Devotionals

  • December 25, 2017: Do You Love Me?

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: John 21:15-25, Revelation 22, Job 42, Malachi 1-4 John 21:15-25: The end of the story, but not without a punch of rhetorical power and application impact. First, the famous three questions to Peter about whether he loves Jesus. The much misused underlying Greek differentiation between different words for “love” is not indicative of the kind of love that Jesus was asking for from Peter, for those Greek words could be used in various contexts for similar kinds of love. The point that is being made, for sure, is that Jesus is thrice asking Peter whether he loves him to undo the thrice betrayal that Peter had made of him. Sometimes we need to hear ourselves say the thing we fear we would not say. Do you love me? Yes. Do you love me? Yes. Do you love me? Yes. And then surely would Peter have remembered those betrayals and Jesus’…

    Continue Reading >

    December 24, 2017: Wondering, Worshiping, and at Peace

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: John 21:1-14, Revelation 21, Job 41:12-34, Zechariah 10-14 John 21:1-14: Again Jesus reveals himself (21:1). This time his disciples are going fishing (21:3). There is no suggestion in the text that they have abandoned their vocation by going back to the fishing business and moving away from the apostle calling. They are simply going fishing. They have already met Jesus. But they have not yet received their commission. And Peter—forward as ever—leads the way for a spot of their favorite pastime activity, as well as means of sustenance: fishing. They catch nothing (21:3). They’ve fished all night, and dawn is breaking. Jesus “stood on the shore” (21:4). They do not recognize him. He tells them to cast the net on the right side (21:6). And when they do so, they catch so much fish that they cannot bring the whole catch in. Fishermen knew a miracle related…

    Continue Reading >

    December 23, 2017: My Lord and My God!

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: John 20:24-31, Revelation 20, Job 41:1-11, Zechariah 6-9 John 20:24-31 The story of “doubting” Thomas is at once a strange one, and at the same time an encouraging one. It is encouraging because for many people they find themselves at one point or another in their lives in the shoes of Thomas. It is encouraging to read of someone who approached faith with what appears to be a rather skeptical attitude, and yet came to believe. On the other hand, though, Thomas is accorded the kind of firsthand eyewitness experience which we today do not have. And what is more, while Thomas believes, the story continues with an instruction from Jesus that it is “blessed” to believe without seeing. Indeed, as John gives his summary statement for the whole book in verses 30 and 31, this book is written that we may believe—even without first hand eyewitness…

    Continue Reading >

    December 22, 2017: The Disciples Were Glad

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: John 20:19-23, Revelation 19, Job 40, Zechariah 1-5 John 20:19-23: Somehow, the doors being locked, Jesus came and stood among them. Jesus’ resurrection body is recognizably him, but yet that body is now able to move through a locked door. This resurrection body is a template of the “spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44) that those who believe in Christ will all one day receive. Take heart, then, as we all face death: one day we will have this resurrection body! His first words are “peace” (20:19). The presence of Christ among his disciples bears the fruit of the Spirit of Christ: love, joy, and here especially after the trauma of recent days, peace. The way to find peace in our lives is to have our lives centered on the person of Christ. When Christ rules, peace rules; when Christ is the Master, peace is in the household; when Christ is…

    Continue Reading >

    December 21, 2017: I Have Seen the Lord

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: John 20:10-18, Revelation 18, Job 39, Haggai 1-2  John 20:10-18: While the other disciples went home, Mary, overcome with grief, stood outside the tomb weeping. Still weeping, she looked into the tomb and saw two angels. They were sitting where Jesus’ body had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. What a sight this must have been! Marking the spot, angelically symbolizing the extraordinary event that had taken place, ready to give their heavenly witness to Mary as to what had taken place. Their question is almost incredulous: Why are you weeping? On this of all days! This day most to be rejoiced in! But she is weeping because he does not yet understand, does not yet believe. She thinks someone has taken Jesus’ body. Again, notice the incredulous (not gullible) approach that the first eyewitnesses took to the empty tomb. They took no little convincing. Even seeing…

