Devotionals

  • September 19: Not Forgotten

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 49-50, Proverbs 27:15-27, Luke 23:44-49, Hebrews 11:1-16 Isaiah 49-50: I have often thought when looking at these momentous chapters of Isaiah, “Who is equal to these things?” Well is Isaiah often said to be the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. Chapter 49 deals with the disappointment of God’s people, their fear that he will forget them or no longer use them. But God says, “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (49:6). “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (49:15). It is hard to imagine a mother forgetting her nursing child—surely not! And yet even if that were possible, which it is at least highly unlikely, it is simply impossible that God…

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    September 18: The God Who Is and There Is No Other

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 46-48, Proverbs 27:1-14, Luke 23-38-43, Hebrews 10:19-39 Isaiah 46-48: Throughout these chapters, the fortunes of those who trust in idols are compared with the blessing of those who trust in God. The idols of Bel and Nebo are carried on beasts of burden—and even the beast cannot reliably carry them (46:1-2). In contrast, God’s people, the remnant of the house of Israel, have been borne by God himself (46:3-4). While idols are a burden that no man or beast can bear, God carries us, cares for us, and saves us. What a difference between the two! One is a burden and a failure. The other is a support and is salvation! Let us ask ourselves: is our idea of “religion” one of a burden, an impossible load that no one can carry (like the Pharisees approach to “religion”)? Or is our idea of God more like the real God…

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    September 17: Focus and Fear

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 44-45, Proverbs 26:17-28, Luke 23:32-37, Hebrews 10:1-18Isaiah 44-45:This section begins with wonderful promises for God’s people—“I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring” (44:3)—in the context of which the instruction to “Fear not” (44:2, 8) makes sense. How often it is that we fear because we do not focus! We fear the results of some eventuality because we have lost focus on the promises of God! We fear the effects of some calamity because we have lost focus on the face of God! We fear the impact of some decision because we have lost focus on the Word of God! We fear the vagaries of fate because we have lost focus on the power of the Spirit of God!In order to remove our fears, we must first regain focus. Take a moment to think through, write down, and externalize what God has promised you. What in these verses can…

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    The Value of Suffering in the Life of the Church

    By ruth

    It is scary to think of, I know. Who wants to suffer? I know I do not. Yet Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 1, beginning in verse 7, “...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” Share in the suffering. And why? Because suffering for something of such great value and worth as the gospel is a pittance, a light and momentary affliction indeed, compared to the eternal weight of glory awaiting us. Even more, suffering is often the means by which God purifies his church. Suffering sifts through those who see Jesus as their Greatest Treasure from those who see Jesus as nothing more than fire insurance. Suffering causes the church to bear down in…

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    September 16: Comfort and Encouragement

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 42-43, Proverbs 26:1-16, Luke 23:26-31, Hebrews 9:11-28 Isaiah 42-43: Again, stupendous chapters, filled with hope and promise. One way of looking at the “LORD’s chosen servant” (42:1) is through what he will do and what he will not do. He will “bring forth justice to the nations” (42:1). He will “faithfully bring forth justice” (42:3). The mission of God’s servant, the suffering servant that Isaiah is predicting, is to bring forth justice on a global scale. This is what he will do—at the cross, and finally when he returns in glory. What will he not do? He will not “cry aloud or lift up his voice” (42:2). A “bruised reed he will not break” (42:3). A “faintly burning wick he will not quench” (42:3). This suffering servant then is not a bully, is not unkind, is not aggressive or stomping on the weaknesses of others to fulfill his agenda.…

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    Truth Matters

    By Guest

    By Andreas J. Köstenberger We live in an age when truth has become increasingly subjective and perspectival. What is truth for me may not be truth for you. As a result, the whole notion of absolute truth has died, and, in terms of the conventional definition, there is no more truth; all that is left is varying points of view. Not that this is entirely new. Over a generation ago, apologist Francis Schaeffer lamented the very same phenomenon he perceived already in his day and felt compelled to coin the term “true truth” (as if there were false truth!) to affirm emphatically that truth still existed. That truth, Schaeffer maintained, is grounded in the one God who “is there and is not silent,” having revealed himself in the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and came back to life again. The Christian gospel thus gives meaning…

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    September 15: Take Comfort; Be Strong in God

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 40-41, Proverbs 25:15-28, Luke 23:13-25, Hebrews 9:1-10 Isaiah 40-41: At last! Isaiah 40 arrives like a glass of chilled, cool water after a long, hot journey in a desert! “Comfort, Comfort, my people” (40:1). Words made famous by Handel’s Messiah, filled with hope, joy and meaning. Isaiah proclaims forgiveness: “her iniquity is pardoned” (40:2). He proclaims that there will be a “voice” (fulfilled in John the Baptist, John 1:23) who will prepare the way for the LORD (40:3). And the glory of the LORD will be revealed (40:5). We almost feel like we are in the New Testament—and indeed, in a sense, we almost are! “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (40:8). This blessed comfort, preannounced, will not fail, for God’s word will not fail. It is “good news” (40:9). And the cities will say, “Behold your God!” (40:9). What…

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    Donkeys for Christ

    By Guest

    by Dr. Duane Litfin As I was preparing for Palm Sunday this year, I recalled a story I heard years ago. It was a tale of the donkey that carried Jesus on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Afterward, as he was led back to the stable, the donkey spoke excitedly to his fellow donkeys. “You won’t believe what happened to me today.” “What was that?” they asked. “The people cut down branches and waved them in my honor. Some of them removed their coats and laid them down for me to walk on.” “That’s amazing,” the others replied. “Yes,” said the donkey, “it was amazing. At one point they even wanted to make me King!” As I recalled this tale I was struck again by how easy it is to miss the point of being a donkey. Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem on the foal of a humble beast…

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    September 14: Hezekiah

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 37-39, Proverbs 25:1-14, Luke 23:1-12, Hebrews 8:7-13 Isaiah 37-39: In these chapters we see Hezekiah at his best and at his worst. It is a reminder to us that even great men have their faults, and God uses us as we stand in faithful dependence on him—often despite (even because of) our failings. When we are weak, then we are strong. And it is when Hezekiah becomes a little proud—showing off all his possessions (39:1-2)—that he stumbles. First we see him responding in an exemplary way to a visceral, existential threat. He seeks out God’s word—by sending to hear from the prophet Isaiah (37:1-2). When the king of Assyria renews his threat against Hezekiah and God’s people (37:10-13), Hezekiah pours out his heart in prayer to God (37:14-20). His heart is pure and exemplary too: “O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms on…

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    Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

    By Josh Moody

    What does the Bible say about divine sovereignty and human responsibility? Much high end research has been done on this challenging topic. This paper is a mere summary of the work done by many scholars, but it may be helpful for some because a) it is brief, b) it uses simple straightforward language, and c) it addresses a matter of theological importance. D.A. Carson, How Long, O Lord? (IVP, 1990) J.I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (IVP, 1986) Summary: People sometimes feel that a belief in the all-powerful God of the Bible necessitates a kind of philosophical fatalism. For instance, people ask, “If God is all powerful and all loving, why do people suffer?” Or, again, people ask, “If God is all powerful, why pray?” These questions are at root confusions about the relationship between the sovereignty of God and human responsibility. According to the Bible, the sovereignty of God and human…

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