Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

Giveaways

Free Stuff Fridays Updated
August 05, 2016

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Smallgroup.com who also sponsored the blog this week. Smallgroup.com is a library of discussion-driven and video-enhanced studies that you can customize for any small group to have a consistent and transformational discipleship experience. It is for churches that want to give their group leaders a powerful discipleship tool and group leaders who want to engage their group at a unique and intentional level. Here are just a few things you can do with smallgroup.com:

  • Find or create a study to match your group’s preferences. 
  • Build a series of studies based on a specific discipleship plan.
  • Reinforce a sermon series. 
  • Choose from a library of 2,000+ studies on 400 topics from all 66 books of the Bible. 
  • Can’t find the right study? Request that one be built for you (at no extra charge).
  • Add your own teaching videos.
  • Enhance your study with video from trusted Christian teachers: J.D. Greear, Matt Chandler, David Platt, John Piper, and others.

Enter Here

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon. If you are viewing this through email, click to visit my site and enter there.

We are giving away two annual memberships to smallgroup.com Just leave your name and email to win. Anyone can try smallgroup.com free for two weeks by going to smallgroup.com and clicking “Start my free trial now.”

Small group

Free Stuff Fridays Updated
July 29, 2016

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Impact 360 Institute who also sponsored the blog this week. They are giving away their Explore Truth audiobook to anyone who would like to have it.

Explore Truth is a 7­-part course offered by the Impact 360 Institute and taught by Jonathan Morrow. The course focuses on the topic of absolute truth in the modern age and forming a biblical response to cultural relativism. The content features several interviews with prominent speakers and authors including John Stonestreet, Del Tackett, J.P. Moreland, and Sean McDowell. In the course you can expect to learn more about these common issues

  1. Whatever Happened to Truth?
  2. What Is Truth?
  3. How Moral Relativism Hurts Everyone
  4. Is Jesus Really the Only Way to God?
  5. The Tyranny of Tolerance
  6. How to Talk about Truth
  7. Why Truth Matters

This audiobook contains the full­-length study in mp3 format. It is free for the taking right here.

Giveaway

Free Stuff Fridays Updated
July 22, 2016

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by P&R Publishing who also sponsored the blog this week. They are giving away 5 sets of 5 book from their Living Word Bible Studies by Kathleen Nielson. The Living Word Bible Studies offer a guide into deeper study of God’s Word, one whole book at a time. Five days of questions in each lesson lead the way to careful textual study, with helpful context and commentary woven throughout. The aim is to read the Scriptures—and to learn to read the Scriptures—with ever increasing discernment, delight, and conviction.

Each of the winners will receive:

  • Isaiah. “Sometimes called the ‘Romans of the Old Testament,’ the book of Isaiah is a theological masterpiece. Not only does it deliver some of the most beautiful poetry in the Bible, but it also gives us a glimpse into God’s perspective on human history and his magnificent redemptive plan. Kathleen Nielson helps us apply this book to ourselves as the people of God and points us to our Savior, the promised Messiah.”
  • JohnJohnJohn: That You May Believe guides you through what many consider to be the most artful and poetic of the gospels. Opening with a remarkably beautiful, mind-stretching statement of who Jesus is, John clearly reveals Jesus’ identity as the promised Christ, the Son of God, come to bring life to those who believe in his name. Its portrait of the Word made flesh rewards careful study so ‘that you may believe’.”
  • Nehemiah. “Nehemiah is not only an example of great leadership; his story shows us in living color God’s sovereign plan to work through his people for his redemptive purposes in Jesus Christ. Kathleen leads us to immerse ourselves in a dramatic story of God’s people led by a godly leader at a crucial point in salvation history. As we follow the rebuilding of the wall, we witness God’s faithfulness in preserving a chosen people according to his promises, and we realize our need for a savior.
  • ColossiansColossians and Philemon. “Colossians and Philemon are two of Paul’s ‘prison epistles’—letters written while he was imprisoned for preaching Jesus Christ as Lord. Even in the face of persecution, prison bars could not contain Paul’s zeal for the gospel. In his letter to the Colossian church he sounded the alarm of false teaching and encouraged the believers to find sufficiency in Christ. In his letter to Philemon he pleaded for mercy and forgiveness for a runaway slave. Kathleen Nielson helps us see how these messages are still relevant and alive in many ways.
  • Proverbs. “A proverb is wisdom in a poetic nutshell: it is small, like a nut, and gives more and more flavorful meaning as we keep pondering it. In the book of Proverbs we find divinely inspired observations concerning how to live rightly as the people of God. Proverbs’ wisdom is far from theoretical; wisdom given by our Creator relates to every part of his creation—from our words, to our friendships, to our money, to our marriages and children—and on and on. Kathleen Nielson guides us in how to digest the poetry of Proverbs and relish this part of God’s revelation with thankful delight. She encourages us to hear and respond to wisdom’s call and let the light of Christ illuminate our lives.”

