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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