Devotionals

  • July 20, 2018: The Greatness, the Love and the Faithfulness of God!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 20-21, Psalm 145, Luke 11:37-54, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 Psalm 145: What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind you? David here tells how “one generation commends your works to another” (145:4). There is an inevitable overflow of commendation about God to those who are coming behind you when you know God. What is is that David commends about God? First, that God is great. “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom” (145:3). David will “proclaim your great deeds.” There is no one greater than God! Would you speak of the greatness of God and trust him so that the greatness of God is part of your legacy to future generations? Second, that God is loving. “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (145:9). “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of…

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    July 19, 2018: Battle

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 17-19, Psalm 144, Luke 11:29-36, 2 Thessalonians 1 Psalm 144: Life can sometimes feel like a battle. Endless demands. You get up early and work hard. Then there are the children. The bills. The taxes. On and on it goes: you fight for health, you fight to be heard, you fight to get good grades, you fight to do what is right. David was a real warrior in the most literal sense. And yet David knew it was God “who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” (144:1). What has David learned about battling with the Lord on his side, and with God training and equipping him? First, that despite our inadequacy as humans, God still loves his people (144:2-4). We are but a “breath…a fleeting shadow” (144:4). But still, “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer.” So the first lesson…

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    July 18, 2018: Enemies

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 13-16, Psalm 143, Luke 11:14-28, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 Psalm 143: One of the sad realities of life is that we can have enemies. In fact, unless we are so weak-willed that we never stand up for anything right at all, we are almost bound to have enemies at some point in our lives. When you have people who are attacking you, who are your enemies, even for things that you are doing that are right in and of themselves, how is the Christian to respond? Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). But in this psalm, we find the prayer life of a godly man not for his enemies, but for himself as he faces those enemies. There is a unique challenge that a man of God faces when he is surrounded by people who are hell-bent on destroying not…

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    July 17, 2018: In a Cave

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 10-12, Psalm 142, Luke 11:1-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Psalm 142: David lived a life of great trial before he came to inherit the throne that had been given to him by God. Part of that trial was living a life on the run from Saul. This psalm is written “when he was in the cave”—that is either the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22) or the cave of En Gedi (1 Samuel 24). In the latter cave, David had the opportunity to kill his enemy, but did not for fear of touching the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24:6), though he cut off a corner of his robe and felt guilty about even doing that (1 Samuel 24:5). Whether in Adullam or En Gedi, David is writing this psalm in great distress. He is living the life of a bandit on the run. Things were not comfortable. Things were not…

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    July 16, 2018: Safety in the Face of Evil

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 8-9, Psalm 141, Luke 10:38-42, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18 Psalm 141: When we think of “evil” (141:4), we often think of other people—“evildoers” (141:4, 9). There certainly are “other people” in this world who do evil. And we certainly do need to be protected against the doers of evil. It would be naïve in the extreme not to admit that at times this world is a dangerous place, and there are evil people who wish to do evil—and will do so if they are not prevented. But the Bible’s description of evil is not so Cyclops-like in its mono-focal that it ignores the other side of “evil.” Namely, that we ourselves are also tempted to do evil. It is because of ignoring this reality that sometimes people who are most effective at waging against evil in other people, seem themselves to be so captive to their own (often hidden) evil…

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    July 15, 2018: The Lord Secures Justice for the Poor

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 140, Luke 10:25-37, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10 Psalm 140: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” So goes one well-known saying that seems to dismiss evil, nasty, and despicable words as being unable to touch the person who has the right attitude about “mere words.” If only that were the case. Human history, personal experience, and the testimony even of our legal systems (that give rise to cases for defamation and slander) indicate that actually words can very much harm you. The story goes of one Rabbi who had been slandered, being approached by the person who had slandered him asking for forgiveness. The Rabbi took the person to the center of the town and then ripped up hundreds of sheets of paper and let the wind carry them to the corners of the market square and down all the alleys. With…

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    July 14, 2018: Search Me, O God

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 3-5, Psalm 139, Luke 10:17-24, 1 Thessalonians 3:7-13 Psalm 139: There is an imprecatory component to this psalm (verses 19-22; see my comments on the imprecatory psalms here), but otherwise, this psalm is filled with the most wonderful reflections upon the sovereignty of God. Sometimes people are somewhat scared of God’s sovereignty, but when rightly understood and faithfully received, the doctrine of God’s sovereignty is the most beautiful, sweet, and practical of doctrines. Verses 1 to 6 start with the internal world. “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me” (139:1). “Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely” (139:4). “You perceive my thoughts from afar” (139:2). This is indeed an extraordinary series of thoughts. How is it possible? Even David, the great king, therefore says: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (139:6). Though beyond our human…

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    July 13, 2018: Before the “gods”

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 1-2 Psalm 138, Luke 10:1-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-6 Psalm 138: There are many reasons and causes for giving praise to God. Most commonly, we think of the “attributes” of God, or what it is that makes God to be God, such as his love or his holiness or his omniscience or his omnipotence. That, of course, is a good way of bringing ourselves back from the self-orientated insanity of the human condition. We note what it is about God that makes him God, both his unique attributes and the attributes that we have to some small degree (such as “love”), but that he possesses by definition and in his very essence. Such an approach to praise appropriately sees ourselves as we really are, and yet at the same time, from such a humble state, lifts us into the glory of praise of the One who is glorious above all.…

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    July 12, 2018: Imprecation

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 29, Psalm 137, Luke 9:51-62, 1 Thessalonians 2:10-21 Psalm 137: This is perhaps the most infamous of what are called the “imprecatory” psalms—that is, psalms that pray for God’s judgment, sometimes in brutal detail, against sinful people. Why is there this tone in the Psalms? Many answers have been given, including some suggestion (parallel with C.S. Lewis’ in his reflections on the Psalms) that the tone and style of these psalms indicated a spirituality that was perhaps not worthy of New Testament Christianity. Two preliminary, if brief, points need to be made. First, the Psalms have what you might call a “therapeutic” function. That is, they are what a commentator called “psalmno-therapy.” They are designed to allow the disciple, in the security of his covenant relationship with God, to let God know how he really feels. Whether those feelings are legitimate, worthy, ideal, or not is often unclear in…

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    July 11, 2018: His Love Endures Forever

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 26-28, Psalm 136, Luke 9:37-50, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9 Psalm 136: If one of the first rules of interpretation is to look for repetition to be able to discern the main theme of a text, then the main theme of this text is pretty clear! “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever” (136:1). Clearly, this psalm is intended to teach us that God’s love endures forever, and because of that, therefore, to give thanks to God. That said, under that overall theme, there are particular subsections here regarding ways we can see that God’s love endures forever—and that therefore, separately as well as jointly, fuels our giving thanks to God. The first is who God is in his essence (136:1-3). God, in his own nature, is good. He is the God of gods, and the Lord of lords. That is, God, in his own…

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