Monthly Archives: September 2015

Vance Christie Visits The Shaun Tabatt Show to Share About the Life of Andrew Murray

Shaun Tabatt Show Ep 28 Vance Christie Andrew Murray Christian Focus

Last week Vance Christie sat down with Shaun Tabatt and shared about his new book on the life of Andrew Murray. Listen to their interview below.

-Download the MP3: http://ow.ly/SMDUz
-Read the show notes: http://ShaunTabatt.com/028
-Subscribe to The Shaun Tabatt Show on iTunes: http://ow.ly/Pxz1x

AndrewMurrayAbout The Book:
In an era that saw many gifted and diligent ministers, missionaries and evangelists being used by God to powerfully advance Christ’s Kingdom work in South Africa, Andrew Murray (1828-1917) emerged as that country’s premier preacher, devotional writer and Church leader. Andrew Murray’s writings and influence are still felt today and Vance Christie skillfully and faithfully brings his story to life for a new generation.

About The Author:
Vance Christie is a pastor and author best known for vivid retelling of missionary stories. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska and has previously written for the ‘Heroes of the Faith’ series. His website is www.vancechristie.com.

Additional Books by Vance Christie:

Timeless Stories: God's Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians by Vance Christie John And Betty Stam: Missionary Martyrs by Vance Christie David Brainerd: A Flame for God by Vance Christie

Adoniram Judson: Devoted For Life by Vance Christie Women of Faith And Courage by Vance Christie

Where to Buy:
Andrew Murray: Christ’s Anointed Minister to South Africa is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

AndrewMurray  Buy Now:

 

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Monday Meditations: Sin – Luke 8:43 – J. C. Ryle

Monday Meditations
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any…
Luke 8:43

A striking picture of the condition of many souls.

We are told that she had been afflicted with a wearing disease for ‘twelve years’, and that she ‘had spent all her living upon physicians’, and that she could not be ‘healed of any’. The state of many a sinner’s heart is placed before us in this description, as in a glass. Perhaps it describes ourselves.

There are men and women in most congregations who have felt their sins deeply, and been sore afflicted by the thought that they are not forgiven and not fit to die. They have desired relief and peace of conscience, but have not known where to find them. They have tried many false remedies, and found themselves ‘nothing bettered, but rather worse’. They have gone the round of all the forms of religion, and wearied themselves with every imaginable man-made device for obtaining spiritual health. But all has been in vain. Peace of conscience seems as far off as ever. The wound within appears a fretting, intractable sore, which nothing can heal. They are still wretched, still unhappy, still thoroughly discontented with their own state. In short, like the woman of whom we read today, they are ready to say, ‘ There is no hope for me. I shall never be saved’.

Let all such take comfort in the miracle which we are now considering. Let them know that ‘there is balm in Gilead’, which can cure them, if they will only seek it. There is one door at which they have never knocked in all their efforts to obtain relief. There is one Physician to whom they have not applied, who never fails to heal. Let them consider the conduct of the woman before us in her necessity. When all other means had failed she went to Jesus for help. Let them go and do likewise.

*Excerpted from Day By Day With J.C. Ryle: A New Daily Devotional of Ryle’s Writings by J.C. Ryle (Christian Heritage, 2011).

J.C. RyleAbout J.C. Ryle:
J. C. Ryle (1816 – 1900) was the first Bishop of Liverpool. He was one of the most authoritative churchmen of his time and his writings have been in constant demand throughout the last hundred years. His popularity was due to his clear and simple style, his longevity due to his being a profound thinker and compassionate pastor.

Where to Buy:
Day By Day With J.C. Ryle: A New Daily Devotional of Ryle’s Writings by J.C. Ryle is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Day By Day With J.C. Ryle A New daily devotional of Ryle's writings by J. C. Ryle Buy Now:

 

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Top 10 Reasons to Read Andrew Murray’s Life Story – Vance Christie

Top 10 Reasons to ReadAndrew Murray's Life Story
In this guest post, Christian Focus author Vance Christie shares the top ten reasons for reading Andrew Murray’s life story.

