A Scholar’s Devotion with Douglas Stuart

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. Douglas Stuart if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

Your questions would require much longer answers than I have time to give, but I will make one brief comment: I see no warrant in the Bible for what people call “devotions” being more devotional than anything else we do for the Lord. Writing, class prep, etc. should and can be undertaken just as devotionally as so-called “devotions,” with prayer and dedication to God’s purposes. The distinction, in other words, is artificial.

Dr. Douglas Stuart is Professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Thank you, Dr. Stuart!
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A Scholar’s Devotion with Jim Hamilton

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. Jim Hamilton if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

I pray through our church directory and the Valley of Vision. I seek to memorize and meditate on Scripture.

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

Bible. Prayer. People. Meditation on Scripture.


Dr. Jim Hamilton is the Professor of Biblical Theology at the The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thank you, Dr. Hamilton!
Twitter: @DrJimHamilton
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A Scholar’s Devotion with Jason DeRouchie

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. Jason DeRouchie if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

My morning quiet time with the Lord is fuel for my day. I have grown to see that only when I am filled with the Spirit through the Word can I be sure that when I am shaken, the Spirit will pour forth.

Following the Kingdom Bible Reading Plan and using my ESV with the Hebrew and Greek texts near by, I usually start my Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday by reading three-four chapters from the Bible (one from the Law, Prophets, Writings, and New Testament, respectively). I seek to be prayerful, and my quest is to see and savor more of God in Christ. When I have fresh insights or raise questions that need answers, I add them into an Evernote journal or place them directly into my seminary Old Testament Background and Message notes. This journey through Scripture is more reading for distance than for depth. At times (usually once per month), I will pause on these days to dig deeply into a passage that I will be preaching/teaching to my Sunday School class over the next several weeks. When I do this, I will use my Hebrew text to track the author’s flow-of-thought (phrasing and arcing using www.biblearc.com) and then establish a message-driven, exegetical outline that is faithful to the whole. After a day or two of digging deeper for gold in this way, I will usually go back to raking the surface, saving my more developed weekend preparation for early Sunday morning. Wednesdays I usually teach early, and I use that my morning time to ready my heart and head for whatever I am sharing that day.

Along with regular Bible reading, I use Todoist to guide a lot of my prayers. I pray daily for family members, friends, leaders, institutions, and global missionaries, and my calendar allows me to intentionally rotate through them all at least once per month. Often I do this praying in my journey to and from the gym or during my 30 minute commute to work at Bethlehem.

Finally, I sustain a semi-frequent pattern of Bible memory, usually switching between shorter portions (single paragraphs or chapters) and more extended portions (four chapters). I then review while driving. I have found that anything greater than four chapters is difficult for me to memorize and practice faithfully, so this has been my memorization cap. To memorize I follow this pattern: (1) Recite yesterday’s added material 10x; recite today’s new material 10x; (3) review all material including the new material 1x; (4) progress ahead until all is memorized and I have generally recited the complete amount every day for a 100 days. This pattern seems to help me retain memorized passages fairly well, and then I review them periodically.

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

I know that I will find the Lord most when I seek him (Prov 8:17; Jer 29:13; Matt 7:7) and that I will be filled with the Spirit of Christ most when I am matching prayer and hearing the Word with faith, most especially in the context of community (Gal 3:2, 5; Eph 5:15–21; Col 3:16–17). I also know that my heart will be wherever my treasure is (Matt 6:21). As such, I seek to deepen my love for Christ (1) through prayerful asking for more of his presence and for greater dependence, love, wisdom, and protection; (2) through repetitive time in the Word with expressed desire to see and savor more of Christ, and (3) through regular corporate worship where I am both participant and leader and where I consciously express my hope to see and savor Jesus. My wife and I have also sought to lead our family to increasingly treasure the divine Son as the center of the universe––the one by whom, through whom, and for whom are all things (Col 1:16), whether coffee or cancer, ice cream or ice storms, rising or falling, laughing or crying. This pattern of repetitive pointing and noticing and verbalizing both the supremacy and value of Christ (Deut 6:4–7) helps nurture deeper love for him in this man, husband, father, pastor, professor, and scholar.


