Devotionals

  • May 4, 2018: Sing!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 9-10, Psalm 98, Mark 10:35-52, 2 Corinthians 3 Psalm 98: Once more the psalmist calls us to sing in joy to God! We are to sing a “new song.” It is easy to begin to go through life with furrowed brow and hunched back, looking down at your feet and smiling with the corners of your mouth turned down! Such ravens of religion, squawking their disaffection in melancholy tones, do nothing to commend the God they serve. Christians are to be joyful people, singing people. We all have times when we do not feel happy, and sadness, even depression, is an experience that is commensurate with genuine Christian faith. Christ was a man of sorrows himself. But the Christian is to sing! How strange it is to gather together in worship and for there to be no singing, or for the people not to sing at all. We…

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    May 3, 2018: God’s Authority

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 6-8, Psalm 97, Mark 10:17-34, 2 Corinthians 2 Psalm 97: In today’s culture, authority is often seen as something to resist. We assume that the word “authority” carries with it connotations of dictatorship, naked power, illegitimate control, even abuse. But the Bible looks at authority quite differently. Certainly there can be abuses of power and authority. But authority itself is not always bad. In fact, the nature of authority is set up by God, and God’s authority is always good. The original lie in the Garden of Eden was that obeying God was bad for you. And the gospel of Christ sets us free from sin by setting up Christ on the throne of our hearts, that his gospel might gradually permeate every corner of our existence and transform us more and more into his likeness. This psalm celebrates the “reign” of God. “The Lord reigns, let the earth…

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    May 2, 2018: New Song

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 3-5, Psalm 96, Mark 10:1-16, 2 Corinthians 1:12-24 Psalm 96: The psalmist fills his mouth with delight as he savors the opportunity to sing a “new song”! The Bible often encourages us to sing a new song (Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 98:1, 144:9, 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9, 14:3). This “new song” is both an expression of personal renewal and also an actual new singing regarding that personal renewal; it is connected in its fulfillment to the new song that comes with the New Testament, and the Spirit of Christ at work in our hearts, which the Book of Revelation bears witness to. Would you this morning sing a “new song”? It takes an artist of particular skills to be able to write the music to a new song, but most of us can find a tune on the Internet or in a song book which we are not familiar…

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    May 1, 2018: Joyful Noise!

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 1-2, Psalm 95, Mark 9:33-50, 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 Psalm 95: The psalmist is calling us to sing, and to sing with joy (95:1-2). But why? What is it that should cause us to burst forth with songs of joy, to make a joyful noise? He gives two reasons and one consequence. The first reason is “For the Lord is a great God” (95:3). He is the King above all other kings. He made everything—mountains and valleys, land and sea. Therefore, we are to praise God. So part of the reason to sing praise to God is simply that he is is so great! The second reason is “For he is our God” (95:7). So not only is God great, he also is particularly our God. We are the people of his pasture the sheep of his hand. So not only are we to praise God because he is…

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    April 26-30, 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.” April 26-30 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 April 26-30, but will pick back up on May 1, 2018.

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    April 25, 2018: Shine Forth

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ruth 4, Psalm 94, Mark 9:14-32, 1 Corinthians 16Psalm 94:I remember a song that was often sung when I was growing up called “Shine Jesus Shine.” It’s a good song in many ways, but I suspect this psalm is not usually what we have in mind when we think of God “shining.” When we think of God “shining,” we think of evangelism or social justice or blessing of some kind or another. But here in this psalm, for God to “shine forth” (94:1) means for him to enact “vengeance.” What sort of God is this?The answer to that, of course, is that he is a God who has his ears open and also his eyes (94:9-10). The world in which we live is filled with pain and anguish; it is also filled with people acting in sometimes diabolical ways. “They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless” (94:6).…

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    April 24, 2018: The Lord Reigns

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ruth 2-3, Psalm 93, Mark 9:1-13, 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 Psalm 93: We live in times when floods rage and roar. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are difficulties in our own lives, and we read of race tension and struggles around the world. Such things are not unique to our age: perhaps every age has thought that it lived in both the best of times and worst of times. For by the same token, we also live in a time with unparalleled opportunity with the expansion of the Internet and the informational technology revolution. Whether you are feeling down in the dumps or up in the sky, you can take solace in the fact that God is in charge. That is the theme of this short but brilliant psalm: “The Lord reigns” (93:1). He is the king: “He is robed in majesty” (93:1). He assures that everything that happens…

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    April 23, 2018: It Is Good to Give Thanks to the Lord

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ruth 1, Psalm 92, Mark 8:31-38, 1 Corinthians 15:1-28 Psalm 92: Giving thanks to God can seem like a chore for some people. They look down when they are singing to God and rarely will offer any praise interspersed with their intercessions. But, says the psalmist, “It is good” to give thanks to God (92:1). Praising God is not only right, not only dutiful, it is pleasant, it is good.    Indeed, God gives us gladness. “For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy!” (92:4). Delighting in God is a delightful thing to do! Gladness comes when we are part of his work! When we rejoice in him, we find we are in the presence of joy!    But all this is too much for some people to understand. It seems too complicated, too obtuse, too obscure. “Your…

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    April 22, 2018: Dwelling in the Shadow of the Most High

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Judges 20-21, Psalm 91, Mark 8:22-30, 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 Psalm 91: There is a secret to safety even in the midst of danger. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (91:1). Whatever may befall us, whatever dangers we may face, those who make God their “dwelling” will find that God is their “refuge” and their “fortress” (91:2). There are great promises for those who dwell in the shelter of God. “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day” (91:5). Why? “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place” (91:9). Such confidence can be abused, as the devil twisted this Scripture (91:11-12) to tempt Jesus to put God to the test (Matthew 4:6-7). But still there is an eternal safety for those dwell with God. Because he holds fast to me in…

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    April 21, 2018: Teach Us to Number Our Days

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Judges 19, Psalm 90, Mark 8:14-21, 1 Corinthians 14:1-25 Psalm 90: This, surely one of the greatest psalms, if not one of the greatest chapters in the whole Bible, resonates with the God-given wisdom of that man of God, Moses. And the essence of its wisdom? “You return man to dust,” and therefore “teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” It is part of the common parlance of folk wisdom, and the legacy of the Stoics, that we should realize that we are to die and therefore make the most of this life. Ancient Egyptians would hold parties with a skull’s head to ensure that people partied with sufficient vim given the reality of death soon coming. And the Stoic phrase “seize the day” (carpe diem) has a rather more sophisticated sounding, but basically similar, import. Yes, it is wise to make the most…

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