What Is Immerse and Why Do We Need It?

Tyndale House Publishers

Despite having access to more Bibles than ever before, Bible reading and engagement are in freefall. What can we do? Glenn Paauw and Paul Caminiti from the Institute for Bible Reading have done extensive research to try to answer that question and find ways to change the trajectory of Bible reading. It was from this quest that Immerse: The Reading Experience was birthed. It is a simple yet revolutionary way to reengage with the Bible as individuals and in community.

Watch the Immerse Story:

A Love of God’s Word Is Contagious!

Tyndale House Publishers

by Molly Jo Nynam

Naomi was so excited about the Tyndale Bible she bought her husband, Andrew, that she wasn’t sure she could wait until Christmas to give it to him. At age 37, this would be his first study Bible and the first time he would have God’s Word in the New Living Translation—Naomi’s favorite.

“Reading the NLT makes reading the Bible real, regular, and more vivid. I don’t have to wonder about word meanings and definitions. It comes alive so you can connect with it,” Naomi said.

“And study Bibles are great because you have resources right there in your Bible. If you’re not sure about something, it’s explained right there. If you’re wondering how something applies to your life, you can find that too. And when you see how prophecies have been fulfilled, you have further proof that this is the Word of God.”

Her love of God’s Word is not just apparent, it’s attractive—like the warm, magnetic glow of a long-burning, consistently stoked fire.

Having grown up in a Christian home with a single mother and one brother, Naomi is thankful for a heritage that immersed her in the church and God’s Word.

“I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a Bible,” Naomi recalls. “I grew up dirt poor, but my mom always made sure we had Bibles. Beginner Bibles, Life Application youth Bibles—even if they cost a whole day’s wages. We would line the covers with contact paper to help preserve them and read them until the bindings fell apart.”

Naomi has had the joy of seeing Andrew grow exponentially in his faith since he’s been reading his new Bible. And though he also enjoys reading God’s Word digitally, she said, “There’s something about holding it in your hands. He definitely cherishes his new Bible.”

And what would Naomi say to people who don’t read the Bible or have given up on finding help in God’s Word?

“There are people who think the Bible isn’t applicable. I would encourage them to have a Bible that’s easy to read and to ask God to help show them what they are meant to see that day. And if you don’t have a hunger for reading the Bible, ask God to give you a hunger. You’ll be amazed at what happens if you pray!”

“Recently, I read an article about Christians and Jews in Ukraine praying and reading Psalms 31 and 27. They’re under attack by the Russian army and they’re reading Scripture while bunkered down in the subway. Why? Because they know whatever problem you face, whether it’s an attack on the battlefield, an illness, the loss of a family member, or maybe just struggling to find purpose, the Bible has an answer for that!

“If people are turning to the Bible while listening to air-raid sirens and hiding from actual missiles, surely it has something for you in your situation as well!

“I hear people say things like ‘I wish God would just speak to me’ or ‘I wish God would give me a word,’ but if you aren’t opening your Bible, you’re missing out on hearing His voice. The Bible isn’t just ‘a word’ it’s The Word. So if you want to hear from God, first pray, then open your Bible and start reading and listening to what He has to say.

“God is faithful. He never walks away from us. And if you are far away from God, it’s never too late to walk back.”

Looking for a Bible for yourself or to give as a gift? We can help! Check out our Bible Finder

Sin and Death

Tyndale House Publishers

Lent Week 4: Readings from the Mosaic Bible

Numbers 21:4-9 • Psalm 32 • Ephesians 2:1-10 • John 3:14-21

For some Christ-followers, sin and death weave so familiar a narrative that we’ve become numb to their sting. For others of us, the wages of sin and our subsequent spiritual death weigh so heavily that we refuse to accept God’s gracious mercy.

The balance in which God calls us to rest is certainly dissatisfied with both extremes. As we begin to understand our current spiritual story through the eyes of Christian history, we grieve as we own the sins of humanity yet rejoice with the saints in the climax of our shared salvation story.