Enter Here

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon. If you are viewing this through email, click to visit my site and enter there.

July 18, 2016

The following sponsored post is taken from Jane Roach’s new book, God’s Mysterious Ways: Embracing God’s Providence in Esther. Sign up to receive a free study from Jane through the first chapter of Esther.

Who is in Charge? What Esther Teaches Us about God’s Providence

Who is in charge?

This is the fundamental question that the Serpent posed to Eve and to every person since Eden. This question is in the forefront of our minds even when we are young. When one of my grandsons was three years old, his mother left him in my care at my home. As she was driving away, he put his hands on his hips, pulled back his shoulders, looked at me, and asked with an authoritative tone, “Well, who’s in charge here?”

After I got over the shock, I got down to his level and looked him in the eye, replying, “You are not.” He literally shook with surprise. We had a lovely conversation with him sitting on my lap as I explained that he was our guest and we were responsible for his care when he was with us. He was satisfied, and we had a wonderful time together.

People ask this question in many different ways. Is there a God? If so, what is he like? How does he relate to the world and to people today? Is there objective truth? Are there objective standards? Does God have a Son? How many ways are there to salvation? Is God a person or a force? What does it mean to be nice to other people? Who are the Jews, and why is their history filled with efforts to eliminate them? What part does God play in evil? Where is our world headed? What can we do to change the direction? Who decides the answers to these questions?

I have encountered people who answer these questions without a frame of reference outside themselves. They sincerely believe mutually exclusive statements at the same time and see no contradiction.

The need to know God as he has revealed himself in the Bible prompted me to teach a women’s Bible study of the book of Esther, emphasizing the providence of God. It was delightful to encounter the class members in the community and hear them talking about God’s providence, a topic previously not part of their conversations.

God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, yet it has many hints of his presence. The compelling narrative presents God as the all-powerful one who sovereignly directs history according to his predetermined plan. Esther provides answers for how the Old and New Testaments are related through the Bible’s big story of redemption. It has a message of hope for God’s people. While the world attempts to change the decrees of God the Creator, they will not succeed. God, not political leaders, will have the final say in what is right and wrong. God providentially watches over his people, and nothing and no one will ultimately prevail against them. In fact, those who attempt to destroy God’s people find themselves fighting against God.

“Who is God, and how does he relate to the world and people today?” are questions answered in the book of Esther. The values of the Persian Empire look very much like those of our own day. Even in the professing church, people are often more concerned with what they have or do or appear to be than with who they are. The spectacular gets our attention rather than the ordinary providence of God at work in our lives. Pop culture and the news celebrate those who assert their independence from God rather than the faithful who trust God day after day, in success and failure, sickness and health, joy and sorrow. When it seems God is nowhere to be seen, he is at work. God is already where we will be tomorrow. He is working out his divine plan for his glory and our eternal good. We need no “plan B”; God’s perfect plan is being accomplished. The book of Esther invites you to take God at his Word in the mysterious fulfillment of all his promises. Its message is needed in the world today.

Esther is a book named for a woman, but it is part of God’s revelation for all—men, women, and children. God reveals his providence that we may understand it and embrace it for our lives. To embrace means to cherish and hold dear. May you see and embrace God’s providence in your personal life, your family, your church, your nation, and the world through taking a step back in time into the historical narrative of Esther. 