Why is it worthwhile to read an account of the life and ministry of Andrew Murray (1828-1917), the distinguished pastor-devotional writer from South Africa? Here’s a brief rundown of my top ten reasons:

  1. Andrew Murray became the most prominent South African minister of his day. He is almost certainly the premiere pastor ever to serve in that country. It’s certainly worth our while and to our benefit to get acquainted with such an outstanding Christian servant.
  2. Murray provides an inspiring example of active service of Christ, even under challenging circumstances, clear to the end of life. His entire adult life (age 20 to 88) was spent in consecrated Christian service. He often ministered under difficult pioneer conditions, despite personal health challenges, and under enormous ministry pressures. When he retired from full-time pastoral ministry at age seventy-eight, he continued right on in his active speaking and writing ministries for another decade.
  3. Murray also has much to teach us about the devotional-contemplative side of the Christian life. He was a man of prayer who maintained daily time for personal prayer and who prayed “without ceasing” by weaving prayer all through his many activities of the day. His mind was saturated with and continually fixed on Scriptural truths. That pronounced biblical focus resulted in his publishing nearly 240 works (including over seventy full-length books) on scores of different subjects, all from a sound spiritual perspective.
  4. Both during his lifetime and to this day Murray’s books have been widely read and appreciated by Christians throughout the world. His books are thoroughly spiritual, devotional and practical in nature. But because Murray’s books contain virtually no autobiographical material, many people who have greatly appreciated and profited from his writings know very little about his life and ministry. However, they can get to know the man behind the pen by reading a biography about him.
  5. Pastors will benefit from considering the ministerial career and powerful preaching ministry of this faithful fellow under-shepherd. Murray pastored four congregations over the course of fifty-seven years, including his last pastorate of thirty-five years. The settings for his pastoral ministries ranged from an isolated frontier settlement to the capital city of South Africa.  In addition to ministering to his own congregations, Murray was a popular preacher who carried out extensive speaking ministries at churches and Christian conferences throughout South Africa, as well as in Europe and America.
  6. Ministry leaders of various types will appreciate and learn from Murray’s vibrant, visionary leadership of numerous Christian causes. He served six terms, totaling some twenty-five years, as the Moderator of his denomination, the Dutch Reformed Church of Cape Colony. Murray threw his tremendous energies into: establishing schools throughout the Colony; actively evangelizing European settlers; founding foreign missionary societies to minister to unreached tribal groups beyond the Colony’s borders; supporting home mission endeavors that ministered to military personnel, the poor and moral outcasts; developing and promoting student ministries and the Higher Life Movement.
  7. Murray lived through two periods of bona fide spiritual awakening. As a twelve-year-old boy, while pursuing his education in Scotland, he witnessed the widespread revival that took place in that country in 1840 through the ministry of William Burns. Twenty years later, as a pastor in Worcester, South Africa, Murray participated in and helped promote the awakening that occurred throughout Cape Colony. The accounts of those two revivals are truly dramatic and stirring.
  8. Another great benefit to reading an account of Murray’s life is the opportunity to consider his amazingly-consistent Christlike character. In public and in private, whether dealing with hearty supporters or harsh critics, Murray manifested patience, kindness and gentleness. Throughout his ministry career he actively sought to promote Christian love and unity in the churches, communities and countries where he served, often in the face of deep divisions between various parties.
  9. While three other full-length biographies were previously written on Andrew Murray, two of those have been out of print for many decades. All three of those earlier biographies related only about half of Murray’s life in chronological order. They treated the ministry emphases of the latter half of his life (such as his promotion of education, evangelism and missions) in topical but non-chronological fashion. The biography I have written on Murray is the first to offer a chronological account of his life from start to finish, presenting the events and developments of his life and ministry in the order in which they unfolded.
  10. Historic Christian biography is an enjoyable and easy way to learn some history, both sacred and secular. As one reads the account of Murray’s life, a lot is learned about (to list only four of many subjects): the establishment and spread of Christianity in South Africa; some of the battles within the Christian Church in South Africa and Europe against encroaching theological liberalism; the settlement of European people groups in South Africa and their conflicts with indigenous tribes; tensions between the British government and Dutch settlers that led to South Africa’s tragic Boer Wars.

