The Journey with Ron Moore
Devotion Text
 

Ezekiel 14:6

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

Even after being disciplined for their rebellion, Israel continued to worship idols. So, God addressed the issue. He always does. God called for repentance—a turning away from their idols and their sin.

When we bow before anything other than God, we set up idols in our hearts (Eze.14:3). The heart, the center of the mind, emotion, and will, becomes divided. We internalize our idols, and they become our focus. Our hearts turn from God and turn to lust, greed, avarice, pride, self-absorption, self-promotion, jealousy, appearance.

Here’s today’s question: Do you bow before anyone or anything other than God? If so, it’s time to turn away from idols and turn toward the living God.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to reveal any idols in your life.
  • Ask him to help you turn away from them and turn toward him.

Father, examine our hearts. Show us what is inside. Give us a good look at our sin. Then, give us the strength and commitment to turn from those things that keep us from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Re-Born

Devotion Text
 

Ezekiel 11:19-20

And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

This passage appears on the pages of Ezekiel like an oasis in the desert. This section of the book describes God’s judgment brought on by the people’s idolatry and rebellion. They had forsaken the Lord. But here God reminds them that he is far from being finished with them.

God will bring his people back home. He will take their divided hearts and give them ones focused solely on him. He will give them spiritual heart transplants, removing their old hearts bent on sin and inserting new ones that are pumping spiritual nourishment throughout their bodies.

God wants to take your heart and make it fully his. He will remove the heart calloused from years of sin and give you one that beats for him. Do you want this kind of change? The following prayer will help you get started.

Talking to God

Father, I am tired of running and tired of this life separated from you. I have been doing my thing, living my own way, and it has worn me out. I want to be changed by you. Give me a new spirit, a new heart, and a new passion to follow hard after you. I don’t want to share my loyalties. Give me an undivided focus to obey your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Fearless

Devotion Text
 

Lamentations 3:22-26

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Absolute fear and horror. That’s what the people felt when Babylon’s brutal soldiers marched into Jerusalem to destroy the city. Jeremiah knew that Babylon was an instrument of God’s judgment for Israel’s sin. And through his laments he wrestles with God. Surrounded by destruction, Jeremiah stopped for a moment to focus on the goodness of God.

These are the things that Jeremiah calls to mind which gives him hope.

  • God’s great love. Jeremiah reminds himself and his readers that they are alive only because of God’s steadfast love. Even in the most desperate times God’s great compassion never fails. You may be in a difficult situation today. Remember how much God loves you.
  • God’s great faithfulness. Even when we are faithless, God is faithful. We can always depend on him to bring a fresh pouring out of his love and compassion every morning. God will give us everything we need…one day at a time.
  • God’s great salvation. Deliverance for Israel would not come the next day or the day after that. But they knew that God was their “portion” (their only hope) and they chose to wait on him. Can you “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord”? He will come…in his way and in his timing.

Talking Points

  • Cry out to God in the middle of your mess. You don’t have to clean up before asking for his help. You can only clean up by his help.
  • In the middle of your confusion and pain, thank God for his love and faithfulness. Be still and wait for his deliverance in his timing.

Father, thank you for your great love, faithfulness, and salvation that comes even in the most difficult times. Help me to wait on you…even when waiting and trusting is really hard. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Love Perfected

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 50:20

In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.

Israel rejected God and served lifeless idols. They ignored God’s warnings sent through the prophet, Jeremiah. God graciously moved to soften their hardened hearts through discipline. But God’s discipline is always for the purpose of repentance and restoration.

God provided complete and clear forgiveness. A search for Israel’s past guilt would be fruitless. None of Israel’s sins could be found. God said, “I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.”

Maybe today the scars of your life show that you have lived far from God. You know the consequences of walking away. You know the regret. But please hear this—there is no sin that God cannot and will not forgive. When you come in true repentance, he forgives and forgets. You can make a search for your guilt, but it will not be found. It’s time to come home and experience God’s great forgiveness and grace.

