God Centered Bible – Daily Devotions

August 19: Remember, O God!

August 19, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 13, Proverbs 14:19-35, Luke 19:1-10, Titus 1:10-16 Nehemiah 13: If you are ever discouraged that the work you are called to appears endless, or that you are one moment doing well and the next moment all is going wrong, or that time eats away at your finest endeavors, or that what you manage at one point to do faithfully, later on you must battle again to attain obedience in a particular area of your life—in short, if you ever wonder whether what you are doing is really having any impact, read this chapter! Nehemiah has achieved the most remarkable reforms, and yet as soon as his back is turned, it all goes to pot again. The issues are various, but one in particular is quite remarkable. The priest Eliashib, as soon as Nehemiah was temporarily out of the picture, installed the great enemy of God’s people…

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August 18: Joy!

August 18, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 12, Proverbs 14:1-18, Luke 18:31-43, Titus 1:1-9 Nehemiah 12: As the book draws to a close, we are left with a picture of well-ordered and exuberant joyful celebration. All the priests and Levites are appropriately given their right station and role (12:1-26). And then when it comes to the dedication of the wall—the formal, joyful setting apart of this edifice to God and his glory—the Levites and the singers are there to lead in worship (12:27). Nehemiah, in particular, appoints two great choirs for giving thanks (12:31). There is a procession, one to the south, and the other choir to the north, and both choirs and the leaders and all the singers were in the house of God, and great sacrifices were made, and “the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away” (12:43). It is good to celebrate God’s victories. There are moments to gather together and…

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August 17: Put Your Life on the Line

August 17, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 11, Proverbs 13:13-25, Luke 18:18-30, 2 Timothy 4:9-22 Nehemiah 11: The commitment to renewal of the city continues to spread. Already, we note the leaders are living in Jerusalem (11:1). Though that seems a passing note, it is actually highly significant. It is sometimes said that you need to live where your ministry is. There is normally (all other things being equal) little point trying to have a ministry in one area while living in an entirely different area. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but especially when (as in this case in Jerusalem at the time) the place where the ministry is happening is no longer a desirable location to live, it is hard to have genuine credibility if you do not live where you are ministering. It is more than “putting your money where your mouth is”; it is “putting your life where…

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August 16: Covenant Commitment

August 16, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 10, Proverbs 13:1-12, Luke 18:9-17, 2 Timothy 4:1-8 Nehemiah 10: The signers of the covenant (10:1-27) and the stipulations of the covenant (10:28-39) are listed in this chapter. This covenant is an Old Testament covenant; it is worth comparing with similar “covenants” adopted from time to time by Christian churches. A fairly typical Baptist covenant can be found in the back of many an old hymnal: https://goo.gl/Cjylg4. A statement including a statement of faith and responsibilities of membership from the UK can be found here: http://goo.gl/fKVI2l. A membership process without an explicit covenant but including typical membership commitments could be found here: http://goo.gl/MxzSBo. In the New Testament you find such renewal breathing through its pages in the Spirit of Christ and his grace: Acts 2:42-47. In Christ, such statements of commitment are not to be made in a spirit of legalistic nit-picking but of genuine spiritual and…

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August 15: Confession and Covenant

August 15, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 9, Proverbs 12:15-28, Luke 18:1-8, 2 Timothy 3:10-17 Nehemiah 9: The confession begins, and it is worth paying careful attention to how it is done. This is not a “guilt trip” or “beating yourself up”; this is a careful confession of faith, repentance of wrong-doing, that leads to a fresh beginning and a new start (the “covenant”). First, they confess not only their own sins, but also those of their fathers (9:2). In biblical thinking, headship matters. Time and again, you find godly members of God’s people confessing not only their own sins, but also the sins of all God’s people. It is a way of appealing to God for mercy on them as individuals and also on the whole congregation, too. They confess that God is the only true God (9:6). This the death knell of all idolatry, whether of the obvious physical kind or the…

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August 14: Joy!

August 14, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 8, Proverbs 12:1-14, Luke 17:20-37, 2 Timothy 3:1-9 Nehemiah 8: The reading of the Law is the central component of this book, and in particular the people’s remarkable response to that reading. There are several aspects to take notice of regarding how the teaching of the Bible was communicated. First, it was read (8:3). To gather as God’s people and not actually read the Bible, but have it read as a passage as God’s Word aloud so that the people can hear it—read it as it is, simply read it—that reading of God’s Word is a crucial component to public worship. As the Bible is read, the people’s ears are attentive (8:3). In other words, they are actually listening. When the Bible is read, the people are not daydreaming; they are not channel surfing in their head thinking of TV shows or movies, or playing with their phones…

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August 13: Godly Leadership

August 13, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 7, Proverbs 11:16-31, Luke 17:11-19, 2 Timothy 2:14-26 Nehemiah 7: The wall has been built, but the work carries on—that is the work of rebuilding God's people which the rebuilt walls represent and protect. Nehemiah first shrewdly delegates. He selects on the principle of faithfulness and being God-fearing (7:2). Those who fear God will do what is right even when they are not directly supervised, and the faithfulness that he has observed is a natural consequence of that principle. In the New Testament too, 1 Timothy 3, leaders are chosen for their faithfulness of character rather than their superlatives of gifting. Faithfulness comes first, and if there is extraordinary ability, too, that is good, but ability without faithfulness is a disaster. Nehemiah gets this right and picks on the basis of being God-fearing and faithful. He then gives clear instructions, in particular that guards should be appointed from…

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August 12: Cunning Enemies

August 12, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 6, Proverbs 11:1-15, Luke 17:1-10, 2 Timothy 2:1-13 Nehemiah 6: Despite their ongoing success, the enemies continue their attack. Now it is a policy of fear mongering. They wish to make Nehemiah afraid, to make him look bad, to sully his name, and therefore cause his leadership to fail. They begin by inviting him to meet. Nehemiah wisely refuses, understanding that there could be no middle ground between them, and any perception of compromise would only weaken his case and his argument and therefore the project itself. His reply is classic: “I am doing a great work and cannot come down” (6:3). Next, they send an open letter (6:5). That is, it is a letter that anyone who passed the message on to Nehemiah would be able to read. It was a form of public letter, in a sense, designed to spread rumors about Nehemiah that were…

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August 11: A Wise Leader Who Fears God

August 11, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 4-5, Proverbs 10:17-32, Luke 16:19-31, 2 Timothy 1 Nehemiah 4-5: The next two chapters provide a master lesson in leadership based on the fear of God that is pure but not naive, canny but also generous and openhanded. We meet the enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah, and hear their public gossip despising the works that were going on (4:1-3). Such sneering can have a seriously demotivating effect and must be dealt with. Is the work really as pointless and doomed to failure as they make out? Nehemiah takes the sneering to God in prayer (4:4-5) and carries on building (4:6). The next step is to move from sneering to plotting (4:7-8). They plan to attack. Nehemiah gathers the builders, tells them not to be afraid of their enemies because of who God is, but also motivates them (4:14). They are fighting for their families and their homes.…

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August 10: Each Part Does Its Work

August 10, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 3, Proverbs 10:1-16, Luke 16:10-18, 1 Timothy 6:11-21 Nehemiah 3: This chapter lists all the teamwork that comes into play, the various groups of people as they now build as Nehemiah had led them to do. It takes every part of the body to do its task.  Reading 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, we find the same principle at work: "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. "For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if…

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