Read An Excerpt from the 1 Year Devotional — The Story: The Bible’s Grand Narrative of Redemption

The Story: The Bible’s Grand Nar­ra­tive of Redemp­tion, One Year Daily Devo­tional for Stu­dents, is tar­geted towards high school and col­lege stu­dents. It will take you through the entire story of the Bible in one year. You won’t read every sin­gle chap­ter of the Bible, but you’ll read at least por­tions from every part of the devel­op­ing story of God’s sal­va­tion for his peo­ple. Each day, you’ll read a Scrip­ture pas­sage — usu­ally one chap­ter or so and some­times just a few verses. After read­ing the pas­sage, you’ll read an expla­na­tion of the pas­sage, which will seek to make the pas­sage clear, remind you of its place in the story, and make an appli­ca­tion to your life.

Read a sam­ple devo­tional below: Day 323*

Colossians 1: 15-23

Jesus is Lord, and Jesus is enough. You could prob­a­bly sum up the mes­sage of the book of Colos­sians with that sim­ple sen­tence. To put it in more tech­ni­cal terms, Colos­sians argues for the supremacy and the suf­fi­ciency of Jesus Christ. Jesus is supreme — the infi­nitely holy, wise, and pow­er­ful God of all cre­ation. Jesus is suf­fi­cient — more than enough to not only save and for­give peo­ple but also to sus­tain and empower them for the Chris­t­ian life. Paul’s goal in the let­ter to the church at Colos­sae is to lift Jesus high — to exalt him as the glo­ri­ous Lord who is more than enough for his peo­ple. But why does Paul feel the need to send this mes­sage to this church?

It seems that as this church grew, cer­tain peo­ple who were oppo­nents of the true gospel of grace began to creep into the com­mu­nity. This hap­pens a lot in the New Tes­ta­ment churches; that should be a les­son for us today! While the essence of the “Coloss­ian heresy” is debated, it seems most likely that it was some kind of Jewish-related mys­ti­cism — a strange spir­i­tu­al­ity that promised deeper holi­ness, truer knowl­edge, and a more advanced level of spir­i­tual devel­op­ment. Paul’s goal in this let­ter is to counter this heresy by show­ing that noth­ing more than Jesus is needed — either for sal­va­tion or for the Chris­t­ian life.

In the glo­ri­ous pas­sage you read today, you saw Paul lift­ing up Jesus as, first, the Cre­ator of the world. Jesus — the eter­nally exis­tent sec­ond per­son of the Trin­ity — was active in cre­ation. We must not for­get that! Next, Paul points us to the pri­macy that Jesus has in rela­tion to the church of God. “And he is the head of the body, the church,” writes Paul; he is also the “first­born from the dead” (1:18). More than all this, Jesus is the one who brings eter­nal sal­va­tion, peace, and for­give­ness through his work on the cross. It is in Christ that we are rec­on­ciled to God, because of the “blood of his cross” (1:20). Jesus — Cre­ator, head of the church, bearer of the cross. It’s as if Paul is shout­ing, “Why would you want or need any­thing else?”

Do you really — prac­ti­cally — believe that Jesus is enough? Enough to say no to sin? Enough to fill you will ulti­mate joy, sat­is­fac­tion, and peace? Paul tells us to believe that Jesus is suf­fi­cient for us in every way. Today, pray that you would believe this. Ask God to help you rest in your Sav­ior even more!

 

*Excerpt taken from page 339 of The Story: The Bible’s Grand Nar­ra­tive of Redemp­tion, One Year Daily Devo­tional for Stu­dents by Jon Niel­son, copy­right 2014, P&R Pub­lish­ing, Phillips­burg, NJ.

BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Taken: The Quest For Truth, Book 1 by Brock Eastman

Taken: The Quest for Truth, Book 1 by Brock East­man

320 pages | $12.99 | Paper­back | Pub­lished: 2011 | Series: The Quest for Truth

Sum­mary:
Five—Four—Three—Two—One!”
We’re out of here!”

Suit up! Jump into hyper flight with the four Wikk kids! Forced into a high stakes hunt for their miss­ing par­ents by the sin­is­ter Cpt. Vedrik, the sib­lings’ only hope is their par­ents’ Archeos e-journal. Can Tiffany deci­pher the clues within it? As time runs out, it’s all up to Oliver and his Fed­er­a­tion train­ing to fly the Phoenix and pro­tect his crew. But twins Mason and Austin endan­ger the mis­sion when they unex­pect­edly meet . . . the blue boy!

