January 11: Encountering God

January 11, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 27-28; Psalm 11; Matthew 5:13-20; Acts 7:1-38 Genesis 27-28: Jacob, the deceiver, well-named, now deceives Isaac at the prompting and urging of his mother (27:1-29). Is this a mother playing favorites? Or is it a mother trying to ensure that what God had promised regarding Jacob as the seed-bearer for the promise of God would actually come true? Either way Isaac is wrongfully deceived, as is Esau (27:30-41). It is arguable that having randomly despised his birthright, this blessing—the blessing given to the oldest son and attached to the birthright—had already in effect been removed anyway. Perhaps Isaac was trying to give Esau a blessing through the back door to inappropriately reinsert Esau’s heritage after he had despised it. At any rate, old and blind Isaac (27:1) is readily deceived (27:35). He blesses Isaac (27:27-29), has no blessing of primogeniture to give to…

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January 10: God’s Sovereign Blessing

January 10, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 25-26; Psalm 10; Matthew 5:1-12; Acts 6 Genesis 25-26: The chapter in Abraham’s earthly sojourn has come to an end (25:7-11). Beforehand, he married again, and was careful to ensure that Isaac, the seed of the promise of God, was protected against rivalries from other children by his later marriage (25:1-6). Next we come to the story of Isaac. Rebekah is barren, and Isaac asks God to intervene for his wife, and God does (25:21), and she is pregnant with twins. These twins are jostling, wrestling as it were, even in her womb; and she asks God why, given that the children are clearly an answer to prayer, should they apparently already be in trouble (25:22). God answers that there are “two nations” in her womb, this conflict and competition that is already apparent will, as God prophecies, become more marked through the lives…

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January 9: From One Generation to the Next

January 09, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 24; Psalm 9; Matthew 4:18-25; Acts 5:17-42 Genesis 24: A beautiful story, but what are we to learn from it? Abraham makes his servant promise to find a wife for his son from a member of his own tribe and clan (24:1-9). Immediately, we sense the significance with which Abraham attaches to keeping the promises of God going from generation to generation. In the New Testament Paul tells the Corinthians that they are free to marry whomever they wish as long as she/he is “in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:39). A union with an unbeliever can certainly be redeemed by the Lord---God is gracious and merciful---but it is not to be planned; instead, we are to seek to find someone who is a good fit and who is a fellow passionate seeker after God, a real regenerate Christian. The story unfolds in dramatic…

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January 8: A City Still to Come

January 08, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 21-23; Psalm 8; Matthew 4:12-17; Acts 5:1-16 Genesis 21-23: Finally, Isaac comes, and his name meaning laughter is apparent in the laughter that was given to Sarah at his birth, having borne Abraham a son in their old age (21:1-7). The son of Hagar (Abraham’s concubine) also later laughs, mocking Isaac (21:9). This is salt to Sarah’s wound, and she demands that Hagar and her son be put away (21:10). Abraham is not pleased (21:11), but at the intervention of God who promises to bless his son by Hagar, he does as he wife wishes (21:12-14). Hagar is desolate. In a moment of extraordinary pathos, she leaves her son to die in the wilderness, and cannot look upon him as he dies and so goes a bowshot away to mourn in utter defeat (21:14-16). God again intervenes, rescues this little family, and begins…

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January 7: Out of Darkness, Light

January 07, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 18-20; Psalm 7; Matthew 4:1-11; Acts 4:23-37 Genesis 18-20: Mystery and tragedy—so much about these chapters is wreathed with profundity that is hard to penetrate, and at the same time is filled with tragic elements of divine judgment. Who are these “three men” who come to see Abraham (18:1-8)? We later learn that only two of them went to Sodom to see if there were really any righteous people in the city left at all, and One before whom we are told Abraham stood and pleaded for the life of the people of Sodom (18:16-19:1). It seems a divine theophany, an appearance of the LORD in the Old Testament, a pre-incarnate Jesus, we can say from the perspective of the New Testament. At any rate, clothed in mystery as elements of the story are, the lessons of it are far less obscure. Abraham’s…

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Sermon Video: Why We Should All Read the Whole Bible in One Year

January 06, 2016:

Below, on January 3, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on "Why We Should All Read the Whole Bible in One Year" as part of a sermon series on "Biblical Answers to Life's Big Questions." Taken from Joshua 1:1-9, this message explains the gospel connection between reading the Bible, courage, and true success, so that we are not just left with "how" to read our Bibles, but "why." The "God Centered Bible" is a new daily devotional written by Josh Moody to go along with a plan to read the Bible in a year. You can sign up here to receive that devotional directly to your inbox.

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January 6: By Faith

January 06, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 15-17; Psalm 6; Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 4:1-22 Genesis 15-17: If the beginning of Genesis 12 was significant for understanding the basic structure and message of the Bible, these chapters are every bit as much so again. First, we come across God teaching Abram about his covenant (15:1-21). It is thought that “covenant” in the ancient world had at its heart the idea of “cutting a covenant.” And indeed, God gives Abram a covenant, a kind of deal, but a deal which rests all upon God’s faithfulness. Two parts of animals (15:10), through which God himself passes (his presence symbolized by fire, 15:17), meaning that he himself, his life and death, is at stake with keeping that covenant. This was not fulfilled until God in Christ took the cost of bearing the broken covenant on himself in his pierced hands and feet on the…

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January 5: Blessed for the Purpose of Blessing

January 05, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 12-14; Psalm 5; Matthew 3:1-12; Acts 3 Genesis 12-14: God “had said to Abram” (12:1), and so “Abram went” (12:4). Abram’s obedience to God’s call sets in motion a whole stream of events whose promise is fulfilled in Christ and the gospel going to all nations. The first few verses of Genesis 12 are in many ways the most important verses in the Bible. Study them hard. Think about them. Most particularly, notice even then the universal, worldwide nature of God’s intended blessing to all nations through the blessing of Abram. Abram worships God, he builds an altar to God (12:7), he is a man who trusts God’s word and goes though he does not know where or how the promise will be fulfilled. His faith is extraordinary. But Abram is not perfect. His ruse to protect his wife, and more to the…

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January 4: Scattering and Finding

January 04, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 9-11; Psalm 4; Matthew 2:13-23; Acts 2:22-47 Genesis 9-11: God makes a covenant with Noah (9:8-17) and gives him a sign of this covenant, a rainbow in the sky, invested with meaning and significance that God will not again drown the world through a flood, that his judgment will not come that way again, and that through the line of Noah there is to come the promised fulfillment of redemption. As the story continues (9:18-29), the relative poverty of the line of Canaan (the “Canaanites” who will be a thorn in the side of Israel when they enter the Promised Land) is explained through an action that itself requires some explanation. What exactly was it that Ham did? We are told he saw his father’s nakedness (Noah showing that he is not the perfect redeemer by getting so blind drunk he collapses in his…

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January 3: Hope in Midst of Judgment

January 03, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 5-8; Psalm 3; Matthew 2:1-12; Acts 2:1-21 Genesis 5-8: We come now to the first of the well-known genealogies in the Bible (Gen. 5)---though actually it is not the first, that account being in Genesis 2 of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 2:4-7), which should immediately give us an important clue about these genealogies in the Bible. They are not family trees, a non-interpretative list of direct linear descendants. They are more like a storyboard for a movie, a selection of stories of particular characters, written with a particular intention to give a message. Words in English like “son of,” which always means immediate direct descent, can in the Bible mean a great distance between one and the other (Jesus, “the son of” David!). The genealogies also allow for matters like Levirate marriages. When you read a genealogy, then, you have to…

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