Author Archives for Cierra Loux

Worry: A Thief that Causes Paralysis of Faith

August 15, 2018 7:00 am Published by 6 Comments

Worrying can be an addiction that goes unseen and unaddressed. Yet, it can wreck so much havoc on your life! In this blog, we’ve taken an excerpt from the NIV Woman’s Study Bible. Hear this exhortation, read Bible verses about worry, and then spend some time in prayer and reflection! WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT WORRY Depending on context, words translated as “cares” and “concerns” or “fear” and “anxiety” can be either right or wrong attitudes in a Christian’s life. Fear is right when it is reverence toward God because of his holiness (Isa 8:13), and care is good when showing concern for others (1Co 12:25; 2Co 11:28). But worry is always wrong, for it paralyzes active faith in your life. JESUS TAUGHT: DO NOT WORRY When you worry, you assume responsibility for things you were never intended to handle. Jesus repeatedly taught, “Do not worry” (Gk. merimneo, lit. “to divide the mind”), even about the basic essentials of life (Mt 6:25–34). Worry divides your mind between useful and hurtful thinking. Worrying does not change anything (Mt 6:27) except to draw your focus away from God and his faithfulness and righteousness to concerns about the things of life, such as possessions and... View Article

Preaching? This Bible Can Help.

August 14, 2018 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Preaching soon, but not exactly sure what you’ll be saying? The NKJV Vines Expository Bible is jam-packed with helpful information: word studies, sermon outlines, and book introductions. Also, this resource is written by a name you can trust, Dr. Jerry Vines. PREACHING WITH DR. JERRY VINES Dr. Jerry Vines is a native of Carrollton, Georgia. He was educated at Mercer University (B.A.), New Orleans Theological Seminary (B.D.), and Luther Rice Seminary, (Th.D.). Dr. Vines accepted the call to be pastor at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida, in July 1982 and retired from the pastorate in February of 2006. Additionally, He was elected President of the Alabama Pastors’ Conference in 1976, President of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference for 1976 -1977. He also served two terms as President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1988 – 1989. All this information tells us something: Dr. Jerry Vines has experience preaching and he knows how to do it well. A WORD FROM THE PREACHER Before we dig in too much (because we are definitely going to show you this inside of this awesome preaching resource!) let’s hear from Jerry. This quote comes directly from the introduction of the NKJV Vines Expository Bible. Let me... View Article

Romans 8 – Teaching the Bible

August 13, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Romans 8 is a complex chapter (along with the rest of the book!). It can be difficult to understand on our own… and even more difficult to teach to others! We found this gem of a commentary set: Teaching the Bible Series. In this blog, we are giving you an excerpt of their work on Romans 8. You’ll even find application points and possible sermon ideas. Dig in! TEACHING THE BIBLE: ROMANS 8 How safe do you feel living under grace? How sure of the future? To entrust ourselves to the free grace of God in Jesus can feel like falling backwards into the arms of a friend who may or may not be there, and may or may not catch us even if he is. Is it safe to entrust ourselves entirely to the God of grace? We feel this acutely when two things happen: when we fail and fall in the struggle with sin from within, and when we are afflicted by suffering from without. Both of these experiences threaten our confidence that grace works. Just as the person falling backwards is tempted to move a foot back to save themselves, so we are tempted to add a... View Article

The Two Best Tools for Word Study

August 8, 2018 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

When I first learned how to do word studies I found them to be quite daunting. There was always a wealth of information and I never knew where to start. Of all the challenges I faced, the problem I had most often was picking the “right” word(s) to study from the passage I was reading. Not to mention, would the lexicons I had help me or even mention my verse? If that’s you, or you’ve been there before, I want to show you how Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures can make your word studies easier. BEFORE WE GET STARTED Before we get started, I want to address the big question that most have about this resource: “If I already have Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary do I still need Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures?” The honest answer is maybe, but I strongly believe both are worth owning. While there is a lot of overlap between the two resources, the way you use each is completely different. They are built to complement one another. The best way to think about them is like this: Vine’s Dictionary is a dictionary, whereas Vine’s Word Pictures is a commentary. So, let’s dive in and see how the two work in harmony. WORD... View Article

What is Application?

