Author Archives for Cierra Loux

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

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

John MacArthur’s Introduction to the Gospels

July 6, 2018 7:00 am Published by 4 Comments

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” —John 20:30–31THE MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE If you’ve been on our website recently, you might have noticed that we have 4 different versions of John MacArthur’s Study Bible. MacArthur Study Bible with NIV MacArthur Study Bible with NASB MacArthur Study Bible with ESV MacArthur Study Bible with NKJV And. if you know our app well enough, you may be confused as to why we have this same resource available with different translations. In the app, we let you use any Bible translation you want with a study Bible. Why would you need this one with NIV instead of ESV? Well, in each of these resources, MacArthur makes direct reference to specific translations. You can still mix and match study Bibles and translations all you want—but if you prefer the NASB, we definitely recommend getting that version of this study Bible! Now, check out this snippet from MacArthur’s Study Bible. INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS The Word... View Article

Freedom from Wifi

July 5, 2018 7:00 am Published by 18 Comments

DID YOU KNOW… that you don’t need wifi or data to use our app? No, really. You can use every single part of our app while your phone is on airplane mode. STUDY THE BIBLE ANYWHERE The reason we designed our app to work without Wifi or data is so that YOU can study God’s Word anytime, anywhere. We all know what summer is like: long road trips, camping, flying… all without an Internet connection. An Internet connection shouldn’t determine how deeply you can study the Bible. So, test it out. Put your device in airplane mode right now and start studying. You don’t need to be distracted by texts, phone calls, or the Internet anyway. SHARE #READSTUDYANYWHERE Check out #readstudyanywhere on Twitter and Instagram to see where Olive Tree users are using the app this summer. Then join the conversation yourself! NEED SOME INSPIRATION? Want to start studying but need something to revamp your quiet time? Tap here to see this week’s sale.

The Bible and Intellectual Pursuit

June 27, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

THE BIBLE AND INTELLECTUAL PURSUIT Some presume Christianity is anti-intellectual. But does the Bible actually promote anti-intellectualism? On the contrary, the Bible promotes the life of the mind. Indeed, the Christian worldview values learning, and it grounds, fosters, and clarifies such intellectual pursuit. Note, for example, how the nature of God does so. God’s infinity clarifies that he alone possesses full knowledge—past, present, and future. His graciousness initiates all learning as all knowledge of him and life flows from his generous self-revelation. God’s truthfulness shows that his self-disclosure communicates truth and does so coherently. His personal nature means that knowledge is also relational, pointing us to a covenant relationship with him. God’s self-revelation reflects God and is likewise instructive about intellectual pursuit. God’s self-revelation is gracious: God freely initiates it and blesses through it. It is truthful, faithfully representing who God is, what God does, and how God relates to humans. His self-revelation is a unity: though coming in a variety of forms (see below), God’s communication about himself, humanity, and life coheres. It is personal, as it communicates who God is and his ways. It is propositional, disclosing truth about God, humanity, life, history, and salvation. Since humans are the... View Article

What is a Christian Worldview?

June 25, 2018 7:00 am Published by 7 Comments

  WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW AND WHY DOES IT MATTER? Is there anything you can think of which is indispensable to your personal identity? Perhaps your hometown, family, or friends come to mind. While these are important aspects of what it means to be you, they do not travel physically with you everywhere you go. They are not present during those private moments while you are sitting in your room. But one thing sticks closer to you than your own reputation: it is your worldview. The term worldview has been around for a long time. First employed by philosopher Immanuel Kant, the concept of worldview (from the German word Weltanschauung) took on new significance for Christians with the publication of James Orr’s book, The Christian View of God and the World. But it has only been recently that Christians have taken interest in worldview studies as an essential task in the mandate to become serious Christian thinkers. There are two main ways in which people employ the term worldview. One is philosophical; the other, sociological. THE PHILOSOPHICAL DEFINITION Although numerous good definitions for worldview might be offered for the philosophical sense of the term, I find the late philosopher... View Article