Devotionals

  • Sermon Video: How to Answer Your Critics

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on April 24, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “How to Answer Your Critics” from Romans 8:31-34 in the sermon series “Confident.” This sermon looks at the five unanswerable questions that the apostle Paul is asking to give us assurance. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    April 26-30, 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.” April 26-30 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 April 26-30, but will pick back up on May 1, 2016, with the 1 Samuel. 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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    April 25: Heritage!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Ruth 4, Psalm 94, Mark 9:14-32, 1 Corinthians 16 The rest of the story is simply told, and nonetheless beautiful and powerful for that. Boaz has purposed to “redeem” Ruth (Ruth 3:12-13), and so goes to the town gate (4:1), where important transactions such as this were taken place in public. He asks the relative who is closer than he is whether he wishes to redeem (4:1-6). In the event the other “redeemer” cannot do so, Boaz will then be free to fulfill his heart’s desire and become the protector for Ruth (as well as Naomi). The addition of Naomi is not by happenstance. While Ruth is the object of the marriage, Naomi is also blessed, and she takes the child that comes of the marriage on her lap (4:16). She too is being protected by this redeemer (4:13-17). The story finishes with a wonderful flourish of understatement:…

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    April 24: Kinsman-Redeemer

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Ruth 2-3, Psalm 93, Mark 9:1-13, 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 Ruth 2-3: The romance starts to grow and we begin increasingly to get a sense that this is part of a larger, majestic, and divinely appointed story of redemption. Ruth “happened” to go to the field where her kinsman-redeemer was present to protect her (2:3). This little narrative touch draws us into the drama as it must have felt to the participants at the time, and by the same token makes us aware that what seems merely “by chance,” “by luck,” or something random that just “happened” is (in fact) part of God’s sovereign weaving of the threads of history for the love he has for his people—especially poor, destitute, abandoned people like Ruth and Naomi. A kinsman-redeemer was someone who, by Old Testament law, had the opportunity through being a relative of a poor and destitute person…

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    April 23: If God Is for Us, Who Can Be Against Us?

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Ruth 1, Psalm 92, Mark 8:31-38, 1 Corinthians 15:1-28 Ruth 1: Ruth is one of the most beautiful stories in the Old Testament. Finely crafted, it resonates with romance and intrigue, the soft light of summer evenings and the warmth of long summer days. Throughout this story there is an emphasis upon the sovereignty of God and his particular care for a particular woman—all part of his saving plan for Israel, and indeed for the whole world. Chapter 1 sets the scene in the chaotic time known as “the days when the judges ruled” (v. 1). Against that sometimes hideous backdrop of “Game of Thrones”-like violence, the perspective focuses in on one little family. Whatever the social and cultural circumstances of our day, God cares for our family and for us as an individual. We are not forgotten or ignored, and good can come out of even…

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    April 22: No King

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Judges 20-21, Psalm 91, Mark 8:22-30, 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 Judges 20-21: The last line of today’s reading once again summarizes the chaos that is unfolding upon Israel: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25). This time the chaos is intermixed with religious devotion and attempts to do what is right, but there is still chaos, immorality and decadence nonetheless. The story is fairly rapidly told, though it must have been a series of disasters for those involved. First, the congregation of Israel gathers to decide what to do about the pieces of the concubine that had been sent to them (20:1-3). The Levite, still unnamed, tells the story of what had happened to his concubine (20:4-7)—here also he is called her husband, though previously he was her master, and she is still his concubine (20:4).…

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    Sermon Video: The Way That Serving Can Transform Your Life Forever

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on April 17, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “The Way That Serving Can Transform Your Life Forever.” This message is the last of four sermons in the series “Four Steps to New Life.” Taken from John 21:15-25, we find how it is that loving Jesus leads to serving the church and how that transforms our life. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    April 21: Shock

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Judges 19, Psalm 90, Mark 8:14-21, 1 Corinthians 14:1-25 Judges 19: Judges 19 begins with the repeated warning that things are decaying: “In those days there was no king in Israel” (v. 1). Without moral authority, without a commitment to God as the Judge, without a sense of what is right and what is wrong ruling, then the nation loses its way. Such was the case here, and Judges 19 is famous for its horrific description of rape, murder, and (strangely to our ears) inhospitality. In summary, the author of Judges is telling us that Israel had become like Sodom. The story will sound eerily familiar to those who recall the earlier story of Sodom in the book of Genesis, and will ring alarm bells that Israel is becoming as much an embodiment of decadence as Sodom had been previously. The story is soon told. A man…

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    April 20: Idolatry

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Judges 17-18, Psalm 89:19-52, Mark 8:1-13, 1 Corinthians 13 Judges 17-18: Matthew Henry comments about this part of the story of Judges that “spiritual distempers are not so soon cured as caught.” It is a wise observation, because the story here tells how one man’s idolatry spread piece-by-piece to a great city, Shiloh, and had a great impact. It begins with some kind of guilt that was attempted to be parlayed not by recourse to the grace of God, but by a further and far more serious sin: idolatry (17:1-4). The degeneracy of the spirituality of Israel has become so bad that despite this idolatry, a simple priest is put in charge (17:5), as if Moses had never taught the Ten Commandments. “You shall not make for yourself a graven image.” The narrator finds this story so horrific that he cannot but interject his famous line: “In those days there…

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    April 19: Blind!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Judges 16, Psalm 89:1-18, Mark 7:24-37, 1 Corinthians 12:14-31 Judges 16: The famous story, beautifully traced out in Milton’s Samson Agonistes, is a lesson to all who think that morality does not matter if you have ability. Samson “went,” “saw,” and then “went in” (v. 1). At each step he had an opportunity to reverse his decline. Do not hesitate on the threshold of sin, do not gaze at it, and even at the last moment refuse to go in. Then comes Delilah. Here he was really in love (v 4). How tragic is the picture of him being wooed to sleep on her lap, sleeping like a baby, trustingly, all the while being betrayed (v. 19). Many a reader has asked how Samson could possibly have been so foolish as to have kept on trusting Delilah when she was obviously up to no good (v. 6-16)? Perhaps…

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