Devotionals

  • December 9: You Only Have I Known

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Amos 3-4, Job 31:24-40, John 16:25-33, Revelation 6 Amos 3-4: Amos declares the fundamental relational and covenantal basis for God’s judgment on his people. You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. (3:2) The “therefore” in that verse 2 is astonishing. Because God knows his people, because God has a unique relationship with his people, therefore he will not revoke the punishment. Whereas we tend to think that God will turn an especial blind eye to the sins of his people, he also expects those who call themselves by his name to follow him in actuality and fact, to live up to the reputation and relationship with which they are aligned. In the same way that the lion roars in a forest when it has prey (3:4), so God has spoken through his prophets (3:7) to genuine and true…

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    December 8: For Three Transgressions and for Four

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Amos 1-2, Job 31:1-23, John 16:12-24, Revelation 5 Amos 1-2: Preaching for conviction of sin is no easy task. Our hearts are too often self-deluded, and our ears tend to strain out sounds that bring conviction in place of noises that bring affirmation. And when we do hear conviction, we too easily mistake it for condemnation, instead of the necessary word that will bring us to the feet of Jesus and to renewal, salvation, and joy. Amos, in these first two chapters, exhibits the masterful art of preaching for conviction. He is nothing but a shepherd—or so it would appear (1:1). Amos—no professional, not trained in all the proper schools, without credentials and letters after his name. But because he was given a vision from God (1:1), he spoke God’s word with power. And he spoke it with power (“The LORD roars from Zion,” 1:2) In particular, he did it with canniness,…

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    December 7: Call on the Name of the Lord

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Joel 2-3, Job 30, John 16:1-11, Revelation 4 Joel 2-3: The day of the LORD is coming (2:1), but will it be the kind of day that God’s people had expected? No, “a day of darkness and gloom” (2:2). It is too easy to trivialize heaven, life after death, as nothing more than playing a harp on a cloud, the pearly gates, and expect that everyone gets to live a good life after death whatever they have believed or done. Not so, says God; that day, for those outside of faith in Christ, is a day of darkness and gloom. But there is hope (2:12). “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart.” True, honest repentance with integrity from the heart will meet with approval and acceptance. “Rend your hearts and not your garments” (2:13). People have always tried to assuage their consciences with external devotion. But…

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    December 6: The Day of the Lord

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Joel 1, Job 29, John 15:18-27, Revelation 3:14-22 Joel 1: Joel prophesies at a time when there has been a plague of locusts (1:4), and in that context calls on the elders and all inhabitants of the land (1:1) to pay attention and ask what is going on. In fact, they are to repent, mourn: Put on sackcloth and lament (1:13). They are to consecrate a fast and call a solemn assembly and gather the elders (1:14). What is going on? What is God up to by allowing this plague of locusts? They are to repent before God and ask for his renewed blessing on the land. “Alas,” Joel prophesies, “for the day, for the day of the Lord is near” (1:15). That day, so longed for in the Old Testament, would come, and they needed to be prepared for it, and call to the Lord (1:19), repent of their sins, and…

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    December 5: Return to God

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Hosea 13-14, Job 28, John 15:9-17, Revelation 3:1-13 Hosea 13-14: God’s people had begun down their slippery slope towards increasing idolatry “through Baal” (13:1), and “now they sin more and more” (13:2). Untended to, weeds grow and grow, addictions gather power, sin festers, and idols multiply. So it was with God’s people: once they began to turn, they spiraled increasingly out of control, far from the orbit of God’s sovereign love. Apparently, their idolatry involved—of all things—“human sacrifice” (13:2). In the context of this gross rebellion, God now surveys their history. He brought them out of Egypt (13:4), but when they were “filled” they “forgot” God (13:6). Yet God has a plan: I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol; I shall redeem them from Death. O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? (13:14) And so, in the midst of this calamity, there is hope, and…

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    December 4: Out of Egypt I Called My Son

