Devotionals

  • March 6, 2018: Pray for Atheists

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 12-14, Psalm 53, Matthew 23:1-12, Romans 5:1-11 Psalm 53: Once again, the Psalms sing to us the hymn to an atheist. Why is it repeated? (See Psalm 14). In the end, we do not know. But it is possible that God in his sovereignty is emphasizing the importance of the message of this psalm by ensuring it is repeated in the Psalms book! And what is that message? “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (53:1). It is the ultimate irony for someone to use speech (a marker of our non-merely material status) and thought (another marker of our non-merely material basis) to deny the existence of a Creator. How ironic it is for the atheist to use self-talk—“says in his heart”—to deny the existence of that to which his self-talk itself witnesses! While the fool says in his heart, God “looks down” (53:2). See the unfathomable…

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    March 5, 2018: O Deceitful Tongue

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 9-11, Psalm 52, Matthew 22:34-46, Romans 4 Psalm 52: The story that apparently gave rise to this psalm is a terrifying one. Doeg betrayed the priests for helping David escape from Saul. Later he was asked by Saul to put the priests to death. He killed eighty-five people in one day. “And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant…” (1 Samuel 22:19). All of this, David discerns, came about through the tongue. “Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? … Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit” (52:1-2). It reminds us of the Book of James: “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” (James 3:5). Have you been wounded by other people’s…

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    March 4, 2018: Confession

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 7-8, Psalm 51, Matthew 22:15-33, Romans 3 Psalm 51: The most famous of all the penitential Psalms, Psalm 51 is of perennial brilliance. It comes out of the fire of the personal experience of David and his sin of adultery and of murder. The prophet Nathan had confronted him and now David confessed his sin. Perhaps there is guilt that is stirring your conscience? There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). He who says he has no sin deceives himself, and the truth is not  some him (1 John 1:8). But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Would you use this Psalm 51 as your confession this morning? Note how David appeals to God to have mercy on him.…

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    March 3, 2018: He Does Not Keep Silence!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 5-6, Psalm 50, Matthew 22:1-14, Romans 2 Psalm 50: Have you ever thought that God is silent? You can’t hear him or know what it is that he is saying? Perhaps you have a problem for which you are looking for an answer. Or perhaps you are longing to know what God is saying to you about your future. In this psalm, we meet the God who is not silent! He speaks in creation. He “speaks and summons the earth” (50:1). In nature, “God shines forth” (50:2). It is true that not everyone acknowledges that nature speaks of God (or rather nature is God speaking), but that is because they are spiritually deaf! For those with ears to hear, the natural world sings loudly of the glory of God! He does not “keep silence” (50:3). In “fire” and in a “tempest,” “he calls to the heavens above” (50:3-4). The “heavens…

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    March 2, 2018: Hear This, All Peoples!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 3-4, Psalm 49, Matthew 21:33-46, Romans 1:18-32 Psalm 49: “Hear this, all peoples!” (49:1). What is about to follow is very important. Will you listen? The psalmist wants to make sure that we hear this, pay attention to it, and give it our full attention. “Hear this, all peoples!” It is so easy to be distracted, and to only give passing attention to the Bible. Our minds quickly go to what we have just read on a blog or what duties the day holds or what may be the challenges that we are facing. But the psalmist wants us to make a special effort to pay attention. What are are we to hear? It begins with a question, “Why should I fear in times of trouble?” (49:5). It is so easy to worry or be scared when things go wrong. Especially when those who “cheat” seem to be doing so…

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    March 1, 2018: The City of God

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 1-2, Psalm 48, Matthew 21:23-32, Romans 1:1-17 Psalm 48: Today it is not uncommon to think that the institution of the church is unappealing. People may be in favor of Jesus, but they are less enamored by Jesus’ church. But in the Bible the connection between God and the corporate identity of God’s people—the city of Jerusalem, the temple, the church—is always close. But why? Have you ever felt disappointed by church or unable to connect to church? This psalm will help. It starts with a strong affirmation of God’s greatness: “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.” But this affirmation is immediately associated with the corporate identity of God’s people. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised “in the city of our God.” The praise and greatness of God is seen nowhere more truly than in the love that he has for his people, as…

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    February 26-28, 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." February 26-28 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 February 26-28, but will pick back up on March 1, 2018. We welcome your comments also during these days with insights you've found during the first 25 days. To receive God Centered Bible devotionals directly in your inbox, sign up here.

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    February 25, 2018: He Is Highly Exalted!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 26-27, Psalm 47, Matthew 21:12-22, Acts 28:17-31 Psalm 47: Songs of praise have a way of entering into our bones with the marrow of joy. None better than this Psalm: “Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!” Note that there is nothing wrong with exuberance in worship. While when we gather to worship with other believers, it is unkind, unthoughtful, and inconsiderate to act in a way that distracts other people—and plain wrong to act in a way that detracts from the focus of attention being on God—such reverence, essential for all worship, is not akin to boredom or lack of passion and feeling, much less lack of excitement! We are urged here to “clap” in praise to God. All peoples: clap your hands in praise! And what is more, we are urged here to “shout” in praise to God. Our songs are to…

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    February 24, 2018: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 24-25, Psalm 46, Matthew 21:1-11, Acts 28:1-16 Psalm 46: This great psalm, made more latterly famous by Martin Luther’s famous A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, throbs with confidence. “God is our refuge and strength … therefore we will not fear” (46:1-2). There are many reasons to fear in this world. We live particularly these days in a time of fear, even of terror. “The nations rage” (46:6). There are wars and rumors of wars. There are stories of terrible atrocities. There are shootings. There are beheadings. There is enough to keep a sane man awake at night and cause a rational human being to tremble. Life has always had its insecurities. Nature itself is far from the idyllic picture that some naturalists want to make us believe: it is, as the poet put it, “red in tooth and claw.” Or as one comedian said, when he saw nature, he…

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    February 23, 2018: Rejoice with Gladness

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 21-23, Psalm 45, Matthew 20:17-34, Acts 27:27-44 Psalm 45: This psalm is apparently a “love song” (as the ascription puts it) and also written as “verses to the king” (45:1). At one level, the psalm ascribes to the king that he is the “most handsome of the sons of men” (45:2). It tells us that the princess, who is about to marry, is “all glorious…in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold” (45:13). It celebrates the progeny of the couple who will be “princes in all the earth” (45:16). It is then a love song and also a song about the victorious power of the king, that in his “majesty [he would] ride out victoriously,” that he is valiant truth, or “for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness” (45:4). The psalm then, at this level, encourages us to celebrate good authority. We find it very strange to think…

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