Devotionals

  • February 2: Wisdom Justified by Her Deeds

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 4-6, Psalm 25, Matthew 11:1-19, Acts 16:1-15 Matthew 11:1-19: After giving these instructions to his disciples, Jesus himself goes from there to teach and preach in their cities. If we want to train others to do ministry, we need to do ministry ourselves. You cannot sit in an ivory tower telling people what to do unless you also are willing to wash dishes, get your feet wet, roll up your sleeves, and do discipleship and teaching and preaching, and serve too. John the Baptist has a question. Is this the Christ, or is he still to come (11:3)? John was now in prison and hearing of all that Jesus was doing (11:2). On the one hand, he was encouraged by the apparent fulfillment of so many prophecies, but on the other hand, John’s suffering and the lack of an immediate and total kingdom establishment may have led John to…

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    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists: Habit 6

    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, Habit #4 here, and Habit #5 here.  Habit #6: Surround yourself with like-minded people. Both books (Dallimore and Torrey) speak extensively of Whitefield and Moody’s close colleagues. George Whitfield had men like Charles Wesley and his brother John Wesley by his side at Oxford and after. He traveled with a man named William Seward and a small group of other supporters through the American colonies, Seward became a type of personal/PR assistant to Whitefield. D.L. Moody frequently had men like Henry Varley, Ira Sankey and Dr. Torrey by his side. I think it is apparent that these great men didn’t “do ministry” alone but as part of a team of like-minded individuals, sharing the plow and…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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.

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