Author Archives for Cierra Klatt

Look Inside the BE Series Commentary

December 4, 2017 1:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

This set brings the 50 volume Old Testament and New Testament BE Series Commentaries together with all the life-changing truth of the Scriptures combined with the personal wisdom of one of America’s best-known Bible teachers, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe. He was a pastor at Moody Church in Chicago and served for ten years as General Director and Bible Teacher for Back to the Bible. Currently at age 88, he has written over 80 books. Wiersbe has spent his life contributing to the spiritual growth of the church, and that passion is reflected in this series. WHAT’S INSIDE THE BE SERIES? Whether you are a pastor, teacher, or layperson, now you can study the Bible in easy-to-read sections offering biblical insights and personal application. The Be Series contains: Dr. Wiersbe’s trustworthy historical explanations and insights on the entire Old and New Testaments Introductions and outlines for each book of the Bible Clear, readable text which is free of academic jargon Questions for personal reflection or group discussion LET’S TAKE A LOOK INSIDE! The BE Series Commentary will follow along as you read the Bible. It has helpful questions for discussion and deeper thinking. You can easily navigate between all 50 volumes. There are outlines,... View Article


Warm Up with Devotional Reading

December 4, 2017 7:00 am Published by 3 Comments

Once upon a time, Olive Tree didn’t have devotional reading plans. This meant that, when you wanted to work your way through a devotional, you had to find it in your library and get yourself to where you last stopped reading. But now, with a few improvements, devotional reading in the app is an amazing experience. After this blog post, you’re going to want to warm up by the fireplace with Max Lucado’s Grace for the Moment or C.S. Lewis’ A Year with Aslan. 1) WHAT ARE DEVOTIONALS? When looking at enhanced devotionals on olivetree.com, you will quickly see what sets them apart from simple reading plans. These are well-crafted, thought-out devotional books that you might think to buy at a bookstore. They all contain great content meant to encourage and inspire you. Some devotionals pick a certain passage of Scripture to talk about each day. Meanwhile, other devotionals may be topical. On our website, you will see familiar names like Ann Voskamp, Sarah Young, Franklin Graham, and Brian Simmons. You could start on a year-long devotional plan or work through a 40-day plan with your family. 2) WHAT ARE ENHANCED DEVOTIONALS? This is where our addition of reading plans really... View Article


3 Resources for a Starter Library

November 28, 2017 1:30 pm Published by 5 Comments

We hear this question a lot: “What are some great resources to get me started with the Olive Tree Bible App?” We’ve decided to share our recommendation because there might be others asking the same question. So, here are 3 resources for a starter library! 1) STUDY BIBLE WHAT MAKES A STUDY BIBLE USEFUL? If you’ve ever opened-up a paper version of a study Bible, you know it looks a little different than a regular copy. At the bottom of each page there are notes that give deeper insights to the passage you are reading. These notes aren’t difficult to understand or highly academic, like a commentary would be. Instead, a study Bible provides you with tidbits of information to enhance your Bible reading along the way. WHY GET A STUDY BIBLE FOR THE OLIVE TREE BIBLE APP? First, at Olive Tree, we sell you the study Bible notes. What does this mean? If you purchase the ESV Study Bible, you will receive two resources: the ESV (which we offer for free) and the study Bible notes. If you open the notes in the Resource Guide, they will follow along with your Bible reading in the main window. COOL TIP! You... View Article


The Greatness of Forgiveness

November 27, 2017 11:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

What does Matthew 18 teach us about forgiveness? We’re giving you a huge peek inside the renown Preacher’s Commentary because we love what it has to say! THE NATURE OF FORGIVENESS The nature of forgiveness is a most profound aspect of reconciling grace. Forgiveness is never easy; it is hard. It is the most difficult thing in the universe. Forgiveness means that the forgiving person as the innocent one resolves his own wrath over the sin of the guilty one and lets the guilty one go free. To forgive means that one genuinely loves, and this love can move beyond the issue to the person, and that one cares more about the person than about what he or she has done. Forgiveness liberates. Forgiveness frees the person for the options of living. Our refusal to forgive is a power play that limits the offender, that holds the guilty “under one’s thumb,” or power. But such forgiveness is always in relationship, hence the condition of repentance. It is not a package that one accepts and runs away with. It is only known in reconciliation. THE NEED FOR FORGIVENESS Following a sermon which I had preached in a meeting in western Pennsylvania,... View Article


Life Lessons: Ephesians 2:1-22

November 27, 2017 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

SITUATION The Ephesians forgot what God did to save them and to make them a part of his Body. OBSERVATION God’s mercy plucks us from the destruction of our countless sins and places us in Jesus Christ’s righteousness. INSPIRATION When I read a verse like Ephesians 2:4, I feel I have discovered God’s roadblock on one’s way to hell—[But God’s mercy is great.] He is so rich in mercy that none need perish, but individuals must come to God in his appointed way. I adore the mercy that had lovingkindness, pity and compassion on me. . . . Let me give you a modern illustration of mercy in action. One day, a Christian named Paul went into a coffee shop, sat on a stool, and ordered his lunch. When he began speaking to the man next to him, he realized that Fred was in deep spiritual need. After sharing the gospel with him, Paul arranged to meet him again. It was at the second meeting that Fred was converted. Then Paul began to disciple him on a one-on-one basis, and Fred grew in grace and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus. But it wasn’t long before Fred learned that he... View Article


