Devotional Method

The devotional study is not so much a technique as a spirit. It is the spirit of eagerness, which seeks the
mind of God; it is the spirit of humility, which listens readily to the voice of God; it is the spirit of
adventure, which pursues earnestly the will of God; it is the spirit of adoration, which rests in the
presence of God.

First, Satan will raise his greatest opposition to the pursuance of this method.

Second, the Bible student would avoid in his devotional life overemphasis on either intensive or
extensive consideration of Scripture; the two go together. Too much time spent on intensive
investigation causes a loss of an appreciation of the over-all picture; undue attention to a general survey
robs one of the blessings gained by close observation.

Third, the devotional enjoyment of the Word is enhanced immeasurably by Scripture memorization.

Fourth, there is a real need for system in the devotional method; without some sort of plan, one tends to
daydream or waste time or be easily satisfied with snatches or tidbits of spiritual truth, which are gained
by a gazing process.

The devotional method may be effectively executed by means of careful study of words, verse,
paragraphs, chapters, books, biblical characters, and Christ in a given portion.

WORDS: Choose a word to study. Ask several questions about the word:

1.How is it used in the Bible; what definition may be gleaned by means of a consideration of its
employment in various biblical texts?
2.What did it mean to those who used it?
3.What does it reveal of God, man, sin and evil powers?
4.How can I relate it to the strengthening of my own spiritual life?

VERSES: Verses are brief; their message is often perceived by outlining the text. It may also be of
value to consider the verbs in a given verse—note tense, voice, mood, message, subject, and object.
Then ask yourself who authored the passage and how it fits into his over-all message or vitally
contributes to it.

PARAGRAPHS: One may study paragraphs consecutively through a book, or one may prefer the
selection of paragraphs according to their subject matter. For instance, meditation on individual
paragraphs dealing with baptism, temptation, crucifixion, and ascension of Christ or a comparison of all
paragraphs on any one of these subjects should yield great spiritual blessing. In an effort to ascertain the
message of a paragraph, the student will do well to give it a title, outline it, find its key verse, summarize
its content, and record the specific ways in which its statements have to spoken to the heart.

CHAPTERS AND BOOKS: The following questions may be used as a guide in arriving at the fullest
appreciation of a chapter:

1. What is the principle subject of this chapter?
2. What is the leading lesson of this chapter?
3. Which is the best verse in this chapter?
4. Who are the principal persons in this chapter?
5. What does the chapter teach concerning God?
6. Is there, in this chapter, any example for me to follow?
7. Is there, in this chapter, any error for me to avoid?
8. Is there, in this chapter, any duty for me to perform?
9. Is there, in this chapter, any promise for me to claim?
10. Is there, in this chapter, any prayer for me to echo?

An effective way to examine a chapter is to preface it by prayer, slow silent reading, and reading aloud.
Then verse-by-verse observation is made and findings are listed under several headings:

1.Chapter Title
2.Key Verse
3.Significant Truth
4.Cross References
5.Difficulties
6.Applications
7.Summary or Outline

In developing this plan it is recommended that large-sized loose leaf or spiral notebooks be used.
Columns with the headings just listed should then be arranged on two sheets facing each other. The first
four items will require much narrower columns than the others.

Many books of the Bible will prove to be rich mines of spiritual blessing when approached from the
standpoint of the chapter method.

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