Devotionals

  • February 16, 2018: Make Haste to Help Me

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 1-4, Psalm 38, Matthew 17:1-13, Acts 23:12-35 Psalm 38:: Sin has real effects. Here David outlines the way his sin has impact, even on his physical state. Perhaps there is some sin that you are toying with in your mind. Surely it isn't that bad. Surely God will forgive me. Surely no one will notice. But here in this psalm, there is remedy against the temptation of sin from a person who has sinned and is suffering terribly because of it. It is sometimes said that there is no one more miserable than a sinning Christian. A person who is not a Christian who sins has a conscience, but they do not have the Holy Spirit within that is grieved by their sin. But a person who is a Christian and who sins is in a miserable situation. One theologian used to remark that God had not made it so…

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    February 15, 2018: Take Refuge in Him

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 38-40, Psalm 37:23-40, Matthew 16:13-28, Acts 23:1-11 Psalm 37:23-40: Having told us to fret not because of the wicked, David now celebrates the path that is open before those who follow the Lord. Perhaps you wonder whether it really is worth it to commit your life to God. Perhaps there is some challenge that you are facing that means that you question whether the cost of following God is too high. Well, David here assures you that "The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in his way" (37:23). What could be better than having God establish our steps! This does not mean that the follower of God will never make mistakes or never experience trouble. It means that even when the righteous falls, God has him by his hand. "Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand"…

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    February 14, 2018: Fret Not!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 35-37, Psalm 37:1-22, Matthew 16:1-12, Acts 22 Psalm 37:1-22: When people attack us, a range of emotions rises up within us. One of the most common is to "fret." We worry what will happen to us. We are concerned as to whether we are safe. We fret about the impact on our career, or our family, or our own selves. Over and over again, then, the first half of this psalm that we are considering this morning tells us to "fret not." "Fret not yourself because of evildoers" (37:1). "Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out his evil devices" (37:7). "Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil" (37:8). How are we to avoid such fretting? By instead trusting, committing, being still, and knowing God's plan. "Trust in the Lord, and do good" (37:3). Take a moment now to tell…

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    February 13, 2018: The River of His Delights

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 34, Psalm 36, Matthew 15:21-39, Acts 21:27-40 Psalm 36: Why people act the way they do is a fascinating topic. Why do we act the way we do? It has driven the concerns of psychology, history, sociology, and much else besides. Have you ever wondered why it is that you do certain things or what it is that is really motivating you? Or perhaps you have wondered why it is that people can reject God or act in ways that are plainly-so it appears to us-wrong, even evil? The first part of this psalm describes the morphology of sin. What is really going on? How does someone, made in the image of God, commit barbarity? After all, "Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart" (36:1). There is something called conscience. But "there is no fear of God before his eyes." Without the fear of God as a present,…

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    February 12, 2018: Contend

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 32-33, Psalm 35, Matthew 15:1-20, Acts 21:1-26 Psalm 35: What do you do when you have people who are out to get you? It is hard to go through life without any kind of conflict whatsoever. To some extent, we expect that there will be times when we come across people who don't like us or who are not our best friends. But there is a different level of opposition where there are people-individuals or a group-who are deliberately doing what they can to take you down. When they are twisting your words or plotting behind the scenes to sully your name, your reputation, and even physically hurt you. What do you do then? What is the right response for a Christian in such a situation? In this psalm, David is faced with people who are "contending" against him. They "without cause" "hid a net" for him. They "without cause"…

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    February 11, 2018: Radiance in Suffering

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 30-31, Psalm 34, Matthew 14:22-36, Acts 20:13-38 Psalm 34: The context of this psalm, we are told, is extraordinary. Read the story in 1 Samuel 21:13. Evidently, whatever God's sovereign rescue means, it does not mean something that is in contradiction to David taking initiative-bold, strange initiative-to the extent of pretending to be insane to save his life! We are to cry to God for help, for sure, but also take initiative ourselves. It used to be said: work as if it all depended on you, pray as if it all depended on God. Better to say: work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you to will and act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:12-13). In other words, the fact that you are working is a sign that God is at work in you. Which means, like David does,…

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    February 10, 2018: Shout for Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 27-29, Psalm 33, Matthew 14:1-21, Acts 20:1-12 Psalm 33: There is something about joy that is "befitting" or suits or goes along with being righteous and "upright." The Psalms tell us to "shout for joy in the Lord, oh you righteous." Because those who trust in God are trusting in God, the source of all joy, it is therefore suitable, befitting, compatible, for such people to be joyful. And therefore we are told to "shout" for joy. So much for only quiet singing! No, we are to shout-hear the volume!-to God in praise! It all comes down to God's "word" (33:4). This word shows God's character as "faithful." It shows that God loves "justice." It shows that the earth is "full of the steadfast love of the Lord." That does not mean that nothing bad will ever happen on the earth. It means that anywhere on the earth we can…

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    February 9, 2018: Blessed Is the One Whose Transgression Is Forgiven

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 24-26, Psalm 32, Matthew 13:44-58, Acts 19:23-41 Psalm 32: Contrary to expectation, blessing (happiness, joy, the best life) comes neither from a pretended sinless perfection, nor from a free-wheeling, licentious lifestyle. Blessing is not to be able to follow all the rules all the time without mistake. Blessing is also not to do whatever you want whenever you want however you want. Blessing is not pretending to be able to live always as perfectly righteous in everything. Nor is blessing rebellion. We tend to think that these are the only two options: being the older brother who stays at home with his father and does exactly what he thinks is right; or being the younger brother who squanders his money in loose living. But there is a third option, a gospel option, and that third way is to recognize our own need and ask God for forgiveness. "Blessed is the…

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    February 8, 2017: Be Strong and Take Courage!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 21-23, Psalm 31, Matthew 13:24-43, Acts 19:1-22 Psalm 31: Another psalm where David is calling out to God for help. David is looking for "refuge" (31:1-2, 19). Why is this such a common theme in David's psalms? Why might we suppose that a person of prominence, a public leader, a warrior, a king no less, was likely to feel the need for protection against enemies on a regular basis. It is also true that while we are saved when we first trust in Christ, we keep on needing to be saved on a daily basis too. There are three tenses to salvation in the Bible for the Christian: we were saved when we became a Christian (justification); we are being saved as we follow Christ (sanctification); and one day we we will be saved when we enter glory with Christ (glorification). All along we need to take "refuge" in God.…

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    February 7, 2018: Give Thanks to God Forever!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 19-20, Psalm 30, Matthew 13:1-23, Acts 18:18-28 Psalm 30: David is praising God. We are often told that we should do likewise, that we are to praise and worship God. We are not equally often told why. But here in this psalm, there is not only an example of David praising, there is also a lesson about why David praises. He is praising God “for you have drawn me up” (30:1). In other words, God “healed” him, he “restored” him, he did not let his enemies triumph over him (30:1-3). This theme of praise given to God because of his rescue is specified more precisely in the middle part of the psalm. “His anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (30:5). There are times when it seems we are under God’s discipline,…

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