When Thankfulness is Hard

November 23, 2017 11:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 WE HAVE SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR It’s Thanksgiving — a holiday centered on family, being grateful, and eating lots of food! At an event like this, it isn’t too hard to think of things to be thankful for. Mashed potatoes are totally on my thankfulness list. . . also my aunt’s mac and cheese. Yum, yum, yum. Coming up with something to be thankful for should be even easier for Christians. There’s one huge item at the top of our thankfulness list: our reconciliation with God. Jesus came to earth to die so that we might not only know God, but spend eternity with him in perfection. That’s worth rejoicing over, even if we had nothing else to be thankful for. BUT SOMETIMES IT ISN’T EASY Sometimes I read Philippians 4 and I feel so pumped up, like a football player right before going out on the field. I reminisce over Jesus’ life and the ways God... View Article


Look Inside: Expositor’s Bible Commentary

November 23, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

WHAT IS IT? The Expositor’s Bible Commentary is a Gold Medallion Christian Book Award-winning resource! It is considered a major contribution to the study and understanding of the Scriptures. This 12-volume reference work is a staple for seminary and college libraries. Without a doubt, it provides pastors and Bible students with the comprehensive, scholarly tools needed to exegete, teach, and proclaim the Word. It was compiled between the years of 1976-1992 with 50 different authors contributing. FROM THE AUTHOR One of the best ways to know more about a commentary set is to hear from the author. Here is an introduction from Frank Gaebelein, the main editor: Written primarily by expositors for expositors, [this series] aims to provide preachers, teachers, and students of the Bible with a new and comprehensive commentary on the books of the Old and New Testaments. Its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible. Its seventy-eight contributors come from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland, and from various religious groups, including Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Free, Independent, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches… Whatever else [the Bible] is—the greatest and most beautiful... View Article


Friendship with the Master

November 23, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. — John 15:15 FRIENDSHIP IN ROME In the Roman world, a “friend” was often a political ally who owed one a favor, or a more powerful patron on whom one could depend. But the traditional Greek concept of friendship remained influential even during the apostle Paul’s day. Paul had urged the financially well–off Christians of Corinth to treat Christians in Jerusalem as friends by sharing all things in common. Friends treated one another as “equals” (2 Corinthians 8:13,14). FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS Jesus said to His disciples: “I have called you friends.” While He was not implying that as His friends they were His equals, He was offering to share with them what belonged to Him. John’s Gospel describes this assurance specifically as the promise of the Spirit sharing Jesus’ words with the disciples, so they would know Jesus’ heart (see John 16:13–15). The intimacy pictured between Jesus and the disciples fits the ancient ideal of friendship, which stressed both loyalty and the sharing... View Article


Which Expositor’s Commentary is Right for Me?

November 23, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You may have noticed that we have two commentary sets that are nearly identical in title: Expositor’s Bible Commentary (12 Volumes) Expositors Bible Commentary – Revised Series (13 Volumes) The 12-volume set is heavily discounted for our Black Friday sale, which is helpful—if you know what it is and why it will enhance your study of God’s Word. So, this blog post will explain just that: what is the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, what are the differences between the two, and how it will help you study deeper. AUTHORSHIP Both commentary sets have a strong evangelical influence while at the same time drawing from a broad diversity of churches, including Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Reformed. The original Expositor’s Bible Commentary was compiled between the years of 1976-1992 with 50 different authors contributing. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Series is a 2012 update to the original that includes the work of 56 different authors – 30 of whom are new. CONTENT The original and the revised editions include the following content: Comprehensive introductions Short and precise bibliographies Detailed outlines Insightful expositions of passages and verses Overviews of sections of Scripture to illuminate the big picture Occasional reflections to give... View Article


A Camel Through… What?

November 21, 2017 10:00 am Published by 7 Comments

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'” —Matthew 19:23 A CAMEL THROUGH… WHAT? If you’ve read this passage before, you have probably pictured something like this: But the Archaeological Study Bible notes have information on this passage that you have probably NEVER heard. At least, I hadn’t! THE LEGEND OF THE NEEDLE’S EYE GATE “Since the Middle Ages commentators have considered the possibility that Jesus’ statement concerning the ‘eye of a needle’ (Mt 19:24) may have been a reference to certain doors or gates that actually existed in his day. Some homes did in fact have large doors that would allow a fully loaded camel to enter into the courtyard. Since such doors were cumbersome and required great effort to open, there were often smaller doors cut within them, permitting easy passage of people and smaller animals into the house. Some interpreters have argued that this smaller door was the ‘needle’s... View Article