Devotionals

  • July 20: Two Ways to Live

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 20-21, Psalm 145, Luke 11:37-54, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 2 Chronicles 20-21: Jehoshaphat continues to show his godly wisdom. When faced with insurmountable problems (20:1-2) and naturally afraid, he “set his face to seek the LORD” (20:3). When we come across circumstances, enemies, situations or problems that we cannot solve or seem to rise above, our first recourse is to seek God. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast (20:3). This seeking of God was not merely to be his individual seeking, but a general calling upon God which he led the people to do. They together sought and cried out to God for rescue. Jehoshaphat’s prayer is recorded for us (20:5-12)—and it is well that it is. He appeals to God’s power (20:6), his covenant promise (20:7), and his honor (20:9). Then he lays the case straightforwardly before God (not thinking that he will be heard for his…

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    July 19: Reform!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 17-19, Psalm 144, Luke 11:29-36, 2 Thessalonians 1 2 Chronicles 17-19: There is much to learn from the reign of Jehoshaphat! Consider: The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David (17:3). God’s blessing/presence/support/approval is on Jehoshaphat because he is following the wise and godly pattern of great King David. Sometimes we look around for mentors, models, on which to base the pattern of our lives, whom we can emulate and copy. At times, we have such people ready on hand and nearby; at other times it appears we look in vain. But all of us can look back to the greats of yesterday, read their history, and learn from them. What would Jonathan Edwards do in this situation? How would George Whitefield speak in this circumstance? What would be the response of William Wilberforce to the cultural…

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    July 18: A Key Spiritual Lesson

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 13-16, Psalm 143, Luke 11:14-28, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 2 Chronicles 13-16: The history of these chapters proceeds along fairly familiar lines to those who have been following the sacred history of these times, but in particular the chronicler takes pains to point out an especially significant spiritual lesson. Namely, that when we rely upon God, then God provides for us. The story of these chapters emphasizes this lesson over and over again: They cried to the LORD…And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam… (13:14-15). The men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers (13:18). The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God (14:7). The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake…

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    July 17: Split

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 10-12, Psalm 142, Luke 11:1-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 2 Chronicles 10-12: Rehoboam is made king, but immediately he is faced with a challenge that proves beyond him. His subjects request that he lighten the yoke of “hard service” that his father had enforced upon them for all his great building projects (10:4). Rehoboam asks the advice of his father’s counselors who tell him to listen to the people in this instance, and if he does, then thereafter they will serve him (10:6-7). However, he also asks the advice of the young men—inexperienced, enthusiastic, hot-headed—who grew up with him (10:8-9). They tell him to answer the people with severity (10:10-11). It was a poor choice when he decided to go with the advice of the young men with whom he had grown up (10:13-15). Thereafter, Israel was split between north and south kingdoms (10:16-19). When Rehoboam…

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    July 16: True Success

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 8-9, Psalm 141, Luke 10:38-42, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18 2 Chronicles 8-9: The chronicler lists Solomon’s extensive accomplishments in these two chapters. He is a “builder,” emphasized many times in chapter 8, who completed and finished the work that was given to him by God—building up, extending, magnifying and establishing Israel and Jerusalem, and especially the “house of the Lord.” The only hint that he is over-extending his reach is in his recruitment of “forced labor,” though the author is careful to note that this forced labor was not from the people of Israel themselves (8:7-8). That said, it seems apparent from the later tension that impacted Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, that Solomon had put his people under intense pressure to accomplish what he accomplished (10:4 and following). Chapter 9 indicates Solomon’s other main, great achievements, namely that of wisdom and wealth. His wisdom is emphasized by…

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    July 15: Heal Our Land

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 140, Luke 10:25-37, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10 2 Chronicles 6-7: While the LORD has said he would “dwell in thick darkness” (6:1)—that is, not be accessible to the naked human eye for the holiness and gloriousness in which he resides—yet through the temple (and its ultimate fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ), God makes his presence known in this visible world. This is a cause of great rejoicing and blessing, and so Solomon turns and blesses the people (6:3-11). The blessing which he gives them, though, is the blessing of God himself: compare verse 3 with verse 4. The ultimate blessing that anyone can experience is the blessing of knowing God. Do you have that blessing? Are you making the most of the extraordinary privilege of knowing God? In this building of the temple, all these promises of God are being fulfilled (6:10). Solomon…

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    July 14: Glory!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 3-5, Psalm 139, Luke 10:17-24, 1 Thessalonians 3:7-13 2 Chronicles 3-5: So Solomon begins to build the temple, and starts in the second month of the fourth year of his reign (3:1-2). The precise measurements are listed in great detail throughout these chapters, as well as descriptions of the ornamentation and valuable materials; all was in great quantity and a statement of honor to God. This work is all done for the house of the LORD, and all the things that David had dedicated are brought in—the silver, the gold, and all the vessels in the treasuries (5:1). It is all finished. It is also glorious. The ark of the covenant is brought up (5:1-14). In it is nothing but the two stone tablets that Moses put there at Horeb (5:10), and the song that is sung is a refrain from the same song that…

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    July 13: Wisdom

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 1-2, Psalm 138, Luke 10:1-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-6 2 Chronicles 1-2: The chronicler of this Second Chronicles begins his account on an encouraging note. He surveys the greatness of Solomon and especially his wisdom. Before he dives into Solomon’s well-known request for that wisdom, and God’s bountiful reply with wisdom and far more blessing beside, we are reminded (once more) of the source of all greatness. “The Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great” (1:1). We do well to underline that sentence in the Bible. It is too easy to think that God hides his eyes when we desert him or sin against him, or, conversely, that his arm is too short to save. But as Psalms teaches, it is not the east or the west, not circumstance, personal brilliance, culture, situation, or influence of others which exalts one and pushes…

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    July 12: Give Willingly

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 29, Psalm 137, Luke 9:51-62, 1 Thessalonians 2:10-21 1 Chronicles 29: 1 Chronicles finishes with some shrewd advice from David, as well as establishing thereby some fundamental and foundational principles for effectiveness and genuine “success.” Solomon, David acknowledges, is young and inexperienced (29:1). However, because of that, David has put together a huge amount of resources to help him with the building of a temple (29:2-5)—which is a great task because it is for God (29:1). He then challenges the whole assembly whether they will give “willingly” (29:5). They do indeed—a massive amount is given, without compulsion, and instead with a good will (29:6-9). The Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). And because they give this way, “the people rejoice” (29:9). There is a deep connection between open hands of generosity and rich hearts of rejoicing. Then David praises God…

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    July 11: A Plan and a Person

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 26-28, Psalm 136, Luke 9:37-50, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9 1 Chronicles 26-28: Again we have a list of the various responsibilities and “divisions” or departments of the officials and their designated authority and relation to others (1 Chron. 26-27). We have a view here of the internal workings of a complex bureaucracy, organized according to having point people for particular responsibilities and those responsibilities carefully defined. This is how organizations—and organisms—run. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you” (1 Cor. 12:21). Then in chapter 28, David assembles everyone who now has been so organized. He explains to them that this vision of a temple for God was given by God to be accomplished, not by him, but by his son Solomon (28:1-8). He thereafter turns to Solomon and, in the hearing of all, commends to him the importance of sticking to the…

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