The Journey with Ron Moore
Devotion Text

Luke 1:46-48a

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” 

After Mary saw the evidence of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, she broke into praise. From her inmost being, she desired to glorify God. To “glorify” God means to “magnify” him by demonstrating his greatness in words and actions. In a song known as the Magnificat, Mary proclaimed her thankfulness and love to the Father. This song reveals several things about Mary:

Mary knew Scripture well. Even at a young age, Mary knew God’s Word. This song consists of many truths and quotations from the Old Testament. It reminds us of the importance for children to know God’s Word.

Mary had a personal relationship with God. Mary calls God “my Savior,” and proclaims that she is “his servant.” She did not see God as distant and disconnected. Rather, she knew that the Father took note of her in a personal and intimate way.

Mary needed a Savior. Mary was not sinless. At the beginning of her song, Mary proclaims her need for One to rescue her. She addressed the Father as “my Savior.” Certainly, Mary’s bearing of God’s Son puts her in a unique category. Elizabeth said that she was blessed among all women.  The Son that she would bear would one day bear her sins on the cross.

Talking to God

Father, thank you for knowing me intimately and personally. Thank you for sending your Son to be my Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

For parents: While Advent is seasonal, teaching your children the Word of God should be year-round. Prayerfully consider a plan to teach your children God’s Word in an age-appropriate way this coming year. Please share with us any books and material you have used, or plan to use, so that we can share these resources with other parents. Email us at prayer@ronmoore.org.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Repentance

Devotion Text

Luke 1:39-45

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

After the angel, Gabriel, told Mary that she would be with child, she hurried to see her cousin, Elizabeth. Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth was going to have a baby in her old age. Mary went to see Elizabeth for confirmation. Gabriel said that Elizabeth was six months along, so the pregnancy would be evident.

Mary needed to see with her own eyes that the person who had been unable to conceive and was well past childbearing years was now pregnant. If God could perform a miracle with Elizabeth, a virgin birth was not out of the question. When Mary arrived, she saw the proof. Elizabeth’s baby “leaped for joy,” in her womb. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth proclaimed that Mary was blessed and would be the mother of the Lord.

When God calls us to do great things, he gives us proof that he is at work. In the Old Testament, he proved himself to Moses, Joshua, and Gideon. In the New Testament, he proved himself to the disciples and Paul on the road to Damascus. God seldom calls us to step out with blind faith. He graciously demonstrates that he is at work and his word is true. He did it for Mary; he’ll do it for you.

Talking to God

Father, thank you for providing the truth I need to follow hard after you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

For parents: Share with your children a time when God provided proof for something he was calling you to do. We would love to hear your “proof story” as well. Send it to us at prayer@ronmoore.org.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Reflecting the Glory

Devotion Text

Luke 1:34-38

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The angel delivered unbelievable news. Mary was going to have a baby! Her response was expected. “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Gabriel’s explanation was as mysterious as his presence. But his last words drove home the reality of the situation: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

“I am the servant of the Lord,” is Mary’s statement of surrender. She was the first person to accept Jesus on his terms. Her engagement with the man she loved would be in jeopardy. Those closest to her would not understand her pregnancy. The small town would be filled with rumors. But she trusted God and surrendered to his plan.

Many people believe that they can draw up the terms of their relationship with Jesus. But that’s not how it works. Everyone who truly wants to follow hard after Jesus must come to a place of surrender. Like Mary, we must say, “I am a servant of the Lord.”

Talking to God

Lord, I confess that the place of surrender is difficult. But I desire to be your servant. I surrender my life to you. Use me to carry out your plan. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

For parents: Tell your children a story of when you surrendered to God’s plan. We’d love to hear your story of surrender as well. Email us at prayer@ronmoore.org.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Reflecting the Glory

Devotion Text

Luke 1:29-33

But she was greatly troubled at the saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Gabriel’s surprise appearance startled Mary. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to have an angel suddenly appear. The angel comforted Mary: “Do not be afraid…you have found favor with God.” But his next statement caused Mary amazement and confusion.

“You will conceive….” You can almost picture Mary’s puzzled look. She had never known a man, so having a baby was humanly impossible. Gabriel didn’t stop to explain. He told Mary to name the baby, Jesus, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew name, Joshua. In both languages, the name means “the Lord saves.”

