Devotionals

  • March 18: Serve God

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 9-12, Psalm 65, Matthew 26:57-75, Romans 11:25-38 Deuteronomy 9-12: Moses’ extraordinary exposition of God’s Word continues with another “Hear, O Israel” (9:1), this time not the great command to love God, but the great commission to go in and take possession of the land (9:1-3). They are to remember who God is: he is a “consuming fire,” and therefore they have no need to fear their enemies (9:3). They are also to remember who they are: it is, most definitely, not because of their own “righteousness” that God is giving them the land (9:4-5). No indeed they are a “stubborn” and sinful people (9:6). Note that the doctrine of the sinfulness of people was not invented by the apostle Paul, but is a faithful exposition of the Torah. How we need a Savior! And so in light of this long last “rebellion,” the golden calf, that Moses…

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    Sermon Video: The Most Misunderstood Verse in the Bible

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on March 13, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “The Most Misunderstood Verse in the Bible” in the sermon series “Confident.” Taken from Romans 8:28, this message helps us better understand this verse by showing us who this promise is for and explaining what the promise is. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    March 17: Grace in Action

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 6-8, Psalm 64, Matthew 26:36-56, Romans 11:1-24 Deuteronomy 6-8: The evangelistic thrust of Deuteronomy continues, laying to rest all the misconceptions that people still have of the Torah (that it is “legalistic”) and showing us clearly that the Law of God was given to a people who had been rescued, that grace forms a people who then obey the God who has so rescued them. The greatest commandment, then, as Jesus himself taught (Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27), is love: “Hear O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (6:5). This command to love God above all is built upon the call to remember that this is the God who had rescued them: “when you eat and are full, then take care lest…

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    March 16: Law

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 4-5, Psalm 63, Matthew 26:17-35, Romans 10 Deuteronomy 4-5: Two great chapters are before us which defy easy summary in a few words, and yet at the same time must be understood simply if we are to obey their basic thrust, which is, “do not forget.” Deuteronomy 4:9, “lest you forget,” underpins much of the instruction of chapter 4 against idolatry. They had seen God speak to them out of the fire; they are the people that God has rescued from Egypt. They must be very careful not to forget these things and go after gods of wood and stone, gods that are no gods at all in reality. They are to teach these things to their children and their grandchildren. To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:48), and these people had seen God perform miracles, and it was their responsibility to pass…

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    March 15: Do Not Fear

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 1-3, Psalm 62, Matthew 26:1-16, Romans 9:19-33 Deuteronomy 1-3: The Book of Deuteronomy, the “second law,” is a series of Moses’ sermons given to Israel as they are on the verge of entering the Promised Land that recount the story of God’s rescue, God’s Word, and their needed obedience of that Word. “These are the words of Moses” (1:1), it begins, and so it carries on. The first chapter is the most remarkable of these three, perhaps. It tells the story we have already heard (Num. 13-14) of how God’s people were told to enter the Promised Land, how they sent out spies first, but then decided to go against the Word of God and out of fear refused to enter the Promised Land (1:19-33). Having realized their folly, they decided presumptuously to enter—even without God’s blessing—and were beaten terribly in battle as a result (1:34-46). Then come…

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    March 14: The Lord’s Commands

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Numbers 33-36, Psalm 61, Matthew 25:31-46, Romans 9:1-18 Numbers 33-36: The book of Numbers, or the wandering in the wilderness, is coming towards the end. It finishes on a note that captures the spirit of the book in some ways: “These are the commandments and the rules that the LORD commanded through Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho” (36:13). At first, though, there is a recapitulation of all the “stages” which Israel had gone through in their long journey. Each is faithfully recorded giving weight to the historicity of the text and the events that the text points to. They are told they must drive out the inhabitants of the land to which they are promised (33:50-56), for otherwise their practices will influence them, and they in turn will become a stench in the nostrils of God. “And…

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    March 13: Promise and Judgment

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Numbers 31-32, Psalm 60, Matthew 25:14-30, Romans 8:18-30 Numbers 31-32: These are not easy words to read. “Vengeance” is commanded (31:1-3), and does indeed ensue, upon the Midianites (31:4-12). In fact, when it is discovered that the victory over the people of Midian has been insufficiently thorough or harsh, Moses commands that every male child and every adult woman also be killed (31:13-18). How can we read this and not find our stomach churn? Reason is given: Balaam had deceived Israel by advising the Midianities to seduce the Israelites “in the incident of Peor” (31:16). Suffice it to say that such divine wrath against sinners pales into insignificance beside the place where “the worm does not die and the fire does not go out” (Mark 9:48) as Jesus called hell. You only have to read Revelation to realize that God is a God of judgment, and to cry…

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    March 12: Feasting and Vows

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Numbers 28-30, Psalm 59, Matthew 25:1-13, Romans 8:1-17 Numbers 28-30: Numbers 28 and 29 are a wonderful description of the intended rhythm of the ancient people of God with regard to their festivals, feasts, sacrifices, from daily, to weekly, to the great annual feasts as well. Each of them is intended to remind God’s people to give thanks to God, and to find in sacrifice atonement for their sins. In the perspective of the New Testament these feasts take on fresh meaning as precursors to the revelation of the Son of God who fulfills all the prophesied elements of these feasts and sacrifices and the typology therein. John’s Gospel, many think, has elements of the feast rhythm within its structure, and at any rate, of course, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is presented as a Passover sacrifice—no, as THE Passover sacrifice, of which the others were merely shadows.…

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    ChurchFolk: Songs of Death and Resurrection

    By Guest

    God Centered Life is pleased to welcome Erik Dewar, pastoral resident for worship and music, and Ruth Newby, ministry associate in worship and music, at College Church in Wheaton. Late last year, the ChurchFolk project began with 4 objectives: •To arrange well-known hymns as well as original lyrics and melodies in a folk style around specific holidays and seasons. •To gather musicians in the church to worship as we create and record arrangments together. •To reach out to family, friends and neighbors during the seasons/holidays with the recordings and videos. •To provide the sheet music from our arrangements for other churches to use in worship. Good Friday and Easter The season leading up to Good Friday and Easter is a wonderful time to reflect on Christ's death and resurrection. It is a time like no other. Churches hold multiple special services each year around the world. Believers and unbelievers alike are invited…

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    March 11: Who Can Enter?

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Numbers 26-27, Psalm 58, Matthew 24:34-51, Romans 7:13-25 Numbers 26-27: Numbers 26 is another census, but its significance should not be overlooked. Whereas when David counted God’s people, he sinned—for God had not commanded the census, and by so counting, he was, as it were, assessing or putting to the test God’s original promise that his people would be as numerous as the stars in the sky—this census was by God’s command. What is more, it was there to teach a particular lesson. The lesson is made clear at the end of the chapter when it says that none of those from the previous census (the people who had rebelled against God and of whom God had said would therefore not enter the Promised Land) were left. “Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun” (26:65). Lest anyone…

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