About the Series:

The Quest for Truth series unfolds as the four Wikk kids are thrust into a des­per­ate race to find the mys­te­ri­ous planet Ursprung and stop the Übel rene­gades from mis­us­ing its long-lost secrets. Ancient cities, treach­er­ous vil­lains, high-tech gad­gets, the Phoenix—encounter all of these and more on this futur­is­tic, inter­plan­e­tary adventure!

Taken — Book 1

Risk - Book 2

Unleash - Book 3

The last 2 books in the series are on sched­ule to be avail­able in 2015 and 2016.

About the Author:

Eastman_Brock 2 Brock D. East­man is twenty-nine years old and lives at the base of America’s Moun­tain with his wife and two daugh­ters. He has the plea­sure of work­ing for Focus on the Fam­ily and on the Adven­tures in Odyssey brand as a Pro­ducer. He loves movie nights with his wife and their stove-popped pop­corn, as well as play­ing pre­tend or read­ing with his daughters.

Brock started writ­ing his first series, The Quest for Truth, in 2005 and five years later with his wife’s encour­age­ment signed a pub­lish­ing deal. He has since pub­lished Sages of Dark­ness and a book in The Imag­i­na­tion Sta­tion series. He’s always think­ing of his next story and totes a thumb drive full of ideas. Stay tuned for more from Brock and get con­nected with him through Face­book, twit­ter, YouTube, Pin­ter­est, Google +, or here on Word­Press click below.

What Others Say About This Book:

Taken wastes no time thrust­ing its read­ers head­long into the begin­ning of what promises to be an epic saga.” - Christo­pher Miller, Coau­thor of the Award-winning Code­bear­ers Series

Taken is a riv­et­ing tale of just how far mankind is will­ing to go . . . for the ulti­mate prize.” — Wayne Thomas Bat­son, Best­selling Author of The Door Within Trilogy

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Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.

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BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Edward T. Welch

Addic­tions: A Ban­quet in the Grave: Find­ing Hope in the Power of the Gospel by Edward T. Welch

320 pages | $16.99 | Series: Resources for Chang­ing Lives | Pub­lished: 2001

Sum­mary: Scrip­ture reveals addicts’ true con­di­tion: like guests at a ban­quet thrown by “the woman Folly,” they are already in the grave. (Prov. 9:13–18) Can we not escape our addic­tions? Fol­low­ing Jesus, we have “immense hope that God can give power so that we are no longer mas­tered by the addiction.”

About the Author:

Edward T. Welch (PhD, Uni­ver­sity of Utah) serves both the Chris­t­ian Coun­sel­ing and Edu­ca­tional Foun­da­tion (CCEF) and West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary. At CCEF, he is direc­tor of coun­sel­ing and aca­d­e­mic dean, as well as a coun­selor and fac­ulty mem­ber. At West­min­ster, he is pro­fes­sor of prac­ti­cal the­ol­ogy. He is author of Blame It on the Brain and When Peo­ple Are Big and God Is Small and has con­tributed to sev­eral other books and jour­nals, includ­ing the Jour­nal of Psy­chol­ogy and Chris­tian­ity.

What Others Say About This Book:

One of the most help­ful books pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal the­ol­ogy on addic­tions. Welch’s assess­ment of addic­tions as a prob­lem that pro­ceeds from the heart, involv­ing issues of wor­ship and idol­a­try, is cen­tral to help­ing peo­ple grow and change. This is vital read­ing for church lead­ers, and for friends and fam­ily desir­ing to help those strug­gling with addic­tions.” — John Free­man, Har­vest USA

Destroys the myth that addic­tion is a dis­ease and sin is a sick­ness. Welch shows that the hope­less cycle of ‘sick­ness, recov­ery, and relapse’ must be replaced with the bib­li­cal view of sin, sal­va­tion, and sanc­ti­fi­ca­tion. As a pas­tor, bib­li­cal coun­selor, and redeemed (not recov­er­ing) ex-heroin addict, I believe Welch has given every pas­tor, parish­ioner, and any­one caught in the bondage of idolatry/addiction a bib­li­cal road map to last­ing free­dom.” — Peter Garich, Dayspring Cen­ter for Bib­li­cal Counseling

Bib­li­cally sound, prac­ti­cal, filled with Christ-like com­pas­sion. . . . This much-needed book offers real hope and the promise of vic­tory in Jesus to those strug­gling with addic­tion.” — Robert A. Emberger, Whoso­ever Gospel Mission

 

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Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.

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Author Interview with Stanley Gale

This week’s author inter­view is with Stan­ley Gale, author of 3 P&R titles: The Prayer of Jehoshaphat: See­ing Beyond Life’s Storms, What is Spir­i­tual War­fare?, and Why Do We Pray?.

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about yourself.