August 4, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

This content is taken directly from the Life Application Study Bible. The best way to define application is to first determine what it is not. Application is not just accumulating knowledge. This helps us discover and understand facts and concepts, but it stops there. History is filled with philosophers who knew what the Bible said but failed to apply it to their lives, keeping them from believing and changing. Many think that understanding is the end goal of Bible study, but it is really only the beginning. Application is not just illustration. Illustration only tells us how someone else handled a similar situation. While we may empathize with that person, we still have little direction for our personal situation. Application is not just making a passage “relevant.” Making the Bible relevant only helps us to see that the same lessons that were true in Bible times are true today; it does not show us how to apply them to the problems and pressures of our individual lives. What is it then? Application begins by knowing and understanding God’s Word and its timeless truths. But you cannot stop there. If you do, God’s Word may not change your life, and it... View Article

Covered in Grace

August 1, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7–8 THE UNIVERSAL LAWS OF LIFE Universal laws govern our lives. Just as the law of gravity governs our movements, so the law of sowing and reaping governs our choices. We reap what we sow. If we sow life–giving choices, we reap blessing; if we sow to please our sinful nature, we reap pain. God is abundantly gracious, always willing to forgive our sins and welcome us home with open arms, but forgiveness does not always negate painful consequences of our poor choices. Sometimes we can’t see the direct correlation between choices and consequences. Sometimes the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer … for now. It seems like the laws of sowing and reaping is not really true. But we have to take the long view. God promises that in the end, no one who disregards him or his ways will be without consequences. In faith we trust that God will make everything right. THE LINK BETWEEN CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES Sometimes... View Article

Owning Our Feelings

July 31, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” —Luke 15:20 IGNORING OUR FEELINGS Some Christians view feelings with suspicion. They think emotions are unimportant or unreliable. Yet our feelings play an enormous role in our motivation and behavior. Think of a time when hurt feelings prompted someone to lash out in anger or to take revenge. Consider that some people have been hospitalized for depression after years of trying to ignore their feelings. And on the positive side, the Bible says that Jesus was motivated by his compassion, a deep feeling of empathy. Feelings should neither be ignored nor placed in charge. Feelings can often motivate us to do much good. The Good Samaritan’s pity moved him to go to the injured Israelite (Luke 10:33–34). In the parable of the lost son, the father was filled with compassion for his lost son and “threw his arms around him” (Luke 15:20). Many times Jesus had compassion for the people to whom he ministered (Matthew 9:36; 15:32). OWNING OUR FEELINGS Feelings come from our hearts and can tell... View Article

The Life Application Study Bible

July 31, 2018 6:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Knowledge and understanding are great, but mean nothing if they aren’t applied! The Life Application Study Bible recognizes this. It doesn’t only contain informative notes on Bible life and times, helping you understand difficult Bible passages. Instead, it goes a step further, showing you how to apply the Bible personally. The Life Application Study Bible gives you the best of both worlds: top scholarship that answers your real-life questions. WHAT COMES WITH THE LIFE APPLICATION STUDY BIBLE? Here is a list of the study Bible’s features: 240 full-color maps Over 160,000 embedded links, getting you the information you want, where you want it Over 9,000 Life Application notes 324 Charts 161 Personality Profiles Comprehensive Master Index, Dictionary/Concordance, and Feature Indexes Christian Worker’s Resource, a special supplement to enhance the reader’s ministry effectiveness, includes: How to Become a Believer, How to Follow Up with a New Believer, Mining the Treasures of the Life Application Study Bible, So You’ve Been Asked to Speak, and Taking the Step to Application. HOW IT WORKS IN THE APP If you’ve bought study Bibles from us before, you know that they usually come with just the notes. This is because you can use any translation you want by putting a Bible... View Article

A Blast from the Past: 10 Years in the App Store

July 30, 2018 7:00 am Published by 30 Comments

This week, we are celebrating a BIG anniversary: ten years in the App Store! Around the office, we’ve been eating lots of food, swapping stories, and being nostalgic. Olive Tree has come a long way since its beginnings. But did you know that we have been putting the Bible on phones long before the App Store? A VISUAL HISTORY OF OLIVE TREE Some of these images are almost embarrassing to share since technology has come such a long way over the past decade. But we hope you’ll enjoy this throwback as much as we do. It started with a website. Like most things tech-related, we started with a website, providing people with access to the Bible on the Internet. Then came Palm Pilots. Not too long after, we began putting our Bible Reader program on Palm Pilots. Although it wasn’t the most beautiful program, it was definitely innovative during its time. The expansion of cell phones. As cell phones grew in popularity, we continued to find ways to make our Bible Reader program accessible. Then, the App Store began. Ten years ago, the App Store began, and we were quick to get our app up and running for iOS devices.... View Article

Communicating the Gospel: One-to-One

July 7, 2018 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.—Luke 1:1–4 Communicating the Gospel is not only a big task, but a big responsibility. So, of course we want to know the best way to communicate it! The Preacher’s Commentary on Luke, by Bruce Larson, gives great insight for preachers and teachers alike by examining Luke’s methods for communication the Gospel. Here’s an excerpt for you to read! COMMUNICATING ONE-TO-ONE The Gospel of Luke Luke is the only one of the Gospel writers who did not know the physical Jesus. He was not present during our Lord’s three-year ministry and did not witness His death and Resurrection. His sources for this Gospel are eyewitnesses of these events. He visited the people who actually saw the physical Jesus: His family,... View Article