I hope you’ll read my recently-published Andrew Murray: Christ’s Anointed Minister to South Africa. Murray’s is an inspiring and instructive example well worth considering.

*This article originally appeared at VanceChristie.com.

Where to Buy:
Andrew Murray: Christ’s Anointed Minister to South Africa is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

AndrewMurray  Buy Now:

 

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Why You Need to Preach the Song of Songs – Dr. Jim Hamilton

hamilton-header
Dr. Hamilton serves as Professor of Biblical Theology at SBTS and as Preaching Pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. He’s also the author of the new book, Song of Songs: A Biblical-Theological, Allegorical, Christological Interpretation. Connect with Dr. Hamilton online at jimhamilton.info.

Song of Songs by Jim HamiltonThe smut is everywhere. On billboards, on TV screens, and eye-level in the checkout line at the grocery store, to say nothing of what is one click away on the device in your pocket or the screen on your desk. Beyond the superficial temptation of all the eye-catchers, the smut comes with a story. These sirens aren’t just singing an isolated hypnotizing song, they are selling a vision of the good life, appealing to your ideas about what pleasure is, about how you can have it now, and trying to convince you there won’t be a reckoning later. As though no one has ever foundered on the rocks trying to get to that shore.

These advertisements—from the billboards to the commercials to the mannequins—are all presenting themselves as icons that symbolize a wider story. They whisper in your ear: this is who you can be. This is how you can live. This is what you can look like. This is who you can have. And this life will satisfy all your longings.

But will it?

And if we’re convinced that there are longings deeper than the ones they’re stroking, how do we counter the intrusive message that saturates our surroundings? How do we convince other people that what they’re seeing is the harlot Babylon posing with that girl next door look? Can we woo them with something better, something that will entice them away from the lust that looses disaster?

Can I suggest to you that this is exactly why the Song of Songs is in the Bible?

What if there was something so beautiful it could break the spell of all that eye-candy? What if there was something so satisfying it would empower us to hear the siren song for what it is—an invitation to ruin and misery with the smoke of your destruction going up forever and ever?

Would God be so good to us that he would give us a book that could describe the lost intimacy of Eden? Not only describing it: holding it out as a possibility, offering it to us, inviting us to partake, inspiring us to imitate.

The Song of Songs, Solomon’s most sublime Song, is no more an isolated statement than those Viagra commercials are. The Song of Songs has to be read in the context of the story of the whole Bible.

That story starts with a couple in a garden, naked and without shame, in perfect harmony and bliss. Sin ruins their safety and shatters their intimacy, and they hide themselves from God and one another. God searches them out, and he promises a redeemer who will defeat the one who tempted them to sin. That redeemer’s line of descent is carefully traced, and eventually God promises that a descendant of David will rise up to redeem. When the prophets speak of what life will be like when he comes, it sounds like things will be better than they were in Eden before sin.

When God put that couple in the Garden in the beginning, he gave them to each other in marriage. Then when God made a covenant with the nation of Israel, he spoke of the relationship as a though it were a marriage. The unfaithfulness of Israel to the Lord was illustrated in the book of Hosea. The Lord commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute, and faithful Hosea stood for the Lord himself, while his wife’s promiscuity and unfaithfulness stood for Israel’s spiritual adultery.

The book of Hosea communicates the failure of the covenant between the Lord and Israel, leading to the “divorce” of the exile of the people from the land. There are plenty of indications in Hosea, however, that the Lord intends to make a new marital covenant with his people, after he has disciplined them for their sin (see esp. Hos 2:16–23).

If the book of Hosea presents a failed marriage, the Song of Songs presents a poetic success. The Song of Solomon depicts an idealized Solomon, scion of David, king in Jerusalem, who overcomes every barrier to intimacy between himself and his bride. This picture provides the wider backdrop that explains the way that carpenter’s kid from Nazareth came hailed as “the bridegroom.”

Once that Galilean had shown himself to be the long awaited Redeemer, the apostle Paul explained in Ephesians 5 that marriage exists so that the world will understand the relationship between him and his people: the new covenant between Christ and his Bride, the church. Then in Revelation 19 we read that the great celebration of his conquering kingdom is going to be a marriage feast.