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Hosea 9-12, Job 27, John 15:1-8, Revelation 2:18-29 Hosea 9-12: Poetic form takes over, and Hosea—God through Hosea—declares (as it were in song) that Israel is not to rejoice: “Rejoice not, O Israel!” (9:1). Stop your singing, stop your celebrating. Why? They are “forsaking [their] God,” and have “loved a prostitute’s wages” (9:1). Their spiritual idolatry is adulterous to their covenant relationship with God. There is certainly nothing about which to rejoice. They are getting no help from their spiritual leaders: “the prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad” (9:7). God’s people were found by God like “grapes in the wilderness” (9:10) but now “they shall bear no fruit” (9:16). They had luxurious fruit (10:1), but their prosperity merely served to increase their faithlessness: “the more his fruit increased, the more altars he built” (10:1). In protestation, “they utter mere words” and “with empty oaths they make covenants”…

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    December 3: Remember Your Maker

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Hosea 7-8, Job 25-26, John 14:22-31, Revelation 2:1-17 Hosea 7-8: These are two chapters where God sets before his people their sins and their refusal to truly and genuinely repent despite his confrontation. He “would heal Israel,” but “they deal falsely” (7:1). They are “hot as an oven” (7:7), constantly burning with sin and rebellion. They cannot grasp that the root problem is their abandonment of their relationship with God: “Strangers devour his strength and he knows it not…yet they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek him, for all this” (7:9-10). It is surprising how often people who are under discipline for their rebellion against God fail to grasp that the fundamental reason for their problems is their rebellion against God. People will try all sorts of other remedies—as Israel did—alliances, techniques, idols and other gods. Will they actually return to God? Israel goes calling out to…

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    December 2: Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Hosea 4-6, Job 24, John 14:15-21, Revelation 1:9-20 Hosea 4-6: Hosea 4 begins with a solemn and significant call: hear God’s Word! How often must we deliver this rallying call today. Do not leave the Bible on the shelf; do not gather in church merely around entertaining stories and feel-good messages. Do not simply “do religion”; hear the Word of God! Crack open the Bible, read it, listen to it, preach it. The key issue in the “controversy” between God and his people is then laid bare. “No faithfulness or steadfast love and no knowledge of God in the land” (4:1). The connection between these three elements, and their foundational significance, is to be alluded to and explained in the following chapters. This is the fault not just of the people but of priest and prophet too (4:4-5). And because of the fault of the leaders, as well as the…

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    7 Days to Change Your Life

    By Josh Moody

    We are excited to share with you the latest book from Josh Moody, 7 Days to Change Your Life, published by Abingdon Press. Read on to see a summary of the book, its endorsements, and an opportunity to join a launch team to promote the book. Endorsements: David S. Dockery, President, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School: "Readers of this work will join me in offering gratitude to Josh Moody for writing this insightful, encouraging, and challenging work. In 7 Days to Change Your Life, Moody invites us to new commitments and fresh understandings of what it means to follow Christ. Rather than presenting readers with a how-to model of discipleship, we are presented with a beautiful tapestry shaped by the themes of hope, life, truth, freedom, humility, greatness, and glory. I am confident that readers will find real guidance and genuine enablement in the pages of this thoughtful and readable volume. It is…

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    December 1: The Love of God

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Hosea 1-3, Job 23, John 14:1-14, Revelation 1:1-8 Hosea 1-3: The book of Hosea is one of the most beautiful—and startling—books in the Bible. In it the prophet is asked to play out a drama, a drama that came at considerable personal cost, and which was enacted in order to visually and vigorously depict the real spiritual condition of God’s people. Hosea was to marry a prostitute, for God’s people had prostituted themselves to idols. In this way, through the extraordinary love of Hosea shown to an unfaithful wife, God’s even far greater extraordinary love for his people is depicted. “The land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord” so Hosea is to take for himself a “wife of whoredom” (1:2). Children are born: Jezreel, because of the military disaster that will happen in the Valley of Jezreel (1:5); No Mercy because God will no longer have mercy on his…

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