Devotionals

  • February 10: Priests and The Priest

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 27-29; Psalm 33; Matthew 14:1-21; Acts 20:1-12 Exodus 27-29: These kind of details seem only interesting to those who love drawing pictures of bygone ceremonies with precise detail. It is hard (at first glance) to establish the relevance of these matters. Why are they here? What do they say to us today, to a people without this kind of ritualized priesthood, and without all the necessary ceremonies that constitute the ordination of that role? Hebrews 5 is a good commentary. It tells us that what was remarkable about these Old Testament priests was not only that they offered gifts and sacrifices for sins, for people in relation to God, but that they also had to offer sacrifice for their own sins (Heb. 5:1-3). They were then far from being a perfect priest or intermediary between people and God. However, the book of Hebrews reminds…

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    February 9: Mercy Seat

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 24-26; Psalm 32; Matthew 13:44-58; Acts 19:23-41 Exodus 24-26: The covenant is first confirmed by a special opportunity for the leadership to encounter God in some way (Ex. 24). God is shown to be awesome, majestic, beyond description, and words are used to indicate his purity and beauty—feet on a pavement of sapphire (24:10), and like a devouring fire (24:17). For this meeting to take place blood must be spilt (24:4-8). God is constantly teaching his people, as he did with the Passover, that because he is holy, access to his presence requires the spilling of blood. The same lesson is taught with the construction of the sanctuary (Ex. 25-26). There will be a mercy seat (25:17-22), on which at the Day of Atonement blood will be sprinkled (Lev. 16:14), and which sprinkling finds its fulfillment in the real, true sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews…

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    February 8: Law and Promise

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 21-23; Psalm 31; Matthew 13:24-43; Acts 19:1-22 Exodus 21-23: Some of these laws seem a little strange to us, others immediately resonant as reflecting the moral principles laid down by the Ten Commandments in more detail now. Behind many of them is the judicial principle of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” In a theocratic political setting, it was important to establish precise laws for ensuring that fairness and justice were carried out, that the rich did not prey on the poor, that the strong did not abuse the weak, and that basic health was maintained. Immersed within such matters are many moral matters of expansion and particularization of the commandments already given. Surprising for many are the instructions given about slavery (21:1-32). Have they not just escaped from the land of slavery? Old Testament, Jewish, slavery was very different from antebellum slavery, more…

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    February 7: Eagles’ Wings

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 19-20; Psalm 30; Matthew 13:1-23; Acts 18:18-28 Exodus 19-20: And so they come to Mount Sinai (19:1-2). They have been “born on eagles’ wings” out of Egypt (19:4). They are a rescued people, a redeemed people, set apart for God as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (19:5-6). And now they are going to hear from God how he wants them to obey him (19:7-8). The pattern is clear throughout Scripture: first rescue, then obedience, grace leading to and empowering works. The legalist reverses this pattern and attempts to earn God’s favor by the Law. But the Law was given after God had rescued his people to teach them what it meant to follow him as redeemed people. That said, this grace is no cheap grace but is shrouded in awe and fear. God is awesome, in that much over-used rendition of…

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    February 6: Bread from Heaven

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 16-18; Psalm 29; Matthew 12:38-50; Acts 18:1-17 Exodus 16-18: The story begins with more grumbling (16:1-3). Israel looks back with false idealized memories of Egypt where in their minds they at least had enough to eat. God graciously answers their ungracious request and sends both “manna” and “quail” (16:4-15, 31). The manna in the wilderness is fulfilled with Christ, the true Bread from heaven, in John’s Gospel (John 6:51). They were not to take more of the manna than needed (16:16-30), but to trust God for daily provision. “Give us today our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11) is the prayer of the well-taught disciple. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34). Trust God for provision today, O child of God, and put your trust in Christ, in the true Bread from heaven. More grumbling (17:1-3), and more gracious provision from the Lord…

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    Workshop on Biblical Exposition April 27-29, 2016

    By Josh Moody

    The Workshop on Biblical Exposition at College Church in Wheaton is April 27-29, 2016. The Workshop is sponsored by The Charles Simeon Trust, and the focus this year will be on Preaching from 2 Timothy. What is a Workshop on Biblical Exposition? The Simeon Trust describes it like this: The Workshops on Biblical Exposition aim to recover the centrality of God’s Word, preached expositionally, to the benefit of the life and health of the church in our generation. In order for this kind of preaching to take place, the Bible must be properly understood and rightly handled. And so, this Workshop consists of two and a half days covering principles of exposition (instructional talks on how to better handle biblical texts), small group practice (times when you will share and receive feedback on two passages you prepared in advance), and preaching (encouraging times of exposition). Each of these sessions is carefully designed to be interrelated for the greatest value…

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    February 5: Crossing the Red Sea

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 13-15; Psalm 28; Matthew 12:22-37; Acts 17:16-34 Exodus 13-15: This section picks up after more instructions about the Passover (Ex. 12:40-51), and continues with instruction on consecrating the firstborn (13:1-2), the Feast of Unleavened Bread (13:3-10), and the law of the firstborn (13:11-16). It rapidly moves to one of the more dramatic moments in biblical history (the crossing of the Red Sea, Ex. 14) and an extraordinary worship song by Moses (15:1-18). To start with, God underlines the formative ordinance, institution, of the Passover for Israel as an ongoing memorial. It is all intended to teach Israel something profoundly theological regarding God’s gracious saving power and act: “By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery” (13:14). Christian, take time to remember. Remember specifically the True Passover of which even this great redemption is a foreshadow. The…

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    February 4: Passover!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 10-12; Psalm 27; Matthew 12:1-21; Acts 17:1-15 Exodus 10-12: The Passover in Exodus 12 is the greatest story in the entire Bible, except one which is the fulfillment of this story! So Pharaoh once again is up to his old tricks: first yes (10:8, 24), then no (10:10, 28). His heart is hardened (10:1, 20, 27; 11:10), not even able to listen to the advice of his ministers (“servants”) who are telling him to let the people go (10:7) because Egypt is already ruined. Still he holds on. Why? We are given no reason other than the “hardness of his heart.” The “heart” in the Bible is the seat, not just of the feeling, but also of the thinking and the willing. It is the center of a person’s personality. This then means that Pharaoh, under God’s sovereignty and direction, has fundamentally decided that…

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    Sermon Video: Present Suffering and Future Glory

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on January 31, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “Present Suffering and Future Glory” in the sermon series “Confident.” Taken from Romans 8:16-18, this message focuses on the purpose of suffering and the choice we have to view suffering as the apostle Paul did. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    February 3: Yes, Yes and No, No

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 7-9; Psalm 26; Matthew 11:20-30; Acts 16:16-40 Exodus 7-9: It is mysterious to human eyes why some believe and some do not, yet in the ultimacy of God’s purpose all is clear: Pharaoh made a conscious choice to refuse to “let God’s people go,” and he did so according to the will of God. This purpose of God is that the extraordinary power of God to rescue against all odds would be revealed to the whole world: “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (9:16). God hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that God’s almighty power to save might be seen throughout the globe. The story continues in familiar ways. Pestilence after pestilence. Plague after plague. At first the magicians can match Moses’ signs (7:11-12, 22; 8:7), but…

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