Dr. Jason DeRouchie is Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary and is an elder at Bethlehem Baptist ChurchHe has written How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament, What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About, A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, and he blogs here

Thank you, Dr. DeRouchie!

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A Scholar’s Devotion with Darrell Bock

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. Darrell Bock if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

I do not separate my devotional time from my study. My goal is always to try and hear the Lord as I work with Scripture. This is because a devotional versus study switch can teach us not to do this. I also find some of the best things I have to preach are what he teaches me in my own experience. So whenever we study Scripture we are expectant to hear the Lord’s voice.

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

By seeking to grow each day. There often are things God has me working on as I study in terms of my life. I try to pay attention to those things and work on them.


Dr. Darrell Bock is Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Bock has written commentaries on Luke (here and here) and Acts, along with A Theology of Luke and Acts, Jesus According to Scripture, The Missing Gospels, Progressive Dispensationalism, and Blasphemy and Exaltation in Jerusalem

Thank you, Dr. Bock!
Twitter: @DBockDTS
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A Scholar’s Devotion with Michael Bird

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. Michael Bird if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

I use the Australian Prayer Book in my morning devotions, reading Greek NT in the morning, and OT in English in the evenings. Sometimes I read devotionals from everyone from Karl Barth to D.A. Carson.
Thank you, Dr. Bird!
Twitter: @mbird12
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A Scholar’s Devotion with Nicholas Perrin

Going through Bible college and 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. Nicholas Perrin if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

I have a standard morning routine, which culminates in an hour dedicated to the word and prayer, with roughly 30 minutes dedicated to both. (Yes, I use the timer on my iPhone.) For the Word, I take my cues from a lectionary, meditating slowly and reflectively on the psalm for the day. I usually work in a translation other than English (German, Italian, or MT Hebrew) to keep it fresh and new for me. After that I pray for my family, close associates, upcoming events, and issues. I see this as a springboard for prayer throughout the day.

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

I’m not sure how to answer this apart from the spiritual devotions, including the discipline of fellowship. For me, love for Christ equals obedience. I am most likely to obedient when I am in close contact with one or two men with whom I can be myself – hopes, dreams, warts, etc. I know – if the studies are correct – that most men at my stage of life don’t have this; I don’t know how they make it.


Dr. Nicholas Perrin is the Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College. Perrin has written Jesus the Temple, Lost in Translation, has contributed to Jesus, Paul and the People of Godand is soon releasing Jesus the Priest and The Kingdom of God

Thank you, Dr. Perrin!
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A Scholar’s Devotion with David M. Moffitt

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. David Moffitt if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

I’m afraid that I don’t have anything special or exotic to say. I seek to spend 30 mins each morning in reading Scripture and praying. That is the foundation of my devotional life. We do have some family time a few times a week where we read through a book together (C.S. Lewis has contributed several).

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

As for deepening my love for the Lord, I find that, apart from prayer and good worship music, this mainly takes the form of serving in various capacities at our local church. I also love being able to teach exegesis to students at various levels.

As I said, not very exciting, but I am grateful for the call on my life.


David M. Moffitt is the Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at St. Mary’s College at the University of St Andrews. His published dissertation is called Atonement and the Logic of Resurrection in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Thank you, Dr. Moffitt!
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A Scholar’s Devotion with Bruce Ware

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. Bruce Ware if he would share his thoughts with us.

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

Three-four days a week I read through the Bible (so, I read it through every two years).  Three days a week I meditate on one chapter of Scripture (e.g., Isa 40, or Eph 1, then 2, then 3  . . . .), reading it over and over for about three weeks, reading it slowly, probingly, prayerfully, questioningly, noticing details.  Both the fast and slow readings are enormously valuable.

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

Notice what is said or intimated about Christ, as you read, and taking time to contemplate something of the wonder of Christ.


Bruce A. Ware is the Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology and the Chairman of the Department of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thank you, Dr. Ware!
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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
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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!
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Further Devotions

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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

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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.
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I pray for daily concerns, for the members of our church, and through Operation World.
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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

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

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)!