Category Archives: A Scholar’s Devotional

A Scholar’s Devotion with Amy Peeler

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.

Thank you, Dr. Peeler!
Twitter: @albpeeler
.

Previous Posts

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a percentage of revenue if you buy from Amazon on my blog at no cost to you.

4 Comments

Filed under A Scholar's Devotional

A Scholar’s Devotion with A. Andrew Das

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. Andrew Das if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

Devotional time is exceedingly important. I am a conservative (Bible-believing) Lutheran, and so I have a very high view of the power of God’s Word as that which creates and sustains faith. Getting people into the Word is essential to my confession. My wife and I taught our children to read before kindergarten and soon thereafter got them their own study Bibles in an accessible translation. For my own part, I cannot recommend highly enough the Christian Standard Bible. It is demonstrably the most readable translation on the market that is at the same time one of the most word-for-word translations. That accuracy to the original is very important to me. I need to have confidence in my English translation, but I also need a readable and accessible translation. Luther translated Scriptures into the ordinary, everyday language of the people. So my kids grew up with their pattern of daily study of God’s Word and prayer at the beginning of each day (we’d fall asleep if we did it at the end of the day).

For my own part, I help out in churches, and the churches, thankfully, schedule those labors well in advance. What I like to do at the office in the morning is to take time out from the daily grind and scour commentaries and monographs for devotional applications of God’s Word. I like to grow in my understanding of the Word and yet seek out how the Word is to be applied in a way that is a natural extension of its message.

This week, for instance, I have been meditating on the story of the rich man who comes to Jesus in Mark 10. Of course, we don’t know that he is rich right away, but Jesus sees through him pretty quickly. Jesus knew that things, literally, were getting in the way for him. He also had an overly optimistic assessment of his own ability to gain access to God’s kingdom. I find this passage challenging for me personally as a wealthy American Christian. Do I really need all this stuff? Does the stuff get in the way of loving others as God in Christ first loved me? Jesus’ death on the cross has freed me from my sins, including the idolatry of putting stuff before others and before the Lord. So I have been carrying this around with me this week and reflecting on how the passage relates to the entirety of the Scriptural witness and to my life..

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

In terms of deepening my love for Christ, my love for Christ increases as I deepen my understanding of God’s Word, especially as I treat it in a respectful way as God’s saving Word addressed also to me personally. There are lessons to be learned and applied. So I try to mold my patterns of action on biblical models. If God became incarnate in Christ to suffer and die for me, how can I imitate that humble self-regard to put others first?

One game my wife brought to our marriage is, in conversation, trying to get the other person to talk about him/herself. We like to “flip” conversations to keep the focus on the other person and to try to hear them and express care for them, the same love that God has so richly showered upon us in His death on the cross.

As a part-time dean at my college, I am not surprised that even secular authors on “how to be a dean” talk about servant leadership. For me, it is who I am in Christ. I am to be a servant of others. So my devotional life is something that is to be carried with me all through the day. We pray without ceasing, do we not? The only way I can imagine that taking place is through the wealth and riches of God’s Word. There’s so much there!! It’s our power source. We are not only better preachers and teachers through our study of God’s Word (with fresh, engaging new insights all the time); when we approach our labors devotionally, we grow in our faith–because God’s Word is powerful. God speaks into our hearts through His wonderful Word, and it is so.


A. Andrew Das is the Donald W. and Betty J. Buik Chair at Elmhurst CollegeHe has also written a commentary on Galatians, as well as having written on Paul and the Law, Paul and Israel, and Paul and the Jews

Thank you, Dr. Das!
.

Further Devotions

.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a percentage of revenue if you buy from Amazon on my blog. 

Leave a comment

Filed under A Scholar's Devotional

A Scholar’s Devotion with Rikk Watts

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. Rikk Watts if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

Read my scriptures prayerfully in the original languages; reflect on what I understand they have to say to me; always give thanks to the Lord for the gift of life, this wonderful creation, his coming to us in his Son, his daily presence through the Spirit, and the sure and certain hope of the life of the world to come. Then wait on him to see what he might say to me, then prayers for friends etc.

