Devotionals

  • November 2: The Worst

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 4-8, Job 2, John 7:45-53, 2 Peter 1:12-21 Ezekiel 4-8: How do you communicate judgment to a recalcitrant people, a hardened people? In chapter 4, the answer is by Ezekiel being told to dramatically portray siege and judgment upon God’s people. And then in chapter 5, by a razor and shaving hair and casting it to the wind. The strangeness of the prophet’s actions was only matched by the horror of his words: “fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers” (5:10). The worst possible perversion of basic human loyalty will come as a result of this horrendous rebellion against God. It goes on and on. “An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land” (7:2). “Disaster comes upon disaster” (7:26). Hope seems to come in chapter 8. “The hand of the Lord God fell upon me there” (8:1).…

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    November 1: The Glory of the Lord

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 1-3, Job 1, John 7:37-44, 2 Peter 1:1-11 Ezekiel 1-3: If Jeremiah’s call is not one to be desired for its own sake, Ezekiel has perhaps an even tougher mandate. He is among the “exiles” (1:1), and in preparation for the tough calling that he is to receive as God’s mouthpiece to these “rebellious” people, Ezekiel sees “visions of God” (1:1). The vision of chapter 1 culminates and expresses the “glory of the LORD” (1:28). Ezekiel is blown away by God’s glory, and hears the voice of one speaking. Such a high vision of God is necessary if Ezekiel is to be faithful to speak God’s word—even if the people of Israel pay that word no attention, and do not approve him for speaking it. It is quite possible they will not hear God’s word spoken through him. “Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a…

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    A Primer on Justification: Part 9

    By ruth

    This article is the ninth in a ten-part series by Dr. Ryken that we are gradually making available. Find the other articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part. 7 and Part 8.   The Goal of Justification It is sometimes thought that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is contradicted by the apostle James. After all, James contended that “a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone” (Jas. 2:24). What James is really saying, however, is something like this: “A person is proven to be justified by his works, and not merely by his faith.” Unlike Paul—who needed to oppose the popular notion that sinners can be saved by good works—James was combating the misconception that believers can dispense with works altogether. To put the difference between them in theological terms, Paul was dealing with people who wanted to make sanctification part of the basis for…

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    Young Man, Young Woman: Set An Example

    By ruth

    The following article was originally posted by Tim Challies on his website, challies.com as Part 1 in a series of articles focused on young adults to be released weekly. Over the next several months, God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to announce that the articles will be reposted here.  I was always lousy at painting. In my high school art classes the teacher would give an assignment that involved studying a car or a human form or a bowl of fruit. Our task was to observe and then paint. I would do what she said. I would look at it, I would study it, I would observe its form, its curves, its angles, its colors, its shadows. But when I put brush to paper it would never look like it was supposed to. It didn’t look realistic, it didn’t look impressionistic or abstract, it just looked like a mess. It’s…

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    Kill the Comments!

    By ruth

      How is it that otherwise ordinary, well-adjusted people seem to lose their minds, not to mention their dignity, on social media? Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the Danish philosopher, once wrote a little confession entitled, "Kill the Commentators!”  It was a bit of satire, essentially stating that commentators and commentaries often look for ways to soften the sharp edges of Scripture and allow us loopholes in the ways that we interpret the Bible so that we don't have to deal with the plain meaning of the text and the high calling of obedience.  In his own words: The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget…

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    October 26-31, 2016

    By Josh Moody

    In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” October 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 October 26-31, but will pick back up on November 1, 2016, with Ezekiel 1. 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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    October 25: For All Generations

    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 Lamentations 4-5: “How the gold has grown dim” (4:1)! Part of the tragedy of calamity is recalling how wonderful things were before the doom fell. The author of Lamentations does that repeatedly in this chapter, but also describes the horrors of a city that has been sacked and devastated by invasion. Even nursing babies and children are thirsty and hungry (4:4), and there is reliable record of the horror of mothers eating their own children (4:10). When such things happen, what can God’s people do? What can they say? Well, they can ask God to “Remember” (5:1). The first thing to do is to cry out to God and ask for help. And as they ask God to remember, they also themselves remember who this God is that they are asking to help. “But you, O LORD, reign forever;…

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    A Primer on Justification: Part 8

    By ruth

    This article is the eighth in a ten-part series by Dr. Ryken that we are gradually making available. Find the other articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7.   Faith, and Faith Alone When Jesus explained the true way of justification to his disciples, he was careful to distinguish between faith and obedience. The disciples asked, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28-29). The Philippian jailor put the same basic question to the apostle Paul: “What must I do to be saved?” Paul gave the same answer Jesus gave: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). In other words, there is nothing we can do to justify ourselves to God. The only righteousness he accepts comes “apart from law” (Rom. 3:21). Thus the…

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    October 24: His Mercies Are New Every Morning

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Lamentations 3, Song of Solomon 8:1-7, John 7:14-24, 1 Peter 5:1-7 Lamentations 3: We come to the heart of Lamentations, or at least to its most famous chapter and verses. Here we find evocative words of great distress that meet the lovingkindness of the person of God. In a brilliant turn of phrase, the chapter begins: “I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath (3:1). And then it carries on in similar vein. God has blocked his prayers (3:8). He is laughingstock of all peoples (3:14). This is how it sometimes feels in life. Sometimes it does feel as if your prayers bounce off the ceiling. Sometimes it does feel as if everyone is laughing at you. Strange as it may sound, it is encouraging to find in Scripture a description of these feelings that do sometimes plague us. But this is not the…

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    October 23: The Wrath of God

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Lamentations 2, Song of Solomon 7, John 7:1-13, 1 Peter 4:12-19 Lamentations 2: The anger of God is not a common subject these days. In fact, so rare is it that when we talk of God’s “wrath” it becomes almost embarrassing. It is like mentioning a subject that is impolite, or indelicate, or inappropriate—certainly not politically correct. The result is that when we read preachers from previous generations, a couple of hundred years or so ago, we are so shocked to discover their frequent mention of God’s wrath that we hardly know what to do about it. They preach “Jeremiads,” warnings of God’s coming judgment; they engage in “theological terrorism.” When a contemporary preacher preaches God’s wrath, he is viewed as being manipulative, using “scare tactics.” Well, not so the Bible. The Bible is very clear about the reality of God’s wrath, and this chapter has that wrath of God…

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