Bible Devotions

Devoted: Transfigure Orginally Published: March 31, 2010

Matthew 17:1-9 (The Message)

1-3 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.

4Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”

5While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”

6-8When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.

9Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t breathe a word of what you’ve seen. After the Son of Man is raised from the dead, you are free to talk.”

Would do you think Peter, James, and John talked about as they came down the mountain after Jesus transfigured? Maybe they needed to change their tightie whities? Maybe they were pale and fear-struck with eyes wide open? If I were there, I might have asked Peter, “What were you saying? Can’t you keep your mouth shut for two minutes?” Nevertheless, the same bearded Jesus, who the disciples had been following, transformed before their very eyes and turned into a human light bulb. Words as loud as a train came from Heaven. But how did the disciples get to this place with Jesus? Is this a place Jesus would be willing to take us now? It all depends.

Let me tell you about Alaina. Alaina is my friend Mike’s daughter. She’s two years old and full of life and honestly full of herself. She has short blonde hair and daring blue eyes. Alaina is not like most two year olds; she prefers to be independent – like leave home at any moment independent. It’s not out of her character to simply go to bed without a parent knowing it or even tucking her in. She is amazing.

Let’s say Mike and Alaina are planning on having a “daddy-daughter date” one Saturday. Under normal circumstances, considering Alaina’s character, lets look at how this day might go down. Alaina gets herself together, and after breakfast, grabs Mike by the hand and takes him to her pink and white, soft, girly room. She shows him all of her toys, proceeds to color with him, and then she decides to watch a movie. You get the picture, she does all that is in her little heart to do with her daddy and they have a great ol’ time.

Okay, so second scenario, let’s say Alaina decides to snap out of character, and she lets Mike plan the day. They eat, and then they hit the road. Mike takes Alaina to the nearest zoo, where he shows her large, wonderful beasts that she had never imagined existed. Just when Alaina thought it couldn’t get any better, Mike takes her to the arcade, and they play games together until she’s ready to fall over from her exciting day.

So back to the scripture, Jesus took Peter, James, and John led them up a mountain. I’m sure James or John could have led the expedition to somewhere cool, maybe to their house where they could have cast lots on their Wii. But this first phrase in this passage carries such great weight in the outcome of the story. Jesus took… and led them…

As we are choosing to be disciples and devote ourselves to God, one simple choice will weigh heavy in our outcome. Will we choose to let Him lead us, or will we try to lead Him?

Prayer is the single most important aspect of our faith; it is our lifeline that stretches to Heaven. If we can apply this principle of letting God lead us, we can go places with God we could never have imagined. But much like Alaina, we like our nominal, comfortable experiences. But look at what Alaina missed when she decided to lead Mike – she missed all of the excitement and joy Mike had in store for her.

When people think of discipleship, they have this bleak view of life lived in monkish dryness. We think we must leave “the world,” act real “good,” and never do anything enjoyable ever again. This is a terrible tragedy and is a result of devotional lives lived absent of God’s daily leading.

You want excitement and life? Devote yourself to God and practice the spiritual disciplines daily; but as you discipline yourself, realize that the point of these disciplines is to learn to enjoy God. Make it a daily habit of letting Him lead your devotions. Let him lead your prayer time. He just might take you to a mountain and show you a thing or two.

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Bible Devotions

Lord of Laws

At that time did Jesus go on the sabbaths through the corn, and his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears, and to eat, and the Pharisees having seen, said to him, `Lo, thy disciples do that which it is not lawful to do on a sabbath.’ And he said to them, `Did ye not read what David did, when he was hungry, himself and those with him — how he went into the house of God, and the loaves of the presentation did eat, which it is not lawful to him to eat, nor to those with him, except to the priests alone? `Or did ye not read in the Law, that on the sabbaths the priests in the temple do profane the sabbath, and are blameless? and I say to you, that a greater than the temple is here;  and if ye had known what is: Kindness I will, and not sacrifice — ye had not condemned the blameless, for the son of man is lord even of the sabbath.’

– Matthew Chapter 12

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Bible Devotions

Preordering Unveiled

Unveiled Large Front Photo-01 final

Hey Friends and Fam!

