Devotionals

  • December 9: Silent Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. To receive these Advent readings directly in your inbox, sign up here. Luke 2:1-7: In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was…

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    December 8: Divine Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Matthew 1:22-24: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. One of the strangest apparent accidents of the text is that while Joseph has just been told by the angel to call the child “Jesus,” we now learn that calling this child specifically “Jesus” is actually in fulfillment of a promise to call him…

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    December 7: Saving Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Matthew 1:18-21: This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what…

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    December 6: Community Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:56: Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. A short reading today! But I love these little human touches that Luke gives us in the midst of his grand narrative. We have just heard the Magnificat. We have had the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist, and of the Christ. We have gloried in the highest heights, and now Luke gives us some domestic details and relational insights. Why? Luke loves to assure us that that of which he writes is true. He says at the beginning of the Gospel: Many have undertaken to…

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    New Advent Series: It’s a Wonderful Christmas

    By Josh Moody

    This weekend at College Church we begin a new Advent series called “It’s Wonderful Christmas.” Over four sermons we will be looking at the specific approach that each of the four Gospels has towards the Incarnation and the Gospel narrative of Christmas. Historically, the four Gospel authors were known by different emphases that were represented in ancient artistic renditions that were viewed as representative of these emphases. We will be looking at the text of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and then (on Christmas Eve) John. This weekend we are considering a “Down to Earth Christmas.” And we will be looking at Matthew’s genealogy which emphasizes the extraordinary movement of God to earth in the person of Christ, and the remarkable list of human forebears that are representative of the gracious redemption that Christmas describes. Here are four good reasons to come this weekend and hear what Matthew has to say about…

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    December 5: Humble Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:46-55: 46 And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful     of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me –     holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,     from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;     he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones     but has lifted up the humble. 53 He…

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    December 4: Blessed Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:39-45: At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is…

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    December 3: Biblical Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:35-38: The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her. How is this possible? A simple answer: God is going…

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    December 2: Disturbing Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:29-34: Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a…

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    December 1: Shocking Joy!

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am going to be sharing with you those Bible readings, and giving some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:26-28: In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’  In Luke’s gospel, the master historian and medical doctor Luke records all the facts with care. Like all good storytellers, he also has a taste for the dramatic. It was “in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy” that once…

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