Are you ready to begin or dive deeper into the book of Esther? To get you started, P&R is providing a free guide from Jane Roach on the book’s first chapter. Jane will walk you through the passage, showing how God uses the sinful actions of men and women to set the stage for his ultimate plan. Study questions are provided to help you to apply the text in your life.

http://janeroach.pagedemo.co/

Free Stuff Fridays Updated
July 15, 2016

This week's Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Reformation Heritage Books which, of course, also sponsored the blog this week. They are offering a prize package that contains several of their new and noteworthy books. There will be 5 winners and each of those winners will receive:

  • Pulpit Aflame edited by Joel Beeke and Dustin Benge. “In this volume, fourteen experienced preachers reaffirm the centrality of preaching in the life of the church as they explore what the Scriptures have to say about the mandate, meaning, motivation, and method of preaching. With wisdom and conviction, the authors remind the church that God works through the faithful preaching of His Word, no less in the twenty-first century than in the first.”
  • Church History 101 by Sinclair Ferguson, Joel Beeke, and Michael Haykin. “Church history is important because it shows us how God’s faithful dealings with His people in the Bible continue in the ongoing life and work of Christ in our world. If you have ever wished for a short book highlighting church history’s most important events that will enlighten your mind and peak your interest, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Three prolific church historians collaborate their efforts in Church History 101 to present you with a quick read of church history’s high points.”
  • Living in a Godly Marriage by Joel Beeke & James La Belle. “The Puritans believed that godly marriages were foundational for the future life of families, churches, and nations. Therefore, they wrote prolifically on the subject of marriage, seeking to bring biblical reformation to this subject in a comprehensive way. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other previous Reformers had begun this task, but the Puritans took it much further, writing a number of detailed treatises on how to live as godly spouses. Out of the wealth of material available to us from the seventeenth century, Joel R. Beeke and James A. La Belle have gathered together insights from the past and summarized them in a contemporary form in order to encourage modern-day couples to glorify God in marriage.”
  • Pentecostal Outpourings by Robert Davis Smart, Michael Haykin, and Ian Clary. “When Jesus ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, He poured out His Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This significant historical and redemptive event was not the last time Christ poured out His Spirit in redemptive history. Mindful of these subsequent acts, Pentecostal Outpourings presents historical research on revivals in the Reformed tradition during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.”
  • One Man and One Woman by Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley. “What does the Bible teach about sexual relationships between people of the same sex? Does true love require that we accept all forms of sexual expression? No, real love does not rejoice in sin, but rejoices in the truth. In the Bible, God reveals that He created gender, sex, and marriage, and we may not alter them at our will. Through His laws and works in history, God has made it clear that homosexual practices violate His holy purposes for mankind.”

Enter Here

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon. If you are viewing this through email, click to visit my site and enter there.

Free Stuff Fridays Updated
July 08, 2016

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is provided by Christian History Institute which also sponsored the blog this week. They have something to give everyone and then a special prize for 5 winners.

For everyone, they offer a free subscription to Christian History Magazine, a full-color, high-quality, quarterly print publication bringing the story of the church to the people of the church. It is available in the USA on a donation basis.

Subscribe here

They also invite you to enter the draw to win one of 5 prize packages. Each package will contain the following 2 DVDs:

  • A pre-release special edition of This Changed Everything: 500 years of Reformation which releases in October. This Changed Everything celebrates the fruits of the Reformation while exploring difficult questions about the cost of division: Could schism have been avoided? Is there hope for reunification? What did Jesus really mean when He prayed for His followers to be “one”? You can learn more about it right here.
  • Torchlighters Martin Luther which releases in August. Share the story of Martin Luther, father of the Reformation, with children through this episode of the Torchlighters! Celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by learning with Luther that salvation comes by faith. You can learn more about this one here.

Enter Here

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon. If you are viewing this through email, click to visit my site and enter there.

Free Stuff Fridays Updated
July 01, 2016

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Moody who also sponsored this week’s sponsored post. They are giving away a leadership pack of books this week. There will be 5 winners and each of them will receive the following 4 titles:

