5 steps in applying a devotional bible study
I have been using a particular devotional all year, It is the New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. I highly recommend it! I also have other devotional readings that I use as well. Sometimes, the real challenge is to find how that devotional for that day applies to my current situation. I have found that without system of study and application, I will tend to rush through the study, checking the "box" of alone time with God but not really engaging with what God is trying to teach me at the moment. So here are 5 steps I use to help apply a devotional bible study with everyday life.
1. Pray God will give insight about the application of the passage: As you do your devotion, you should continually ask, How can I use the Bible truth in my life? Pray that God would reveal how it apply with your relationship with God, to your life, to your relationships and to your church.
2. Meditate on the passage: As you meditate, try to imagine how you might apply the passage. I try to think of scenarios on how I can model what is being taught in the study. If the passage was on Ephesians 4:32, I would consider someone I need to forgive, What attitude I needed to overcome to offer forgiveness. Then I would think about how I could express forgiveness: (in person, by phone call, email, letter, text...) I learned an acrostic years ago that helps me direct my meditation, called PEACE
Promise to claim or praise to God?
Example to follow or avoid?
Action or attitude to change?
Command to obey?
Error to avoid?
3. Write specific, practical ways the passage can be applied. Think of specific and practical ways to apply the passage and jot those down. Just saying, I will be more forgiving, is not specific enough. Offering to express forgiveness to everyone who has ever sinned against you is not practical.
4. Memorize the verse or verses you have studied I know that memorizing sounds daunting. But just think about all the crazy things you have already committed to memory. (song lyrics, phone numbers, commercials, lines to movies...) that list goes on and on. How much more valuable is memorizing parts of God's word to fend off threats to your walk with Jesus, so that you would have better relationships with Him and others. Perhaps I'll write on memorization soon as well.
5. Put the application into practice In the matter of forgiveness you may need to visit someone. Avoid saying to someone, "If I've done anything wrong, I want to apologize." Specifically mention the incident that demands forgiveness. Also, it is best if you admit negative thoughts about a person only to God. Mentioning them to the other person will cause him to wonder what you are thinking.
I hope these tips help you as you dive deeper in devotional study. But remember we are to not just be hearers only, We are blessed if we do what he commands.