I’m dedicating this post, if one can do such a thing, to a dear friend and mentor, Dr. Stanley Jebb. Stanley always taught us in Bible College to make our theological studies devotional. That is, never to divorce theology from our walk with God. Here’s a plea from John Piper to make theological study the fuel of heart felt devotion:
This is a plea that all of you would build into your lives both personal devotions and purposeful study of God’s word.
Daily prayerful meditation seeking personal application of God’s word to your own heart and life.
Regular study in a class or with a book where the (living or dead) teacher has seen more than you have and can give you insight in 30 minutes that might otherwise take you ten years to see.
The reason I plead for both is that without a book or a class about what some part of the Bible means and a teacher who is ahead of you, your devotions will probably flatten out at a low level of insight.
Year after year you will go over the same biblical ground and find it as perplexing as before. There will be little advance in understanding. This will tend to take the heart out of devotional reading, because the lack of growth cannot sustain the joy.
Seek out preaching, books, and classes which take you further in grasping what various books and texts in the Bible mean.