the voice of the Lord and as the object of academic research. These experiences have taught me to keep both tasks together without bifurcating them one from the other. I am convinced that, whether reading Scripture devotionally or academically, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ reveals himself and confronts us with the truth of the gospel.

My formal times of (daily) devotion with the Lord are usually made up of three parts. First, I have found a prayer guide helpful for structuring my time. In the past I have used the morning and evening prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. For the past several months I’ve been using Jonathan Gibson’s excellent liturgy for daily worship called Be Thou My Vision. Second, I usually read two or more chapters of Scripture, trying to pause over passages that are encouraging, challenging, or perplexing. Finally, I usually spend some time writing out my thoughts over the text of Scripture, or my prayers. Taking time to write out my thoughts, questions, and prayers helps me slow down and meditate further on what God is communicating through his word.

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

I constantly find my own love for and devotion to Christ disappointing. I can never love enough, pray enough, teach enough, read enough. The sacraments have been a source of great strength and encouragement for me. Meeting Christ at the table and in baptism I am reminded of his incredible love for me, his passion and suffering on my behalf. It is in the sacraments that I experience the presence and renewing power of Christ, and it is there I find my love, awe, and wonder for him deepen despite my fickle heart. A second place I find my love for Christ deepened is in seeing brothers and sisters love and serve another in the name of Jesus.

Dr. Darian Lockett is Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He has written an introduction to the Catholic Epistles, a way to read those epistles canonically (my review), a book on understanding the letter of James, and a book on biblical theology

Thank you, Dr. Lockett!

Other Scholars’ Devotions

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