Devotionals

  • February 1, 2017: I Have Not Come to Bring Peace

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 1-3, Psalm 24, Matthew 10:21-42, Acts 15:22-41 Matthew 10:21-42: A passage of stern warnings, but given with strong reasons not to fear nonetheless. First of all, Jesus is a realist. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master” (10:24). If they treated Jesus like this, then surely we should not expect that they will treat us any better. Not for Jesus the saccharine sentimentality of the “everything is always going to get better.” Nor for Jesus the fake kind of religiosity which says that Christ’s goal was to bring peace on earth in a worldly or human sense. No, that is not at all the case. Think of how they treated Jesus. Expect then, disciple, that your life will not always be treated well. How could it be? Well, given this stern warning, we would naturally feel some temerity—in which case, Jesus then brings in…

    Continue Reading >

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists: Habit 5

    By Josh Moody

    Today's post is part of a series entitled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists" by Ministry Council member Rob Wolgemuth. Read the introduction here, Habit #1 here, Habit #2 here, Habit #3 here, and Habit #4 here. Habit #5: Don’t shy away from preaching on difficult, challenging (and convicting) topics. Here are some sermon titles from each man I found interesting and indicative of their desire to not shy away from difficult passages/sermon topics: George Whitefield: The Folly and Danger of Being Not Righteous Enough The Benefits of an Early Piety The Heinous Sin of Profane Cursing and Swearing Marks of a True Conversion “The Eternity of Hell-Torments” The Indwelling of the Spirit, the Common Privilege of All Believers Marks of Having Received the Holy Ghost Of Justification by Christ Satan's Devices Christians, Temples of the Living God Christ the Only Preservative Against a Reprobate Spirit The Heinous Sin…

    Continue Reading >

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists: Habit 4

    By Josh Moody

    Today's post is part of a series entitled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists" by Ministry Council member Rob Wolgemuth. Read the introduction here, Habit #1 here, Habit #2 here, and Habit #3 here. Habit #4: Be intentional about witnessing to others. There are numerous story of personal witnessing by both men in these books. For example, Dallimore states that soon after his conversion, Whitefield couldn’t keep to himself the blessing of his new life. In his diary Whitefield records that after praying one day he felt led to go the home of a woman whom he had known prior to his conversion. He shared his faith with her and soon she wanted to be taught the ways of the faith. He says this was an occasion where he “became a fool for Christ’s sake.” He also recounts in his diary several other conversions of young people in which…

    Continue Reading >

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists: Habit 3

    By Josh Moody

    Today's post is part of a series entitled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists" by Ministry Council member Rob Wolgemuth. Read the introduction here, Habit #1 here, and Habit #2 here. Habit #3: Don’t make prayer a priority, make it THE priority: Both Whitefield and Moody had set times of prayer every day. Neither left prayer to chance but were intentional and disciplined in setting the time aside. Whitefield would pray one to two hours in the morning (pg. 81), oftentimes praying over God’s Word as he read (pg. 82). He would also devote an hour or two to prayer every evening (pg. 80), and pray regularly at noontime. Whitefield was so consistent in his prayer time that Dallimore mentions a time when Whitefield was annoyed with himself for once skipping his nightly prayer time (pg. 81). Whitefield not only practiced a disciplined prayer life, he believed in the…

    Continue Reading >

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists: Habit 2

    By Josh Moody

    Today's post is part of a series entitled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists" by Ministry Council member Rob Wolgemuth. Read the introduction here and Habit #1 here. Habit #2: Saturate yourself with the Word of God through regular times of study: Both men were students of the Bible; they both daily set aside extensive time for regular Bible study which enabled both to saturate their ministries and the sermons they preached with the Word of God: Dallimore said: “Whitefield in the pulpit was a reflection of Whitefield in the study. The hours on his knees with the Bible, the Greek New Testament and some rich puritan volume spread out before him, were his preparation for this pressing and powerful ministry.” Additionally, Whitefield’s incredible knowledge of the Bible greatly aided him in pulling together talks and sermons (often at a moment’s notice) from his memory of God’s Word (Dallimore…

    Continue Reading >

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists: Habit 1

    By Josh Moody

    Today's post is part of a series entitled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists" by Ministry Council member Rob Wolgemuth. You can read the introduction here. Habit #1: Be fully surrendered to God: A talk I heard recently on Whitefield stated that he was “always about his Master’s business.” Reading his biography it feels as though every waking hour of Whitefield’s life was consumed with Kingdom work. For example, it is estimated that Whitefield averaged 1,000 sermons/talks per year. Dallimore says of Whitefield (p. 83), “(at the height of his ministry) we see him preaching forty or more hours per week, with little or no time for preparation” oftentimes preaching to crowds that numbered in the 5,000-10,000 people (Dallimore p. 432) scattered for two miles. Whitefield would frequently travel great distances to speak, including more than a dozen times across the Atlantic Ocean between the UK and the USA…

    Continue Reading >

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists: Introduction

    By Josh Moody

    God Centered Life Ministry Council member Rob Wolgemuth has written about seven habits of highly effective evangelists. Over the next week, we will share his article in eight parts, first by way of introduction, and then with the seven habits that he identifies.  In this article, I want to discuss the biographies of two men that have influenced me. Specifically, I want to provide a summary of seven characteristics or habits shared by the two men on whom the books are based. The first book is Arnold Dallimore’s excellent biography of George Whitefield, George Whitefield: The life and times of the great evangelist of the 18th century revival, Vol. 1. Dallimore’s biography of the 18th century evangelist was painstakingly written over a number of years and finally published in 1970. It is a superb book, and incredibly thorough; it is perhaps the best written, most edifying biography I have read (and I’ve…

    Continue Reading >

    January 26-31, 2017

    By Josh Moody

    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, 2016. We welcome your comments also during these days with insights you’ve found during the first 25 days. To receive God Centered Bible devotionals directly in your inbox, sign up here.

    Continue Reading >

    January 25, 2017: Mission

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 50, Psalm 23, Matthew 10:1-20, Acts 15:1-21 Matthew 10:1-20: Famously, Jesus now calls the twelve to him (10:1), and then sends the twelve out from him (10:5). The apostles, therefore, are both uniquely called to Christ and uniquely sent out by Christ—“sending” being the root meaning of “apostle” etymologically. They are given a particular “authority” (10:1) to represent Jesus and to expand Jesus’ ministry. They are also given specific instructions (10: 5-20 and on)—instructions which are similarly unique to their role of apostle, but at the same time are filled with wise counsel for Christians who are to represent their Lord in mission (itself a “sent” ministry) and in the world in general where they are to shine the light of Jesus. First of all, surprisingly, they are told to only go to the “lost sheep of Israel” (10:6). This is not because Jesus has no concern to reach…

    Continue Reading >

    January 24, 2017: Sheep Without a Shepherd

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 49, Psalm 22:12-31, Matthew 9:27-38, Acts 14 Matthew 9:27-38: Jesus continues his ministry of going about healing and saving—while at the same time aware that the culmination of this ministry is at the cross, a culmination that was not yet widely understood (if at all), and so he is careful to ensure that his growing fame did not derail him from his ultimate goal. But such is the extraordinary nature of what he is doing that nonetheless more and more people hear of him. Two blind men have heard of his messianic status (“Son of David”), and they simply cry out, “Have mercy” (9:27). What a sweet thing it is in the ears of Jesus to hear sinners in need simply asking God for mercy! Would you do that, sinner stuck in your sin, blind to the truth, unable to see the way forward? God, have mercy! Those who…

    Continue Reading >