2 Ways to Transform Your Life with Faithlife

https://faithlife.com/bible-2013As long as you’re not a robot, you want a better you. Goals and resolutions are about the need to improve. The New Year brings on these thoughts so strongly because it reminds us of everything that didn’t happen in the last 12 months. By nature, then, our resolutions focus on the negative—that which we’re not. But when God set out to save all of us, by sending his Son to bear our sins, he determined something positive: we are worth saving. As a result, he believes in what we will be—people loving him and others fully (John 3:16–17; 17; Isaiah 53:10–12). Here are two positive ways you can move toward what God has decided you can achieve. I’ll use Faithlife products and resources to demonstrate these two practical ways to stay engaged.

1. Read what God has to say, daily.

Much of what is learned is merely temporary, but what God has to offer lasts for eternity. The investment in knowledge for knowledge’s sake is useless. This seems backward to many, but it was clear to the apostle Paul: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will confound’”(1 Corinthians 1:18–19 LEB; compare Isaiah 29:14). God wants us to emphasize the message of the cross in our lives. Something so important should never be demoted to a status lower than the daily news. So make it your priority, daily, this year. Use the 365-Day Connect the Testaments reading plan, and follow through each day. (Using the Logos app, you can even export your reading to an Outlook calendar time with a reminder.) It’s not too late to start—just press “catch up,” when you begin, on Faithlife.com or in the Logos app.

2. Listen to what God says, often.

“For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man that is in him? Thus also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11 LEB). To know God, and his ways, we must seek his Spirit through prayer. For this purpose, we designed Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional, which is currently available for free with the Faithlife Study Bible app. Each devotional ends with a reflection question to help you listen to God. And the current Bible reading plan is designed to work with Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional, so that you have a seamless experience of the Bible each day. The devotional makes sense of the text, how it connects to itself, and helps you reflect on what God wants to do in your life. And on top of it all, when used in conjunction with the 365-Day Connect the Testaments Reading Plan, you’ll end up reading the Bible, in a fun format, over the course of the year.

See what the Bible has to say, using the Faithlife app as a catalyst. See the connections in the Bible, see the connections to your life, and see the connections to the lives of others—begin Read the Bible together today.

Get Equipped with the Lexham Methods Series

Explore the Lexham Methods Seriesthe resource created to be your platform for personal study and sharing. By leveraging technology, your digital library, elegantly designed slides, and the work of a professional research team, Lexham Methods Series teaches you biblical interpretation methods and equips you to educate others.

Each volume is a biblical-interpretation handbook plus equal parts how-to guide and annotated bibliography—all designed for digital. Everything you would expect from a textbook and more, each volume links to your Logos library and includes slides for sharing what you learn.

Lexham Methods Series satisfies your need for a comprehensive yet introductory treatment of biblical interpretation methods. Unlike traditional books, it’s designed as a digital resource to maximize your learning, teaching, and research capabilities. It’s as much as a course providing key instruction as it is a thorough bibliography with curated links.

No need to invest your time in an immense amount of study, note taking, and research. We’ve done that work for you.

With the Lexham Methods Series, you’ll be able to:

  • Easily reference details about biblical interpretation methods—it’s a quick reference for an overview of a method, major elements and terminology involved, and examples of a method’s use.
  • Teach biblical interpretation methods—this educational resource instructs you via clear how-to sections with numerous examples. Whether you need a refresher or you’ve never learned a given interpretation method, this resource will guide you through what you need to know and provide you the opportunity to delve deeper.
  • Share what you’ve learnedprofessionally designed slides feature key terms, giving academics, pastors, and teachers the opportunity to present the major elements in a memorable way.
  • Find new research and resources—each volume introduces you to insights and content you may have never read about or heard of, and makes further research easy with curated bibliography links.
  • Illuminate unfamiliar interpretive methods—understand each step of each method so fully that you can teach others.
  • Broaden and deepen your biblical education—the history of these methods is presented clearly and accessibly, including key figures and moments in the historical development of a method, the steps involved in executing the method, and concrete examples of how to perform the method.