    Continue Reading >

    A Look at Notable 2017 Publications

    By Guest

    By David S. Dockery, president of Trinity International University. As we move closer to the conclusion of the 2017 calendar year, it seems like a good time to look back at some of this year's important publications. It is impossible to keep up with the ever expanding number of books that are published each year, and I make no claims to have surveyed all the possibilities for inclusion on this list. I am thankful for the opportunity once again this year to share these reflections with you. Looking for the Right Gift If you are looking for an inviting book to give as a Christmas present, please allow me to suggest God's Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Proverbs, by Tim and Kathy Keller (Viking). Similarly, I am delighted to draw your attention to an extraordinarily helpful guide on John’s Gospel, John 1-12 For You, by Josh Moody (Good Book…

    Continue Reading >

    December 20, 2017: He Is Risen

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: John 20:1-9, Revelation 17, Job 38:22-41, Zephaniah 3 John 20:1-9: Oh, glorious day, when the stone was rolled away! But what does it mean? Could it all have been invented? And if it was true, then what implications does it have? John introduces us to the reaction of three firsthand eyewitnesses to show us how to respond. First, there is Mary. Note that she is first. The original eyewitness of the empty tomb belonged to the eyes of a woman. This little detail has big significance: God entrusted his first eyewitness into the hands of the woman—women who in those days were not able to give credible reports in a court of law. Those who think that Christianity is anti-women have to wrestle with the facts of this account: Women are entrusted with the central truth of Christianity itself. But Mary does not understand what has happened. In fact, she…

    Continue Reading >

    December 19, 2017: Secret Disciple

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: John 19:38-42, Revelation 16, Job 38:1-21, Zephaniah 1-2    John 19:38-42: Many legends have been told of Joseph of Arimathea, but so little is truly known about him. Yet what we do know of him is itself instructive. He was a secret disciple of Jesus. But that he was secret—out of fear of the Jewish leaders’ reprimands and reprisals—did not any the less stop him from being a disciple or acting with commendation. He took care of the body of Jesus. He truly was a disciple of Jesus. Secret, yes; ideal, no; but a disciple nonetheless. We can be too harsh with our criteria towards other Christians on occasion. We can make the necessary qualification so high that, if truth be told, we ourselves would not have entered if that had been the high gate that we had had to climb. Let us accept those that want to follow Jesus, even…

    Continue Reading >

    December 18, 2017: The Fulfillment of Scripture

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: John 19:28-37, Revelation 15, Job 37, Habakkuk 1-3    John 19:28-37: Even at this moment all is happening according to plan—or more specifically according to the promise of the Old Testament Scriptures. Take comfort that not only is it true that nothing that happens is outside of the sovereignty of God, but also that the rescue of God is according to that same sovereign plan. This was no mistake; it was happening as God intended. Finally, Jesus says, “It is finished” (19:30). He has accomplished the work that he was given to do (17:4). The salvation of God, the satisfaction of God’s wrath, the rescue of his beloved, are all accomplished at this moment. There is no need for any more sacrifices, no need for any more atonement or propitiation or expiation: it is done. It is over; it is “finished.” Every time we are tempted to think that our sins…

    Continue Reading >

    December 17, 2017: Look at the Cross

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: John 19:17-27, Revelation 14, Job 36:16-33, Nahum 1-3   John 19:17-27: Jesus is crucified. Could it be? What kind of world do we live in where the most righteous, the most humble, the most glorious, the most extraordinary person who ever was, is killed for being who he was? The answer: the kind of world that needs saving through the sacrificial death of the Son of God. Any theology of humanity that does not take into account the depravity displayed by the necessity of the cross is failing to take into account who we are at our most terrible: lost. At the same time, any kind of theology that fails to take into account the wondrous person of God revealed at the cross is failing to take into account who God is at his most glorious: love. At the cross, who we are is never more clearly revealed. And, at the…

    Continue Reading >