I am the hus­band of one wife (Linda), father of four chil­dren (Saman­tha, Luke, Sarah, Nathan), and grand­fa­ther of eight (Ruby, Isaac, Weston, Kaylie, Jasper, Asher, Gryphon, Pene­lope).  I hold Bach­e­lor of Arts and Mas­ter of Edu­ca­tion degrees from the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware, a Mas­ter of Divin­ity degree from West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary in Philadel­phia, and a Doc­tor of Min­istry degree from Covenant The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary in St. Louis. I am an ordained pas­tor in the Pres­by­ter­ian Church in Amer­ica and have served my cur­rent charge in West Chester, Penn­syl­va­nia, since 1988.  In my spare time I enjoy read­ing, writ­ing and play­ing tennis.

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — Did you always enjoy writing?

I’ve always been a reader and have had an inter­est in ver­bal expres­sion, helped in part by my Catholic school edu­ca­tion where I learned to dia­gram sen­tences and rules of gram­mar. It’s only in the last dozen years that I turned my atten­tion to writ­ing books and arti­cles. I’m part of a writ­ers’ group where five of us exchange the lat­est 5–10 pages of books we’re work­ing on. As the only reli­gious non­fic­tion writer in the group, I have the oppor­tu­nity to reach out through shar­ing bib­li­cal teach­ing and to encour­age them in their writ­ing. I write as a first stu­dent, where my study min­is­ters first to me and then to oth­ers. I con­sider writ­ing a king­dom exten­sion of my min­istry as a pastor-teacher.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

It’s hard to nar­row it down to a sin­gle book, but cer­tainly Know­ing God by J. I. Packer is one of the most influ­en­tial books in my life, set­ting my tra­jec­tory of thought as a young Chris­t­ian. I’m also a big mys­tery reader.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — Do you have a favorite quote?

Among my favorite is one I dis­cov­ered in research­ing spir­i­tual war­fare. It’s by John Bun­yan in his book, The Holy War and describes Lucifer’s strat­egy to neu­tral­ize the church (Man­soul). “Let those engaged in this busi­ness for us, and let Man­soul be taken with much busi­ness, and if pos­si­ble with much plea­sure and this is the way to get ground of them.  Let us but cum­ber and occupy and amuse Man­soul suf­fi­ciently, and they will make their cas­tle a ware­house for goods instead of a gar­ri­son for men of war.” Looks like Satan’s tac­tics have not changed much over the centuries.

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — Do you have a favorite book you have written?

P&R has pub­lished three of my books, The Prayer of Jehoshaphat, What is Spir­i­tual War­fare?, and Why Do We Pray?, the lat­ter two part of the Basics of the Faith Series. While I like The Prayer of Jehoshaphat to help believ­ers process their tri­als through the lens of God’s prov­i­dence and priv­i­lege of prayer, it is my con­tri­bu­tions to the BoF Series that are my favorite because I believe they bring impor­tant dimen­sions to bear for Chris­t­ian dis­ci­ple­ship. The per­spec­tive of spir­i­tual war­fare is foun­da­tional to a bib­li­cal world­view, some­thing for which God equips us in His Word and inte­gral to the believer’s walk and ser­vice. See­ing prayer as God’s means not only for com­mu­nion with Him but given us for the advance­ment of His king­dom is essen­tial to the walk of the Chris­t­ian and work of the church.

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Inter­ested in learn­ing more about Stan­ley and his work?

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BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Step by Step James C. Petty

Step by Step: Divine Guid­ance for Ordi­nary Chris­tians by James C. Petty

282 pages | $16.99 | Series: Resources for Chang­ing Lives | Pub­lished: 1999

Sum­mary: How can I know God’s will for my life? Sift­ing through con­fu­sion about divine guid­ance, prompt­ings, “fleece,” and inner voices, Petty clearly illus­trates how to make bib­li­cally wise decisions.

About the Author:

James C. Petty (MDiv and DMin, West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary) is Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of The Children’s Jubilee Fund in Erden­heim Pennsylvania.

What Others Say About This Book:

Step by Step is a fresh, up-to-date, bib­li­cal, edi­fy­ing, and well-written approach to the old but impor­tant Chris­t­ian ques­tion: How can I know the will of God for my life? . . . I com­mend this wise and bal­anced book to every­one.” - James Mont­gomery Boice

. . . a fine book on the wise and God-honoring way to make deci­sions.” - J. I. Packer

Dis­arm­ingly sim­ple, truly pro­found. You find your­self hit­ting your fore­head and say­ing, ‘But of course! That’s exactly what the Bible says.’” - Steve Estes

. . . avoids the mis­take of mak­ing bib­li­cal guid­ance look merely aca­d­e­mic . . . . many spe­cific exam­ples of how God leads us through per­plex­ing sit­u­a­tions.” - John M. Frame

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Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.

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