Lexham Methods Series is designed by people who spent years in biblical education and decided, “This could be done better. Let’s transform the category.” Change the way you study, teach, and research. Make your work smoother, easier, and better. Pre-order the Lexham Methods Series today.

Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan—Transformational Curriculum

I didn’t expect for my perspective to change, but it did. All this time, Mary has been a distant figure to me—someone only sung and spoken about. Working on Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan was transformational.

When we set out to create a life-changing curriculum for churches for the advent and Christmas season, we didn’t expect to reexperience the advent of Christ ourselves. But he became lord over us in a more impactful way than ever before. As we related to Mary’s struggle to understand God’s son—and his transition from being a safe child to being the God she knew, couldn’t control, and needed to learn from—we were changed. We became better bearers of Christ’s image, and we realized how much more we had to grow.

Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan is about understanding what God wants to do in your life. By journeying with Mary, you’ll learn about your own journey. What transformation does Christ want to bring in your life? How is Christ moving from being a “safe zone” for you to being a God you can follow anywhere? You’ll study with an in-depth, applicable commentary, and you’ll share your insights with elegant infographicsartifact images, and maps—prebuilt as slideshows for you.

The curriculum has everything you need as a pastor, teacher or small group leader:

  • Preaching resources and sermon starters for pastors and teachers
  • Videos, slides, and media for the tech team
  • Bulletin inserts and handouts for the congregation
  • Discussion guides and videos for small group leaders
  • A take-home book for small group members, available separately for only $14.95

This is a comprehensive program for your entire church. You’ll dig deeper into the Bible—together. You’ll even learn the methods of better Bible study, thanks to information about the ancient world and Bible study tips.

Christ uniquely made you, just like he uniquely made Mary. Christ’s work in you and through you can bring transformation to the lives of others. This curriculum will help you in that process.

Pick up the complete curriculum today.

Abraham Ships Soon—Pre-Order It Today!

At some point in life, we all struggle with faith. God makes a promise, but the direction that promise takes us is uncertain. And when the path toward the promise doesn’t meet our expectations, we become frustrated and confused. In the process, we may choose to follow our own path.

Although Abraham was a man of faith, this winding path of belief accurately describes his journey. Especially in the earlier years of his relationship with God, folly was as present as faith.

Abraham: Following God’s Promise shows Abraham’s journey accurately and in full. You’ll encounter his life through history, culture, and literary analysis. More importantly, you’ll find out how his journey applies to your own life and to modern belief. As Abraham and Sarah step out in faith, you’ll walk with them. As they turn to Pharaoh instead of God, you’ll learn from their failures and confront your own. As they hold onto the hope for a son, you’ll feel their joy and turmoil.

The complete church curriculum version of Abraham: Following God’s Promise will help your entire church journey along God’s path. You’ll grow together as you observe the past and experience its meaning for the present.

You’ll get:
The study book:

Presenting/Preaching materials:

Group curriculum:

  • The leader’s book
  • lesson plans
  • teaching slideshows, which work on PowerPoint, Keynote, and Proclaim
  • 8 handouts with discussion questions, in Microsoft Word and PDF
  • intro videos for each lesson, which you can download after you check out. You can also order a DVD separately for $4.95.

Once your church or group adopts the curriculum, individual worshipers can purchase the book. In addition, individual small group or Sunday school leaders can purchase their own copy of the curriculum. If you’re leading a group or preaching, Abraham: Following God’s Promise Complete Church Curriculum is for you.

This curriculum ships October 1, 2012; pre-order yours now and get it at the Pre-Pub price!

Let Lexham Do Your Research Legwork!

The Lexham Bible Guides resolve your love-hate relationship with research. They summarize your books’ content and organize it in an easy-to-follow format, giving you the direction to begin your study. These guides help you do better Bible research, faster. And with your time savings and the guides’ prebuilt slides for key words and slide templates, they make it easy to share what you’ve learned.

The Lexham Bible Guides are complete Bible guides reimagined for the digital age. Hybrids between handbook-type commentaries and annotated bibliographies, they build on the technological resources available only in Logos. Written from the ground up to take full advantage of Logos’ platform, these guides link to relevant, curated content in your Logos library.

