Last week, as a Bible study homework assignment, I was to pick a verse from the 2nd chapter of Galatians and present my results using the ‘Devotional Method’. Without going into great detail (which I will in a later post), the Devotional Method involves picking a Bible verse, then reading it several times carefully with a prayerful attitude, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance to help you understand it. Then meditate on the verse: see yourself there as the scripture unfolds, imagine how you would feel in that time and place, and also do an exercise where you emphasize one word at a time in the verse, to help you appreciate the magnitude of the verse. For instance, using the first part of Galatians 2:20, read it as “I have been crucified with Christ,” “I HAVE been crucified with Christ,” “I have BEEN crucified with Christ” and so on. Each reading gives you deeper insight into what the Holy Spirit is conveying to you.
It is helpful to paraphrase the chosen verse, also, for it makes the scripture come more alive in your heart and mind. Personalize the verse by replacing your name with the pronouns or nouns, and witness the impact it has on you. “Jay has been crucified with Christ; it is no longer Jay who lives, but Christ lives in Jay; and the life which Jay now lives in the flesh, Jay lives by faith in the Son of God, who loved Jay and gave Himself for Jay.”
Use the acrostic “SPACEPETS” to delve deeper into the verse:
Is there a Sin to confess? Do you need to repent of anything related to this verse?
Promise to claim? Is is a universal promise, and have you met its conditions?
Attitude to change? Are you willing to work on a negative attitude and build on a positive one?
Command to obey? Are you willing to do it no matter what?
Example to follow? Is it a positive example to be followed or a negative one to avoid?
Prayer to pray? Take this scripture to the Father for understanding.
Error to avoid? Is there a warning to be aware of or be alert to?
Truth to believe? What new things can you learn about the triune God or other biblical teachings?
Something to be grateful for? Something to praise God for?
Now write an application of the things you’ve discovered. It should be personal: when you write, use the first person singular. Make it practical: it ought to be something you can do, a course of action you can take; make it specific, not with generalities. It should be possible: something you know you can accomplish, and finally, it should be provable; set up a time limit, a follow-up to measure your success.
Memorize the verse, so that you can meditate and pray on it often.
The goal of the Devotional Method is to help you become more like Jesus. You have to apply the biblical insights God gives you, so you can grow spiritually and become a more effective child of our Heavenly Father.
Tomorrow I’m going to share with you my personal utilization of the Devotional Method using Galatians 2:20. You’ll hopefully be able to see how the verse comes alive, vibrant and full of love.
May Christ continue to dwell in your heart and mind, my fellow saint. If you are reading this and are not a Christian, I welcome your presence and input. Know that God loves you completely and is eager to talk to you through His Word.