Just reading a devotion doesn’t cut it (in our opinion). Think about it – How many times have you read a devotion somewhere and thought, “That was nice,” but then a day or week goes by and you’ve forgotten the content of that devotion completely? This happens time and again when we act as passive readers of God’s Word. We expect someone else to do the thinking for us and then lightly pick and choose from their ideas what we want to apply to our life.
This is exactly the kind of behavior we want to discourage against. Do some legwork. Get your feet dirty! It’s not that we are against devotions – we are a daily devotional blog! But what we are encouraging is for you to prepare your heart and mind before reading a devotion. By this we mean that you should read the Bible passage for yourself first, even study the passage (perhaps as we model it, namely verse by verse) and begin to outline for yourself the main ideas and movements. Now you are ready for the application that devotions seek to offer. Moreover, you are building knowledge upon knowledge, deepening your understanding of God and His Word, as well as ensuring that these truths remain long-lasting upon your heart and mind.
So, let us do that same approach this week. Before we give you our own analysis of John 13:1-17, we want you to do 2 things (one step today and one step tomorrow).
For today: Take out a piece of paper and a pen, and outline the passage. By outline, we mean that you go through the passage verse by verse and try to both a) summarize each verse in 5-6 words and then b) make a summary sentence of the whole passage in 5-6 words. Does this sound hard? It might be at first. But if you are starting each passage you read each day in this manner, this practice will become easier and easier. Only read on after you’ve done this step..