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

Live my life in thankful obedience, deliberately seeing all of creation as a gift and as God’s temple destined for renewal, and all people as made in his image and therefore to be loved and treated with dignity and honor. I try to be present to every moment.

While I have devotional times, I’ve tried to keep my relationship with the Lord real; I.e. I might have regular scheduled meetings with my boss, but that’s not how I relate to my wife or close friends. I’ve tried to pattern both the scheduling and feel of my prayer time along the lines of the latter. Hence, I will often have very meaningful moments of prayer, devotion, and meditation, while walking, on public transport, sitting in a cafe, etc. In this sense my daily devotions happen throughout the day. I have to say this has resulted in a deep sense of the Lord’s very real presence throughout my day. I am also “Pentecostal” in background; though probably more Charismatic, and evangelical (in the UK Anglican tradition) both theologically and culturally; so a combination of thoughtfulness, cultural engagement, theological reflection, and praying in tongues and exercising various gifts is very much a part of my week.


Dr. Watts is the Dean of Theology (2017) at Alphacrucis College. He formerly taught at Regent College for 20 years. He is currently writing a commentary on Mark’s Gospel for the NICNT series. He has also written Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark and contributed the chapter on Mark’s Gospel in the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Thank you, Dr. Watts!


Further Devotions

.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a percentage of revenue if you buy from Amazon on my blog. 

1 Comment

Filed under A Scholar's Devotional

A Scholar’s Devotion with Tom Schreiner

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?”  From time to time, one can wonder how scholars and seminary professors manage to continue to grow spiritually while fulfilling their numerous responsibilities with family, work, and ministry.

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 to help us reflect on other ways we had not thought of before. This isn’t meant to hold each interviewee up as a perfect model, but to give you ideas of how to think about your devotionals from those who teach us the Scriptures. 

In this inaugural post, I have asked Dr. Tom Schreiner if he would share his thoughts.

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

Everyone is different, but I read two chapters in the OT in English, then one chapter of Psalms or Proverbs, one chapter usually of the Hebrew OT, and one chapter of the Greek NT. I try to read meditatively and pray about what I am reading.
.
I pray for daily concerns, for the members of our church, and through Operation World.
.

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

I have nothing dramatic to say here.
  • Bible Reading
  • Prayer
  • Regular fellowship and attendance with God’s people
  • Reading good books

Dr. Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of NT Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology (1997), the Associate Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an elder at Clifton Baptist ChurchHe has written commentaries on Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Hebrews, Peter and Jude, and Revelation, as well as a Pauline theology, a NT theology, and a whole Bible theology, and more.

Thank you, Dr. Schreiner!
Twitter: @DrTomSchreiner

Further Devotions

.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a percentage of revenue if you buy from Amazon on my blog. 

4 Comments

Filed under A Scholar's Devotional

A Scholar’s Devotion

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? Can I use a commentary with my devotions?” 

From time to time, one can wonder how scholars and seminary professors manage to continue to grow spiritually while fulfilling their dizzying responsibilities with family, work, and ministry. Each week, I’ll 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. This isn’t to hold each interviewee up as a model, but to give others ideas of how to think about our devotionals from those who teach us.

No one method or style is “the only way,” but we can draw on one another’s experiences. I have received a variety of responses so far, and some do the same thing every day, while others change it up when what they are doing becomes dry and almost boring. Some stay very basic (read the Bible and pray). Others read through devotionals, books, or parts of a commentary. 

I imagine that many scholars, professors, and pastors are more often asked questions about biblical details than they are about their personal devotions and love for Christ.Each interviewee is different, but they all have a deep love for the Lord. Many have expressed their appreciation for my questions, and I hope their answers encourage you in your own devotion to God. Posts will be up every Tuesday morning (depending on where you live in the world)!

2 Comments

Filed under A Scholar's Devotional