Devotionals

  • March 26-31, 2018

    By Josh Moody

    In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” March 26-31 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month. With this in mind, God Centered Bible will not have a devotional for March 26-31, but will pick back up on April 1, 2018. We welcome your comments also during these days with insights you’ve found during the first 25 days.

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    March 25, 2018: Old and Attacked

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 33-34, Psalm 71, Matthew 28:11-20, Romans 16  Psalm 71: When you are attacked as a young man or woman, you have certain advantages. To begin with, you are strong. You fear less the actual physical attack, or the hidden insinuated physical attack, that lies behind the words of slander or accusation. Plus, as a young person you have more emotional reserves. True, you do not have the experience to know that a particular way of acting is likely to lead to a particular kind of result; you have less experience because you have lived less long. But you do have a greater ability to bounce back. You are less plagued by sleeplessness. You can work out you anger with physical exercise, going for a run or playing some anaerobic sport or other. Yet most of all, a young person when under attack has the advantage of time. If this battle…

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    March 24, 2018: Haste!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 32, Psalm 70, Matthew 28:1-10, Romans 15:14-33 Psalm 70: Jesus teaches us that we should always pray and not give up. And it is the experience of many a godly man and woman that prayer is to be persevered in, not merely played with. And yet, it is also a worthy desire to ask God to answer your prayers speedily. Such is this prayer here in this psalm. David is asking that God move quickly or hastily: “Make haste O God” (70:1); “make haste to help me” (70:1); “hasten to me, O God” (70:5); “O Lord, do not delay” (70:5). Is there something on your mind this morning that requires not only God’s intervention but his speedy intervention? If so, take courage in both hands, and in the name of Christ and with the boldness that can only come through his grace fulfilled in Christ’s redemptive blood, ask God to…

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    March 23, 2018: For the Lord Hears

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 29-31, Psalm 69:19-36, Matthew 27:57-66, Romans 15:1-13Psalm 69:19-36:This second section of the psalm continues its focus upon “salvation” (see verses 29 and 35). It begins with a mournful plea to God: “You know my reproach.” Take comfort if you are in difficulties that God knows. Your pain is not hidden from him; your sorrows are not invisible to him. He knows. And he cares!But the most striking part of this second section of Psalm 69 is no doubt the middle portion from verses 22 to 30. What are we to make of it? David says, “Let their own table before them become a snare.”That itself is not too hard to swallow, perhaps. David is asking that the moral order of the universe would be upheld by God. We would rather David had prayed for his enemies for them to be saved. We would rather he had loved his enemies. But this part…

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    March 22, 2018: Save Me, O God!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 27-28, Psalm 69:1-18, Matthew 27:45-56, Romans 14Psalm 69:1-18:David is asking to be “saved” (69:1, 13, 35; cf. 69:18). This is the theme throughout this psalm: salvation. But salvation from what and by whom? It’s one thing to know that you are in trouble and you need help. It is another thing to get the help that you need. Perhaps you are in a situation where you are longing for some sort of solution to the problems you face. But where is that help going to come from? What steps do you need to take to secure that help? Where will the help come from? David dramatically and passionately turns to God to be saved. “Save me, O God!” He “sinks in deep mire”; he has come into “deep waters.” His eyes “grow dim.” Why? What is going on? He has people who “hate him without cause.” In fact, his enemies…

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    March 21, 2018: Ascribe Power to God!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 22-26, Psalm 68, Matthew 27:27-44, Romans 13 Psalm 68: When you think of God, what comes into your mind? A.W. Tozer once said that the the answer to that question is the most important thing to know about yourself or anyone else. For many people today, when they think of God, the immediate word association is “love.” That is not surprising or wrong, for after all, God is a God of love. Other people—those who are not Christians—when they think of God might think “myth” or “fairytale.” What is unlikely to be thought of God by many today is the word that represents the theme of this psalm. Namely, “power.” “Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us…” (68:28) “Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies…” (68:34) “The God of Israel –…

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    5 Ways to Have a Healthy Church

    By Josh Moody

    A healthy church, like beauty, is not only in “the eye of the beholder.” There are certain patterns of practical behavior that will gradually lead to a healthier church. Here are five ways to have a healthy church. #1 Healthy Preaching We are what we eat, and churches become what they are fed. Feed them junk food: they will gradually become junkier. Feed them Christ by his Word: they will gradually become more like Christ. “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word…” (2 Timothy 4:1-2). #2 Healthy Praying Polluted air leads to polluted bodies, and if the air we breathe spiritually is not filled with prayer, it will become filled with other things: complaints, grumbling, worldly agendas. A praying church is, all other things being equal,…

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    March 20, 2018: That Your Way May Be Known!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 18-21, Psalm 67, Matthew 27:11-26, Romans 12:9-21 Psalm 67: The psalm begins with a reflection on the famous Aaronic blessing that God commanded the priests to bless his people with (Numbers 6:22-27). But now this psalm is interpreted in a missionary context. This blessing is “that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations” (67:2). The blessing of God, then, is for the salvation of people. Is that how we think of our blessings? Is that how we think of what it means to ask God to bless us and make his face to shine upon us? God blesses us that we might be a vehicle of evangelism, mission, and blessing to all the nations. What is more, this blessing is for the joy of all nations. “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy” (67:4). Too often do we interpret God-centeredness with moroseness,…

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    March 19, 2018: Shout for Joy

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 13-17, Psalm 66, Matthew 27:1-10, Romans 12:1-8 Psalm 66: Moderate praise is not what is called for—but a “shout for joy to God”! (66:1) The psalmist is writing about a God who generates this kind of exuberance, voluminous, joyful praise! The reason? “How awesome are your deeds!” (66:3). The God of the Bible is not a passive idol. He is not a mere projection of our imagination. He acts, and he acts with awesome power. “So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.” But what in particular are these “awesome deeds” of which the psalmist speaks? “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds … He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot” (66:5-6). The psalmist is remembering the crossing of the Red Sea. He is remembering God’s awesome power in salvation. God’s people are…

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    March 18, 2018: A Joyful Expanse of Praise

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 9-12, Psalm 65, Matthew 26:57-75, Romans 11:25-38 Psalm 65: Why praise God? Christians often take it for granted that everyone understands that God is worthy of praise. But non-Christians frequently think that for God to demand praise of his creatures suggests he is insecure if not egocentric. Perhaps Christians, too, from time to time, also wonder the same—if less loudly and less publicly. Why should we praise God? David here gives us three reasons why “praise is due” to God (65:1). First, it is because of his gracious salvation. “When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions” (65:3). What a great reason and motivation for us to praise God! Yes, we are sinners. Yes, our sins “prevail against” us; they enslave us, trouble us, and—if unforgiven—ultimately damn us. But God has found a way to “atone” for our transgressions! Surely this means we should praise God. Surely the…

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