A Prayer of Return

Father, I have wandered far from you and have the scars to prove it. I am sorry for my sin against you and for the pain I have caused those I love. I want to return to you. I want to be forgiven and restored. I trust in your Word that tells me if I confess my sins, you are faithful and just to forgive me. Thank you for the promise of your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Test

Devotion Text
 

They inspired terror. They thought their strategic strongholds were impenetrable. They seemed to be in complete control. They had taken God’s people into captivity. But their pride deceived them. God said,

The horror you inspire has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s, I will bring you down from there, declares the Lord.

-Jeremiah 49:16

Like these godless nations, we are tempted to build strongholds. We invest to make sure that our money is making money. We structure our lives so that we are secure in retirement. We build our nests as high as the eagles’. But the pride of our hearts deceives us. We learn, sometimes tragically, that we are not in control after all.

Jesus once told a story about a man whose ground produced a good crop. The man was already wealthy; his barns were full. But in his greed, he tore down his barns and built bigger ones. God’s message to him was stark, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you” (Luke 12:20 NIV).  At the end of the day security is found in God alone.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to reveal what you are relying on for security.
  • If it is bigger barns, take action to anchor your life in eternal things.

Father, help me not to put my security in possessions, power, or position. Help me to not be deceived by the world’s offering of confidence. May my trust be in you alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Rest

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 44:2-5

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the disaster that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. Behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of the evil that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers. Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘Oh, do not do this abomination that I hate!’ But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods.”

Some people conclude from passages like today’s that God is unloving. Bring disaster on his people? Leave their towns deserted? How could he? The answer is found in God’s love and mercy.

Like a father who genuinely loves his children, God disciplines us. What loving father would let his toddler play by a busy road? If a beloved child continues to waddle toward danger, discipline is applied. The discipline does not show a lack of compassion. Quite the opposite. The father loves his child too much to allow them to be hurt or killed by a car.

God loves us too much to allow us to play by the spiritual life’s equivalent of a busy highway. He loves us too much to allow us to continue to live in spiritual danger. When we ignore his instruction, he applies discipline. The writer to the Hebrews said it this way, “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:10-11 NIV).

Talking to God

Father, none of us like the consequences of sin. No discipline seems pleasant at the time but thank you for loving us so much that you never give up on us. Thank you for applying the discipline that produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Help us to see your love in your discipline. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

1st John

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 37:1-2

Zedekiah the son of Josiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord that he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.

Josiah was a great ruler; Zedekiah, his son was not. Neither Zedekiah nor his leaders paid any attention to God. And the people followed their leaders.

Ignorance of God’s Word is one thing; ignoring God’s Word is something entirely different. Knowing God’s instruction and choosing to neglect it demonstrates a rebellious spirit and a disregard for the Author.

So, how are you doing with the Scripture you know? Are you obeying it or choosing to ignore it? Are you striving to follow the instruction or electing to pay no attention to it? Snubbing God’s Word never ends well.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to show you areas of your life where you are ignoring his instruction.
  • Ask God to give you a heart of repentance where you are missing the mark.

Father, may we not be simply hearers but also doers of your Word. We have no excuse for ignorance. We certainly have no excuse for not paying attention to Scripture. Forgive us for our ignorance and neglect. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

1st John

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 31:19

For after I had turned away, I relented, and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth.

When we trust in Jesus we are unplugged from our sinful nature and plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit. But the sinful nature is not deleted from our lives. The old master, that familiar and inviting voice, calls out to us. And there are times when we accept the invitation. The Apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” But when “we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9 NIV).

So, what does confession look like? Our verse today gives us great insight into this important spiritual discipline.