The good life isn’t the lie of a non-stop, no-consequence orgy with the whore of Babylon. The good life is a permanent, exclusive, comprehensive union of one man and one woman in procreative marriage. In such marriages, husband and wife follow in the footsteps of the one who has made it so that the gates to the Garden of Eden stand open to those who keep his word.

Whatever those billboards say, your life is not about your looks and your identity and your pleasure. Your life is about God, in whose image you were made, and every marriage —including yours—is about Jesus and the church.

The Song of Songs is one movement in the Bible’s grand symphony. Heard in the context of the whole orchestral production, its movements, harmonies, and developments will ravish and purify, enrich and sanctify, deepen and delight. We need to listen closely. You need to preach it. So the Bride will be pure.

This article originally appeared at LifeWayPastors.com.

Where to Buy:
Song of Songs is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Song of Songs by Jim Hamilton  Buy Now:

 

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Join the #AskPastorCol Twitter Party & Giveaway on September 16!

Got Questions About Prayer?

If you could ask any question about prayer, what would it be?

Bring this question and others to a Twitter Party all about the topic of prayer! On Wednesday, September 16 at 3pm CT, Pastor Colin will be on Twitter answering your toughest questions, like:

  • Who do we pray to? God, Jesus, or the Spirit?
  • What should I ask for in prayer?
  • Is there a wrong way to pray?
  • And more!

Use the hashtag #AskPastorCol to tweet to Pastor Colin (@PastorColinS) and follow the conversation. The Twitter Party will be hosted by @UnlckngtheBible.

To RSVP for the Twitter party, go to UnlockingTheBible.org.

Colin S. SmithAbout Colin S. Smith:
Colin S. Smith is Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. His preaching ministry is shared through the daily radio program, Unlocking the Bible and through his website, UnlockingtheBible.org.

Books by Colin S. Smith:
Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross by Colin S. Smith Jonah: Navigating a God-centred by Life Colin S Smith

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Ebooks On Sale Through September 21st

Below is our current selection of ebooks on sale through September 21, 2015.

Big God by Orlando Saer Sale Price: $2.99/£1.97

The First Chapters of Everything by Alasdair Paine Sale Price: $2.99/£1.97

 The Top 100 Questions: Biblical Answers to Popular Questions by Richard Bewes Sale Price: $2.99/£1.97

 

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Monday Meditations – Love’s Compulsion – F. B. Meyer

Monday Meditations - Gird and Serve

‘Go out into the high- ways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’ (Luke 14:23).

We can never estimate the yearning love of God for the souls of men. He sees us absorbed with farming and industry; business and pleasure; with our homes and family life, and knows that these will all pass away, as a dream before the first touch of eternity. With intense passion he desires that we shall be really satisfied with abiding joys.

The Feast that he spreads is abundant and ready (Isa. 25:7; 55:1, 2). A banquet is a happy-making time. As the guests sit together, there is the brilliant flow of conversation, the sparkle of laughter, the enjoyment of the good things provided, the interchange of friendship and fellowship. Everything that a feast stands for God is waiting to give us. ‘He gives us richly all things to enjoy.’ How strange it is that men, mocked by the Evil One, are cajoled into forfeiting their places at the banqueting table, which God has spread for them!

The Jewish people were first bidden, but they were too much occupied with material things to respond to the gracious invitation. The excuses offered were shallow and stupid; the real reason lies much deeper, in the disinclination of the soul to arouse itself to lay hold of the life which is life indeed! But God’s purpose of love cannot be defeated (Luke 13:28-30; Acts 13:45-48).

‘Go out into the highways and hedges.’ Here is our work as his servants! The high-roads, along which the streams of commerce and pleasure, weddings and funerals, statesmen and businessmen, young men and women, housewives and children – are constantly passing! The hedgerows are the quiet sequestered lanes of the countryside, now covered with spring flowers, and again with autumn tints. The up-to-date motor car, or the slow-jogging country wagon are symbols of different modes of life, but the souls that use them alike need the message of Good News. Let us go forth and constrain them to come in that our Master’s House may be filled!

