The Focus on the Bible commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are a great resource for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their speciality subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation. For a full list of titles in the series, featuring authors such Dale Ralph Davis, Tim Chester and Jim Hamilton, check out www.christianfocus.com. Today we look at three of the latest additions to the series:


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John is known as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. He was under our Saviour’s teaching and care for three years. He leaned against Christ’s chest at the last supper and witnessed the crucifixion. Who better then to write about the love of Jesus than the one who had such first-hand experience of it? In these three letters, John is passing on the impact of these experiences to people he loves, tenderly encouraging them to see past their failings and focus on the promises available in Christ.

“Hannah carefully explains the text and skillfully applies its message to our contemporary world. If you want to see afresh the beauty of Christ and grow in your love for him and his people, this book is for you.”

Matthew Harmon, Professor of New Testament Studies, Grace Theological Seminary


John: Jesus Christ is God by William F. Cook

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John’s Gospel is the mature reflections of the last living apostle. John the apostle wrote this book approximately fifty-five years after the resurrection of Jesus. During those years he had reflected on the words and deeds of Jesus and the result is that the pages of the Gospel contain the seasoned thinking of one of Jesus’ closest friends.

“Bill Cook is a wonderful New Testament scholar and pastor … This book will serve extremely well those who preach and teach the Word of God chapter by chapter, verse by verse and word by word.”

Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


Joel & Obadiah: Disaster And Deliverance by Iwan Rhys Jones

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Disaster and Deliverance, these two words sum up something of the message of both Joel and Obadiah. In Joel, the prophet begins by announcing a disaster in terms of a locust invasion, which has affected Judah. Nevertheless, the prophet holds out the prospect of deliverance. In the case of Obadiah, the focus is on Edom. Edom’s pride and longstanding hostility against the people of God has led her to be party to an attack upon them, and as a result, she is threatened with disaster. The people of God, meanwhile, are assured of better things at the hand of the LORD.

Writing in an accessible and succinct style, Jones introduces us to grand theological themes that run throughout the prophetic writing of Joel and Obadiah … As with many commentaries in this series, Jones’s treatment is fitting for both sermon preparation and small group Bible study.

John Scott Redd, Jr., President and Associate Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington

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by | March 15, 2017 · 1:12 pm

Easter Resources from CF4K

CF4K provides some excellent resources for Easter. We’ve picked out 3 titles today which are great for sharing the Easter story with children, click on the covers to find out more.


 

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The Promise by Carine Mackenzie

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Peter Mead on In the Market with Janet Parshall

Listen to a great interview with Peter Mead on In the Market with Janet Parshall where he discusses his new book. Lost in Wonder: A Biblical Introduction to God’s Great Marriage is a call back to the joy of our salvation and our first love for Christ. It explores our current and eternal union with Christ using the Biblical analogy of marriage – and shows the profound beauty in both. Listen in: MoodyRadio.org

“… invites us all to rethink our perception of God with fresh categories. The truths explained here have certainly changed me, and I will never go back to the legalistic religion I used to lug around.”

Ray Ortlund, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“If ever a book earned its title, this one did, as I closed its pages ‘Lost in Wonder’.”

David Murray, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“That the powerful king of the universe is a God of passionate love makes for glorious biblical theology. That he would relentlessly pursue a sinner like me in such love is simply mind-blowing.”

Dave Gobbett, Highfields Church, Cardiff, Wales & Word Alive Trustee

About the Author:

Peter Mead is director of Cor Deo, a mentored ministry training programme based in Chippenham, England. He is on the leadership team of a church plant and leads the Bible Teachers & Preachers Networks at the European Leadership Forum. He is also the author of Pleased to Dwell and Foundations.

Where to Buy:

Lost in Wonder: A Biblical Introduction to God’s Great Marriage 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:

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by | March 7, 2017 · 2:22 pm

It’s World Book Day today!

CLC Bookshops and Eden are celebrating World book Day with this selection of fantastic children’s and adult books from Christian Focus, available for ONLY £1 EACH!
John Knox: Fearless Faith by Steven J. Lawson

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“…Take a deep breath as you turn the first page; this story may leave you breathless; but you will almost certainly feel spiritually fitter by the end!”