Suggested Reading : Luke 15:1-32

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.—Ephesians 2:4-5

Some years ago I was brought to the conviction that mine was only an
intellectual belief—a belief in which there was no life. It looked for
salvation in the future after death; and consequently my soul had not
“passed from death unto life.” God showed me how very dangerous my
position was, and what a wretched and lost sinner I was; and how
necessary it was for me to obtain salvation in the present, and not in
some future time. I repented long; I became very restless and almost
ill, and passed many sleepless nights. The Holy Spirit so got hold of me
that I could not rest until I found salvation then and there. So I prayed
earnestly to God to pardon my sins for the sake of Jesus Christ, and let
me realize that I had really got salvation through Him. I believed God’s
promise, and took Him at His word; and when I had done this, my
burden rolled away, and I realized that I was forgiven and was freed
from the power of sin. – Pandita Ramabai (India/1858-1922)

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,
so that we could be made right with God through Christ.—2 Corinthians 5:21

The Sacrifice
“O all ye who pass by, behold and see!”
Man stole the fruit, but I must climb the tree;
The tree of life to all, but only me:
Was ever grief like mine?
—George Herbert (England/1593–1633)

Prayer To Do Good
Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said
anything to increase the pain of the world. Pardon the unkind word, the
impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the failure to show sympathy
and kindly help where I have had the opportunity, but missed it; and enable
me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human
sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness.—F. B. Meyer (England/1847–1929)

The Smell of Sin
Timothy G. Walton
One early American preacher traveled from town to town preaching the gospel message. It was witnessed that as he approached the outskirts of a town, he would pause and say, “I smell hell!” If we were sensible to it, would the world smell like hell to us? Hell is an entirely foreign concept today. Yet that strange smell—the smell of decay, corruption, and filth permeates this world we live in because of the aftermath of Adam and Eve’s sin.

People have all kinds of creative ways of dealing with sin. They deny it. They minimize it. They make excuses for it. They blame others for it. The duke, a character in James Thurber’s The Thirteen Clocks, admits, “We all have our little weaknesses; mine just happens to be that I am evil.”

Why is sin sinful, not just a “little weakness”? Who says sin is sin? One of the words the Bible uses to refer to sin means “to miss the mark,” implying that there is a mark or target that has been missed, so the word sin itself implies a standard. If a highway patrolman stops you for speeding, it implies that the official government has set a speed limit, and you violated it. Similarly, the moral standard for all humanity comes right out of the holy character of God. His glory, his holiness, is the standard we all fall short of.

This world that smells like sin also smells like death. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Sin leads to death. There was death in the Garden. Adam and Eve didn’t drop dead the minute they ate the forbidden fruit, of course, but death made two instant inroads: First, the seed of physical death was planted in them. Two perfect individuals created to be forever young began to grow old and eventually would die. Second, they died spiritually. Their intimate and friendly relationship with the Lord died. The next scene in Genesis 3 finds Adam and Eve hiding from God in the bushes. Though they didn’t realize it at the time, their only hope was for God to do something heroic to rescue them and bring them back into a healthy relationship with him. When God sacrificed two animals (Genesis 3:21) and proclaimed the coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior (Genesis 3:15), he did just that.

Modern life offers many luxurious “perfumes” to cover up the smell of eternal death. When we are enjoying our favorite foods and entertainments, it can be easy to forget the decay of sin and death all around us. Lent helps us to remember that there is only one who actually reverses decay—the God who raises the dead.

Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
—Psalm 32:2-3

Prayer for the Grace to Die Daily
Grant, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.—Book of Common Prayer

“ Therefore, O Faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth, learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, defend the truth till death.” —Jan Hus (Bohemia/c. 1369–1415)

Dependence

Tyndale House Publishers

Lent Week 2 Resources from the Mosaic Bible

Read: Genesis 12:1-9 • Psalm 121• Philippians 3:12–4:1 • Mark 8:31-38

It’s no secret that our culture values independence. The iconic Lone Ranger is an American hero. But it doesn’t take long before the Lone Ranger is dwelling in a pit of misery. Even the culture so entrenched in its I-can-do-it-myself attitude was quick to assume that the pronounced isolation of Seung-Hui Cho (the perpetrator of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre) was the reason his severe unhappiness went unnoticed and ultimately led to tragedy.

From the very beginning of our faith story, Adam’s loneliness is a sorrow to which all humanity can relate. Both God’s creation of Eve for companionship and God’s continued interference in human history by way of personal relationship shows that we were created to be relational beings.

While relationship doesn’t demand the sacrifice of independence, it offers the gift of meeting our inadequacies. In such moments of weakness,
we realize the strength of dependence.

“Christianity promises to make men free; it never promises to make them
independent.” —William Ralph Inge (USA/1860–1964)

“This is something which has been handed on to us by some of the oldest
of the Fathers and which we hand on to only a very small number of the
souls eager to know it: To keep the thought of God always in your mind
you must cling totally to this formula for piety: ‘Come to my help, O God;
Lord, hurry to my rescue’ [Psalm 70:1].

It is not without good reason that this verse has been chosen from
the whole of Scripture as a device. It carries within it all the feelings of which human nature is capable. It can be adapted to every condition and can be usefully deployed against every temptation. It carries within it a cry of help to God in the face of every danger. It expresses the humility of a pious confession. It conveys the watchfulness born of unending worry and fear. It conveys a sense of our frailty, the assurance of being heard, the confidence in help that is always and everywhere present. Someone forever calling out to his protector is indeed very sure of having him close by. This is the voice filled with ardor of love and of charity. This is the terrified cry of someone who sees the snares of the enemy, the cry of someone besieged day and night and exclaiming that he cannot escape unless his protector comes to the rescue. . . .

This little verse, I am saying, proves to be necessary and useful to each one of us and in all circumstances. For someone who needs help in all things is making clear that he requires the help of God not simply in hard and sad situations but equally and amid fortunate and joyful conditions. He knows that God saves us from adversity and makes our joys linger and that in neither situation can human frailty survive without His help.
-John Cassian (Egypt. 365-435)

Meditation

I C A NN O T D O T HI S A L O NE
O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me. . . .

Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
Amen.
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Germany/1906–1945)

“ No one is strong in his own strength, but he is safe by the grace and
mercy of God.” —Cyprian (Tunisia/d. 258)

Lean on Me
by Karen Sloan
“Lean on me.” God makes this invitation to you and me in every moment of our lives. We can choose to respond, “Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me.” But as for me, I often remain focused on myself. I become caught up either in all that I accomplish or in all that I have left undone. When life is all about me, I am blinded from the reality of my complete dependence upon my Creator. The noise of arrogance and anxiety deafens the call to lean on the everlasting arms.

We are designed by God to be doubly dependent. First, directly upon God, and second, indirectly upon God through those people God brings into our lives. Our existence is to be one of interconnection, not isolation.

As Jesus lived on earth as both God and man, he lived the ultimate life of continual dependence upon his Father; yet he also depended upon the provision from his Father through other people. God provided for Jesus’ human life through Mary. Mary carried Jesus inside her body and in her arms. He received nourishment from Mary. She prepared his daily bread and mothered him with all her heart.

In adulthood, Jesus depended upon a community to accomplish the work he was called to do. A young boy provided the lunch that would feed five thousand. Jesus asked a woman for water at a well—and depended upon her word to evangelize her entire town, leading many to believe in him. When Jesus died on the cross, Mary was there with the other women and John, perhaps ready to hold his body one final time. Jesus called upon his disciple to do one more thing for him—take care of his mother. Even his tomb was a gift from one of his followers.

Yet Jesus did not stay in this tomb beyond three days. For the One he depended on before all others raised him from death to life.

