Reading the Gospels for Devotions

This year rather than read the Bible through as I had done for several years, I have read the gospels over and over.  I have tried to find ways to keep from letting it become too familiar or too legalistic to be of value to my spiritual growth.  Also, I have been teaching the study, Reading the Bible for Life by George H. Guthrie, at church.  I have tried to join some of the ideas from that study into my devotional life.  This morning, I came up with four questions to guide my meditation and journal writing as I read the gospels.  I usually read one chapter per day.

  1. What do I learn about Jesus from this chapter?  Here, I am focusing on who Jesus is by meditating on His nature and character.  I am looking at how the Gospel writer explains Jesus’ humanity and divinity.  I am also looking at how His fulfills prophecies and how He is revealed as Messiah, Savior, and Lord.
  2. What does Jesus teach by His words or by His example?  I am looking for what I must obey.  As my Lord, what does Jesus want me to do?  In Luke 2, which I read this morning, it says in a couple of places that Jesus grew in wisdom.  This is an example to follow, and I began to consider how I might focus on growing in godly wisdom.
  3. How do people respond to Jesus in ways that I should emulate?  In the text, how do I see others obey Jesus.  For example, as I read Luke 2, I noticed how Simeon waited for God’s promise and rejoiced with praise as he saw it fulfilled.
  4. How do I apply what I have observed to my life? After meditating upon or writing down the things that I have observed, I look back and try to think of specific ways that I need to apply.  For example, this morning I decided that to grow in godly wisdom, I need to read a chapter of Proverbs each day.
I hope that this will be helpful to those of you seeking to go deeper in looking at the life of Jesus and in reading the Gospels.  If you have found other questions, books or methods that help you to think about a passage of Scripture, feel free to suggests them in the comments.

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