29 episodes

Today in the Word is a daily audio devotional available via podcast. Today in the Word features solid biblical content and study that models the mission and values of Moody Bible Institute.

Today in the Word Devotional Moody Radio

    • Christianity
    • 4.7, 36 Ratings

Today in the Word is a daily audio devotional available via podcast. Today in the Word features solid biblical content and study that models the mission and values of Moody Bible Institute.

    Learning Through Experience

    Learning Through Experience

    As a child, for me, a trip to the dentist meant sitting in an electric chair that went up and down, choosing between cinnamon or bubblegum toothpaste, and taking home a plastic bag of goodies. My positive childhood experiences at the dentist gave me valuable knowledge and a good attitude toward oral hygiene that would last a lifetime. Experience can be a powerful teacher. The New Testament Greek word ginosko means “to come to know” or understand. Jesus masterfully used real-life experiences to help His followers learn enduring lessons. In Mark 6:30–44 the disciples returned to Jesus after being given power to heal and cast out demons. Jesus and the disciples tried to rest, but large crowds continued to follow them. Notice Christ’s attitude of compassion as He taught late into the day. Verse 34 tells us that Jesus “had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” The crowds were so enthralled with His teaching that no one thought about how food would be obtained. Jesus told his disciples to meet the people’s need and feed them. Taking inventory, they found only five loaves and two fish (v. 41). In Jesus’ hands, that meager supply multiplied to feed more than 5,000 people. Imagine, if you will, that dinner- time conversation! I am sure people swapped many stories the following days due to this once-in-a-lifetime experience. What’s most important about experiential learning is that it leads to greater understanding. The truth of Mark 6 is not just that dinner supplies could be miraculously fashioned out of thin air. The disciples and the crowd witnessed an all-powerful God who was able to meet their needs. They saw a demonstration of God’s love for people. >> What experiences in your life have taught truth to you? What have you learned about God through the way He has cared for your needs? Write down that story so you will remember and share it today!

    A Life-Changing Lesson

    A Life-Changing Lesson

    I remember one thing from the third grade: my teacher, Mrs. Howard, liked me. Although long-division was very difficult, I was willing to tackle it because I wanted nothing more than to please Mrs. Howard. One day, I showed up to third grade only to learn that Mrs. Howard had suddenly retired. I was crushed. While those mathematics lessons have faded from my memory, Mrs. Howard’s care for me as a person has stayed with me for a lifetime. Twenty-nine times in the gospels, Jesus is addressed as “Teacher.” For those students willing to hear, the lessons He taught them would never be lost. In John 3, Nicodemus (a Pharisee in charge of people’s spiritual well-being) recognized that Jesus was a very different kind of teacher. Nicodemus approached Jesus at night and said to Him, “You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God was not with him” (v. 3). Nicodemus was compelled by what he had heard and seen of Jesus to risk the critique of his fellow Pharisees and interact with this teacher who he felt had “come from God” (v. 2). Jesus used this opportunity to teach Nicodemus a life-giving message: he must be born again. The lesson was confusing at first, and Nicodemus struggled to understand what it meant to be “born again” (v. 3). His questions were sincere, but Jesus observed, “You are Israel’s teacher, and do you not understand these things?” (v. 10). Jesus challenged Nicodemus’s understanding of salvation. This lesson would have lifelong results, not just for Nicodemus, but for all those he would influence. If anyone needed to know truth so he could share it with others, wouldn’t it be “Israel’s teacher?” >> Each of us has the opportunity to teach the most powerful life-changing lesson of all: “You must be born again.” You don’t need a teaching degree to share the good news that Jesus saves sinners. And you never retire from sharing the gospel!

    Be an Influencer

    Be an Influencer

    A website called Rate My Professor allows college students to evaluate their teachers, rating them on their level of difficulty and expertise. Many students, when selecting courses, will look at those reviews and use that information to decide which course to enroll in. These student reviews are highly influential! What one student, who has been through the course, says carries significance for those deciding whether or not to enroll. In his review of Jesus, John the Baptist declared Him “the Lamb of God” (v. 35), a statement that heavily influenced Andrew and John. Jesus then issued this life-changing invitation to His disciples to experience Him for themselves: “Come and you will see” (v. 39). He invited them to come, to walk alongside Him. After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew enthusiastically went to his brother Simon and proclaimed, “We have found the Messiah” (v. 41). Both John and Andrew became influencers, sharing the good news that the Messiah had come. Word of Jesus quickly spread to many others, including Philip, Andrew, and Peter. History now records the disciples’ day-to-day experiences as they walked alongside God’s Son and learned from His example. And Jesus’ influence did not stop with His death, resurrection, and ascension. His life has been recorded in the bestselling book of all time spreading from Jew to Gentile and to every continent. When we share how Christ has worked in our own lives, we influence others. Since September 2, 1981, my life has truly never been the same. Hallelujah! September 2 was the day of my salvation. Tell others how your life has been miraculously influenced by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. >> How has your life been changed by Jesus? Tell someone about it today, in a conversation, with a letter, or even on social media. While you might not write a bestselling book, you can certainly tell someone today Who has influenced your life.