With the Lexham Bible Guides, a team of professional researchers takes care of your basic research work for you. The guides annotate top scholars’ differing opinions, summarize major views, and present the Bible’s content simply and elegantly. You’ll find content you surely know about and plenty of content you’ve never heard of—some opinions you’ll agree with and others you won’t, but either way, you’ll learn faster than ever before.

Imagine taking all of Logos’ books on Genesis 1–11, finding the most important content, and then organizing the information in a survey format. Then imagine highlighting key elements, like important words and historical/archaeological findings. Add visuals to make presenting the information simple, combine those efforts with the world’s most advanced Bible software, and you have the Lexham Bible Guides.

The Lexham Bible Guides do the heavy research lifting for you, so you’ll have time to focus on what you do best. Let us provide the platform for you to go deeper when you have time, or the basics when you need a quick overview.

Check out these examples!

Genesis 1–11:


Discover a better way to do research. Pre-order Genesis 1–11 or Ephesians for the Lexham Bible Guide series at a special low price!

Rethinking Church Curriculum: Announcing the Studies in Faithful Living Series

No one enjoys sitting through a dull Sunday school lesson, making time for a distracted small-group study, or listening to a dry, complicated sermon. We’re looking for intrigue and excitement—we want God’s Word clearly and fully articulated so that we can live the vision he has called us to. We want to be engaged and challenged. We want to learn about the Bible itself while learning to interpret the Bible for ourselves. To meet this challenge, Logos created the Studies in Faithful Living Series.

The first volume in the series is Abraham: Following God’s Promise. Abraham had incredible faith, but he also failed—quite often. As the story progresses, Abraham begins to see what it means to follow in faith instead of fear. Called by God to be an agent of transformation in the world, he is transformed in the process. Even when Abraham falls short of fulfilling his end of the bargain, God is faithful to his promise. To bring you into the narrative, each chapter of Abraham: Following God’s Promise sets the stage with the ancient context, takes a closer look at the biblical text, walks through similar ideas in the Bible and beyond, and points to direct application with prose and with questions that you can answer right there in the book.

Abraham’s life story is applicable to our own. He is so much like us—called to faith but unsure of where his path will lead. The same can be said of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who has an equal part in the narrative and in the volume. To help you walk beside Abraham and Sarah in their journey and understand how their story fits in history, Abraham: Following God’s Promise includes infographics, maps, and artifact images. It also includes Quick Bits that address facts about the ancient world, Quick Tips that teach better Bible study, and printable handouts.

For pastors and teachers, Abraham: Following God’s Promise is available as a complete church curriculum version. This package includes everything in the individual study version plus slides that work out of the box (for PowerPoint, Keynote, or Proclaim), videos for each chapter, sermon outlines, small group questions, and media resources (like graphic images and the graphical video introduction) so that you can customize the experience for your church or group. Also included in this version are customizable sermon handouts and discussion handouts. You can see the full list of what’s included on the product page. This is more than a book—it’s everything you, as a pastor or teacher, need. With individual study guides available for $9.95, your entire church or small group can experience the Bible as it was meant to be understood. This is an opportunity for your faith community to walk with the founder of the nation of Israel and learn, in the process, how to live faithfully and study the Bible in greater depth.

The Studies in Faithful Living series rethinks church curriculum. Experience better Bible study with Abraham: Following God’s Promise. Pick up the single volume or the complete church curriculum for pastors and teachers today.

4 Qualities That Set the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary Series Apart

Because no one person could possibly explore the full depth of a passage of God’s Word, we here at Logos often encourage people to purchase and read multiple commentaries on a book they’re studying. Each commentary series offered for Logos’ library interprets the Bible from a different perspective. And most commentary series are intentional about what aspect of biblical interpretation they want to focus on: exegetical, pastoral, theological, application, or others. So what does the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series (EEC) focus on?

The Ezra & Nehemiah: EEC volume by Israel Loken—which is now available—well illustrates four things that make the EEC different.