Sinclair B. Ferguson

John Knox is one of the most colourful figures in church history and his impact is still felt around the world. The real story of Knox surpasses the best fiction novels. Five hundred years after his death, Steven Lawson seeks in this book to ignite our faith for Jesus through Knox’s story. If you think of Knox as the dull Presbyterian, prepare to think again. Let this seminal figure in the history of the Scottish Reformation inspire you to stand firm in your faith and let God impact your spiritual life.


 

A Christian's Pocket Guide to Loving The Old Testament by Alec Motyer

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“…If the world is still here in a hundred years’ time, these thrilling pages will still be looked upon as a treasure trove among God’s faithful people.”

Richard Bewes

Many of us know and love the stories and characters of the Old Testament such as Joseph, Moses and Jonah. But how do we view its importance in relation to New Testament teaching and our 21st century experiences? This accessible yet powerful addition to the Pocket Guide series draw together the threads of Scripture to help us understand the power of God’s word when viewed in its completeness.


 

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Would you like to make a difference? These ten boys grew up to do just that – but first they had to change the church. How did God change them?

Features: Augustine, John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Hugh Latimer, Jan Hus, Ulrich Zwingli, William Tyndale, Thomas Chalmers, Lord Shaftesbury.


 

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Would you like to make a difference? These ten girls grew up to do just that.

Features: Katherine Luther, Bethan Lloyd-Jones, Sabina Wurmbrand, Susanna Wesley, Ann Judson, Edith Schaeffer, Ruth Bell Graham, Monica of Thagaste, Susannah Spurgeon, Maria Taylor.


 

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History Makers

The History Maker series brings you classic biographies of important people and movements in church history – together with more recent biographical works of the same. They have gained a reputation as an important new resource for the church and now cover nineteen characters from church history. The titles feature well-known figures like Martin Luther and George Muller, as well as lesser-known figures such as Mary Slessor and Andrew Murray. Today we are featuring on one the most popular in our series, George Müller by Roger Steer:

About George Müller: Delighted in God

George Müller’s life is a powerful answer to modern scepticism.

His name has become a by-word for faith throughout the world. In the early 1830s he embarked upon an extraordinary adventure. Disturbed by the faithlessness of the church in general, he longed to have something to point to as ‘visible proof that our God and Father is the same faithful Creator, as he ever was’.

Praying for every penny of the costs, he supervised the building of five large orphanages, housing thousands of children. Under no circumstances would any individual ever be asked for money or materials. He was more successful than anyone could have believed possible and is as much an example to our generation as he was to his.

About the Author:

Roger Steer is the author of thirteen books which have been published in well over a dozen languages – including his internationally acclaimed Inside Story: The Life of John Stott. He lives with his wife in mid-Devon, England, where he preaches, leads retreats and acts as a tutor to young preachers.

Where to Buy:

George Müller: Delighted in God 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:

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by | February 28, 2017 · 3:02 pm

Off the Shelf – Bible Answers by Derek Prime

9781857929348

Many people want to know what the Bible has to say about God and other pressing issues. To meet that need, Derek Prime has provided a helpful guide that anyone can use. If you have ever wondered what the Bible really says about a topic then this is where to start.

The book is in 2 parts. The first deals with the 50 bible questions and answers. The second part is headed ‘Bible Guidelines’ and has 5 further helpful sections:

  1. The ten commandments
  1. Subjects arising, directly or indirectly, from the ten commandments
  1. The desires and works of the sinful nature
  1. Christian Character (The fruit of the Spirit)
  1. Commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel

Praise for Bible Answers:

“I have worn out more than one copy. Simple enough for the beginner and comprehensive enough for the serious student, this updated version should sit beside the Bible of every eager learner.”

Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

“Derek Prime addresses crucial questions concisely, practically and, most of all, biblically. This is one of the best books to help us ground our faith in the solid truths of God’s Word.”

John Benton, Managing Editor, Evangelicals Now

About the Author:

Derek Prime has devoted himself to an itinerant ministry and to writing since 1987, after 30 years of pastoral service to churches in the UK.

