Devotionals

  • January 19, 2018: Advance Against a Troop

    By Josh Moody

    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

    By Josh Moody

    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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    January 17, 2018: In the Shadow of Your Wings

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 37-38, Psalm 17, Matthew 7:1-14, Acts 10:1-23 Psalm 17: Oh, what a beautiful psalm! And how hard was the time that caused this psalm to be written! “Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry!” He is surrounded by enemies seeking him harm, and this consideration may be causing him a sleepless night (verse 3: “you have visited me by night”). David recounts his righteousness before God. He is not claiming to be morally perfect. He is saying that the prayer of his lips matches the commitment of his lifestyle. “My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped” (17:5). And so, with confidence, “I will call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words” (17:6). “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings”…

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    January 16, 2018: Pleasures Forevermore

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 36, Psalm 16, Matthew 6:25-34, Acts 9:20-43 Psalm 16: David is asking to be saved, or for his life to be “preserved.” He senses the need of rescue. Perhaps he is in some dire situation or other. Perhaps he is overwhelmed with responsibility and feels as if the burden is about to kill him. Perhaps there are enemies of God and God’s kingdom who are banding together against him. At any rate, he asks God to preserve his life, to save him from death. Perhaps you are in such a predicament today. You have met a situation or circumstance which is beyond your ability to solve, and you, quite frankly, need help. You are even reading this devotional this morning because you are looking for such help from God. On what basis can you ask God to “preserve” your life? David shows us the kind of relationship…

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    January 15, 2018: The Holy Hill

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 34-35, Psalm 15, Matthew 6:16-24, Acts 9:1-19 Psalm 15: The question of Psalm 15 relates to the experience of being in the presence of the holy God. “Who shall dwell on your holy hill?” (15:1). In other words, who, as a sinner, can possibly relate to the holy God in intimate fellowship? We know from the rest of the Bible that we are saved by grace, but here David focuses on a parallel truth. What is it that a covenant member must be, say, and do in order to enjoy God’s presence and to experience God’s blessing? The New Testament knows this teaching too. For instance, 1 Peter 3:10-12 quotes from Psalm 34 to emphasize a similar point: “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit…For the eyes of the Lord are on…

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    January 14, 2018: Hymn to the Atheist

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 32-33, Psalm 14, Matthew 6:1-15, Acts 8:26-40 Psalm 14: This psalm is paralleled in Psalm 53 and is memorably called “a hymn to the atheist” by the preacher Dick Lucas. It is in three parts: what the fool says, what the LORD sees, and what the Lord does. First, what the fool says, verse 1. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” The impression given by this way of describing the phenomenon of atheism is that it is something that requires regular self-persuasion. The evidence for God is so strong and so personal—deep within the structures of our own thinking, acting, and feeling—that to deny his existence necessitates constant argument with your own self. You need to “say in your heart.” This is why atheism is so often accompanied by a lot of verbal, often aggressively proselytizing, rhetoric. The implication of this way of…

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    January 13, 2018: Trust, Rejoice, and Sing

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading:Genesis 31, Psalm 13, Matthew 5:33-46, Acts 8:1-25 Psalm 13: David felt as if God had forgotten him. It seemed to be a condition that was going on forever: “How long, O LORD?” It had left him depressed: “sorrow in my heart all day long.” He turns to God for help. “Consider and answer me, O LORD my God.” Perhaps you have these feelings sometimes—perhaps you have them today. Perhaps you have an “enemy” (13:4) who looks as if he is going to beat you, or at least beat you down. You fear he will “prevail.” In such a situation, what do you do? David provides us two objective truths and three personal actions that counter these feelings of despair in the face of a desperate situation. The two objective truths are God’s “steadfast love” and his “salvation.” When you are in this kind of despair, this sort…

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    January 12, 2018: Pure Words

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 29-30, Psalm 12, Matthew 5:21-32, Acts 7:39-60 Psalm 12: David is again surrounded by problems. It is easy to think that a king or national leader has few problems. But the reality is that the more authority you have, the more responsibility—and with increased responsibility comes increased pressure. David knew all about this. But while few reading this will be kings (or presidents, or prime ministers), all of us know what it means to be under pressure. In particular, you may know the particular pressure that was facing David in our psalm this morning. Lies. “Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.” It seems like exaggeration to say that “everyone” utters lies. It may be that David is telling us how it feels to him at this moment. The lying and slander about him was so bad that it…

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    January 11, 2018: Behold His Face

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 27-28, Psalm 11, Matthew 5:13-20, Acts 7:1-38 Psalm 11: Taking refuge in God, verse 1, is that which the righteous do, verse 7. The upright shall behold his face. But in the meantime, there is much that troubles David. He will not give in to pious platitudes and pretend that the situation he is facing is simple. “How can you say to my soul ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.’” If you’ve ever been in a crisis and someone has unthinkingly said, “God’s got it under control,” you will know how a simplistic answer can feel like a religious cliché. Of course you know, at some level, that God has got it under control. But it doesn’t feel like he has it under control. You need more than an injection of Christianese; you need truth in all its reality. Part of that comes from looking that…

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    January 10, 2018: Terror No More

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 25-26, Psalm 10, Matthew 5:1-12, Acts 6 Psalm 10: It is the constant experience of God’s people that God sometimes seems to go quiet when things get tough. Where is God? That is the cry of many a beleaguered soul, even a devout and pious soul. Such feelings are the ones that give rise to this psalm. See how real this psalm is, how willing it is to ask the hard questions, how it refuses to hide behind pious platitudes and “Christianese.” Who has not, at one time or another, asked the question: “Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (10:1). Perhaps you are asking that question this morning. Perhaps some calamity, some trouble, some unexpected difficulty has come upon you. You have started to pray, you have started to read the Bible, and yet God—at…

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