  • After I had turned away, I relented. A flippant “I’m sorry,” or “I’m sorry I got caught” doesn’t cut it with God. Repentance involves an understanding that I am heading in the wrong direction and have a sincere desire to stop and turn around.
  • After I was instructed, I struck my thigh. To strike one’s thigh was a figurative expression of mourning and grief. True repentance involves sorrow for sinning against God. He does not take sin lightly; neither should we.
  • I was ashamed and confounded…. Repentance starts with conviction—the Holy Spirit confronts our sin. True repentance experiences the guilt of disobeying God and the desire for his forgiveness.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to show you any area of your life where you are living in disobedience.
  • Tell God that you are sorry for your sin and ask him to forgive you.
  • Ask God for his strength to resist sin in your life.

Father, help us turn from our sin, grieve our rebellion, and be ashamed of what we have done. May we be those who never glory in our sin, but glory only in the Savior who continues to deliver us from it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Sacrifice

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Think of it! God has great plans for our lives! He wants to prosper us, not to harm us. God is working to give us hope and a certain future. But do you know the context of this passage?

This promise was written to God’s people while in exile. Because of their sin, God had allowed Nebuchadnezzar to deport them from Jerusalem to Babylon. They were living in an unfamiliar land under the authority of a pagan king. The people of Israel were experiencing the results of rejecting God and following idols. They were living out the consequences of their sin. And yet, right in the middle of their exile, God gave this reminder that he wasn’t through with them. While banished from their country, the people would finally turn back to God. And when they did, God heard their prayers. When they sought him, they found him.

Maybe you are living with the results of your sins today. You are experiencing the self-inflicted wounds of rebellion. You feel alone and forgotten. You think that God is done with you. But he isn’t! Today’s passage teaches us that God never gives up on us. Right in the middle of sin’s consequences he has plans for us. His intent is never to harm, but to bring us back to the land of spiritual prosperity. He wants us to turn back to him. And he promises that when we seek him with a sincere heart, we will find him waiting for us with open arms. God is not finished with you!

Talking to God

Father, thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for disciplines that turn my heart back to you. Thank you for hearing my cries. Thank you for open arms of forgiveness and restoration. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Righteous

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 23:23-24

Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.

The message of Israel’s false prophets was made-up and crafted to satisfy people rather than God. The false prophets assured peace, but they did not get this assurance from God. Phony teachers from every generation declare words their hearers desire, instead of a true word from God.

In today’s passage, God responds to the prophets by explaining two of his attributes. He is both omnipresent and omniscient. God’s omnipresence means that he is everywhere at the same time in his full being. God’s omniscience means that he knows everything there is to know about everything there is to know. His knowledge and presence fill the heaven and earth.

So how can we apply these truths? First, God’s omnipresence reminds us that we cannot hide from God. If you think you are doing something that God cannot see…think again. He is the One to whom we must give a final account. Second, God knows us inside and out. You can fool others…even those who are close to you…but you cannot fool God. The characteristics of God prevent us from playing games with him. Wherever we are, he is there. Whoever we are, he knows us fully. And…here’s the amazing part…knowing us fully, he still welcomes us with open arms. In him there is forgiveness and restoration. Don’t run from him. Run to him. He is waiting with open arms.

Talking Points:

  • Confess the sins of the life you “hide” from God.
  • Ask God to help you live transparently before him.

Father, remind the person trying to hide from you of the truths found in today’s passage. Help them to come clean and come home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Sons and Daughters

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.

Don’t place your faith in nouns. Sooner or later every person will disappoint, every place will lose its luster, and every thing will wear out. But there is One who will never disappoint. That’s why the person who puts their trust in God will be blessed. Today’s verse gives three benefits of trusting in the Lord.