“The Lord saves.” That’s exactly what Jesus was sent to do. He would do great and powerful things. He would be God in the flesh, “the Son of the Most High.” He would rule as king and his kingdom would be an eternal one. But first, he would die on the cross to save his people from their sins. One day Mary would stand at the foot of the cross and understand the awful price for our salvation.

Talking to God

Father, thank you for seeing my great need, having compassion for me, and for sending Jesus, my Savior. In his name I pray. Amen.

 

For parents: Take the time to explain the purpose of Christmas, Jesus’ birth, to your children. Explain why God sent his Son. Depending on the age of your children, you may want to use different colors of construction paper (black to represent sin, red to represent Jesus’ death on the cross, white to represent how he washes our sins away, green to represent that we must grow as Christians, and gold to represent eternity in heaven). Our Living Grounded study includes a chapter that explains how to share the Gospel. For more information, email us at prayer@ronmoore.org.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Salvation

Devotion Text

Luke 1:26-28

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”

Gabriel was busy making trips from heaven to earth. First, Gabriel told Zechariah that his wife, Elizabeth, would be having a miracle baby. Now it was time to visit a virgin in Nazareth with some more unbelievable news.

Mary was young. Some believe she was only fourteen or fifteen years old. However, in her day, that was the normal age for marriage. Mary’s pledge to Joseph was much like engagements today. She was committed to Joseph even though they were not formally united with the official ceremony of marriage. Imagine what Mary was doing when Gabriel suddenly appeared to her. Imagine Mary’s thoughts when Gabriel exclaimed, “Greetings, O favored one…!”

God chose a small-town girl for a big-time mission. John Donne described it as “immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.” Through Mary, the eternal God made his way into the temporal world. Indeed, the Lord was with her!

Talking to God

Father, thank you for choosing ordinary people to do supernatural missions. Thank you for choosing us, very ordinary people, to proclaim your supernatural, life-transforming message of salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

For parents: Have your children draw a picture of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary. (If you don’t have small children, share this devotional with someone who does.) Please share your children’s artwork with us at prayer@ronmoore.org.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHALLENGED: New Calling

Devotion Text

Luke 1:18-20

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up any hope of having children. They were well past childbearing years, so when the angel appeared and promised a child, Zechariah found the news hard to believe. Sometimes even news from an angel seems farfetched. Zechariah told the angel that he was too old to have children and boldly asked, “How shall I know this?”

The angel did not mince words. He was quick to share his credentials. He said, “I am Gabriel,” a name that means “mighty man of God.” Now Zechariah was trembling. He realized that the angel written about in the Old Testament book of Daniel was the one speaking to him. Gabriel continued, “I stand in the presence of God,” confirming that the message was from God himself. To prove that the promise was true, Gabriel explained that Zechariah would not be able to speak until the day of the baby’s birth.

Some promises from God are hard to believe. In fact, many—like this one, a baby born to parents past childbearing age—are outside the realm of human explanation. Christmas is filled with such miracles. An angel appearing to Mary. A baby born to a virgin. Joseph’s dream. Angels appearing to shepherds. The star. A warning to the wise men. Would you expect anything less when God took on flesh and lived among us?

Talking to God

Father, thank you for the miracles of Christmas. Thank you for bolstering my belief and strengthening my faith. Thank you for giving me the proof I need for the inevitable challenges ahead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

For parents: Have your children write a story about one of the Christmas miracles. Share their story with us at prayer@ronmoore.org.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHALLENGED: New People

Devotion Text

Today we enter into the season of Advent—a Latin word that means “the coming.” Church leaders established Advent in the sixth century as a time for Christians to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. So, let’s begin to prepare our hearts for the first coming of Jesus.

 

Luke 1:16-17

And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.

One day Zechariah was doing his duty as a priest before the Lord. Suddenly an angel appeared before him. As you can imagine, Zechariah was terrified. But the angel told the trembling priest unbelievable news. “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”

The angel explained that many would rejoice in John’s birth, for “he will be great before the Lord.” This son would turn many to the Lord. He would live in the spirit and power of the great prophet Elijah. This miracle baby would “make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

God has the same promise for you. He is working in your heart to do great things for him. Every believer lives with the power of the Holy Spirit. You have everything you need to do what God has called you to do. God is writing his story in you! He will use you for eternal purposes. God will use you to prepare yourself, your family, and your friends for Jesus.

