Devotionals

  • Living a God-Centered Life

    By Guest

    God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Dr. Keith Johnson to the blog today. Keith is an associate professor of theology at Wheaton College. You can read his bio here.  Let’s say we want to live a God-centered life. How is this kind of life possible? And what does it actually look like to live this way? As we consider these questions, the place to start is with Jesus. A God-centered life will be a Christ-centered life, because Jesus himself stands at the very center of our relationship with God (1 Tim 2:5). A Christ-centered life is shaped by two core convictions. The first conviction is that Jesus Christ is alive. As Christians, we do not follow a dead example but a living Lord. God raised Jesus from the dead, and he sits right now at the throne of God. But Jesus does not simply sit around. This is…

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    Belief Is Relationship

    By Guest

    God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Barnabas Piper to the blog today. Read his full bio here.  The transformation of a life, internal or external, can only come in relationship with God. True belief in God is a relationship. In a relationship we can truly know someone else, not just know about them. The knowledge that comes in a relationship is formative. It shapes how we live. Think about your spouse or your best friend or your mom. Your relationship with each of them, your knowledge of them, has influenced your life. You act different, are aware of new things, are offended by new things, and are passionate about things all because of them. Each of the people I just mentioned has left an imprint on you, some greater than others. If you’re married the very pattern of your daily life is shaped by your spouse – where you live,…

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    Calling Our Culture to God – Three Models

    By Josh Moody

    'Culture' is a word that is ironically confusing. Ironic because everyone thinks they mean the same thing by it: there is, in a sense, a whole ‘culture’ of ‘cultures.’ For the sake of this discussion, I take it that broadly speaking there are three things that most people mean by culture. Culture as ‘high culture.’ So, then, going to the theater is more ‘cultured’ than going to the movies; art galleries more cultured than comic strips; etc. Whether any of those sorts of distinctions are really objective in their value judgments is another whole discussion, and one that we need not get sidetracked into at this point. Culture as ‘our culture.’ So by the word ‘culture’ is then meant the particular set of circumstances, values, history, assumptions that go up to making the social environment in which we happen to live – locally, nationally. Sometimes there are particular subsets that…

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    A Daily Devotional Time

    By Guest

    God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Dr. Wendell Hawley to the blog today. Dr. Hawley (LL.D., California Graduate School of Theology; D.D., Western Baptist Seminary) has preached and taught the Bible for over forty years, has served on the pastoral staff at College Church in Wheaton, and is the author of A Pastor Prays for His People (Tyndale, 2010).  It was about as abrupt a change of prioritizing as I could imagine. Having grown up in a parsonage, I eventually followed the exemplary modeling of a self-starting, self-scheduling pastor in his ministerial routine. Of course the overarching, ever-demanding priority was the preparation of two sermons with the attendant worshiping ingredients. Sandwiched in at my own discretion were hospital visits, meeting with church volunteers, long range planning and devotions (not to be confused with reading for preaching material), working in some counseling situations both for those who were seeking a meeting…

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    The View from the Ash Heap: Reflections from a Hospital Bedside

    By Guest

    God Centered Life is pleased to welcome Dr. Daniel Block as a guest blogger today. Dr. Block is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. You can read his complete bio here.  Two months ago we were shocked by the diagnosis of our thirteen-year old grandson’s extreme headaches. Yes, we heard the dreaded “C” word; he has brain cancer. Overnight our lives were turned inside out and upside down, and the once-in-a-lifetime Christmas on the island of Maui with our children and grandchildren was out the window. By God’s grace we have enjoyed a relatively tranquil life, at least so far as health issues are concerned. No one warned us of this, and we certainly did not ask for it, but suddenly the theories we had espoused in trying to help others were put to a test at home. In these days we have been encouraged…

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    The Historical Reliability of the Bible

    By Josh Moody

    Much high end research has been done defending the historical reliability of the Bible (Tyndale House, Cambridge). These two papers are mere summaries of the work done by many scholars, but they may be helpful for some because a) they are brief, b) they are in simple straightforward language, c) they address a current (as well as perennial) matter of great importance: the historical reliability of the Bible. That said, though, we need assert with Spurgeon that the Bible no more needs defending than does a lion! Historical Reliability and Relevance of the Old Testament Historical Reliability of the New Testament

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    Keeping Commands

    By Guest

    We are pleased to welcome Dr. Oliver O'Donovan, Professor Emeritus, Christian Ethics and Practical Theology at The University of Edinburgh, as a guest blogger today at God Centered Life. Dr. O'Donovan was Regius Professor of Moral & Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford from 1982 until 2006. Read Dr. O'Donovan's complete bio here. “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15). The future tense - “You will…” -  may grate on us. That kind of hypothetical prediction tends to put us on our guard against moral blackmail.  How many difficult parent-child relations, lovers’ quarrels, arguments between friends turn on the hinge between “if you love me” and “you will do what I say”! But imagine a relation in which “doing what I say” is the only natural expression of love. Think of someone whose commands are exactly what is loveable about him, whose first link with us is the…

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    The Glory of Christ at Christmas

    By Josh Moody

    Some years ago now when the “Christmas” debate first began, I preached a sermon series around the holidays called “Making the holidays holy-days.” The point I was making, which seemed intrinsically ironic to me, was that those who passionately advocated for renaming the season “holidays” were not really accomplishing what they hoped they were accomplishing. The word “holiday” has a particular historical etymology. It is rooted in the Medieval European habit of naming certain days as “high days and holy days.” They were days marked by particular saints, and on those days there were special religious ceremonies, and feasting as appropriate and particular to the occasion as it demanded. In other words, “holidays” is a distinctly Christian, religious term. When you say “happy holidays,” you are really saying “happy Christian religious season of feasting and merriment based upon these holy days that we are in right now.” I understand that…

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    Introducing God Centered Life Ministries

    By Josh Moody

    One of my all-time favorite movies is The Blues Brothers. Not because it is an especially erudite rendition of biblical Christianity (it isn’t). Not because the music is evocative and emotive (it is). Not because the morals are worth following (they aren’t). But because of some of the one-liners. “It’s 106 miles to go, we got a full tank of gas, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.”  Or, “We’re putting the band back together.” Even, “We’re on a mission from God” (as irreverent as that is). Why God Centered Life Ministries? We think there is a mission to be accomplished for the glory of God. Our vision is simply that of a generation living for God. We want to call people everywhere to realize that life lived for God is simply the best life there is. Too often Christianity is being presented today as what it is against. We want…

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