New Tools That Will Deepen Your Knowledge & Ministry

bible survey, survey, new testament, wordsearch, bundle, booksBible survey books can be a powerful ally in your study of God’s Word and your preparation for lessons and sermons. One of the great strengths of a Bible survey is how it takes each book of the Bible and connects it with all other books of the Bible. This weaving together of Scripture makes you more productive as you seek knowledge and inspiration in your Bible study, especially as you minister to others.

Today I’m announcing the release of a 2-volume Bible Survey Bundle. These are seminary-level textbooks, which under normal circumstances are expensive like all seminary books. Purchased in hardcover, you could expect to spend $109.98 for these volumes. For the next 14 days, you can add them to your digital library for a total cost of just $39.95. Click here to download this bundle now. Or, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8288.

The Bible Survey Bundle – Includes:
The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament
This New Testament survey is 976 pages in length, and it thoroughly introduces all 27 New Testament books. You’ll find a close examination of Christ’s incarnation and virgin birth, the heart of His ministry that is revealed in the Gospels, His passion, death, resurrection, the birth of the church, the epistles, and the triumphant return of Jesus and our eternal reign with Him as depicted in Revelation. This thorough text was authored by noted scholars Andreas J. Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles.

The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament
This fresh survey of the Old Testament is driven largely by the fact that so much Christian preaching and teaching today increasingly ignores what is 80% of the Bible. Authors Eugene Merrill, Mark Rooker, and Michael Grisanti work through the world and text of the Old Testament, and consistently emphasize:

  1. The Old Testament is a rich source of theology and doctrine that foreshadows the New Testament. Without it, Christian theology would be seriously deficient.
  2. Mastery of the Old Testament is crucial to an understanding of the New Testament.
  3. The Old Testament offers, by teaching and example, practical principles of belief and behavior for current times. Who God is and what He did then can be applied to the lives of men and women today.

Each of these 2 volumes is currently on sale for $24.95, but, when you take the 2-volume bundle, you’ll save an additional $10. Click here for more details or to add these excellent tools to your digital library today.

NIV Application Commentary – Sale Expires July 28
Thanks to a special agreement with the publisher, for a limited time, the NIV Application Commentary is on sale at our lowest price ever. This 20-volume NT commentary is normally $452.76, but, through July 28, it’s only $299.95. You can even call us to arrange 6 interest-free payments of just $50, and begin using the entire set with your first payment. This is the commentary series that Billy Graham spoke of when he said it, “promises to become an indispensable tool for every pastor and teacher who seeks to make the Bible’s timeless message speak to this generation.” Click here for complete details, or call us at 1-800-888-9898. Interest-free payment plans are available. Mention special offer 8288.

Training Conference, August 12-14
Make plans now to join the WORDsearch team in Nashville, Tennessee, August 12-14. This is your opportunity to get hands-on training for using WORDsearch. You’ll be tutored by expert WORDsearch trainers, and you can choose to attend Basic or Advanced training sessions. In the past, we’ve charged up to $175 for these events, but this conference is practically free. Here’s why: Your registration fee is just $40, and as soon as you arrive, you’ll receive a $40 voucher to spend on any of our conference specials. You’ll find some great specials at the conference, specials we don’t offer anywhere else. Click here for details, and get registered while seats are still available.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these specials before they expire. As always, I guarantee you’ll be delighted or I’ll be happy to refund your purchase.

In His Service,

Jim Baird

P.S. Learn more about the benefits of Bible surveys here. You’ll find a helpful post on Bible surveys in our new series, The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit.

 

The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit: Bible Surveys

bible survey, student, pastor, teacher, wordsearch bibleWith 66 books written at different times, by different people, and for different purposes, the Bible can be confusing even to seasoned students of Scripture. One can easily get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture—you can read an Old or New Testament book and miss its overall themes and messages. Fortunately, there exists a tool that can remedy this problem and bring clarity to potential confusion—the Bible survey.

As the name suggests, a Bible survey gives a big-picture look at every book of the Bible, while an Old and New Testament survey does the same for those respective portions. Typical surveys will examine each book and discuss the author, the date of writing, the historical background, the book’s overall themes and messages, and provide an outline. The format is similar to what you find in most study Bibles, but the discussion goes into greater depth, which is ideal for sermon preparation or small-group lessons.

In addition, many surveys provide maps, charts, photos, and diagrams that serve as helpful visual aids.

There are many Bible/OT/NT surveys available, and often what distinguishes them is the level at which they’re written. Some surveys are intended for beginning Bible college students (i.e., a lay audience), while others are written for seminary or graduate students. One example of a very accessible volume is Ed Hindson and Elmer Towns’s Illustrated Bible Survey. This survey features the topics listed above, along with introductory chapters on how we got the Bible and how to read the Bible, along with practical reflections on biblical truths.