There is freedom in dependence. It enables each of us to accept our vulnerability. We no longer have to hide in shame or self-sufficiency. You and I can choose to lean on our Father amid a full range of disastrous and delightful events, praying, “Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me.”

Sixteen hundred years ago, John Cassian published an account of his conversations with monks living in a desert. One older monk, Isaac, had shared this prayer from Psalm 70 with John on his visit. Even today many Christians around the globe begin times of prayer with this verse. It serves as a clarion call to lean on God in the midst of our independent culture.

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
—Psalm 121:1-2

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for my sake and for the
sake of the Good News, you will save it.
—Mark 8:35

Tyndale Bibles Reach Impressive Sales Milestone

Tyndale House Publishers

What a joy to be able to offer Bibles and resources that help people draw closer to God through His Word. We were recently honored to learn that several of our Bibles have been recognized by the ECPA for excellence in sales. We are so thankful God continues to let us be a part of helping to get His Word into the hands of others. We hope you celebrate with as us as God’s Word continues to move and change lives.

The Bronze Award is in recognition of over 100,000 copies sold. The following Bibles received this award:

 

 

The Gold Award is in recognition of over 500,00 copies sold. The following Bible received this award:

 

 

 

The Platinum Award is in recognition of over 1 million copies sold. The following Bible received that award:

 

 

Who Wrote the Psalms?

The Psalms are some of the most beloved Scriptures. They were they hymnal of the Israelites and continue to be an important part of worship today. But who wrote the Psalms? Let’s find out from the Life Application Study Bible.

David wrote many of the psalms, but not all of them. We know of at least six other musicians who wrote the psalms in this book because their names are provided at the top of each psalm they wrote. Other psalm writers received no lasting credit for their efforts. Perhaps receiving lasting credit for the Kingdom contributions we make is not important either. God knows and will remember.

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible.

God At Work at Cass County Jail

Grow Up

“Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, NLT

Notes from the Every Man’s Bible

Part of becoming mature is realizing that following our own desires only leads down a dead- end street. We remain “infants” as long as we demand our own way and are always divisive. We should examine our lives to see if this characterizes our relationships. If so, we need to confess our sin and ask God to help us grow up.

Each person has a part to play in accomplishing God’s work on earth. No one person is all- important, and no one is unimportant. We must beware of elevating some of God’s workers while tearing down others. Our focus should be to elevate God and show respect for all those who do his work. We, too, should do our part, whether it is planting, watering, or harvesting, to accomplish God’s overall plan.

It is possible for our intelligence to get in the way of our spiritual progress. As we analyze what God calls us to do, we may find it somewhat foolish or demeaning. Sometimes following God’s plan will not make perfect sense to us. We might even find it embarrassing at times. Regardless of how well we
understand or how comfortable we feel, God’s way is best. It’s fine to try to understand, but we must do so with the intention of following God’s will even if it doesn’t make perfect sense to us.

Learn more about the Every Man’s Bible

Psalms: An Emotional Roller Coaster

Worship Reading Plan: Day 5

“What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts.What festivities await us inside your holy Temple.” Psalm 65:1-4, NLT

12-Step Devotional from the Life Recovery Bible

“We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.” Step 11

Most of us need to desire something before we will wholeheartedly seek after it. Until we realize how much God loves us and cares about the details of our lives, we probably won’t have the desire to pray to him. Until we sincerely believe that he has completely forgiven us, we will be ashamed to face him. If we hold to our misconceptions about God, this step will be a formidable chore rather than a joy.

The life of King David should give us hope. After he had come face to face with his own sinfulness, he was able to sing, “What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple” (Psalm 65:1-4). God wants us to be like those who lived and served in his Temple, walking freely into his presence. He wants us to know that we are welcome and valued before him. (See also Matthew 10:29-31.)

God is always present with us and can be a source of joy and happiness for us now. We can look forward to spending time with him and living in his presence every day.

Learn more about the Life Recovery Bible