Devotionals

  • March 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.” March 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 March 26-31, but will pick back up on April 1, 2016, with the Book of Joshua. 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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    March 25: Blessing!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 33-34, Psalm 71, Matthew 28:11-20, Romans 16 Deuteronomy 33-34: This great book, the sermons of Deuteronomy, ends with blessing. Chapter 33 is a series of blessings designated specifically to the tribes of Israel, by the word of Moses, as he blesses them before he leaves them. There are some justly famous words with which it concludes. There is none like God…who rides through the heavens to your help (33:26). The eternal God is your dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms (33:27). It ends with an appropriate note of redemption, and a rebuke and a corrective to any who think that the Torah is fundamentally legalistic: “Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord” (33:29). Moses’ message and teaching have been to a people who through him God saved. The same emphasis on salvation continues at the end, in…

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    ChurchFolk: Songs of Death and Resurrection, Part 2

    By Josh Moody

    Erik Dewar, pastoral resident for worship and music, and Ruth Newby, ministry associate in worship and music, at College Church in Wheaton recently wrote about the ChurchFolk project and their first two songs for Good Friday and Easter. Today, they join God Centered Life again to tell us about the last two "Songs of Death and Resurrection" as we prepare for Good Friday and Easter.  The last two hymns for Songs of Death & Resurrection are here! We arranged these two specifically with Good Friday and Easter in mind. May our hearts cry, “What wondrous love is this?” as we reflect on Jesus’ redeeming work this Holy Week. O Sacred Head For the third recording of this project, we wanted to create an arrangement that was reflective in nature, allowing the listener to both mourn the sin for which Jesus bore God’s wrath and also to respond to the wonder of the cross.…

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    March 24: Singing of Life

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 32, Psalm 70, Matthew 28:1-10, Romans 15:14-33 Deuteronomy 32: How shall we interpret this most remarkable “song”? First, it is important to notice that it is God himself who has commissioned it (Deut. 31:19), and that for a purpose: to “be a witness for [God] against the people of Israel.” In other words, it is a “warning,” as Moses puts it at the end of chapter 32 (v. 46). Moses’ song is full of the least flattering description of God’s people that you could imagine, and is foundational to a worldview of people as inherently wicked, sinful, and therefore needing redemption. This is who we are, and therefore we are rightly “warned” to hide ourselves in Christ and to obey his word with full hearts, honest integrity and passionate commitment. The song has some famous lines in it: “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his…

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    Sermon Video: Predestination, Free Will, and Love

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on March 20, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “Predestination, Free Will, and Love” in the sermon series “Confident.” Taken from Romans 8:29-30, this message explains briefly five key words from the text: foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    March 23: Covenant Renewed

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 29-31, Psalm 69:19-36, Matthew 27:57-66, Romans 15:1-13 Deuteronomy 29-31: And so with the drama from chapter 28 of the “curses and blessings” before them, and with the choice that it represents to God’s people to choose life, not death, Moses now renews the covenant, this time at Moab (Deut. 29). In the same way that congregations of New Testament churches form, often making a “covenant” with each other to remind each other of the gospel and their commitment to follow God together in community, so Moses now forms this covenant renewal moment to teach God’s Old Testament people to be faithful to God. Moses reminds them of God’s remarkable faithfulness all the way through their wandering in the desert—their clothes have not worn out, their sandals have not worn off their feet (29:5)—but they still do not have a heart to truly understand or eyes to see,…

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    March 22: Blessings and Curses

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 27-28, Psalm 69:1-18, Matthew 27:45-56, Romans 14 Deuteronomy 27-28: If the last section was somewhat apparently miscellaneous—though there was actually an undergirding logic, even if it was one that was relatively hard to discern—this section has a crystal clear basic structure. It is highly repetitive and based upon a simple idea and instruction. God sets up a dramatic way of visualizing the choice before God’s people. At Ebal, after they have crossed the Jordan, they shall set up uncut stones to be an altar for sacrifice. On those stones they shall write the words of the law. And then on one mountain, Mount Gerizim, there will be tribes representing the blessing that comes from obedience to the law. On the other mountain, Mount Ebal, will be tribes representing the curses that come from disobedience to the law. The curses are terrible—exile, worship of pagan idols, being…

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    March 21: Grace Obedience

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 22-26, Psalm 68, Matthew 27:27-44, Romans 13 Deuteronomy 22-26: This section is entitled in many Bible versions as “Various Laws” which does not particularly encourage the careful attention of the average reader! To be fair, though much of these chapters bespeak “various laws,” there is also an undergirding rationale behind it that comes right at the end of chapter 26. They are to obey these commandments, for the people of Israel are God’s “treasured possession,” and God will set his people “in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made” (26:18-19). While, then, much of this is specific to the nation-state of Israel, its overall intention is to set apart a people as “holy” to God, with a special mission and responsibility, to be witnesses to God and honored by God throughout the world. The laws are many in…

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    March 20: Foreshadows

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 18-21, Psalm 67, Matthew 27:11-26, Romans 12:9-21 Deuteronomy 18-21: These chapters begin with laws regarding priests (18:1-8) who are set aside especially for sacrifices and priestly duties around the place (the temple) that God shall designate. As a result, the priests, the tribe of Levi, shall have no inheritance with the other tribes and therefore gain their sustenance from their priestly duties. It is a special role, with particular privileges and responsibilities. The Israelites are warned not to do the “abominable practices” of the people of the land which they are entering (18:9-14)—it was because of those nations’ necromancy and divination that God is casting them out of the land. Such things are not to characterize God’s people. They have a privileged access, through now the One Great High Priest, and have no need to attempt to manipulate spiritual forces. They are God’s, and they are not…

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    March 19: A Godly Nation

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 13-17, Psalm 66, Matthew 27:1-10, Romans 12:1-8 Deuteronomy 13-17: There is a lot of material in these massive chapters. To begin, the possibility of a false prophet is raised (13:1-5). How are they to tell who is false and who is genuine? One test is doctrinal. Are they teaching people to follow other gods (13:2)? If so, they are a false prophet however impressive their miracles may still be. Over and over again, the Bible puts little stock in gifts themselves as a sufficient test of the validity of a prophet or Christian leader; instead faithfulness of doctrine and godliness of character are the prevailing identity markers. This then slides into a fairly lengthy diatribe against idol worship (13:6-18). It is very clear that worshipping other gods is no light matter—and once again the the theocratic nature of the nation-state of Israel appears in the judiciary…

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