Talking to God

Father, thank you for using me to prepare others for Jesus. Help me be ready and willing to be used by you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Christmas is a great time to refocus yourself and your family on Jesus. Share with us some things you do during this season to keep the proper focus. Email us at prayer@ronmoore.org.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHANGED: Pushed out of the Comfort Zone

Devotion Text

Revelation 22:1-4

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Over the past years, I have had the opportunity to travel and minister in many places throughout the world. The sights, sounds, and smells are different. I have been schooled on what to eat and what not to eat. I am told by my hosts that there are things to do and not do. When I am in a different country, I stand out as a foreigner in a foreign land. And while I love to travel, the best part of every trip is to be back home!

Christians are citizens of heaven. Our life is simply a journey as foreigners in a foreign land. The sights, sounds, and smells of the world are not the things our hearts beat for. The language around us is strange at times. The customs are often in opposition to God’s Word. Disease strips away strength. Death brings unimaginable pain. Divorce leaves shattered souls with broken hearts. We know that this is not the way it’s supposed to be. We yearn for something different. We yearn for home.

When Christ comes again or when we make that last journey from death to life, we will finally be home. When we arrive, we “will see his face.” We will be with God, and he will wipe every tear from our eyes. Death will be a thing of the past. Mourning will be no more. Crying will not be a part of our resurrected emotions. And pain will never be experienced again. Life in the “old country” will be over. We will be home, at last, in the indescribable place that Jesus has prepared just for us. C. S. Lewis wrote, “There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else.”

Talking to God

Father, thank you for the certain hope and reality of heaven. We look forward to the day when you welcome us home and wipe every tear from our eyes. Then we will know that in our heart of hearts, we have never desired anything else. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHANGED: Resolved to Stand Alone

Devotion Text

Revelation 15:3b-4

Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.

Today let’s take some time to reflect.

Our passage is “the song of Moses, the servant of God and the song of the Lamb.” The title reminds us that the song is for us. Like Moses, we experience great miracles and trying desert experiences, great highs, and devastating lows. But it also reminds us that this is a song about the Lamb. Regardless of where we are on our spiritual journey the Lamb is right there with us. He never abandons us. He never disowns us.

So, here is what I would ask you to do. Pray today’s passage to God. Through your joy or through your tears, proclaim that his deeds are “great and amazing.” Regardless of your circumstances, tell him that his ways are “just and true.” Bow before him in a posture of worship and say, “Father, you alone are holy.” He is the “King of the nations!” Acknowledge him as your King. And remember, our King invites us to call him Father, even Daddy. He is the omnipotent Creator who comes to meet us right where we are. I pray that you take the time to meet with him. He is waiting to meet with you.

Talking to God

Dear God, you are the Lord God Almighty! And you are my Father. Today I acknowledge you as my King, and I readily admit that I need to feel the warmth of my Father’s presence. Thank you for meeting with me wherever I am and whatever I’m going through. I desire to walk close to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

The Great Adventure

Devotion Text

Revelation 7:17

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

The Revelation describes many things that will be in heaven and the beauty that will surround us. But one human experience will not be there—tears. The Lamb will wipe every tear from our eyes. In heaven, there will be no reason to cry.

  • There will be no more death.

In heaven, there will be no more disease. No more surgery. No more car accidents. No more drunk drivers. No more murders. No more suicides. Everything that summons our last breath will cease to exist. The last enemy will be finally and forever defeated.

  • There will be no more mourning.

In heaven, there will be no more calls in the middle of the night to announce a tragedy. No more moms and dads gathered around their dying child. No more children walking away from their parent’s grave. No more goodbyes. No more waves of grief washing over an exhausted soul.

  • There will be no more crying or pain.

In heaven, there will be no need for crying. The tearful emotion brought about by pain will be a thing of the past. No one will ever hurt you again. You will be protected in the presence of God who has destroyed the author of evil.

Today pain barges in like an intruder but…hold on! One day there will be no reason for your tears!

Talking to God

Lord Jesus, thank you for being the perfect Lamb, dying on our behalf. Thank you for being our Shepherd, leading us to springs of living water. Thank you for the promise of no more tears, and for a place specifically prepared to enjoy you forever. In your name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

The Great Adventure

Devotion Text

Jude 1:22

And have mercy on those who doubt.

Is doubting a sin? Is wavering a sign of weakness? Does spiritual confusion call into question one’s spiritual commitment? Do we write off a person who has questions?  Is there room for doubters in the church? Is the church a safe place to ask questions?

