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December 20: Worshipful Joy!

December 20, 2015:

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. Matthew 2:9-12: After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,…

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Tribute to I. Howard Marshall (1934-2015)

December 19, 2015:

[caption id="attachment_3177" align="alignleft" width="152"] Dr. I. Howard Marshall[/caption] Dr. Jon Laansma, Associate Professor of Ancient Languages and New Testament at Wheaton College, joins us today with an appreciation for the life of Dr. I. Howard Marshall who passed away on December 12, 2015. Dr. Laansma studied under Dr. Marshall at the University of Aberdeen. Rev. Prof. Ian Howard Marshall studied at Cambridge University (BA) and the University of Aberdeen (MA, BD, PhD). He taught in the field of New Testament studies at the University of Aberdeen from 1964 to 1999. After retiring he carried on as Honorary Research Professor. He published major works on Luke-Acts, the Letters to Timothy and Titus, and New Testament Theology, among many other things. In the week since his passing several tributes have been written: Ray Van Neste, Steve Walton, Darrell Bock, Michael Bird, Stanley Porter, and others (Eerdmans, Tyndale House, Christianity Today [the last mistakenly…

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December 19: True Joy!

December 19, 2015:

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. Matthew 2:7-8: Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” In the Bible, Herod comes across as a real piece of work. Likewise, the historical accounts of his behavior are not favorable to his reputation – redeemable as we all are by grace if God wills. Herod acts with suitable…

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December 18: Disturbing Joy!

December 18, 2015:

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. Matthew 2:3-6: When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,     are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler     who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Naturally enough, Herod is disturbed.…

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Advent Sermon: Awesome Christmas

December 17, 2015:

Below, on December 13, 2015, Josh Moody preached the second of four Advent messages. This one is from Mark 1:1-8 entitled “Awesome Christmas” from the Advent series, “It’s a Wonderful Christmas.” The theme of this sermon is "The gospel message begins in the wilderness." Discussion questions about the sermon can be found here.

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December 17: Wise Joy!

December 17, 2015:

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. Matthew 2:1-2: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” The visit of the Magi, or the wise men, or the kings from the Orient, is one of the most well-known, best-loved, and at the same time least understood portions of the famous Christmas story. Who were the Magi? What does their…

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December 16: Immediate Joy!

December 16, 2015:

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 2:36-38: There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. As if the drama of the moment, Jesus’ first…

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December 15: Decisive Joy!

December 15, 2015:

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 2:33-35: The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” The astonishing words of Simeon (Luke 2:30-32), calling Jesus “salvation” and the “light” for the nations and the “glory” of Israel, understandably left Joseph and…

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December 14: Mature Joy!

December 14, 2015:

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 2:25-32: Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:…

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December 13: Obedient Joy!

December 13, 2015:

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 2:21-24: On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),  and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the…

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