A more advanced set of books covering just the New Testament are the volumes by Craig Blomberg included in our two-volume bundle. The first volume covers Jesus and the gospels, while the second explores Acts through Revelation. One of the differences you’ll notice right away is the number of footnotes, which are much more plentiful in Blomberg’s volumes. These indicate places where Blomberg is interacting with other biblical scholars on issues like authorship and date, as well as on more academic topics like textual criticism, sources, and literary genre. But even on topics like this, Blomberg explains the issues clearly, and his writing is easy to follow.

A third survey, David deSilva’s An Introduction to the New Testament, covers the standard topics, but also features a section on practical implications for ministry at the end of each chapter. This is ideal for students as well as those serving in pastoral ministry.

Using a Bible survey in WORDsearch can dramatically increase your productivity in studying the Word, in preparing lessons, and in researching for sermon preparation. Surveys in WORDsearch allow you to:

  • Quickly find the most important elements of a book you’re studying:  Who wrote it, when it was written, its historical background, themes, messages, and outline.
  • Use the outlines and other vital information to help shape and organize your sermons and lessons.
  • Easily read linked Scripture references that appear in the text.
  • Search the survey for keywords, Scripture references, people, places, and other important terms.
  • Use the WORDsearch word processor to take notes and paste text from the survey.

For all of these reasons, a good Bible/OT/NT survey is one of the essential tools in the pastor’s, teacher’s, or student’s Bible study toolkits.

How do you benefit from a Bible survey? Share with us!

The Bible Made Simple Series

made simple series, christian living, the bibleSometimes the Bible and all that is associated with the Christian faith can get complicated. I’ve often wished someone would simplify things for regular people like me. Well, that’s exactly what author Mark Water has accomplished with The Made Simple Series. I’m really impressed with how he has simplified complex issues regarding the Bible, morality, and religion in this excellent series. Each of the 6 volumes in this set are available individually, and purchased that way, they’d cost $77.70. But I’d like to see this series in every digital library, so for the next 14 days, you can have it for the crazy-low price of $19.95. JUST CLICK HERE and you can begin using it today! If you prefer ordering by phone, call 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8267.

Simple, Yet Thoroughly Explained.

Have you ever wondered, “What are the key differences between Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Orthodox, and the many other denominations?” And “How is Christianity distinct from Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and a dozen other religions?” Mark Water explains it all in a straightforward way that is easy to understand. It made me more confident in my own relationship with Christ. This helpful 6-volume bundle includes:

Bible Study Made Simple—Learn to do word studies, topical studies, and personality studies. Discover principles for interpreting Bible passages correctly. Find new ways to memorize Scripture. Identify the key, golden verse in each book of the Bible.

Christian Living Made Simple—Explains how you can make Jesus the main focus of your life, and overcome selfish desires. Through a series of studies, you will discover how to start the Christian life, how to grow in it, and how to overcome problems that will come.

Moral Choices Made Simple—Learn what the Bible has to say about abortion and adultery. Discover answers to the subject of divorce and remarriage. The issues are as varied as: capital punishment, gambling, racism, war, medical dilemmas, homosexuality, and euthanasia.

Teachings of the Bible Made Simple—Explore the wide-range of Bible teachings on a variety of key issues. Learn how Jesus could be both man and God. Find the twenty key Old Testament teachings. Discover what the Bible really says about angels, baptism, creation, the cross, hell, holiness, mercy, temptation, and much more.

The Bible Made Simple—Learn the key events, the strange customs, and the fascinating features of each individual Bible book. Find information about the key 200 Bible characters. Discover the crucial differences between the four Gospels. See how archeology confirms the events and facts of the Bible.

World Religions Made Simple—You’ll receive a basic introduction to all the major religions of the world, including the big four: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Each lengthy article discusses the founder, his influence, his beliefs, his writings, and the practices of each religious group.

Hurry, This 6-Volume Bundle Is 75% off for 14 Days Only.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this incredible saving on The Made Simple Series before this sale expires. I know it will be a valuable addition to your digital reference library—one you will turn to again and again. As always, I guarantee you’ll be delighted, or your money back. Just click here. If you have any questions or would like to bundle this with any other books, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8267.

In His Service,

Jim Baird

Free Friday! The Master’s Indwelling

andrew murray, master's indwelling, booksHappy Friday everyone! Today’s featured free download is The Master’s Indwelling by Andrew Murray. Click here to download.