Thomas followed Jesus for three years. He heard the Lord’s sermons, witnessed his miracles. He knew Jesus had predicted his death and promised his resurrection. But Thomas had a hard time getting over the cross. Even when the other disciples said that Jesus was alive, Thomas stuck by his skeptical guns. He said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Thomas lived with his doubt until Jesus appeared to the disciples. Jesus sought out the doubter and said, “Put your finger here and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Instead of scolding him for his doubt, Jesus mercifully showed him the truth.

Be merciful to those who doubt. That’s the instruction of Jude and the example of Jesus. Find the doubters. Seek out those wavering. Pursue those who are confused. Show them the truth with the same mercy Jesus showed to you.

Talking Points

  • Talk to your children about areas of doubt.
  • Ask God to give you the wisdom and discernment to study and present the answers in a gentle and compassionate way.

Father, may we be strong, passionate, vibrant followers of Jesus—tempered with mercy. Put doubters in our path. Help us mercifully point them to the truth. Give us patience when it takes more than half an hour! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

My Money: Making It Count

Devotion Text

3 John 1:1-4

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

In John’s second letter, he addressed the problem of people showing hospitality to those they shouldn’t. In this, his third letter, the problem was with people not showing hospitality to those they should. Diotrephes, the church’s dictatorial leader, was excommunicating those that housed John’s messengers. But John had a friend named Gaius who was faithful to the truth, even in the face of persecution.  Gaius walked in the truth.

“Walking in the truth!” What a great description of a true believer! Gaius was a man of integrity. When he spoke, his words were accurate. He neither exaggerated the facts nor conveniently left out important information. In business, his actions were honest. He did not cut corners or promise things that could never be delivered. At home he was genuine. His character didn’t change when he interacted with his family. He was a faithful and loving husband.

“Walking in the truth!” What a great description of a true believer! Does it describe you? Are you walking in the truth? It gives God no greater joy than to see that his children are walking in the truth.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to show you where you are not walking in the truth.
  • Ask God to give you the desire and strength to change direction.

Father, may we be those who live according to your Word, not according to the world. May we be faithful to the truth in every area of our lives, always walking in the truth. For Christ’s sake. Amen.

 

                                                      HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Thanksgiving: A Response of the Heart

Devotion Text

1 John 5:11-12

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

I am sitting in my church office. Bookshelves—from floor to ceiling—line one entire wall. Another large floor-to-ceiling case takes up space on an adjacent wall.  Many more books are in my office at home, not to mention all the theological information stored digitally on my Bible study software. More information is only one Google search away. In short, I am sitting in a virtual ocean of information about God. But all the content in the volumes that surround me and stored on my computer can be summed up in today’s passage!

Dr. Karl Barth was a brilliant, if not sometimes controversial, theologian. Among his writings is a twelve-volume work on the Christian life and doctrine. A reporter once asked Dr. Barth if he could summarize the message of the Bible. Dr. Barth thought for a moment and then said, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

We are sinners and our sin separates us from God. The penalty of our sin is death. But driven by perfect love, “God gave us eternal life.” Being fully God, Jesus was the only one who could provide a sinless sacrifice. Being fully man, Jesus was the only one who could die on our behalf. Life—now and forever—is found in Jesus alone. There is really only one question: Do you have the Son?

Talking to God

Father, thank you for keeping the questions of life and eternity simple. Help us not  make them confusing. Confirm in our hearts that we have Jesus. Give us the courage to tell others and help us keep the message clear with our lips and lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHANGED: Turned in the Right Direction

Devotion Text

1 Peter 5:6-7

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

It was a particularly hot day in Dallas, and I was driving around the city looking for an apartment. Having just graduated from seminary, Lori and I needed to move from the condo we had rented for four years. I had resumes scattered throughout the country, but was getting no response; or rather, I was getting a response— “No.” We thought we would be looking for a place to live and minister in another part of the country. But, for the time being, we were staying in Dallas. It was a discouraging stretch of my journey.

These were the days before God blessed us with children, but for some reason, there was a Psalty the Singing Songbook cassette in our car, left after a visit from Lori’s sisters or my nieces. The Psalty series was a children’s Christian “musical.” I inserted the tape and heard Psalty sing, “I cast all my cares upon you. I lay all of my burdens down at your feet. And anytime I don’t know what to do; I will cast all my cares upon you.” With tears in my eyes, I kept playing that song, based on today’s passage. I had just finished four years of Greek, Hebrew, Bible, and Theology courses, but it was a child’s song that delivered a needed promise of Scripture right to my heart.

