Devotionals

  • April 3, 2017: The Fame of the Name

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Joshua 6-7, Psalm 74, Mark 1:21-34, 1 Corinthians 2 Mark 1:21-34: Jesus’ ministry is marked by a particular distinctive, “authority.” This authority is expressed in his not teaching like “the scribes” (1:22). Whereas the scribes cited human authorities and utilized human tradition in support of their opinions, and generally footnoted their assertions with the typical perambulations necessary for most acceptable religious discourse, Jesus preached differently. His message came with authority. This authority was unique to him. Only Jesus, the God-Man, could teach as a man but also with the authority of God. None other, however great the preacher, can so teach as this Man taught, for the Man who taught was not merely a man. That said, the “authority” of Jesus’ teaching is to a lesser degree a model for true preachers today. Those who are called to preach are called to preach God’s Word, to determine that message from…

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    April 2, 2017: Follow Christ

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Joshua 3-5, Psalm 73, Mark 1:9-20, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Mark 1:9-20: Jesus’ baptism is accompanied with an extraordinary voice from heaven along with the Spirit descending upon him: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (1:9-11). In Christ, through faith in him, we are beloved and “accepted in the beloved” too (Ephesians 1:6, KJV). It is amazing to hear the word of God given to attest to the identity of Christ. All true Christians have the assurance available to them that they are, in Christ, also “accepted” in Christ the “beloved.” Dwell in this thought today. You are not alienated; you are accepted. You are not hated, diminished, or dismissed; you are loved. After the baptism, after the spiritual “high,” comes the temptation (1:12-13). Jesus is fulfilling all that is necessary so that in life, as in death, he might be the full and complete perfect…

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    April 1, 2017: Mightier

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Joshua 1-2, Psalm 72, Mark 1:1-8, 1 Corinthians 1:1-17 Mark 1:1-8: Mark’s Gospel begins with a bang, not a whimper, and carries on at a fast pace through all of its pages. This gospel that is announced comes immediately with power and great energy. We can almost feel the passion of the apostle Peter preaching as we read. Do we have that sense of urgency? Does the “beginning” of the gospel get us up each morning with a mission and a zeal to go about preaching that gospel to others—and living it ourselves? The quotation is from Malachi as well as Isaiah. This is not because Mark does not know what he is doing. We can be sure he knew the Scriptures better than most of us. No, he follows the custom of either quoting the more famous prophet as the citation for both, or as the interpretation of the more…

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    March 26-31, 2017

    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, 2017. 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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    March 25, 2017: The Great Commission

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 33-34, Psalm 71, Matthew 28:11-20, Romans 16 Matthew 28:11-20: The famous Great Commission is preceded by an explanation for one of the common attempts to explain away the resurrection. “The guards fell asleep.” The guards were paid to tell this story. What kind of blindness—or fear—is it that will bribe someone to hide the truth of a Savior King come to rescue you? Such sinners are we, and so in need of a savior. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. When the disciples see Jesus, they worship him—but some doubted (28:17). Even in the midst of worship, doubt can creep in among some. Jesus knows our frailty, and while we doubt, he still speaks, and hearing ears can receive his authoritative commission. If someone doubts at seeing Jesus, their doubts are often removed when they hear Jesus speak his word. The preaching…

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    March 24, 2017: Fear and Great Joy

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 32, Psalm 70, Matthew 28:1-10, Romans 15:14-33 Matthew 28:1-10: Miracle of miracles, the resurrection. Many people have protested that we cannot possibly believe that Jesus came back from the dead. Sophisticated apologetics have been put together that make the case that however many eyewitnesses there are for Christ’s resurrection, such eyewitness account is insufficient—in the same way that ten or a thousand eyewitnesses that said that a man jumped off a building but did not fall and floated up again would strain credulity. Surely there must be some other rational explanation? Surely, they say, the rational alternative is that Jesus did not die. Or the disciples took the body. Or the soldiers did. Or the women were mistaken. But if we argue that no miracle can be proven, however much proof there is for it, we are really making a philosophical (not evidential) case against the resurrection. We are…

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    March 23, 2017: Dead and Buried

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 29-31, Psalm 69:19-36, Matthew 27:57-66, Romans 15:1-13 Matthew 27:57-66: Here we see first how a rich man expresses his commitment to Christ. If anyone thinks that you cannot be rich and follow Jesus, here is Joseph of Arimathea, a “rich man” (27:57), and “also a disciple of Jesus.” He uses his influence to gain an audience with the governor Pilate. He asks for the body of Jesus. He then expresses his devotion by giving Jesus a proper burial according to the customs of that time and place. The two Marys are there, sitting opposite the tomb. There are witnesses, and Jesus is dead and buried. In order to emphasize how extraordinary this resurrection of Jesus to come is, how miraculous and supernatural, the Pharisees do everything they can to prevent it. They arrange for a guard of soldiers to be stationed outside of the tomb. Everything is secure. He…

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    March 22, 2017: Truly Son of God

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 27-28, Psalm 69:1-18, Matthew 27:45-56, Romans 14 Matthew 27:45-56: Ne’er was love like this. The very land itself mourns: darkness hangs over the earth. Jesus cries out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” (27:46). Misunderstood ‘til the end, some think he is calling Elijah (“Eli, Eli, Lema, sabachthani”) (27:47). Jesus cried out again with a louder voice and then died (27:50). What happened next could surely never be forgotten. First of all, the temple curtain is torn in two, from top to bottom (27:51). A divine hand reaches down and rips the barrier that kept sinners out of the holy of holies. Now through Christ’s death and faith in him, the way was clear for us to have access to the very presence of God! The very earth shook, rocks split (27:51). The cosmos reeled as its Creator God incarnate suffered and…

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    March 21, 2017: Christ Crucified

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 22-26, Psalm 68, Matthew 27:27-44, Romans 13 Matthew 27:27-44: Being reviled and treated as nothing is hard enough without excruciating pain thrown in too—but add to that the anguish of bearing the sins of the world. The moral curse that was ours is to be borne by him. The biblical account is sparing in its description of the physical horrors of the cross. There are descriptions of the physical brutality, but the drawing is drawn faintly (not as in a horror movie), and it is intended to set the context for the real drama, which is that Jesus is dying for those who mock him, sinners such as these. He is indeed, ironically, “King of the Jews,” and each of these elements is in fulfillment of the prophetic destiny which he has determined to fulfill. He will come down from the cross, he will rise again, and he will…

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    March 20, 2017: Barabbas

    By Josh Moody

    Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 18-21, Psalm 67, Matthew 27:11-26, Romans 12:9-21 Matthew 27:11-26: The crucifixion is getting closer and closer. Jesus gives no answer to the accusations brought against him. The governor was amazed that Jesus gave no answer. Led like a lamb to the slaughter. Pilate’s discomfort at the possible innocence of Jesus is greatly increased by an apparently predictive dream that his wife had which made her urge him to have nothing to do with Jesus, that “righteous man” (27:19). He tries to find a way out of the predicament he found himself in (wanting to appease the Jewish leaders, and at the same time not wanting to kill Jesus). He offers to them the opportunity to have Jesus released (27:17). But instead they choose Barabbas (a notorious criminal, Luke 23:29) (27:20-21). The prince of life they condemn; a murderer they set free. Even at this moment Jesus is showing that…

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