First, we must know that there is such a spiritual life to be lived by men on earth. Nothing cuts the roots of the Christian life so much as unbelief. People do not believe what God has said about what He is willing to do for His children. Men do not believe that when God says, “Be filled with the Spirit,” He means it for every Christian. And yet Paul wrote to the Ephesians each one: “Be filled with the Spirit, and do not be drunk with wine.” Just as little as you may be drunk with wine, so little may you live without being filled with the Spirit. Now, if God means that for believers, the first thing that we need is to study, and to take home God’s Word, to our belief until our hearts are filled with the assurance that there is such a life possible which it is our duty to live; that we can be spiritual men. God’s Word teaches us that God does not expect a man to live as he ought for one minute unless the Holy Spirit is in him to enable him to do it.

You’ve accepted Christ as your personal Savior and you are doing everything in your power to live the good Christian life. You’re giving to the Church and others, you’re fellowshipping with other believers, and reading your Bible. But is Christ living in you? Are you experiencing Abundant Life? Or are you tightly controlling your own life or, even worse, trying to control the lives of others? Jesus has called us to experience more than just a life of emptiness and loneliness. He’s invited us to experience the joy in the Christ-filled life. You’re already in Christ; now let Him be in you. It’s time for The Master’s Indwelling.

Andrew Murray Jr. was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1828. He was the second child of Andrew Murray Sr., a Scottish Presbyterian serving the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa as a missionary. Andrew was sent to Aberdeen in Scotland for his initial education together with his elder brother, John. Both remained there until they obtained their M.A in 1845. From there they both went to the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands where they studied theology. Both brothers were ordained by the Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church on May 9, 1848 and returned to the Cape.

Andrew pastored churches in Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town and Wellington, all in South Africa. He was an amazingly prolific Christian author. All of his publications were originally written in Dutch and then translated into English. As his popularity grew, Murray’s books found their way into more than twelve foreign languages during his lifetime alone. Murray is best known for his devotional writings, which place great emphasis on the need for a rich, personal devotional life. Several of his books have become classics they include: Abide in Christ, Absolute Surrender and Waiting on God.

He helped to found what are now the University College of the Orange Free State and the Stellenbosch Seminary. He served as moderator of the Cape Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church and was president of both the YMCA and the South African General Mission, now the Africa Evangelical Fellowship.

Murray was an alert and intense man, he died on January 18, 1917, four months before his eighty-ninth birthday. For his contribution to world missions he was given an honorary doctorate by the universities of Aberdeen and Cape of Good Hope.

After you have read the book, we’d love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!

Learn How Passion & Purpose Becomes Growth & Missions

passion & purpose, seibert, church planting, evagelism, antiochHave you heard about Pastor Jimmy Seibert and the remarkable story of the Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas? Pastor Jimmy is really on to something in terms of church growth and world missions. His story is worth reading in his new book, Passion & Purpose,  and it was just released for your digital library. And, for a limited time, we’ve added 3 additional bonus volumes on church missions to this Passion & Purpose Package. It’s just $24.95 (retail value is $67.80).  Click here to download this bundle now. If you prefer ordering by phone, call 1-800-888-9898. Mention special offer 8273.

Passion & Purpose – Imagine planting your first church with just a handful of believers. That’s what Pastor Jimmy did in 1999. Since his college days at Baylor University, Jimmy committed to a simple lifestyle of following Jesus, studying the Bible, and obeying its teachings. Through the simplicity of loving God, loving others, and loving the broken world, Jimmy became captivated with world missions and the potential of the local church. You’ll be amazed by how God blesses simple trust and obedience as you read Pastor Jimmy’s story. As of this past spring, Antioch Community Church has planted 27 new churches in the U.S., and has active church plant teams in 26 foreign countries. And they are still growing today! Read Jimmy’s inspiring story and you will be encouraged, uplifted, and blessed.

3 Bonus Volumes in the Passion & Purpose Package:

Breaking the Missional Code is a clarion call for the churches in the United States to act among their local communities as missionaries would in a foreign land. Surprisingly, the message of Jesus Christ is still foreign to many who stand in the shadows of American steeples. As our approach to outreach changes, so can countless lives in our own backyards.

The Challenge to Great Commission Obedience – Rediscover the power and the promise of the Great Commission. Pointing always to Jesus as the light of the world, we are reminded of our blessed call to carry that light everywhere from the Americas to Zimbabwe and all points in between, to everyone in need of a Savior.

City Signals helps us recognize what’s in our own hearts, to embrace diversity, and to see how God is working in urban areas. It challenges us to understand the importance of people, not programs, to empower decision makers, and to apply discipleship in urban settings. City Signals is more than a study, it’s your green light to growth in urban ministry.