  • Constant Nourishment. The person who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by a stream. The roots make their way to the fresh and steady flow. The tree will never lack for food. So, the believer whose confidence is in the Lord will have no lack of spiritual sustenance.
  • Constant Protection. The heat comes but the tree by the stream is appropriately shielded. There is enough sun to make it grow but not too much to burn its leaves. Likewise, the believer will experience heat through various circumstances and challenges. We need the heat to make us grow but God will always be there to protect us. He will not give us more than we can bear.
  • Constant Fruit. Dry times occur but the tree planted by the stream has everything it needs to bear fruit. As believers we will experience dry spiritual times…but connected to the Source of nourishment and protection we will continue to produce the good works that God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10).

So…two questions: In whom or what do you trust? In whom or what do you place your confidence? The answer to those questions will determine whether you are receiving the nourishment, protection, and fruit that come from dependence on the heavenly Father.

Talking to God

Father, make us like trees planted by streams of water. Please nourish and protect us. Allow us to accomplish the good works you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Anointed

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 14:22

Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.

Let’s be honest, idols are inviting and attractive until we need something from them. They are the things we spend our time and energy thinking about and working for. They can be categorized under one of the three “p’s”; possessions, position, and power.

We love possessions…love to drive them, live in them, and play with them. We love position…love to have the right job with the right title and the right salary. We love power…love to be in control and call the shots. But…have you ever seen a father praying to the god of “job” when his child is sick? Have you ever seen a mother bowing in the front yard before the god of “house” when her marriage started to crumble? We love our idols…until we need something from them.

The Israelites learned that lesson the hard way. They had turned from God and turned to idols. But when drought and famine hit their lives, they found their idols unable to provide the needed rain. They found out that the idols were not so great after all. They finally realized that God was the only One who could provide what was needed, so they put their hope in him. Here’s the question: Where do you place your hope? Really? Your idols may be enticing for now; but wait until you need something from them.

Talking Points:

  • Ask God to show you what you truly bow before.
  • Ask God to help you get rid of all false idols.

Father, show us the worthless idols in our lives. Help us identify them and destroy them. Help us place our hope in you and you alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Abiding Forever

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Pride comes in a variety of packages. An elite college you attended. A prized job you landed. The car you drive or the house where you park it. Maybe your pride is generated by important relationships or the success of your children (“Best T-ball player on the team!”).

Pride comes in a variety of deliverables. Some people are open boasters. Two minutes into a conversation they are expelling the hot air that puffs them up. Others are more private in their pride. The “aw-shucks” demeanor masks their egotism, but it secretly drives them and provides a sense of worth. It is amazing how we can, at the same time, deflect a compliment and absorb the self-centeredness it produces.

Our passage today gives us clear instruction regarding pride. Surely God gives some people great intelligence. Others he blesses with wealth. Some get the triple dip waffle cone of wisdom. But our boasting is not to be generated from what we have. The only basis for our boasting is to know the living God. What a difference it would make in our lives and the lives of those around us if we stopped boasting about ourselves and started boasting about our Savior!

Talking Points:

  • Ask God to bring to your mind areas of pride in your life.
  • Ask God to help you put down your pride and focus on him.

Lord, when we boast—openly or secretly—point it out to us. Remind us that all the things that produce pride come from your hand. May our only boasting be in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

1st John

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 6:16

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

Sooner or later every person stands at a crossroad. It may be a mental crossroad and you will have to determine which direction to let your mind go. It may be an emotional crossroad and you’ll have to determine where your heart will travel.

At each crossroad there is a decision between two paths. One path appears most inviting. It offers quick fixes, instant gratification, and downhill terrain. It also offers much fellowship along the way. But around the bend, out of sight from the point of the crossroad, there is disaster. The inviting path is strewn with brokenness—broken lives, broken families, and broken hearts.

The other path, the right path, is often the hardest. It involves a disciplined journey with adventuresome challenges. There are swift rivers to cross and hills to climb. There are some dark clouds and powerful storms. But all along there is One who walks with you. He lightens the load and gives a constant helping hand. He assures you that you’ll reach the destination even when you feel like calling it quits. And when you are out of strength, he’ll carry you. This path is the good way. Walk in it and find rest for your soul.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to help you make the right choice at every crossroad. Maybe you stand at one now.
  • Your children will face many crossroads in their lives. Name their names and pray that God will give them the courage and wisdom to make right decisions.