    Check Your Mindset

    Check Your Mindset

    Many of my college students are intimidated by the Teaching Elementary Math Methods course. They say, “I’m just not good at math. I’m worried I won’t be a good math teacher.” How did they develop such a negative mindset? My goal is that they will be able to teach mathematics with a positive mindset. Your mindset reveals what you believe about yourself in a specific situation. Being willing to learn and work through struggles produces a positive mindset and opens your mind to learning. In today’s passage, Jesus taught His disciples the importance of developing a heavenly mindset because He knew their earthly lives as His followers would be difficult. Verse 17 describes the huge crowd that had gathered to hear from Jesus. But when this famous sermon began, Jesus looked specifically at His disciples (v. 20). He taught them the “blessing” that comes through difficult things: poverty, hunger, sorrow, and hatred (vv. 20–22). Certainly, this upside-down view of life was surprising. The poor would receive God’s kingdom, the hungry would be satisfied, those who weep would laugh. While we may want great things in our lives right now, our true reward is in heaven (v. 23). That’s why Jesus was teaching those who listened to keep a heavenly mindset. They needed to view the hard things that happened in light of what was to come. Jesus then taught the same lesson in reverse, associating desirable things with the word “woe.” He said, “Woe to you” to those who are rich and well-fed, to those who laugh and are flattered. Why? When we become too satisfied with the blessings of the present day, it’s easy to take our eyes off our eternal purpose. The lesson is clear: we need to maintain a heavenly perspective. >> What is affecting your mindset today? Are you suffering? Take comfort in Jesus’ promise that your eternal future is filled with hope. Are you content? Be wary of getting so comfortable that you neglect to turn your heart and mind to God.

    What is a Teacher?

    What is a Teacher?

    Even as a young child, Amy Jensen McCaulley would gather her two younger brothers in the backyard and teach them Bible lessons. After graduating from Moody Bible Institute in 1980, Amy dedicated her life to teaching children from a biblical worldview. Recently, one of her first-graders, now a grown married man with children, posted on social media a picture of a postcard Amy had mailed to him when he was in her first-grade class. She encouraged him to keep reading and follow Jesus. Why did this grown man save his teacher’s card for so many years? He wanted to thank his teacher for her powerful influence. Sixty times in the Gospels, Jesus is called Teacher. The Greek word for teacher is didaskalos, meaning an instructor who is acknowledged for mastery in their field of learning. Everyone who came in contact with Jesus’ instruction, from demons to disciples to the gathered crowds, even the Pharisees, realized He was, indeed, the Master Teacher. At the end of Christ’s physical time on earth, after His resurrection, Jesus delivered one last lesson to His disciples. Matthew 28 details the important truths found in this final lesson. Notice that Jesus did not spend time walking down memory lane. Instead, He used every moment to teach them, even in this final moment, giving them lessons to last a lifetime. Sadly, some of the eleven gathered disciples doubted (v. 17). Even so, Jesus was intent on delivering His final lesson: “Go and make disciples,” “baptizing” and “teaching” them (vv. 19–20). These final instructions, given with complete authority (v. 18), were intended for those who had learned from Him. He instructed them to go and become teachers themselves, sharing what they had learned from the great Teacher, their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (vv. 19–20). >> It’s back to school this month as we learn from Jesus, our great Teacher. We hope you will learn from Jesus how to teach others the truth of the gospel and how to live for His glory. Someday, there just might be someone who contacts you and says, “Thank you for being my teacher.”

    At Home with Him

    At Home with Him

    As we end our journey through Joshua, it is important to remember how we fit in the bigger picture. It’s easy to dismiss the people and events of this book as long ago and far away. But the implications of their quest shed significant insight into our daily walk with Jesus. In today’s text, Peter communicates something that was brand new to the entire world. Previously, the Israelites were the only ones specifically chosen by God. Unless there were special circumstances, for instance, Rahab and her family, the story of God and humanity was mostly about Yahweh and the Israelites. However, because of Jesus, the true living Stone (v. 4), non-Jews are able to be part of God’s family, too. The Israelites were God’s chosen people whom He was making into a nation. They would always have a special place in God’s heart. But because of Jesus, Peter proclaimed that non-Jews also have a place in the kingdom. Followers of Jesus, regardless of race or ethnicity, “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (v. 9). Because of Jesus, the tent has been widened and the table has been extended. Just as the Israelites were called out of slavery in Egypt, we have been called “out of darkness into his wonderful light” (v. 9). The Israelites wandered in the desert for decades with no place to call their home. Then Joshua led the people on a quest into the Promised Land. In a similar fashion, you and I have wandered aimlessly looking for purpose and fulfillment. But the Lord leads us on a quest that is sometimes difficult, nevertheless bringing us to a place that is unimaginable—at home with Him. >> What have you learned from your study of Joshua? How can you apply those lessons to your own faith journey? Like Joshua, we can step out in faith boldly, obey God’s commands faithfully, and remain loyal to our calling. May you, too, have courage for the quest.

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