  • Old Paths, New Power: Awakening Your Church Through Prayer and the Ministry of the Word by Daniel Henderson. From a recovering “leadershipaholic”: our best model is the first one. With all our sleek ministry models, it’s a wonder our churches are declining—until we read Acts 6:4, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.” After a long, sometimes trying ministry journey, Daniel Henderson was relieved to discover what the apostles knew from the start: The main thing must stay the main thing. It worked in their pagan times, and it will in ours. Old Paths, New Power: Reviving Our Churches through Prayer and the Ministry of the Word calls us back to the tried-and-true: pray and proclaim the word. Our churches don’t need fresh models and fancy things; they need the Holy Spirit, and He rains down when we pray and proclaim the word. Read Old Paths, New Power and follow God’s master plan.
  • Tozer for the Christian Leader by A.W. Tozer and Ron Eggart. “I fear that we shall never see another Tozer. Men like him are not college-bred but Spirit-taught.” (Rev. Leonard Ravenhill) Great leaders are rare. Those who pray fervently, worship fully, and walk in integrity—who see God big and depend on Him humbly—are those trained in the way of power. Such was the case for A. W. Tozer, and Tozer for the Christian Leader shows you what made him exceptional. These reflections, grouped monthly by theme—like prayer, the personal life, and worship—are ideal for any Christian leader. Absorb Tozer’s wisdom. Be marked by his conviction. Let his keen eye for spiritual things cut through pretense and show you truth. Read Tozer for the Christian Leader and discover the beating heart of uncommonly great and godly leadership.
  • After 50 Years of Ministry: 7 Things I’d Do the Same and 7 Things I’d Do Differently by Bob Russell. When Bob Russell became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, it was just 120 people meeting in a basement. When he retired forty years later, it was nearing 20,000. Though his ministry was clearly successful, he’d be the first to tell you it wasn’t perfect. In After 50 Years of Ministry, Bob reflects on the best of what he’s learned (sometimes the hard way) about ministry and leadership. Marked with Bob’s humor and warmth—and packed with great stories and illustrations—After 50 Years of Ministry is sage advice from a man who practiced faith, put his hand to the plow, and saw God work. If you are in leadership of any kind, don’t miss this chance to learn from one of the best.
  • Rare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits for Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People You Lead by Marcus Warner & Jim Wilder. Revive your leadership. Grow healthy teams. See great results. Healthy teams begin with healthy leaders, and at the heart of this dynamic is emotional maturity—the quality the greatest leaders possess. Combining solid theology, cutting-edge brain science, and decades of counseling and consulting experience, Rare Leadership shows you how to take your leadership and team to the next level.

Moody FSF

Enter Here

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon. If you are viewing this through email, click to visit my site and enter there.

Free Stuff Fridays Updated
June 24, 2016

This week's Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by 10ofthose which, as you know, also sponsored the blog this week. They are offering a prize package made up of some of their best products. There will be 5 winners this week and each of them will receive the following:

  • Daily Readings Through All Four Gospels by J.C. Ryle. "This edition of Daily Readings from all Four Gospels is a fresh presentation of Ryle’s classic Daily Readings. This high quality, soft touch, deluxe edition contains all 732 readings from the Ryle’s previous volumes and arranges them for the morning and evening of every day of any year."
  • Everything a Child Should Know About God by Kenneth Taylor. "Help your child discover the wonder of God and His Word! Dr. Kenneth Taylor explains in child–friendly language the essential Bible truths you want your child to know. He tells children about God’s creation of the world, why Jesus came to earth, how the Holy Spirit helps us, and so much more!"
  • Evangelistic Preaching by Roger Carswell. "Clear, faithful proclamation of the gospel is needed more than ever, but the pressures of the age are often causing us to stay silent and withdraw. Roger defines biblical, evangelistic preaching as ‘proclaiming the gospel, to non–Christians, who are listening.’ He then helpfully, unpacks this and walks us through the Bible principles of sharing the good news. This is far from being just a theory book. With stories and examples, Roger applies what the Bible says, helps us think through how it will impact our preparation, prayers and preaching and excites us for what God can do through His word. If you’re a seasoned preacher or just starting out, this book is for you. It will help you think through both your message and method, how truth can be clearly communicated and manifested in love."
  • God and Politics by Mark Dever. "Mark Dever unpacks what the Bible has to say on this topic, and teaches how we can ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s’ without compromising on what we believe. We’ll see that our duty to God is comprehensive and that there isn’t an area of life that we can separate from His influence. This little book won’t take long to read, but its impact could last a lifetime."
  • Intentional by Paul Williams. "If we’re honest none of us find evangelism easy. We’re told we should do it, we might know that we should be doing it, but the reality is often too scary. Paul Williams is realistic about our fear and guilt, but with gentleness he shows us that the key to banishing our fear isn’t complex and clever answers, but rather to take our friends to the person of Jesus. He gives practical examples of how we can naturally and thoughtfully share how Jesus answers, and is the answer to commonly asked questions. Paul also shares how this simple model has led to greater confidence and joy in his own evangelism. This can be our joy too!"
  • Galatians by Peter Mead. "Be encouraged as Peter Mead takes us through 36 undated devotions; be reminded that Christ is everything, that the gospel is sufficient and that we have all we need for our lives now in Jesus. Helpful reflection questions will allow you to dwell on these great truths throughout the day."

Enter Here

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon. If you are viewing this through email, click to visit my site and enter there.