Devotionals

  • November 1, 2017: Living Water

    By God Centered Life Admin

    Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 1-3, Job 1, John 7:37-44, 2 Peter 1:1-11 John 7:37-44: What a dramatic moment this must have been! On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up, found some prominent place where all could see him, and cried out in a loud voice: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Imagine all the water that would have gone with this great feast—every day a special water libation, a pouring out, of water on the altar occurred. The water was brought up from the pool of Siloam, to great fanfare and praise (the reciting of Psalms 113-118), to symbolize God pouring out his blessing of rain upon the earth. The eighth day, the last and greatest day of the feast, was the climax of…

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    October 25, 2017: Clear Teaching and Confused Listening

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Lamentations 4-5, Song of Solomon 8:8-14, John 7:25-36, 1 Peter 5:8-14 John 7:25-36: Jesus’ teaching is not being accepted during this great feast, and indeed seems to be confusing those who listen to him. They are asking lots of questions, wondering if this is the man that the authorities are looking to kill, why it is they have not killed him—and if that means that Jesus really and truly is the Messiah. And yet, they are reasoning, if he is really and truly the Messiah, why is it that they do not know where he has come from, for they will know where the Messiah has come from. Strangely, this is an encouraging thought for all teachers of God’s Word, at home, in small groups, and Sunday School: if people did not grasp what Jesus was saying (the King of preachers), then assuredly they will not always grasp what we…

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    October 24, 2017: Hearing, Knowing, Doing, Discerning God’s Will

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Lamentations 3, Song of Solomon 8:1-7, John 7:14-24, 1 Peter 5:1-7 John 7:14-24: Jesus now begins to teach at the great feast. He does so in the temple, in a public place, ensuring that what he is teaching can be heard. There is nothing wrong, and everything right, with ensuring that God’s Word is proclaimed as clearly, as widely, as publicly, and as powerfully as God wills, in the power of his Spirit. The act of preaching is to put God’s Word center stage—not our own personalities, but the Word of God. The Jewish leaders marvel that Jesus is preaching with such great learning, though he had never formally studied in their religious schools. Part of the witness to Jesus’ divinity is the sheer brilliance of his teaching: no man ever taught thus. He is not only clear, he is deep; he is not only arresting, he is substantial; he…

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    October 23, 2017: The Time Has Not Yet Come

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Lamentations 2, Song of Solomon 7, John 7:1-13, 1 Peter 4:12-19 John 7:1-13: Jesus is in Galilee, not Judea, because he knew the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill him. Sometimes it is the wise course to flee danger, to avoid persecution, and not to rush in where angels fear to tread. Zeal is good, as long as it is combined with knowledge, and sometimes circumspection and prudence is no less zealous and much wiser than fool-hearted enthusiasm. His brothers urge Jesus to go up to Jerusalem for the feast. They argue that if he wants to be a public figure, then he cannot hide away but must show himself in public. But their argument shows that even his brothers do not believe in him. If Jesus' being deserted by some of his disciples must have been hard, surely it was at least equally hard to find that his brothers…

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    October 22, 2017: You Have the Words of Eternal Life

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Lamentations 1, Song of Solomon 6, John 6:60-71, 1 Peter 4:1-11 John 6:60-71: Some of Jesus’ teaching is harder for people to swallow than other parts. Who could deny that it is good teaching to say “love your neighbor”? But how many are there who find it difficult to chew on that strong meat which says “but also love your enemy”? It is one thing to affirm the Christmas carol that Christ came to bring peace on earth; it is another thing to affirm the Easter truth that no one comes to the Father except through the Son. We should not expect that all truth is widely accepted, or judge whether something is true by the false token of its popularity. Truth is not a democracy, and the road to life is narrow and few find it. This teaching here of Jesus was difficult even for the disciples to understand,…

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    October 21, 2017: Feed on Jesus

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 52, Song of Solomon 5, John 6:41-59, 1 Peter 3:13-22 John 6:41-59: Such strong teaching provoked “grumbling” as it so often does. Do not think that past Christian leaders or heroes from yesteryear had no opposition! Spurgeon was so opposed and so shook by his opponents that his wife had posted on the bedroom door for him to read as he left each morning the words of Jesus from Matthew 5:11-12 to rejoice and be glad when people utter all kinds of evil against you. And even Jesus had people “grumble” against him. The nature of the grumbling was also typical: they had known him since he was a kid! What could this mere whippersnapper teach them when they knew his parents and knew he was merely the son of Joseph? Evangelist, pastor, missionary, witness to Christ: be not surprised when people speak falsehood against you. T'was ever thus.…

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    October 20, 2017: The Bread of Life

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 51, Song of Solomon 4:8-16, John 6:25-40, 1 Peter 3:8-12 John 6:25-40: Having appeared on the other side with unexpected speed, the crowd find Jesus and ask him when he came there. Jesus, not to be distracted by a simple question of geography and circumstances, gets right to the heart of the matter. They are not seeking him for true spiritual reasons, because they saw the signs, but because they had their fill of food. So often today we too “seek” God for the wrong reasons. We want him for what he can do for us, not for who he is in himself. We want the gifts, but we do not want the giver. How foolish! If the gifts—money, family, creation, art, knowledge—are glorious, how much more so must be the giver of such gifts! See the gifts as pointing to the giver, and go to the source of…

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    October 19, 2017: Walking on Water

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 50, Song of Solomon 4:1-7, John 6:16-24, 1 Peter 3:1-7 John 6:16-24: After such extreme exertions, you would think there would be a period of extended recuperation. But now we come to one of the most astonishing—and famous—miracles of them all. God neither slumber nor sleeps, and while the incarnate Jesus was fully human, he was also fully God, and his power is displayed in this walking on the water. So often we limit what God can do to our pint-sized human expectations of the possible. Can a ministry survive in such a tough area? We determine it by statistics. Can a new work of the gospel thrive in this country of the world which has so long been resistant to the gospel? We determine it by the track record of history. Can the Western world again see revival? We extrapolate from tend lines and sociological analyses and determine…

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    October 18, 2017: 5,000

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 49, Song of Solomon 3, John 6:1-15, 1 Peter 2:18-25 John 6:1-15: Jesus is followed by a large crowd because they saw the signs he did healing the sick. Sometimes people will be drawn by our deeds of mercy, as much as Christ’s deeds of miraculous mercy. George Whitefield had his orphanage, as did Spurgeon; there is a place for doing good deeds in the name of Christ. If someone’s felt needs are met, they are more likely to hear you speak of their real needs. But such signs as these were never meant merely to be charitable deeds: they were “signs” pointing to Christ as God. Similarly, when we live for Christ, we are to accompany it with speaking for Christ. Good living will only attest to us being good people, unless witness to Christ accompanies good living with good news speaking. Jesus asks a question to test Philip:…

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    October 17, 2017: Testimony

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 47-48, Song of Solomon 2, John 5:31-47, 1 Peter 2:9-17 John 5:31-47: The conflict is heating up, and Jesus now begins to clarify what sort of testimony there is that he is who he says he is. Unlike false religions, Christianity does not ask us “just to believe” without any evidence, facts, or testimony. The faith of the Christian is based upon truth, and—while that faith is a supernatural gift—it is in principle no different from the trust that is accorded another person when they give evidence of being trustworthy. God’s evidences to us are not the evidence of empirical science; they are the evidences of history, in which God has revealed himself; the evidences of Scripture, through which God has revealed himself; the evidences of relationship, of the God of love reaching out to his beloved that the beloved might trust him. Jesus describes the testimony of John the…

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