Devotionals

  • September 21, 2018: Get Wisdom!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 54-55, Proverbs 28:15-28, Luke 24:1-12, Hebrews 11:32-40 Proverbs 28:15-28: 15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people. 16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign. These two proverbs extol the virtue of godly and good leadership. It is important to train good leaders and to support good leaders. If you are a leader, nothing matters more than your character. 17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave; let no one hold them back. To have murdered someone is a terrible burden to carry. But for even that there is hope in the One who died that we might not have to: take your burdens to Christ and lay them at the feet of the cross. 18 The one whose way of life is blameless is kept safe, but the…

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    September 20, 2018: Godly Wisdom – The Path to Blessing

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 51-53, Proverbs 28:1-14, Luke 23:50-56, Hebrews 11:17-31 Proverbs 28:1-14: 1 The wicked flee though no one pursues,     but the righteous are as bold as a lion. When you are secure in your relationship with God, then you can be brave in any situation! 2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,     but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.  What are the secrets to effective leadership (even leadership of an organization that is troublesome)? According to this proverb, it comes down to wisdom: “discernment and knowledge.” 3 A ruler who oppresses the poor     is like driving rain that leaves no crops. A Christian in a leadership position has a responsibility to look out for the weak and the marginalized and the poor. Someone who has power and uses that power to oppress the poor has a detrimental effect on the whole organization, and not just the poor: it is…

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    September 19, 2018: More Practical, Biblical Advice

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 49-50, Proverbs 27:15-27, Luke 23:44-49, Hebrews 11:1-16 Proverbs 27:15-27 15 A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping     of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; 16 restraining her is like restraining the wind     or grasping oil with the hand. Such is the challenge of being married to a spouse who is constantly arguing, quarreling, or disputing with you about the various matters of life that will constantly arise in any marriage. What is the solution? It is good to recognize at least that it is hard. Some marriages are easier than others. Some marriages are harder. But we are called to love our wives as Christ loved the church. And the church is at times a quarrelsome bride too! 17 As iron sharpens iron,     so one person sharpens another. The relationships between people can at times be fiery; good relationships allow truth to be spoken. But in the same way that iron sharpens…

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    September 18, 2018: Practical Wisdom!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 46-48, Proverbs 27:1-14, Luke 23:38-43, Hebrews 10:19-39 Proverbs 27:1-14: 1 Do not boast about tomorrow,     for you do not know what a day may bring. Human hubris frequently reaches to the future as part of its domain – and is frequently disappointed by the vanity of such attempts. Outside of God’s Word, we have no knowledge of a moment after this moment. We can look back and say that in the normal course of events this kind of action tends to lead to the next kind of effect. But we do not actually know. And if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that what comes next was not expected by the people before the event. The constant vain attempts to trace “trajectories” of the future are nearly always proven fallacious when the future eventually arises. Instead, as James tells us, we should say “if God wills” such-and-such will happen.…

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    September 17, 2018: Coram Deo – Living in the Presence of God

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 44-45, Proverbs 26:17-28, Luke 23:32-37, Hebrews 10:1-18 Proverbs 26:17-28: 17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own. The implication is clear: don’t rush into mess with someone else’s argument. How can then it also be true that “blessed are the peacemakers”? It is one thing to seek to bring peace, it is another thing to rush into an argument unnecessarily. There are people who seem to enjoy arguing: and when they can’t find an argument of their own, look for another one to get involved with. Don’t be like that! 18 Like a maniac shooting     flaming arrows of death 19 is one who deceives their neighbor     and says, ‘I was only joking!’ “I’m just joking” appears to some to be a way to get away with saying or doing things that are cruel or nasty. How can you disagree when…

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    September 16, 2018: The Fool and the Sluggard!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 42-43, Proverbs 26:1-16, Luke 23:26-31, Hebrews 9:11-28 Proverbs 26:1-16: 1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. Because God is the creator, there is in his creation – though his creation is fallen – still a sense of what is “fitting,” or what seems to reflect the beautiful order of the original intention. Proverbs is full of this kind of wisdom: in most cases, because the world is made be a beautifully ordered creator, like works like this. There are also, therefore, things are not fitting. In this instance: “honor given to a fool.” It is tempting, sometimes, to try to ameliorate a foolish person by honoring them. But that, says proverbs, is not fitting. We should look for what accords with the wisdom of the creator, not what is simply an apparently pragmatic policy. In any case, “buttering up” (or honoring) a…

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    September 15, 2018: Patient Wisdom!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 40-41, Proverbs 25:15-28, Luke 23:13-25, Hebrews 9:1-10 Proverbs 25:15-28: 15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,     and a gentle tongue can break a bone.  Such wise advice! We think of patience as weakness, but really it is strength. How different would our public discourse be if we remembered this lesson: be patient. Think once, twice, thrice before speaking (or blogging). And when you do speak, write gently. Gentleness is also not weakness: a gentle tongue can break a bone! 16 If you find honey, eat just enough –     too much of it, and you will vomit. Good advice for all legitimate pleasures. C. S. Lewis once said that the devil can only spoil pleasures, he cannot create them. And one of the tactics for spoiling them is to tempt us to over-indulge. When you find “honey” (something sweet, good, relaxing, pleasurable), eat just enough, not much. In everything, moderation. Aristotle called it…

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    September 14, 2018: A King’s Proverbs!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 37-39, Proverbs 25:1-14, Luke 23:1-12, Hebrews 8:7-13 Proverbs 25:1-14:   1These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.   2    It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.   3  As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable. While God’s glory is revealed in creation and ultimately in Christ, there is an immeasurable infinity to the nature of God that is beyond our comprehension. As Paul puts it, “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33). Human kings and great leaders, on the other hand, find their glory in looking for, in seeking and searching and finding wisdom: like Solomon in his famous judgment to discern whose…

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    September 13, 2018: More Sayings of the Wise

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 34-36, Proverbs 24:23-34, Luke 22:63-71, Hebrews 8:1-6 Proverbs 24:23-34: 23 These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good: 24 whoever says to the guilty, ‘You are innocent,’ will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. 25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them. Bias in judgment is a cruel and terrible thing. Be careful that we do not act in partisan or tribal ways when we have the responsibility for making decisions about other people’s lives. 26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. We often fear offending people, and certainly we should speak with grace and kindness, but honesty is always the best policy. 27 Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. A principle that applies to more than just building a house.…

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    September 12, 2018: Thirty Sayings of the Wise (#20-30)

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 31-33, Proverbs 24:1-22, Luke 22:54-62, Hebrews 7:11-28 Proverbs 24:1-22: “Thirty sayings of the wise” (#20-30). Saying 20 1 Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; 2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. Sometimes it seems as if those who disobey God end up living the best and most successful lives – it is easy to “envy the wicked.” Why should we not do so? This proverb only gives us one reason: that their hearts plot violence. It is assuming that the reader of this proverb wants to avoid violence and trouble making. If that is the case, then this is a more than sufficient reason to avoid envying those who disobey God and (apparently – though not actually) seem to succeed. Why envy someone who causes violence to other people? Saying 21 3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is…

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