February 1, 2018: Lift Up Your Heads

February 01, 2018:

Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 1-3, Psalm 24, Matthew 10:21-42, Acts 15:22-41 Psalm 24: People compete for the resources of this world—its energy, its oil, its land. But “the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof” (24:1). The one who owns it all is God. Easy to say, but harder to put into practice. What it means is that we are but stewards of this life, of our resources, of our time and of our money. The earth is the LORD’s, and every part of it, the fullness thereof. This is the higher meaning and purpose that gives greater satisfaction than the trite search after happiness. We were made for more than mere accumulation of possessions, for the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof. Our satisfaction comes from realizing our higher purpose, that is to serve God. But how then do we know this God? Or “who shall ascend the holy hill…

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January 26-31, 2018

January 26, 2018:

In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” January 26-31 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month. With this in mind, God Centered Bible will not have a devotional for January 26-31, but will pick back up on February 1, 2018. We welcome your comments also during these days with insights you’ve found during the first 25 days.

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January 25, 2018: The Lord Is My Shepherd

January 25, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 50, Psalm 23, Matthew 10:1-20, Acts 15:1-21 Psalm 23: The story goes of two people who recited this famous psalm publicly. One was a well-trained actor. He delivered the beautiful words with all the right intonation and emphasis, pausing at exactly the correct moments to deliver maximum impact. Those who listened beamed with pleasure as he spoke with elocution and precision. The other who recited the psalm was no trained professional orator. In fact, he spoke in a cumbersome, if still clear, manner. But by the end of his recitation of this Psalm 23, the room was filled with a hushed silence. No one hardly even breathed. Tears were flowing down the cheeks of those who listened, and there was a palpable sense that they had not just heard beautiful words, they had heard the Word. The difference between the two recitations? Someone remarked afterwards: the first…

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January 24, 2018: All the Ends of the Earth

January 24, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 49, Psalm 22:12-31, Matthew 9:27-38, Acts 14 Psalm 22:12-31: At this point in the psalm, it becomes crystal clear what the great Matthew Henry says about it: “The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, as clearly and fully as any where in all the Old Testament, "the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow’’ (1 Peter 1:11), of him, no doubt, David here speaks, and not of himself, or any other man.” We are drawn into this psalm by the sufferings of David, but soon we realize that David here speaks prophetically of the sufferings of another. Most specifically consider these texts that are fulfilled in none other than Christ: “They have pierced my hands and my feet” “They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing cast lots” But also the whole tenor of this section of…

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January 23, 2018: Be Not Far from Me

January 23, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 48, Psalm 22:1-11, Matthew 9:14-26, Acts 13:26-52 Psalm 22:1-11: From the glory and confidence of the previous psalm comes the low of this psalm. David comes back down to earth with a bump. Here he is not feeling as if he could climb every mountain and beat every giant; here he is feeling as if God had completely left him and all was dust and ashes in his mouth. Why?  Perhaps you are asking that very question this morning. You resonate with the Beatles’ song Yesterday. “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away; now it looks as though they’re here to stay.” Why? That’s the question David is asking. The first eleven verses of this psalm are structured around, first, that initial and controlling question (why?), and then “yet” (verses 3-5), “but” (verses 6-8), and once more “yet” (verses 9-11). David is showing us the way…

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January 22, 2018: Strength and Justice

January 22, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 46-47, Psalm 21, Matthew 9:1-13, Acts 13:1-25 Psalm 21: “The King Rejoices in the LORD’s Strength”—such is the title given to this psalm in one Bible translation. And rightly so. The first half of the psalm is all about exactly that. How the king, this King David, rejoices because he has God’s strength, because God has answered his prayers, because he has been made glad with the joy of God’s presence. Perhaps you are looking for joy. And perhaps, like C.S. Lewis, you will be surprised to discover that the joy you are looking for is found in none other than Christ and him alone. There are many other distractions and opportunities and tantalizing pleasures on offer; but the real joy, the joy that we truly seek and long for, that is found in Christ. Would you this morning look to him to give you joy? Would…

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January 21, 2018: May He Answer!

January 21, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 44-45, Psalm 20, Matthew 8:23-34, Acts 12 Psalm 20: This is a prayer of blessing, and in particular a prayer of blessing for the king. In our day and age, we are so used to being suspicious of people in authority that it is hard for us to imagine asking God to bless the authority figures of our community, church, and nation. But yet so God commands. We are to pray for all those in authority (1 Tim. 2:2). In the economy of God, a good leader befits a good people, a blessed leader conceives a blessed people; too often we get the leaders we deserve. And if you are frustrated by your leaders, then do the one thing that will make the most difference: not to complain about them but to pray for them. Perhaps you are especially frustrated this morning by your political leaders, or…

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January 20, 2018: Acceptable in Your Sight

January 20, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 42-43, Psalm 19, Matthew 8:14-22, Acts 11:19-30 Psalm 19: Another of the great psalms of David. In Psalm 19, David moves from a declaration of God’s revelation of his glory in creation, to his revelation in the Bible, to call us, therefore, to be personally acceptable in God’s sight. First, David shows God’s revelation of his glory in creation. Sometimes people say that they would believe in God if he would show himself to them. The first six verses of this psalm show the foolishness of such an idea: God is constantly revealing himself to us all the time. The heavens declare the glory of God. Day to day and night to night, speech is poured forth. This is not a mere logical deduction from a philosophical theory related to creation. This is the constant witness of nature itself to something beyond mere nature. This is not…

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January 19, 2018: Advance Against a Troop

January 19, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 41, Psalm 18:25-50, Matthew 8:1-13, Acts 11:1-18 Psalm 18:25-50: David continues his psalm of praise to God as his “strength” (18:1). Many people have wondered what is the secret of the success of the “great” man, or the source of his “strength.” Well, here David tells us. It is not where we think it is, not what we think it is. The source of his strength is God himself. God is his strength. To the uninitiated this appears to be mere pious nonsense or wishful thinking. Yeah, yeah, they say to themselves; sure, God is your strength. Like Jesus is the Sunday school answer. But David’s answer is tried in the very real fire of battle, persecution, and defeat of his enemies. He looks back on what caused him to triumph. And his answer is unequivocal: God is his strength. But why is that not the case…

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January 18, 2018: The Lord Is My Rock

January 18, 2018:

by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 39-40, Psalm 18:1-24, Matthew 7:15-29, Acts 10:24-48 Psalm 18:1-24: Looking back when the dark night of the soul is over, or when the very real battle is finished, it is easy to forget just how hard it was. This psalm recalls the experience of God rescuing David from his enemies, even from the hand of Saul, and it records it all with great reality and emotive power. This is what it feels like to be in trouble. But whatever the feeling, the greater truth is this is who God is! The LORD is David’s “strength.” Dwell on that truth this morning if you feel weak. God is your strength. The question of God’s kingdom is never, “Do I have enough strength, are there enough resources, will my power suffice?” The question is always, “Who is God?” David’s answer is that God is his strength. If God is your…

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