Devotionals

  • 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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    June 6: Treasure in Heaven

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 9-10, Psalm 119:41-48, Luke 2:1-20, Ephesians 3:14-21 1 Kings 9-10: At the moment of highest success, God appears again to Solomon for the second time (9:2). And this time God’s word to Solomon is both affirming and warning (9:3-9). The continued blessing of God towards Solomon, his heirs, the temple he has built, is a conditional promise based upon Solomon’s ongoing obedience, and that of his children too. “But if you turn aside from following me…” (9:6), God says—there is a warning, a warning that Solomon and many, if not all of his children, evidently failed to heed. While our salvation is entirely of grace, such salvation must evidence itself in true faithfulness to God. A man who worships other gods of stock and tone, of money and sensuality and personal vain ambition, is proving that he is not truly following God after all. “Choose this…

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    June 5: Celebrate with Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 8, Psalm 119:33-40, Luke 1:67-80, Ephesians 3:1-13 1 Kings 8: Now comes the time to consecrate and celebrate. First the ark itself is brought into the temple (v. 1-11). In the ark, we are told, is nothing but the tablets of stone that Moses put there at Horeb (v. 9). Many sacrifices, so many that they cannot be counted, are performed as the ark is brought into the temple (v. 5), and once there “a cloud filled the house of the Lord” (v. 10). Symbolizing God’s presence, “the glory of the Lord filled the house” (v. 11). Solomon then “blesses the Lord”; that is, he declares that the Lord is blessed—and does so by way of celebrating and praising God that he has kept his promises to his people (v. 12-21). He then offers a prayer of dedication (v. 22-53). Note that he does not…

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    June 4: A Tale of Two Houses

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 6-7, Psalm 119:25-32, Luke 1:57-66, Ephesians 2:11-22 1 Kings 6-7: These two chapters describe the building of two houses. The first is the house of the Lord. We are given very precise dates for when the building of this house began (6:1). This is a significant moment in the life of Israel. Plus, the dates are specifically marked by the Exodus. This house is the fulfillment of a long promise to God’s people that they are to come out and worship God. Now Solomon is building this house of God. Lots of details are given regarding the shape and material of the house, depicted visually in many a study Bible or commentary so you can imagine what it would have been like. For our purposes, the most significant stipulation is in verses 11-13. The blessing that the building of the house seems to represent is,…

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    June 3: True Wisdom

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 4-5, Psalm 119:17-24, Luke 1:39-56, Ephesians 2:1-10 1 Kings 4-5: The story of Solomon’s excellence continues. He is now king over all Israel, and the author tells how he administered his domain through wise delegation to various high officials and with their responsibilities appropriately defined (4:1-19). The people of God are now as many as the sand by the sea (4:20); the promises of the expansive number of the people of God given so long ago to Abraham are now beginning to be fulfilled. What is more, they are prospering financially as well—we are told of the government not just running a surplus but having bountiful wealth poured into it (4:21-28). Plus, Solomon himself has wisdom like the sand on the seashore too: the people are numerous, according to God’s promise, and Solomon’s wisdom is expansive also according to God’s promise (4:29-34). There is not, apparently,…

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    June 2: Wisdom

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 2-3, Psalm 119:9-16, Luke 1:26-38, Ephesians 1:15-23 1 Kings 2-3: David’s final instructions to Solomon are suitably brutal (2:5-9). How are we to think of these things? Is this a final sign of David’s less than mature spirituality, seeking vengeance with the last breath of his body? Or is it a real-politic leadership that, while plainly inappropriate for a New Testament church leader, in the world of secular state leadership, requires life and death decisions be made—and be made on occasion with decisive force? To my mind, the text seems, if understood in right context, to suggest the latter. As Solomon, in one way or another, fulfills his father’s instructions to kill this one and that one (2:28-46), he is doing so with an expressed intention not of vengeance but of justice. David has sworn to not act in justice on certain individuals himself, but…

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    Sermon Video: The Gospel and Other Religions

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on May 29, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “The Gospel and Other Religions” from John 14:1-11 in the series “Biblical Answers to Life’s Big Questions.” This message examines Jesus' answers to three questions asked by his disciples, questions also commonly asked today. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    June 1: Succession Battle

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 1, Psalm 119:1-8, Luke 1:1-25, Ephesians 1:1-14 1 Kings 1: David is now old and advanced in years, and like many older people is finding it hard to stay warm (1:1). David’s servants come up with a novel solution: they find a young (and beautiful) woman to come and sleep with David (1:2-4)—physical contact but not sexual. It is a strange solution, and one about which the author of 1 Kings remains stonily silent. Perhaps it was an opportunity for Abishag. At any rate, given David’s advanced years, perhaps also bed-bound by now, one of David’s sons, Adonijah, decides that the time is ripe to make himself king (1:5). He is looking forward to the apparently imminent moment when his father will die, and so he gathers around him some of the powerful men of the land and tells them that one day he will…

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    May 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.” May 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 May 26-31, but will pick back up on June 1, 2016, with 1 Kings. 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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