Devotionals

  • August 3: Tactics of Defense

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Ezra 4-5, Proverbs 3, Luke 13:22-35, 1 Timothy 2 Ezra 4-5: A great work is underway, and as usual opposition comes. Consider the cunning of the opposition and its very real threat to the rebuilding project: First, they attempt to infiltrate the ranks of the true followers of God (4:2) and so dilute their faith and compromise their efforts from the inside out. We should always want to include those who do not yet know Jesus and allow, indeed invite, them together with us to explore the Bible. But you cannot unite in the work of God until you are committed to the person of God. It would be counterproductive to have people who do not follow God be involved in the leadership of the church or a Christian organization, or be the messengers of a message which they do not believe. Second, they spread words of discouragement…

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    August 2: Joy and Tears

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Ezra 3, Proverbs 2, Luke 13:10-21, 1 Timothy 1:12-21 Ezra 3: This chapter records how the Israelites first rebuilt the altar and then began the work of rebuilding the temple. What caused them to begin this great work, and what was the effect of their faithfulness? They began because “fear was on them because of the peoples of the lands” (v. 3). Their “fear” was first a fear of God, and then also a desire to witness to the peoples around them. They fearfully wished to reestablish God’s honor in their midst. Fearing God and Christ’s love can both compel us to witness to those around (2 Corinthians 5:14). They began because they were obedient to the stipulations of God’s Word. They did “as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God” (v. 2). When we are diligent in our study of the…

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    August 1: God’s Purposes Cannot Be Thwarted

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Ezra 1-2, Proverbs 1, Luke 13:1-9, 1 Timothy 1:1-11 Ezra 1-2: As prophesied by Jeremiah, according to God’s word, the people return from exile. God uses Cyrus, whom Isaiah calls God’s “shepherd.” Though he does not “know God,” he will still be used by God to glorify God. The rest of these two chapters unfold as they tell the story of this wave of God’s people returning from exile and set up the context for the story of Ezra. Consider, then, the remarkable sovereignty of God. Cyrus is used by God to accomplish his purposes even though he does not have a personal relationship with God, or know God himself at all. Do we think that God’s power is limited by the spiritual commitment of our political overmasters? Certainly, democracy and the freedom to vote put us in a different position—one of greater responsibility—than that exiled people under…

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    July 26-31, 2016

    By Josh Moody

    In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” July 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 July 26-31, but will pick back up on August 1, 2016, with Ezra 1. 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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    July 25: With God, Failure Is Never the End of the Story

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36, Psalm 150, Luke 12:49-59, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-18 2 Chronicles 34-36: The story finally ends on a note of strange hope—Cyrus proclaiming the rebuilding of the temple (36:22-23). But in the meantime, we must wade through the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of further kings. Josiah was a good king (34:2). He started young: a mere eight years old (34:1). Let us not think that the young can do nothing for God. Out of the mouths of babes comes truth on occasion, and an eight-year-old can witness to God as well as any of us, sometimes better than the rest of us. Josiah “purged” Judah and Jerusalem of idolatry (34:3), and then began to repair the temple (34:8). In the midst of the repairs, a book is discovered (34:14-15). Think how degraded the worship of God was when The Book, the Word…

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    July 24: The Consequences of Ruler-ship, for Good or Ill

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 30-33, Psalm 149, Luke 12:38-48, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 2 Chronicles 30-33: By the end of these chapters we feel like asking, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13). But to begin with, we read more of the good king Hezekiah. He institutes a Passover feast (2 Chron. 30). He sends letters throughout the country calling on God’s people to repent and celebrate the Passover (30:1). Some laugh at his proclamation, but many come to the feast (30:10-13). The worship of God is put in order, with provision made for the priests so they could perform their duties, and “there was great joy in Jerusalem” (30:26). Let us gather together in rejoicing as we come before God, humbly, with repentance, finding him to be the delight of our lives and the joy of all nations. Then comes the infamous invasion of Sennacherib (32:1). Hezekiah and the prophet…

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    July 23: Two Kings

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 28-29, Psalm 148, Luke 12:22-34, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 2 Chronicles 28-29: Ahaz, at a mere twenty years of age, begins his reign, but it starts badly and continues worse (28:1). He did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD. In fact, he deliberately pursues idolatry in an extreme form: he fashions idols of Baal out of a more permanent metal, and burns his sons as an offering (28:2-3). The human sacrifice, which had caused the land to vomit up its previous inhabitants, had returned under the leadership of a king of God’s people. Heinous—and it would come with God’s wrath as a result. Judah is defeated (28:5). King Ahaz sends to Assyria for help (28:16). But the king of Assyria afflicts him instead of strengthening him (28:20). God is set against Judah. And then, in this time of distress, Ahaz becomes…

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    July 22: Doing What Is Right Before the Lord

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 25-27, Psalm 147, Luke 12:13-21, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 2 Chronicles 25-27: More of the same lesson—he who honors God, God will honor—and it begins with Amaziah who did what was right before the Lord but not with a whole heart (25:2). He held something back from total commitment to God and suffered the consequences of his wavering resolve. He listens to a “man of God” and avoids fighting on the same side as Israel (25:7), and so wins a great victory with God’s power (25:11-12). But then having defeated the enemy, he brings back with him the very false gods which they had been worshipping as pagan idols and which had so obviously proved to be vanity (25:14). He then goes up to attempt to defeat Israel, presumably confident that as he had won a battle without them, he was stronger than they were, and…

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    July 21: Whom Do You Copy?

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 22-24, Psalm 146, Luke 12:1-12, 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12 2 Chronicles 22-24: In these chapters we learn of the importance of influence—mentors, forebears, examples, models. Ahaziah was made king, but he copied the ways of his mother and of the counselors who encouraged him to follow the ways of Ahab (22:3-5)—that is doing evil and not following the Lord. It is easy to think those who are older are necessarily wiser, that a teacher or a professor or (God forbid) a pastor must be speaking wisely when in fact they speak evil. Be careful whom you choose as your counselor or your model, the person you will emulate. Perhaps no choice is more important after the simple choice to follow God. We tend to do what we see even more than what we hear—especially if the words spoken are uttered by someone who is relationally near…

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    July 20: Two Ways to Live

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 20-21, Psalm 145, Luke 11:37-54, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 2 Chronicles 20-21: Jehoshaphat continues to show his godly wisdom. When faced with insurmountable problems (20:1-2) and naturally afraid, he “set his face to seek the LORD” (20:3). When we come across circumstances, enemies, situations or problems that we cannot solve or seem to rise above, our first recourse is to seek God. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast (20:3). This seeking of God was not merely to be his individual seeking, but a general calling upon God which he led the people to do. They together sought and cried out to God for rescue. Jehoshaphat’s prayer is recorded for us (20:5-12)—and it is well that it is. He appeals to God’s power (20:6), his covenant promise (20:7), and his honor (20:9). Then he lays the case straightforwardly before God (not thinking that he will be heard for his…

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