Devotionals

  • January 21: Do Not Quarrel on the Way

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 44-45; Psalm 20; Matthew 8:23-34; Acts 12 Genesis 44-45: “Do not quarrel on the way” (45:24)! How well Joseph knew his brothers by now! Was this last little statement near the end of these famous and beautiful chapters a final jest between them—remember don’t get into a fight, guys! Or was it a fraternal warning from one who had proved himself faithful, and more to the point one to whom God had proved himself faithful? Either way, it stands out like a pertinent instruction for all families and those who work together and worship together as followers of God. “Do not quarrel on the way.” Of course, the story as it unfolds in chapters 44 and 45 has far more to it than this simple instruction. The testing of Joseph’s brothers by Joseph continues until the moment when they have passed the test (we…

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    Sermon Video: Racism and the Gospel

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on January 17, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “Racism and the Gospel” in the sermon series “Biblical Answers to Life’s Big Questions.” Taken from the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40, this message provides us with three things that are necessary for the gospel to triumph over racism.

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    January 20: He Lives!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 42-43; Psalm 19; Matthew 8:14-22; Acts 11:19-30 Genesis 42-43: The dreams that came to Joseph (Gen. 37:5-11) now began to come true. His brothers are sent to Egypt to buy grain because there is a famine in the land (42:1-5). When they arrive, they are taken to Joseph, but they do not recognize him—though he recognizes them (42:6-8). Perhaps Joseph is specially garbed in clothes fit for an Egyptian; perhaps he has worn his maturity through his suffering with a disposition that could not be recognized from the earlier prototype of Joseph. At any rate, Joseph has an advantage on them, and he proceeds to test them (42:9-17). Joseph is not unmoved; no, he weeps uncontrollably twice in this story: once when he hears their sense of guilt and shame (42:21-24), and again when he sees his blood brother by the same mother, Benjamin…

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    The Unshakeable Strength of God’s Word

    By Guest

    God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Steven Lee, pastor of small groups and community outreach at College Church in Wheaton, IL. With our recent focus on reading the whole Bible in a year, Steven shares with us "The Unshakeable Strength of God's Word" which might serve as an encouragement to us as we read and study. The world is rapidly changing. Everything seems up for grabs. Technology is moving at a break-neck speed. Marriage looks vastly different than just a decade ago. Much of our food is birthed in a laboratory. For some of us, things feel precariously unsteady. What’s going to happen next? When’s the next shoe going to drop? Will churches lose their tax status? Will pastors be prevented from speaking freely in the pulpit? Will my business come under fire? Will the cultural intolerance police target me next? When will seemingly thoughtful people stop advocating for the killing of the…

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    January 19: Glorious Sovereignty!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 41; Psalm 18:25-50; Matthew 8:1-13; Acts 11:1-18 Genesis 41: The famous story of Joseph takes another dramatic turn. The cupbearer, prompted by different but equally disturbing dreams of his master the Pharaoh (41:1-8), remembers Joseph, and commends his dream-telling abilities to the Pharaoh (41:9-13). Joseph is promptly called into Pharaoh’s presence, not without first scraping off the muck and filth and hairiness of a prison in those days, and is told that Pharaoh believes he has a dream-telling knack (41:14-15). Joseph, a man of courage, corrects Pharaoh and tells him that really the ability is in God, not in him (41:16). Pharaoh then tells Joseph the dreams (41:17-24). And in the familiar dream account, and in the interpretation that Joseph gives, it becomes apparent that God is telling Pharaoh that there are going to be seven good, prosperous years followed by seven bad famine…

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    January 18: The Lord Is with You

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 39-40; Psalm 18:1-24; Matthew 7:15-29; Acts 10:24-48 Genesis 39-40: Joseph is now having his character tested, and in the midst of all this, it is being shown to Joseph and to us by the skill of the narrator that the Lord is with Joseph (39:2-3, 21, 23). He is a slave in Potiphar’s house (39:1), and yet the Lord is so blessing his work that everything he touches thrives and Potiphar lets him run everything so that all the stress of the large estate and wealth is taken off his back (39:3-6). But Potiphar’s wife notices the young, handsome, Joseph and starts to scheme to get him. She wants him and she keeps pestering him, until one day she corners him. Joseph, wisely, bravely, courageously, simply flees from her advances (39:7-12). Hell has no fury like a woman scorned, it is said, and whether…

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    January 17: And So the Dreamer Comes!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 37-38; Psalm 17; Matthew 7:1-14; Acts 10:1-23 Genesis 37-38: And so the dreamer comes! The well-known story surrounding Joseph’s life is filled with intrigue and drama from start to finish. Perhaps rather unwisely, Joseph begins (boldly?) to share his dreams of his preeminence over his brothers with his brothers (37:5-10), and not only that he also shares his dreams of his preeminence over his parents with his father (37:10)! Here is someone who has big vision and is going places, in this case inspired by God with dreams that will come true, and yet it inevitably leads to jealousy from his brothers (37:11). Dad does not help (37:3-4): favoritism is almost the bête noir of the families of the ancient times. Let it be remembered to love all your children and not favor one, for unequal love can cause damage even to the one…

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    January 16: A Kingdom of All Nations

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 36; Psalm 16; Matthew 6:25-34; Acts 9:20-43 Genesis 36: Not the most inspiring list of names, or natural place to go, for a piece of devotional literature! It gives us an opportunity, though, to remind ourselves of some hermeneutical (=right approach to interpreting the Bible) tools. When we come across a passage in Scripture, we ask ourselves what the author’s intent is—that is, we ask, “Why is this here?” or particularly, “What was the purpose of the author in writing this part of the story?” Behind this question is the assumption that the author of the book or passage had a purpose, that he knew what he was doing, and that he is trying to communicate something to us that is worth listening to. However, we should also ask not just the question about the human author, but also a question related to…

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    January 15: The Seed

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 34-35; Psalm 15; Matthew 6:16-24; Acts 9:1-19 Genesis 34-35: At this point in the unfolding story of Genesis, it is well to take stock and remember what the arc of the narrative is and how it connects to some of the rather disturbing elements of these and surrounding chapters. In the beginning, we remember, God created everything and it was good (Gen. 1:31). However, people rebelled against God, were cast out of paradise, and in the curse that their rebellion brought upon them, God also pronounced a blessing (Gen. 3). Out of the seed of woman will come One who is to crush the serpent (Gen. 3:15), this “serpent crusher,” Redeemer/Savior figure. Who is this Redeemer? When is he coming? That is the constant question that hangs over Genesis, and indeed over the whole of the Old Testament. The seed is carried through…

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    January 14: Has He No Wound?

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 32-33; Psalm 14; Matthew 6:1-15; Acts 8:26-40 Genesis 32-33: In the middle of this story of the apparent reconciliation between Jacob and Esau, there is the well-known mysterious account of Jacob’s wrestling with God (32:22-32). He is wounded by that wrestling (32:25, 31) and is told that because he has wrestled both with God and with men and prevailed, his name will be changed (32:28). No longer will he be called Jacob but Israel, meaning, of course, “he strives with God” or “God strives.” This Old Testament patriarch now, at this moment, has his name changed from Jacob, the deceiver, to Israel, the man who wrestles with God. And it is that name “Israel” that God’s people carried from thereon. Around this extraordinary encounter, there is the story of how Jacob sends ahead herds, flocks, and gifts to Esau (32:13-21), and how Esau…

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