Devotionals

  • June 15: Naaman

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 4-5, Psalm 119:113-120, Luke 5:1-11, Philippians 1:12-20 2 Kings 4-5: Elisha’s extraordinary ministry continues. A widow of one of the prophets is destitute, and by Elisha’s word she is able to provide and pay off her debts through a miraculous provision of oil (4:1-7). Elisha is especially looked after by a wealthy woman, a Shunammite, and in gratitude Elisha miraculously grants her a son (4:8-17). When the son suddenly falls ill and dies, Elisha miraculously raises the boy to life (4:18-37). A stew that is poisoned is miraculously purified, and a hundred men are miraculously fed (4:38-44). These are remarkable days, and it must have been a remarkable experience to watch Elisha at work. But none is as amazing as the well-known story of Naaman the leper (5:1-14). He is commander of the army of the king of Syria (5:1), and therefore an enemy of…

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    June 14: Bad Times, but Great Prophets

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 1-3, Psalm 119:105-112, Luke 4:38-44, Philippians 1:1-11 2 Kings 1-3: The Second Book of Kings continues with the downgrade of Israel, at a fast pace, and also of Judah, albeit with temporary revivals and reformations. Meanwhile, God’s word of warning is being faithfully delivered by God’s prophets. Elijah prophesies against Ahaziah, the king of Israel (1:3-4). When the king attempted to get Elijah by sending a captain and fifty soldiers, Elijah called down fire from heaven twice before he went with the final cohort of soldiers and reported the same prophecy in person to the king (1:9-16). We see the courage of a man of God in action, and the power that resides on him too. He who fears God need have no other fear. Elijah is now taken up into heaven (2:1-14). His servant, Elisha, knows that his master Elijah’s day has come and…

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    June 13: Justice

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 21-22, Psalm 119:97-104, Luke 4:31-37, Ephesians 6:10-24 1 Kings 21-22: The story of Naboth’s vineyard is notorious for its evil and despicable callousness—and for good reasons. Ahab wants a vineyard that lies next to his palace (21:1). He has building plans and expansion ideas. So he goes and offers Naboth a deal (21:2). But Naboth refuses (21:3). This is his father’s land, and he is not selling it for any price. The practice of “eminent domain” had not yet been enshrined, and in any case this was a personal pet project of Ahab, not a public work opportunity for the country. So Naboth’s refusal is fair and just. But Ahab complains to his wife, Jezebel, who decides to act in any case for the the advantage of her husband (21:5-7), and the death of Naboth. She arranges a fast, has Naboth honored at the fast,…

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    June 12: The Mountain of God

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 19-20, Psalm 119:89-96, Luke 4:13-30, Ephesians 6:1-9 1 Kings 19-20: Elijah, having won such a great victory, is now vexed and terrified by a threat from the wife of the king (19:2-4). Why the sudden shift from a fearless man of valor to this shrinking violet? Jezebel was clearly not a woman to be taken lightly, and her vow was a serious one that indicated that a true death sentence had been put on Elijah’s head. No doubt Elijah knew she pulled the strings around the royal palace in actuality. Still, fearless Elijah of chapter 18 is now replaced with fearful Elijah of chapter 19, and the fact remains that this change from elation to depression is all too human. When you have been on the mountain, winning great victories with God, it is easy to slip into the slough of despondency. The answer…

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    June 11: Victory!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 17-18, Psalm 119:81-88, Luke 4:1-12, Ephesians 5:22-33 1 Kings 17-18: Elijah! What a great man of God! He intervenes now and confronts Ahab with the power and reality of God and God’s word. There have been other figures like Elijah in church history: John Knox, about whom it was said the Queen trembled more regarding his prayers than any army. Elijah was such a figure—at his best—and more, many times more. He is told to go east of the Jordan—symbolizing Israel’s return to the ways of her captivity in Egypt, or at least her wandering before entering the Promised Land—and hide by the brook Cherith (17:2-3). When the water at the brook dries up, Elijah is sent to a widow who herself is in despair (17:7-9). So in the economy of God, Elijah his servant is protected, and through that protection a widow is cared for…

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    June 10: Darkness and Light

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 15-16, Psalm 119:73-80, Luke 3:21-38, Ephesians 5:1-21 1 Kings 15-16: These are a depressing couple of chapters. Not only do they show why the books we are studying are called collectively “kings” (with their extensive list of the various kings here included), they also show what happens when a ruler of God’s people abandons God. Pain, suffering, division, difficulty, economic decline, and more. You would have thought that at some point the people would put two and two together and realize that not only was following God the right thing to do for the sake of God and his glory, but that when they did follow God, it was the life that was truly blessed. Yet here, with very few exceptions, there is continued and indeed increasing rebellion, right up until (as we shall see tomorrow) the great prophet Elijah comes and confronts God’s people…

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    June 9: The Power of God’s Word

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 13-14, Psalm 119:65-72, Luke 3:1-20, Ephesians 4:25-32 1 Kings 13-14: Now the Word of God comes (13:1). Jeroboam, king of Israel, is leading Israel to sin by encouraging and officially sponsoring pagan deities and their worship. At one altar for such worship, God sends a man of God with the Word of God (13:2-3). Aslan, as C.S. Lewis would say, is on the move—though whether he is attacking the witch’s castle, or rescuing the Narnians, or both at the same time is as yet unclear. The Word of God is clear and is clearly demonstrated by first the freezing of Jeroboam’s hand when he attempts to counter-order the prophet’s words (13:4), and then by his healing at the word of the prophet (13:6). This prophet has been commanded by God not to eat or drink, and to return by a different path (13:8-9). He tells…

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    Sermon Video: Family, Work and the Church

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on June 5, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “Family, Work and the Church” from Ephesians 5:22-6:9, the last sermon in the series “Biblical Answers to Life’s Big Questions.” This message looks at how Paul addresses the three areas of marriage, parenting and work, giving a "how to" explanation, as well as a "why to" motivation. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    June 8: Division

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 12, Psalm 119:57-64, Luke 2:41-52, Ephesians 4:17-24 1 Kings 12: Rehoboam, about to be anointed king (v. 1), a day for which he must have much longed, now finds that his archrival Jeroboam has returned from Egypt and is leading a representative petition against him (v. 2-4). It must have been galling to see this Jeroboam at the head of a group of plaintiffs, arguing that Solomon’s practice of forced labor was unfair and should now be overturned. Rehoboam must first think about it. He asks the petitioners to come back again in three days (v. 5), while all Israel holds its breath as to whether what they have now asked of their putative new king would in fact come to pass. Rehoboam goes to the advisors of his father, puts the problem to them, and gets their counsel (v. 6). These experienced political operatives…

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    June 7: Pride Comes Before a Fall

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 11, Psalm 119:49-56, Luke 2:21-40, Ephesians 4:1-16 1 Kings 11: Is this the saddest sentence in Scripture (v. 1-2)? Perhaps we cannot say that—we can think of sentences attributed to Judas, or Ananias and Sapphira—but this opening sentence to chapter 11 certainly numbers among the greatest disappointments. What had Solomon not been given? What else could he have possibly desired? Was he not wise? And why then did he turn from the path of wisdom to folly, and forsake pure-hearted obedience to God (v. 3-8)? The answer to these questions, at one level, is quite simple. Solomon loved many foreign women (v. 1). And where the heart is, there soon goes the will, the devotion, and the center of spiritual gravity. He began to worship the gods that these pagan believers brought with them (v. 5)—and so disobeyed the specific instruction given to him by…

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