Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Personal Devotions Transformed

A few months back I had the amazing opportunity to hear Anne Graham Lotz speak at a two day conference at our church. While many things that she said still stick with me, one thing she taught us was a 3-question Bible Study Method. At the time my daily devotions were in such a rut. I had tried getting devotionals but that wasn't working. When she introduced this method I knew it was for me and as soon as I implemented it I fell in love, not with the method, but with my time with the Lord and most importantly with Jesus. I posted something about the method on Facebook and had a few people interested so I thought I'd share what I learned. Anne Graham Lotz also has a 30 minute video you can watch on her site which will share with you more of the meaning behind it and give you some more examples.

For starters you're going to choose a book of the Bible. I think that starting in a gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) is great because, first of all it allows you to really get to know Jesus and secondly there are some very visible lessons which help you to get the hang of the method. I started in Matthew.

When you come to do your devotions you'll want to make sure you have everything you'll need, mainly your Bible, a pen and a notebook, you may also want to include things like a highlighter or commentary but those are extras.

Then Anne outlines four steps:
  1. Read your Bible (look at the passage)
  2. What does God's Word say? (list the facts)
  3. What does God's Word mean? (learn the lessons)
  4. What does God's Word mean to me? (Listen to His voice)
Anne shares some examples of what this can look here. Just click under the video and select download file under the "Featured Resources" section.

Here's what it looks like for me:


 First I read the passage, Anne suggested reading only 3-6 verses a day which is typically one paragraph if you use a version like the NASB which I really enjoy for this method of study.
    
    Example: Matthew 9:14 "Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, 'Why do we and the
    Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?'"

Then I divide my page up into three sections. I write the scripture reference up top and then label the columns: facts, lesson and listen.

In the first column I typically write down the scripture not leaving much out, it's not about paraphrasing. You can leave portions out if you feel like it's repetitive but you should just copy words from the passage. You don't want to put your own meaning on the Word of the Lord.

     Example Facts: John's disciples came to Jesus asking, "Why do we and the
     Pharisees fast, by Your disciples do not?"

After I complete the first column for all verses, I move on to the "Lessons" column. Here is where I write what I learned for each verse. Sometimes it's hard to find a lesson but keep meditating on it. At the beginning of Matthew there is a lot of genealogy and I thought there weren't many lessons contained but I was able to find a lesson for almost every verse. If you're stuck pray about it maybe spend sometime thinking on the verse throughout the day and come back to it.

     Example Lesson: There can be jealousy and the desire to be better than another, even among
     believers

The last column is "Listen" this is going to be where you will write questions that will help you apply what you have read.

     Example Listen: Do I have the desire to be seen as better than another? What am I going to do 
     with my fleshly desire to be seen as better than another?

After I have completed all of the columns for all 3-6 verses I will sometimes write out a prayer to the Lord asking Him to help me in a weak area that has been pointed out. In doing this method I have found myself realizing things in Scripture that I had never really picked up on, looking into motives wondering about the story and really connecting with the people and learning so much about Jesus' character. Every morning Makenzie gets to watch one show, usually Barney, and I do this as she's watching the show. Sometimes she'll go get her Bible and "do her devotions" too. It is a sweet, structured time with the Lord and a great example to Makenzie as she sees me in the Word.

This may look a little different for each person. You just saw two of my examples, and you can go see a lot more over on Anne Graham Lotz site, along with watching a 30 minute video where she explains it very eloquently and gives reasons behind it as well. 

5 comments:

  1. I'm really into spirituality...this is pretty cool ^_^

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  2. This is great!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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  3. I love this! Thank you so much for posting!

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  4. This would work for any religion! I am not a Christian but I LOVE it! Thank you...you just made my Torah study better!

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  5. It certainly puts so much more relevance on Bible reading. Thanks for sharing!

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