Thank you for your overwhelming support of my first official writing project. The more I talk with you guys and consider the journey that I’ve had towards freedom, the more excited I am to share Unveiled with you. I strongly believe in the message that Unveiled carries. Everyone needs to hear and experience it. And the medium of a book does the message such justice, enabling the reader to encounter it at their own pace.

After a lot of effort and some fumbling around in the dark, we’ve finalized the first prints and are preparing to order them.

For your sake, I wanted to double check and see how many copies I needed to purchase. If you are planning on buying a physical copy I need to know so I can have one on hand for you. You can respond to me via email telling me “Yes, I want (1) copy” and you can pay me when they come. Or you can send me money now as a preorder.

These first prints will be $10.00 a piece.

If you would like to safely send funds for your copy via internet, here is a link to paypal. https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/make-online-payments All you have to do is put jay.goodnight@gmail.com in the (To) section to get the funds to me.

Or you’re welcome to send a check to
157 Water Oak Dr. Pineville NC 28134

If you have any questions please feel free to get a hold of me. jay.goodnight@gmail.com

Love Ya’ll,
Jason D. Goodnight

Bible Devotions · Bible Interpretation · Commentary

Formation: James 1:8

The Book of James Discipleship Meeting:

My view of a discipleship meeting vs. any other meeting is that discipleship is about learning how to better walk with Jesus. The meeting is not about “worshiping” as in music, it’s about New Testament worship, the laying down of our lives (Romans 12:1). The meeting is not about having more cerebral information about a text, like most Bible studies. It’s about learning to hear what God is saying through the scriptures, talking about it with other saints, building each other up unto the likeness of Christ. Nothing wrong with “worship”, or Bible studies, or passionate preaching. Those things are good. I’ve just found that our time is best spent getting our hands dirty in each other’s lives. And challenging people to participate, getting their “hands” on the word. Talking about it, consuming it.

James 1:8  a two-souled man [is] unstable in all his ways.

(These studies all build on one another. Revisit the last post on James to get the scoop on the context.)

So, James is coming out of the prayer closet crazy eyed and begins to challenge the reader of this letter. He speaks to the heart of duality of men. Something he continues to do throughout this letter. We’re all too aware, within ourselves, of the division we have. Paul struggled with this division and even stated, “Who will save me from this body of death?!” Romans 7:24. There are some very practical applications for this specific verse from James, especially in regard to surrender and fully choosing to walk with God. Turning from our old lives and walking with Christ. But, that was not the focus of our topic on Thursday night.

What James was doing by speaking so forthrightly to the people was challenging them unto repentance. In those days there was a fierce commitment to the Church. People we’re dieing for their faith in that area. And to be challenge was to be loved, because they believed that the condition of your soul was most important. It was and still should be a welcomed action. Who else is going to look out for the condition of our souls, if our brothers and sisters don’t?

Continue reading “Formation: James 1:8”

Bible Devotions

Devoted: Transfigure March 31, 2010

Matthew 17:1-9 (The Message)

1-3 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.

4Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”

5While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”

6-8When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.

9Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t breathe a word of what you’ve seen. After the Son of Man is raised from the dead, you are free to talk.”

Would do you think Peter, James, and John talked about as they came down the mountain after Jesus transfigured? Maybe they needed to change their tightie whities? Maybe they were pale and fear-struck with eyes wide open? If I were there, I might have asked Peter, “What were you saying? Can’t you keep your mouth shut for two minutes?” Nevertheless, the same bearded Jesus, who the disciples had been following, transformed before their very eyes and turned into a human light bulb. Words as loud as a train came from Heaven. But how did the disciples get to this place with Jesus? Is this a place Jesus would be willing to take us now? It all depends. Continue reading “Devoted: Transfigure March 31, 2010”

Bible Devotions

the Moat

When encountering the Kingdom of God, on this side of heaven, there stands a moat around it. You know a moat, that trench-like body of water around a castle. Yeah, The Kingdom of God has one of those around it. To enter it you must pass through it. None are really exempt, and to pass through it you have to leave most all of your personal kingdom to make your way through it.

Here’s the thing- Jesus revealed what the Kingdom of God looked like, what it would cost those who wanted to enter it, and He even made new commandments that could only be obeyed from within it’s walls.

Continue reading “the Moat”