Take all 4 of these inspiring ministry volumes today for only $24.95. Just click here.

study bible, sale, wordsearch bible, biblesStudy Bible Sale – Ends Tonight!
How deep is the collection of Study Bibles in your digital library? Two weeks ago, we selected 12 of our most popular Study Bibles and put them on sale. What everyone loves about Study Bibles is all the helpful material they include. Most Study Bibles contain study notes, which are like having a concise commentary on each passage of Scripture. Plus, you’ll get all the maps, charts, timelines, outlines, overviews, word studies, character studies, photographs, diagrams, and other information supplied by each Study Bible. Click here for more details or to download today. This sale will end at midnight, July 10. Feel free to call 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8273.

higle, journey series, tommy higle, wordsearch bible, preachingThe Journey Series – Sale Ends Monday
Like you, author Tommy Higle knows that every Bible study is an adventurous journey. This seasoned pastor spent 30 years writing The Journey Series, which is now a 36-volume library filled with insight and practical lessons. Through July 14, The Journey Series Complete Bundle is on sale at 73% off. Normally $221.00, for 4 more days you can add it to your library for just $59.95. You’ll find 7 years worth of preaching and teaching material that is both topical and expository. Just click here and you can begin your own journey immediately! If you prefer to order by phone, call us at 1-800-888-9898 (mention special offer 8273).

I hope you’ll take advantage of these specials before they expire. As always, I guarantee you’ll be delighted or I’ll be happy to refund your purchase.

In His Service,

Jim Baird

Guest Post – Forgiveness, Repentance & Reconciliation

colossians 3:13, bible, colossians

Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

What do you do when you have done something to violate your own values? How do you forgive yourself and reconcile what you have done with who you are?

Forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation are like cousins; they are related, but function independently of each other. You can have any one, two or all three.

The first cousin is forgiveness. It is entirely up to you if you forgive or not. The offender’s repentance can make forgiveness easier, but is not necessary. Forgiveness happens inside of you.

The second cousin is repentance. This is the job of the offender. Repent comes from ‘metanoeo’ which means ‘to think differently or reconsider’. There is also an emotional component (2 Corinthians 7:10). Focusing on repentance should be primary. Forgiveness will be much easier if you acknowledge your own guilt, shame and remorse. Knowing and accepting your vulnerability will enable you to protect against re-occurrence.

The third cousin is reconciliation (Matthew 5:23-24). Here reconciled comes form ‘diallasso’ which means ‘to change thoroughly’. It is also translated from ‘katallage’ (Romans 5:11), which means ‘restoration’, and ‘katallaso’ (2 Cor. 5:18) which means ‘to change mutually’. Reconciliation requires BOTH parties. Both have to want to continue the relationship, and do their parts. This is healthy reconciliation; it has both forgiveness AND repentance. The relationship has been mutually changed and restored.

But there’s still the other side. Unhealthy reconciliation is maintaining the relationship without forgiveness or repentance (Acts 7:26). Here reconcile comes from ‘synelavno’ which means to ‘drive together’. We do that sometimes – drive a relationship together when there is no repentance.

The other possible response to repeat offenders is to end the relationship, to not have reconciliation (Matthew 18; Romans 12:18)When you have followed the prescribed course, and the other person refuses to make any changes, it might be time to end the relationship. God is able to bring good from the hurt of a broken relationship (Acts 15: 36-41; Romans 8:28). No one else can decide for you to continue or end the relationship, and no one else has the right to judge your decision. This is between you and God.

It is also possible to have forgiveness and repentance without reconciliation. Each does their part; forgiving and repenting. However, one or both decide to not continue the relationship. If ending is the decision, forgiveness and repentance are important to have healthy relationships with others. If you don’t forgive or repent, you’ll carry that hurt into other relationships, and recreate the same destructive dynamics.

So how do you respond in a healthy way to the lack or repentance? Forgive and set strong boundaries (Luke 17:3-4). If you can forgive, and the other person is earnestly trying to repent, you can choose to continue the relationship. To do this, you must be very clear and consistent in identifying and not accepting the hurtful behavior. If you cannot set that boundary, you would be fostering the sin you both have.

Confession IS good for the soul (James 5:16). Confessing to another is essential when you need to repent and forgive yourself. Avoidance comes with secrecy, perpetuating the shame and guilt. Confession illuminates reality, and establishes accountability. It does not have to be a public confession. Do be careful in selecting the hearer of your confession. The goal is healing, not condemnation. Choose someone whom you trust and respect, can keep your confidence, is humble and is full of God’s grace. The hearer of your confession does have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to proclaim God’s forgiveness to you (John 20:23).

How are you working to reconcile your relationships? Share with us!

bill syrcle, guest blog, counselingWilliam L. Syrcle is a therapist and coach at Synago, in MacombIllinois. He has a Master degree in clinical psychology, is a certified Professional Christian Counselor, is licensed by the State of Illinois, and been in private practice since 2002. He also specializes in business, executive and leadership coaching. Learn more about Synago here.