Derek-Prime

Where to Buy:

Bible Answers: Questions About the Christian Faith & Life 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:

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Ebooks on Sale Through February 22 – March 1, 2017

Trail-Blazers

“An excellent series … great reading for kids and adults alike.”

Tim Challies, Blogger at www.challies.com 

Below is our current selection of eBooks on sale February 22 – March 1 2017. This week we are featuring three titles from the highly collectable Trailblazers series. These are exciting biographies for tweens and teens – but – adults will also love reading about these amazing Christian role models from down through history.

Sale Price: $1.99/£2.41

Sale Price: $1.99/£2.41

Sale Price: $2.99/£2.41

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New Books at a Glance

Check out the latest titles from across the Christian Focus Publications adult titles, available worldwide.

9781781919071      9781781913246

9781781919064      9781781919095

9781781919088      9781781919101

9781781919118

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Let the Children Worship

The following extract is taken from Let the Children Worship by Jason Helopoulos, new at Christian Focus Publications. Jason encourages the church to embrace the important part children play in the life of the church and unfolds the enormous blessings to be found in having them present in the worship services of the congregation. He points out how the struggles are temporary – whereas the blessings can be eternal.

9781781919095

Wisdom for Parents

Let’s face it, bringing our children into corporate worship is not always easy. Squirming kids, rustling papers, the eyes of others, and a host of other problems often accompany children in worship. Unfortunately, some parents identify Sunday mornings with the most difficult part of their week. I understand. As a family, we have lived it. In no way do I want to dismiss the challenge and at times frustration, but I hope you will see the struggle is well worth it. As Christian parents, we desire above all else that our children would know, love, delight-in, serve, and honor Christ. The more they encounter Him through the means of grace, the more likely we will witness this blessed outcome. Corporate worship, as we detailed in chapter two, is above all else a meeting with God in the person of Christ by His Word and by the Spirit. Including our children in this weekly encounter can’t help but be a good thing for their souls.

Real challenges confront us as we bring our children into corporate worship, but they are not insurmountable. I want to offer some practical and “Mom-tested” tips as you attempt to do so.

Treasure the Lord’s Day

God knew our need for rest. In the very act of creation, He ordains one in seven days for rest and worship (Exod. 20:8-11). This day highlights our week. As Christians, we live from Lord’s Day to Lord’s Day. And the highpoint of the Lord’s Day is gathering together with His people to offer holy worship. Help your children by focusing on this moment throughout the week. Talk about Sunday morning worship all week long. Help your children to see that each week begins with this privilege (Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:24-25). And when the day arrives, model excitement about it. If Mom and Dad reluctantly go to church, then the children will reluctantly go as well. If Mom and Dad criticize the preacher, sermon, or others in the church, then the children will most likely criticize as well.

Cultivate a spirit of joy on Sunday mornings in your home. If this is the highlight of our week, then let’s act like it. Talk about how wonderful the day promises to be, wake the kids up with excitement, turn on good Christian music for the whole family to listen to, and put a smile on your face. It’s o.k. to smile on Sunday mornings!

Prepare Appropriately

Many of our problems on Sunday morning stem from issues before we even arrive at church. Tired children and tired parents create fertile ground for cranky worshippers. Be boring on Saturday nights. Send your entire family to bed early. Friday nights can be filled with late-night activity, but Saturday nights should routinely be safeguarded. Sleepy heads make for drowsy worshippers. Lay out Sunday morning clothes the night before, so there aren’t complications with finding an outfit that fits well, looks right, or is ironed. This is especially helpful with teenage daughters!

On Sunday mornings, wake your family up with plenty of time to spare. Try not to arrive late or even a few minutes before the service. Rushing out the door at home and rushing in the door at church has discombobulated many children and stymied many worshippers.

On the car-ride to church talk about the passage that you will hear preached, sing a hymn together, and converse about the things of God. This helps to prepare the way for worship. If a visiting missionary is scheduled to share or the Lord’s Table is going to be observed or any other unique moment is scheduled to occur in the service, take time in the car-ride to discuss it. This sets the mood and helps them understand and appreciate moments in the service. I practice this with my children, who love the personal interaction and it has the added benefit of not only helping them to prepare for worship, but also helps me.