I will never forget that day. God cared enough for me to orchestrate a tape being left behind to point out that I could throw all my frustration, fear, and anxiety on him. So, if you are on a discouraging stretch of the journey, you must know what I was reminded of that day—God really does care for you…he really does.

Talking to God

Father, thank you for reminding me of your care that hot day in Dallas. Remind those reading this of your care as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHANGED: Identified with Christ

Devotion Text

1 Peter 4:19

Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

One by one they died. James, the brother of John, was beheaded. Church history says that Thomas was killed in India. Simon was crucified in Egypt. Mark, the first bishop of Alexandria, was burned and buried in Egypt as well. Bartholomew was beaten, crucified, and beheaded. Andrew, Peter’s brother, was crucified in Rome. Matthew was killed with a spear. Phillip was stoned then hung on a cross. James, the brother of Jesus, was beaten to death after it was learned that his being thrown from the temple didn’t kill him.

Two years after writing his first letter, Peter was put to death in Rome. The records of the early church indicate that he was crucified. Eusebius—the “Father of Church history,” cites the testimony of an eyewitness named Clement who said that before Peter was crucified, he was forced to watch the crucifixion of his wife. As he watched her being led to a terrible death, Peter called her name and said, “Remember the Lord.” When it was his turn, he pleaded to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. Peter was nailed to the cross head downward.

The apostles followed hard after Jesus during their lives and in their deaths. They “entrust[ed] their souls to a faithful Creator.” They are not only great teachers; they are great examples of suffering according to God’s will.

Talking Points

  • Thank God for the amazing examples of the apostles and others who have died for Jesus.
  • Ask God to give you the strength to live for him today.

Father, give us the courage to die for you if need be. For only when we are willing to die for you can we truly live for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHANGED: Ignited by the Fire – Part 2

Devotion Text

James 1:13-14

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 

James was clear that temptation does not come from God. God “cannot be tempted with evil,” and “he himself tempts no one.” So, what is the source of temptation that shows itself so strongly in our lives?

  1. The world around us is at odds with God. It presents a culture that puts people in charge and God at the back of the line. It hits us with wanting what we don’t have and having what we don’t need.
  2. Flesh. We want to blame temptation on the tempter or on someone else. But sometimes the mirror reflects the source. As believers, the penalty of our sin is gone, but the propensity to sin will remain until the day we die. We are tempted by our “own desire[s].” When we give in, we are “lured and enticed.”
  3. Satan. Finding Jesus in a weakened physical state, the tempter showed up to test Jesus in the desert. The same tempter comes roaring after us, like a hungry lion seeking to devour us. He works to drive a wedge of disobedience between us and the Father. Satan desires to destroy our witness before others.

Here’s the hard truth. Whether the source is the world, the flesh, or the devil, at the end of the day we own our disobedience. God will always provide a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Are you willing to take the escape routes?

Talking to God

Father, I am in desperate need of your help. On my own, I am no match for temptation. The world, the flesh, and the devil hit me from all sides. But I know that you are greater.  Please give me your strength that keeps me from being enticed by my own desires. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

The Great Adventure

Devotion Text

Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

She told me to make a fist. I did. She attached a tight bandage to my upper left arm. I let her. She swabbed my arm with brownish liquid. I watched. She was wearing a blue nurse-like jacket and rubber gloves and a name badge that looked official to me. I was there to give blood; she was there to take it. She said, “This is going to pinch and burn,” as she inserted the needle into a vein. She was right. Why wouldn’t I believe her? She had done this hundreds of times before (I hoped).

Why wouldn’t I believe him? He has been there from eternity past. He is the Creator of all and put this whole world into motion. He breathed into mankind the breath of life. He chose a people and then protected and nourished them. Through his people, he sent Jesus who loved us all the way to the cross and paid the penalty for our sin. God raised Jesus from the dead, demonstrating his approval and showing us our future. Then, he sent his Spirit to reside in us.

I will not always understand what happens in this life. Some things will shake my world. But who else is there to cling to? Where else is there to run? What else is there to trust? When my world is shaking, I can hold on for dear life to the certain truth he proclaims, and I profess. Even amidst my fears, doubts, and questions, he will always keep his promises.

Talking Points

  • Ask God for an opportunity today to teach your children about his faithfulness.
  • Confess your trust in God’s work even when you don’t understand.