  1. The EEC is meant for a large audience
    The EEC editors—H. Wayne House, William D. Barrick, and Hall Harris—decided that the EEC audience would include the scholar, the pastor, the Sunday school teacher, and the person unfamiliar with the Bible. The EEC would address problems we all face. Ezra & Nehemiah by Loken considers problems and makes connections that are relevant no matter how deep someone’s relationship with Christ is.
  2. The EEC covers nearly all types of biblical interpretation
    Once the editors decided that the EEC would have a very wide audience, they asked: “What will make this commentary as helpful as possible?” Answering this question meant interpreting the Bible phrase by phrase from an evangelical perspective. The EEC would also incorporate the latest in biblical scholarship—combining historical, literary, and theological explanations with ideas for applying the Bible to everyday life. In Ezra & Nehemiah, Loken often discusses how the problems faced by God’s people after their exile in Babylon are not that different from the problems churches face today. He first makes this point through some biblical theology connections before connecting it to his thoughts about applying the Bible.
  3. The EEC is created for a digital world
    Digital books do not have page constraints. There is room for additional notes, excursuses on important issues, and anything else worth addressing. Loken included in Ezra & Nehemiah tables illustrating the historical events surrounding the book and interesting discussions like the literary connections between Ezra and Nehemiah.
  4. The EEC focuses on the biblical story
    Ezra & Nehemiah helps interpret the biblical story’s meaning for us. By analyzing the elements of narrative and the historical background of Ezra and Nehemiah, Loken explains how and why God’s people rebuilt Jerusalem and changed their way of worship. He continually emphasizes what we can learn about God’s story today from observing God’s story back then.

We’re not the only ones excited about Ezra & Nehemiah. In case you missed it, we published a blog post in April highlighting new endorsements for the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary by four leading biblical professors.

If you purchase the collection today you will receive the Ezra & Nehemiah volume immediately. Then, each time a new commentary is released, it will automatically download into your library at no additional cost.

Also, you can order the 44 volume, Evangelical Exegetical Commentary using a payment plan and spread those payments out for up to a year!

Do you already have the Ezra & Nehemiah volume in your collection? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Reflecting on Three Years of Bible Study Magazine

God’s Word has the power to do more in someone’s life than we could ever hope to do on our own. For that reason—before Bible Study Magazine was announced about three years ago—the decision was made that it would be all about the Word.

Using the print medium for this purpose was indeed a simple technology solution. We came to the conclusion that print would serve this purpose well: it was a great medium for presenting fresh ideas about Bible study.

Bible Study Magazine is still all about getting people into the Word. We are grateful for the opportunity to publish the words of people who share our passion, like Priscilla Shirer. In the current issue, Shirer says: “The exact same Holy Spirit that lives in the people we admire, who teach us the Bible, is the exact same Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. … [We can’t] only hear the voice of God when somebody else is spoon feeding it to us. We have to know that we can go to the Scriptures ourselves.”

This idea is embodied by Dr. Yohanna Katanacho. As a Palestinian by birth who now lives in Israel, he shares the gospel with those struggling with ethnic and national boundaries. Through relationships, he often has the ability to demonstrate that Christ can overcome all things. He has been a missionary in the conflict of hatred for most of his life, yet he doesn’t seem discouraged by it—the Word of God helps him with the disappointments and enables him to experience victories. Katacacho’s story is both empowering and convicting. He prompts us to be anything but passive in our faith: He tells the story of how the Bible has transformed his life and continually been his guide. “For me, the Bible is the source of my strength,” says Katacacho, “without it I would be lost, not only because of the cognitive part, but because it is a holy ground for me. There I meet God, and through that meeting, I am refreshed.”

But as Sheila Walsh says in our current issue: “Sometimes we have a hard time resting in God’s promises because so many earthly promises are broken. But while we disappoint others and they disappoint us, God is not like us: ‘God is not human that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?’ (Numbers 23:19).”

God is here for us. He has provided the “holy ground” of His Word so that we can rest peacefully in Him. When we look to His Word, we see His promises. Bible Study Magazine is about how God is manifest in His Word and wants to manifest His Word in our lives.

I hope you decide to subscribe now to Bible Study Magazine for yourself, a family-member, or a friend. (To gift a subscription, just enter a different shipping address at check out.) We would be grateful for the opportunity to help you or someone you know get deeper into the Word.

Have you subscribed to Bible Study Magazine? We would love for you to tell us about it!