Implement Family Worship at Home

A family that worships together at home finds it much easier to worship together in corporate worship. A child will find it natural to hear and read the Word of God, sing hymns, confess their sins, and pray. It also helps our children learn to sit still, understand the importance of worship, and focus during prayer. For too many children, worship at church seems foreign, because worship at home is absent.

Many churches preach expositional sermons. This means that you know what you will hear read and preached in the week’s service—the next passage. Other churches may preach topically but publish in advance the passages on which the preaching will focus. Some families find it helpful to read the upcoming sermon passage during the week. Read and converse about it around the dinner table and during family worship. The children will then possess a familiarity with the text the pastor plans on preaching. This knowledge will give them some things to listen for in the sermon. My son, when five and six years old, always delighted in expressing his “knowledge” about the Sunday sermon text. He would often lean over during the service with that kind of child “whisper-scream,” “I know that story! I know about that!” It delighted this Father’s heart, as if I didn’t know and hadn’t led him through it earlier in the week for that very reason.

Start Early

Many believe it is more challenging to introduce a three-year-old to corporate worship then a twelve-year-old, but this is simply not true. A three-year-old is in the formative years of training. They are not yet “set in their ways” and remain quite teachable. They want to please Mom and Dad, though at times it does not seem like it! A twelve-year-old possesses his or her own thoughts on what should be expected and “endured.” This creates far more challenging issues than wrestling with a three-year-old to sit still. All this to say: it is far easier to begin with small children, so start early. Keep reminding yourself that a few months of struggling with a three or four-year-old teaching them how to sit still in corporate worship yields benefits for the rest of their lives.

Some of us came to this conviction late. Our children may have already reached their teenage years and we regret they weren’t in corporate worship with us earlier. If you find yourself in this place, keep reminding your heart and mind that God’s grace is sufficient. Do not be “hard” on yourself. You didn’t ruin your children and this doesn’t make you a “bad parent.” Yet, I would remind you, if your children still reside in your home, it is not too late to start. Don’t wait. Begin now and seize the years remaining … Buy a copy of Let the Children Worship, for more gems of wisdom for parents.


“In Let the Children Worship, Jason Helopoulos instills a sense of anticipation of what will happen as children are not only blessed by their presence among the body of Christ but also bless us with their presence.”

Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher and author of Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament series


About the Author: 

Jason Helopoulos is assistant pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, and a guest blogger at The Gospel Coalition. He and his wife, Leah, are parents of two young children, Gracen and Ethan. Jason is also author of A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home

Jason Helopoulos

Where to Buy:
Let the Children Worship 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:

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Her-Story – A daily walk with Christian women from across the centuries

her-story

 

  • A Year’s Daily Readings

  • Lessons from Christian women of the past and present

  • Beautifully presented in hardback format

Women were an integral part of Jesus’ life and ministry as described in all four Gospels, and they are integral to the life of the church wherever Christianity has spread. In whatever position they found themselves, whether queens or slaves, they lived for their Saviour and sought to bring others to Him.

Her-Story brings together well-known names, such as Fanny Crosby and Joni Eareckson Tada, to lesser-known Christians from across the centuries in 366 devotions. The recurring theme – their love for Jesus.

Her-Story_Cloth Versions 2

Praise for Her-Story:

“Beautifully-written, a reader (woman or man!) will daily read, worship, and learn about many Christians, both well-known and lesser known. I highly recommend Diana Severance’s new book, published by Christian Focus.”

Denise George, Author, teacher, speaker www.denisegeorge.org

“Read this for new insight into church history, fresh gratitude for God’s glory in women’s lives, and strong motivation to aspire to the levels of faith, love, sacrifice, and service on display in these fascinating vignettes.”

Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri

“Arising from the stage of history with the inspiring legacy of personal faith, each woman leaps from the page to encourage and motivate all of us who read these daily devotionals penned by a church historian who knows our hearts and has tasted our trials.”

Dorothy K. Patterson, Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Forth Worth, Texas

About the Author:

Diana Lynn Severance has broad experience teaching history in universities and seminaries. She is a Director of the Dunham Bible Museum at Houston Baptist University and is the author of Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History.

Where to Buy:

Her-Story: 366 Devotions from 21 Centuries of the Christian Church 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:

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