Father, thank you for your faithfulness. Help me to always trust you and trust in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

The Great Adventure

Devotion Text

Hebrews 5:7-9

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.  And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

What comes to your mind when you picture Jesus? Stoic expression? Unflappable focus? Amazingly, he was able to resist Satan’s temptation after prolonged fasting. He walked through life, eyes set on the cross, only pausing long enough to do some needed teaching and gracious healings. Then I read this passage.

This passage tells us of our Lord’s great emotion. His prayers and petitions were made “with loud cries and tears” to the only One who could save him from the cross. Even within the tears and requests, there was a reverent submission. And through it all Jesus—the Son of God— “learned obedience.” At the point of perfect submission, he “became the source of eternal salvation.”

So, here’s the question: Is Jesus your personal source of eternal salvation? By your own efforts, you cannot have a relationship with God, no matter how hard and how long you try. Your baptism and religious classes do not save you. You cannot work your way to the Father. It is by grace through faith that we place our confident trust in Jesus. I plead with you to trust in the work that he has already done for you.

Taking to God

Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner. Try as I might, I cannot save myself. So right now, I trust in your work on the cross. I trust that you died in my place. Today I trust in you alone to forgive my sins and place me into an eternal relationship with the Father. In your name I pray. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHANGED: Ignited by the Fire – Part 1

Devotion Text

Hebrews 4:14-16

Since then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus knows what it is like to live in human flesh. He can sympathize with our weaknesses. He understands our temptations because he has fully endured it.

Suppose for a moment, that you are standing behind one of those big diesel-powered tractors. You are holding a rope attached to the back of the gigantic machine and your job is to keep the monster tractor from moving. That’s right… as the engine revs the smoke bellows from the stack, and as the gears engage, your job—in this man against machine moment— is to stand strong and keep the tractor from moving forward. Think you can do it? Yeah, I know it’s a foolish question. In one nanosecond, you will be pulled along behind the tractor. You will feel a fraction of the power before you go down. Now suppose that you could keep the tractor from moving. As the tractor engaged all its power, you held your ground. If you could keep the tractor from moving, you would feel the full power of the machine.

Jesus felt sin’s entire power, its total force. He was tempted but never gave in. He was tempted to the max, yet he never yielded. That’s why we can approach God’s throne with confidence. There we find grace and mercy in our time of need.

Talking Points

  • Tell God your greatest temptation, the one that keeps knocking you off your spiritual feet.
  • Thank Jesus for enduring the full extent of sin’s power.
  • Ask for strength when temptation rears its ugly head.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the promise of grace and mercy to help in my times of need. Too often, the waves of temptation seem to bowl me over. Help me stand strong in your strength. In your name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

CHANGED: Captivated by the Resurrected Christ

Devotion Text

Hebrews 2:3

How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard.

The fire swept throughout the home, moving from room to room like a wild animal on the run. For those trapped inside the inferno it seemed, there was no escape. But then the firemen arrived and bolted into action. One brave rescuer pushed through the front door. He made his way through the falling structure to those imprisoned by the flames. He knocked a hole in the wall of the room where the family huddled and yelled, “Follow me!” The opening provided a way of escape and, without hesitation, the family followed the rescuer to safety.

But what if those caught in the fire refused to follow? What if the trapped family decided a hole knocked in another wall would have been better? What if those awaiting certain death argued that the hole should have been bigger? What if those imprisoned criticized the narrow-mindedness of the rescuer for only providing one way out? What if those in need of rescue ignored the fireman? The answer is an obvious one. If the people in the hellhole had ignored the rescuer and the escape route, they would have died a foolish and needless death.

We were helpless and hopeless, caught in the grip of sin. There was no way out. But then the Rescuer came. Jesus died on the cross for our sin. He provided the way out of our past prison and the way into a relationship with the Father. This is the great salvation that the Rescuer provides. If we ignore it, there is no other way of escape. I invite you to follow the Rescuer today.

Talking to God

Dear Father,

I admit that I am a sinner in need of rescue. I can’t save myself. I thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sin, providing escape from death and new life with you. Today I trust in Jesus as my Rescuer.

 

I encourage you to share today’s devotional. Use it to open the conversation about Jesus with someone for whom you have been praying.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Community: The Most Neglected Part

Prayer

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Email prayer@ronmoore.org.

RON’S SERMONS

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