Father, for all those standing at a crossroad today, open their minds to think clearly, their eyes to see far, and their hearts to make the right decision. Help them walk in the good way and find the rest that only comes from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

1st John

Devotion Text
 

Jeremiah 1:4-5

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

God’s selection of Jeremiah was made before the prophet was even formed. The word “knew” means more than intellectual knowledge. It describes a personal relationship. God knows those he calls. God “appointed” Jeremiah as “a prophet to the nations.”

Is this verse just for Jeremiah? I don’t think so. Speaking to believers, Paul wrote, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph 1:4 NIV). Think of that amazing truth! Before time began God chose you to be holy and blameless in his sight. Like Jeremiah, God knew you intimately before you took your first breath.

And like Jeremiah, God set you apart. He has something very definite in mind for you to do. He has appointed you to a specific assignment. He has placed a significant calling on your life. We cannot waste what God has graciously given us. Such love on the part of God demands love, worship, and action on the part of man. Determine what God has called you to do; then, go about getting it done.

Talking Points

  • Thank God for placing a significant call on your life. Ask him for the wisdom and courage to get it done.
  • Ask God to help your children hear his voice in their lives. Ask him to help them understand their calling early on and follow hard after Jesus.

Father, give us the wisdom to know what you have called us to do. Give us the courage to do it. And give us the perseverance to get it done. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

True Light

Devotion Text
 

Isaiah 64:4

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.

God acts on our behalf. He saves, delivers, and rescues. His arm is not too short to reach down to help us. He is never stingy with forgiveness. His grace is a constant flow. His mercy never ceases. There is no end to his love. He acts on our behalf. And notice that he acts on behalf of those who “wait for him.”

I am convinced that many people never see God act on their behalf because they are too busy acting on their own behalf. Why wait on God when you can get it done yourself? They barge ahead on their own. They make their deals, cut their path, and build their stuff. And then when their deals fall through, their path leads to the edge of a cliff, and their buildings crumble, they wonder why God didn’t act.

So…slow down and wait on God. He is seldom early but he is never late. His right-on-time presence will provide all we need to do what he has called us to do. He is not silent or ignoring your need. He is waiting for his perfect time. Waiting on God is always worth the wait.

Talking Points

  • Tell God where you are impatient…things that you want to happen now.
  • Ask God to give you the patience and the trust to wait on him.

Father, we are in a hurry…slow us down. We are impatient…help us to wait on you. Thank you for being a God who acts on our behalf. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Our Advocate

Devotion Text
 

Isaiah 61:10

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness….

The good news begins with bad news: I am separated from God and can do nothing about it. My best effort on my best day cannot bridge that great divide. My only option is to turn to Christ and trust in him as the One who paid the penalty of my sin by dying on the cross. When I stand before the Judge, having trusted in Christ, two things happen:

  • God clothes me with the garments of salvation. Not on the basis of what I have done, but fully on the merits of Christ’s work on the cross, God rescues me from an eternity separated from him. He declares me, “Not guilty” (justification). He takes off my old worn-out clothes and gives me a beautiful clean wardrobe—garments of salvation.
  • God gives me a robe of his righteousness. Not only does God declare me, “Not guilty,” He declares me, “Righteous.” When he looks on me, dressed in the garments of salvation and the robe of his righteousness, he views me as blameless because of the work of Jesus on the cross.

The good news begins with bad news. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And our sin deserves death (physical, emotional, and spiritual). But the good news is that Jesus came and did for us what we could not do for ourselves. When we trust in Jesus as the only way to know God, we are set free from our old clothes and our old ways, and finally can enjoy the fellowship of the living God. That, by the way, is what we have wanted all along.