Prayer:
Blessed Lord, have mercy upon those who reject the invitation of thy love! Take from us all ignorance, hardness of heart and contempt of thy word; and so fetch us home, dear Lord, to thy flock, that we may be saved, and become one flock under the Great Shepherd of souls. Amen.

*Excerpted from Our Daily Walk: Daily Readings by F. B. Meyer (Christian Heritage, 2010).

F. B. MeyerAbout F. B. Meyer:
On F. B. Meyer’s death in 1929 The Daily Telegraph called him ‘The Archbishop of the Free Churches’. The New York Observer noted that ‘He has an international fame and his services are constantly sought by churches over the wide and increasing empire of Christendom.’ To the secular press of his time he was a key player on the world scene. Meyer was the minister one of Britain’s first ‘megachurches’. He was friends with D. L. Moody and ministered on both sides of the Atlantic, mirroring in America what D. L. Moody was able to undertake in the U.K. He came from a conventional, middle class Victorian background and experienced no dramatic conversion. He was not a distinguished scholar or dramatic orator. His slight figure and retiring manner meant that he did not stand out in a crowd. Yet he drew crowds by the thousands, wrote books, which sold by the millions, and attracted working class people.The range of Meyer’s activities is astonishing: preacher, pastor, writer, social activist, free church leader, Baptist president, advocate for missionary work and more. In his last years, he declared, ‘If I had a hundred lives, they should be at Christ’s disposal.’ At times, it seemed as though he was living a hundred lives!

Where to Buy:
Our Daily Walk: Daily Readings by F. B. Meyer is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Our Daily Walk by F. B. Meyer

 

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Get Amos: A Mentor Commentary Free on Logos Bible Software

Get Amos Free on Logos Bible Software
During the month of September, Amos: A Mentor Commentary by Gary V. Smith is free on Logos Bible Software. Get your free download at logos.com.

Don’t miss out on a special bonus opportunity to get the Joel & Obadiah volume by Irvin A. Busenitz for only $1.99. Find out more at logos.com.

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Unlocking The Bible Giveaway

Unclocking-the-Biblev3
This month we’ve partnered with our friends at Unlocking the Bible for a special giveaway. We’re giving away 10 prize packs that include a copy of Jonah: Navigating a God-Centered Life by Colin S. Smith and Slogging Along in the Paths of Righteousness by Dale Ralph Davis.

Be sure to join us Wednesday, September 16th at 3 PM CT for a Twitter party with Pastor Colin. He’ll be answering questions about prayer. Use the hashtag #AskPastorCol to submit your question.

Unlocking The Bible Giveaway

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Krista Horning Testimony of God’s Good Design

Just the Way I Am by Krista HorningPraise for Just the Way I Am:

“For the people in this book, the sovereignty and goodness of God have become a sanctuary for the soul in a life they did not expect to live. When they affirm the goodness and wisdom of God in creating them for short-term disability and eternal super-ability, they do not do so without tears. There is no glib trifling with pain. They are learning the paradox of “sorrowful yet always rejoicing.” They are learning how to be brought low and how to abound. They believe that in this fallen age, God’s loved ones groan along with the whole creation, waiting for the fullness of adoption, the redemption of their bodies.

They find more hope in God’s unsearchable wisdom and power and purpose than in the vagaries of natural processes or the assaults of Satan. They believe that God did not spare his own Son but gave him up for their complete renewal-spiritually and physically. This healing is as sure as Jesus is precious-infinitely precious. It is only a matter of time, a vapor’s breath, and they will be whole. Because of the grace of God, these lives and this book exist for the glory of God.”
-John Piper ~ Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Knowing Krista as I do, I can almost hear her gentle voice on every page, assuring each special-needs child that God genuinely cares… that he’s in control… and he had something very special in mind when he created them.”
-Joni Eareckson Tada ~ World Famous Author & Conference Speaker

Krista HorningAbout the Author:
Krista Horning lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota where she works at a clinic that meets the needs of children with disabilities. She enjoys reading, writing and helping people.

Where to Buy:
Just the Way I Am is available at your local Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing it from one of the online book retailers, including those listed below:

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