The Journey with Ron Moore
Devotion Text

Nehemiah 5:15-16

But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.  Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land.

Nehemiah was a leader who cut his own course. Earlier leaders in Jerusalem lorded their power over the people with heavy burdens of taxation. Their greed was one reason the discouraged Israelites lived in disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem was not the only thing in shambles. The people lived with worn-out bodies and broken spirits.

However, Nehemiah was a different kind of leader. He refused to take advantage of the people. He and his men engaged in the work on the wall. He didn’t use his power to acquire personal wealth. In fact, each day “a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at his table” (Nehemiah 5:17).

Why did Nehemiah lead in such a way? Look at today’s passage. Nehemiah said that his behavior was “out of reverence” for God. What a powerful statement! Nehemiah was not about to take advantage of the position that God had given him. He led differently because of his love, devotion, and admiration for the holy God. Leading out of reverence for God . . . now that puts leadership in a truly biblical perspective.

Father, please help us all to live and lead out of reverence for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

1st John: Sons and Daughters

Luke 20:37-39

But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead so they tried to catch Jesus in a contradiction. They created a hypothetical situation in which the custom of the day left a woman childless after the death of seven brothers. They asked Jesus whose wife the woman would be in heaven. Jesus explained to them that they were ignorant of Scripture and rejected the power of God.

In today’s passage, He reminded the religious leaders that their ancestor Moses believed in the resurrection. Moses referred to patriarchs in the present tense. Even though Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had passed from the earth, they were still alive in heaven and waiting for a bodily resurrection.

Do you believe this present world is all there is? Sometimes we live as if we do.

Certainly we have to tend to the here and now, but believers place the present in the context of eternity. We are citizens of heaven simply passing through town on the way home. Belief in eternity changes our perspective.

Father, thank You for the promise of eternal life. Thank You that our lives don’t end after these few short years on earth. Help me live with an eternal perspective. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Drifting Away

Perhaps you’ve been to the place where dark clouds of trouble have obscured the Sun and their thunderclaps have rattled your world.  Perhaps you’re there now.  There at the place where life has turned a pale gray and you wonder if it’s still worth the time and effort.

Today Ron Moore assures you that it is.  He’ll take you to another place where the light never dims and clouds never gather.  And from that perspective, you’ll discover a way to redeem your time in this dark and shaken world.

John 12:4-8

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

In an act of pure adoration, Mary poured out the perfume and used her hair to wipe the fragrance on the feet of Jesus. It was radical worship, but not everyone appreciated Mary’s act of love.

Judas certainly didn’t and the other gospel writers tell us that many disciples agreed. They asked, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” (Matthew 26:8-9). Few can relate to such radical worship, but Jesus did. He said that Mary had “done a beautiful thing” to Him.

Radical acts of service and worship will often be misunderstood. When believers sacrifice their lives or possessions to further the kingdom, many people…even many believers…will conclude, “What a waste!” But then people…even other believers…didn’t die for us! There is only one perspective that matters, and He calls radical worship “a beautiful thing.”

Father, pry my clinching fingers from the stuff that matters most to me. Give me a heart not just for worship, but for radical worship. Help me to do “a beautiful thing” in Your sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Can’t Just Sit There!

Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Life is filled with choices. Some choices are between good and bad. Those are the easy ones. But some choices are between good and better, or better and best. Those are the hard ones.

Mary and Martha were two sisters who loved Jesus. Both aimed to serve Him. Martha’s service took an active form. She focused on preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples. Mary’s service took a more passive, reflective form. She “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” After a while, Martha felt like all the heavy lifting had been left for her. She questioned the Lord’s care and told Him to instruct Mary to help her. You can read Jesus’ response in the passage above. Martha’s service was good, but Mary chose what was better.

What about you? Are your priorities in perspective? Is your service to the Lord becoming a distraction to your worship of the Lord? Are you worried and upset about many things? Are you busy with many things when a “few things are needed—or indeed only one”? Are you choosing the better? The best? Those things that cannot be taken away?

Father, give me insight and perspective as I think through the ways I serve You. Don’t let me use this passage to rationalize a weak commitment. Don’t let me be so busy that I become distracted. Help me choose the best to honor You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Worshipping God

Matthew 5:21-22

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool! ’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Have you ever been angry? Really ticked off? Bitter? Resentful?  Ever held a deep grudge against another person? The better question is not “Have you?” but “Are you?” Anger is a God-given emotion. Sometimes it moves us to proper action, but left unchecked it is a dangerous emotion. Here are four things to help with controlling our anger.

  1. Pray for a balanced perspective.

When Jesus saw the misuses of the temple He was moved to indignation and action. He drove out those selling animals and upended the tables of the moneychangers. Sin against God and injustice against man should move us to indignation as well. However, in order to keep our emotions in check we must pray for the Spirit’s control.

  1. Address anger on a daily basis.

I seldom get through a day where someone or something doesn’t tick me off. Paul says that unchecked anger is the devil’s foothold in our lives. We should ask God to deal with our emotions on a daily basis (Ephesians 4:26-27).

  1. Stay away from angry people.

Some people are always angry about something. Stay away from them. They will drag you down (Proverbs 22:24-25).

  1. Confront and forgive.

Confront the person or situation causing your anger. If it is a person, discuss the issue and choose to forgive. If it is a situation, give it to the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to control your emotions.

O Father, I can get angry about many things and my emotions can rise quickly. Please control my feelings. Help me to not react. Help me feel indignation for the right things and be moved to honor You in my actions. Help me forgive and move from resentment and bitterness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.  


 

Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Message Sent: The Bible’s Translation and Distribution

Matthew 5:11-12

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Sometimes persecution leads to the loss of property or life. Sometimes persecution comes in the form of personal abuse. This mistreatment is not brought on by something you said or did. It comes because of your relationship with Jesus and your commitment to follow hard after Him.

The word “insult” in today’s passage means, “to injure the reputation of,” “to malign.” This takes place when you are the subject of vicious rumors, when you are the target of a slander campaign, or when you are being laughed at for your faith. “Insult” may result in losing your position at work, being overlooked for advancement in your job, being ridiculed even in your home and, in some cases, being disowned by your family.

Persecution and insult are painful – no doubt about that – but Jesus tells us to put them in a historical and eternal perspective. You are not the first to be mistreated. They persecuted the prophets before you. This earth is not your final destination, it is simply a layover. Great rewards are waiting for you in heaven!

Father, insult is painful. I feel the hurt and mistreatment. I want justice so I desire to strike back. Help me keep a greater perspective. Keep my eye on the eternal reward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Luke 2:8-10
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

Our journey together will focus on the Gospels — the first four books of the New Testament. “Gospel” means “good news.” Just as the angel brought the good news of Jesus to the shepherds, so Matthew, Mark, Luke and John declare the good news about Jesus from His birth to His glorious resurrection to His post-resurrection appearances.

Each writer aims his gospel to a particular audience for a particular reason. Over the next few days we will consider the writers and their purpose. Each man tells us about Jesus from a different perspective and records different aspects of Jesus’ life. The variety provides a rich and full account of Christ’s time on earth.

These writers hold nothing back. The Gospels document the real and raw response to Jesus. The disciples experienced doubt and failure. Some were confused by the Lord’s teaching. They competed for position. They denied Jesus and abandoned Him as He was arrested, beaten and finally crucified. One betrayed Him. Through the Gospels we see Jesus…and see ourselves.

Father, open my eyes to see Jesus in a fresh way through the Gospels. As I learn about Him, move me to know Him more intimately, love Him more passionately, and follow Him wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Samaria

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