Talking Point

  • Ask God to give you the courage to share his good news with someone he has placed in your life.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your work on the cross to make my salvation possible. Thank you for a new set of clothes and a beautiful robe of righteousness. In your name I pray. Amen.

 

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Cleansed

Devotion Text
 

Isaiah 53:5-6

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus was given no advantages. The Father sent him to the back of the line and made him experience all the pain of humanity. He was not strikingly handsome or a head taller than the rest of the crowd—He had no form or majesty that we should look at him…. He was not a person readily accepted by virtue of personality—He was despised and rejected by men…. Although fully God, he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth—a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

Jesus came from heaven to earth…and was sent to the back of the line—stricken, smitten, afflicted, pierced, crushed, oppressed, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, cut off out of the land of the living. The King of Kings lived life as the king of suffering. He was not a victim of circumstance. He was not in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was sent to the back of the line by the Father—it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief.

Jesus was given no advantages in life and died a brutal death. That’s what it took to pay the penalty of sin. Nothing less would do. So, Jesus left heaven and went to the back of the line for you and me. I was the one who went astray. I was the one who turned to my own way. God laid my sin on Jesus. There is only one way to respond to such love—fall down and worship him! Every day! With your whole life!

Talking Points

  • Thank Jesus for suffering and dying for you.
  • Ask Jesus to help you live for him, every day, with your whole life.

Lord Jesus, thank you for willingly going to the back of the line for me. In your name I pray. Amen.

 

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Belonging

Devotion Text
 

Dark stretches in our journey are not meant to be confusing or permanent. God uses these times to develop and deepen our faith. He calls us to follow hard after him, even with our questions, and trust him to open and close the appropriate doors. He desires that we rely on him for wisdom and discernment, for strength and peace. There will be times when the path seems dark, but these are the times God uses to ask us a question, “Can you trust Me?” Can you?

The prophet Isaiah says it like this:

Isaiah 50:10

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

God never leaves us, even in the darkness. It’s there we hear his voice most clearly. In the darkness we learn to rely on him. If you are walking in darkness let the following prayer be yours or send the prayer to someone who is going through a challenging time.

Talking to God

Father, this challenge, this stretch of darkness is lonely and discouraging. I long for closure, for a new day, for light at the end of my tunnel. Allow me to feel your presence. Help me gain your strength. Remind me that you are still at work. Help me trust and rely on you. I thank you that somehow you will use this stretch of darkness to do great things in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

1st John Introduction

Devotion Text
 

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

We are blessed and privileged to live in the United States. We thank God for all our temporal blessings. And we know we live in spiritually challenging times. But the believer has this confidence: our heavenly Father is sovereign over all—what he purposes, he will do.

Isaiah 46:9-11

…Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

Regardless of the economic forecastI am God and there is no other…. I have purposed, and I will do it.

Regardless of congressional votes or Supreme Court decisions I am God and there is no other…. I have purposed, and I will do it.

Regardless of who wins the next election I am God and there is no other…. I have purposed, and I will do it.

Regardless of the governments that come to power around the world I am God and there is no other…. I have purposed, and I will do it. 

Regardless of the rogue rulers who make great claims I am God and there is no other…. I have purposed, and I will do it.

Even when the doctor’s report was not what I wanted to hear…even when a spouse walks away…even when my heart is broken…even when I wait for God to answer…even when my dream dies…even when I don’t get the job…even when my child is estranged…even when I am discouraged…even when I am depressed…even when I don’t feel like pushing forward…even when grief hits me like a vicious upper cut…even when things don’t make sense…REMEMBER— I am God and there is no other…. I have purposed, and I will do it.

Talking to God

Father, wherever we stand today…whether it is in joy, sadness, disappointment, discouragement, confusion, fear, impatience, or anxiety…we proclaim that you are God and there is no other. We thank you that what you have purposed; you will always accomplish. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

1st John

Prayer

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