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Sign Up for Seven Days of “Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence”

We’re excited to launch a new week-long devotional experience based on the upcoming new book by Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling! It’s called Jesus Always, and it aims to help you learn to embrace joy in the presence of Jesus.

Every day for seven days, you’ll receive a short, inspirational devotional from the new book Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence. The focus of each reading is joy—one of the “fruits of the Spirit” that often seems difficult to experience amidst all the business and stress of our lives. Author Sarah Young uses verses and promises from Scripture to craft each devotional message as if it’s being written directly to you by God.

Sign up today to take the one-week devotional experience. If you find the devotional inspirational and encouraging, you can pre-order the full book at the Bible Gateway Store.


Five Memorable Dallas Willard Quotes About Being a Disciple of Christ

DallasWillardThe late Dallas Willard, author of The Divine Conspiracy (HarperOne, 1998), had much to say about the journey of Christian discipleship in a confused and turbulent world. In the course of his long career as an author and philosopher, he wrote much about Christian spiritual formation—that is, the active pursuit and development of a life of faith.

We recently launched a two-week devotional that draws on the devotional insights of Dallas Willard. In conjunction with that, I’ve gone through Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks—a newly published collection of Willard’s best work—to highlight some of his most memorable insights. Here are five of my favorites:

5. On Christian Vocation

“It is as great and difficult a spiritual calling to run the factories and the mines, the banks and the department stores, the schools and government agencies for the kingdom of God as it is to pastor a church or serve as evangelist. The division of vocations into sacred and secular does incalculable damage to our individual lives and to the cause of Christ.”

4. On Trust Without Obedience

“The idea that you can trust Christ and not intend to obey him is an illusion…. In fact, you can no more trust Jesus and not intend to obey him than you could trust your doctor or your auto mechanic and not intend to follow their advice. If you do not intend to follow their advice, you simply do not trust them.”

3. On Bible Study and Worship

“Now, we must not worship without study, for ignorant worship is of limited value and can be very dangerous. We may develop “a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10:2), and then do great harm to ourselves and others. But worship must be added to study to complete the renewal of our mind through a willing absorption in the radiant person who is worthy of all praise. Study without worship is also dangerous, and the people of Jesus constantly suffer from its effects, especially in academic settings. To handle the things of God without worship is always to falsify them.”

2. On Serving the Poor

“Does it take great and awkward effort even to acknowledge the presence of the needy person, to speak to her, or to take her hand or help her with managing her few possessions? Are we frightened of the homeless though the circumstances in which we encounter them are perfectly safe? Do we shrink from being seen near them or dealing with them? Is his smell and dirtiness alone enough to repel us? Or, if he is not in this extreme condition, does the fact that he is without work or an apartment or an automobile make us treat him as if he were ‘different’ or wholly other? Then we have not truly beheld our own lost and ruined condition, and because of this we cannot heartily love our brother and sister.”

1. On Abandonment to God

“Abandonment to God is the fruitful way to experience good under God. It means relinquishing ‘our way.’ It means not being angry or resentful when things do not go our way. It means that in God’s hands we are content for him to take charge of outcomes. And in that posture we make way for him to occupy our lives with us, and achieve what is best for us and for others far beyond anything we can even imagine.”

If you found these quotes insightful, sign up for the two-week Dallas Willard Daily Devotional to get more Willard insights sent to your inbox each morning! It’s a good way to sample the best of Willard’s writing if you’re not familiar with his work. You might also want to check out the book from which the devotional (and the quotes above) are drawn, Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Speeches of Dallas Willard. However you do so, I encourage you to explore Willard’s writing—although he passed away several years ago, his lifetime of work remains extremely relevant for Christians today.

Joseph, the Accidental Executive: An Interview with Al Erisman

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Albert M. ErismanLook beyond the Bible story of Joseph’s coat of many colors and discover that he holds surprising insights for today’s workplace. Examining Joseph’s experiences as a slave, a prisoner, and the CEO of a food company in Egypt, the life of this biblical patriarch offers lessons for use in modern business, government, and education.

Bible Gateway interviewed Albert M. Erisman about his book, The Accidental Executive: Lessons on Business, Faith, and Calling from the Life of Joseph (Hendrickson Publishers, 2015).

Buy your copy of The Accidental Executive in the Bible Gateway Store

[Sign up for the free daily email devotional about faith and work life, TGIF: Today God is First]

What role should the Bible play in a person’s career development?

Al Erisman: If we truly believe that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, then he must be Lord over our work and our careers. One of my inspirations for the book came from being a part of the Theology of Work Project (@TheoWorkProject). We’ve written a commentary on the Bible—which will be available to Bible Gateway users as they read Scripture online beginning this Fall—focusing on what it has to say about daily work. From Genesis to Revelation, every book of the Bible offers insight for our careers and our daily work.

How did circumstances in your career lead you to see the Bible story of Joseph in terms of business leadership?

Al Erisman: At a difficult point in my career, I had received a demotion that seemed unfair. For nine months I felt trapped, and then I heard a sermon on Joseph. It focused on that part of the story where Joseph told the Chief Butler the meaning of his dream. He then asked the butler to remember him to Pharaoh because, “I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon” (Genesis 40:15). That connected with my circumstance and I began to look at the story through the lens of his career for insights into my own career.

Why is your book titled The Accidental Executive?

Al Erisman: Joseph had a dream of leadership early in his life. But the way he talked with his brothers and his father, it seemed that Joseph thought leadership was about him rather than about serving others. After 13 years in slavery and in prison, Joseph grew in his relationship with God and began to serve those around him. When he stood before Pharaoh, he didn’t say anything about his own circumstances, almost as if he had set aside the dream of leadership and was prepared for service. That was the time he received his great promotion. Of course we know it was no accident, but from the outside it seemed so.

How does the life of Joseph in ancient times remain relevant today in the areas of morality, career, and the big questions of life?

Al Erisman: The career of Joseph follows our own in so many ways: education; dreams of a future; difficulties coming both from bad choices and from unfair accusations; learning to trust God in difficult times; a great leadership opportunity; planning and executing a strategy; navigating difficult political waters in an organization; and understanding the purpose and meaning of work from God’s perspective. All of these are issues we face today.

What are the major stages of Joseph’s life you identify in the book as contributing to his spiritual and professional development?

Al Erisman: As a young man, Joseph had to learn how to use his education in the right way, beyond the skills he had acquired. He had to learn to see things through the eyes of others, not just through his own eyes. While in slavery and in prison, he needed to learn to trust God, to do his work well even when it was tough, and to maintain this commitment when it seemed all was lost. In a position of power, Joseph had to learn to keep that power in check. Too many leaders fail at a time of great power and success. Joseph found many ways to do this. And putting it all in perspective, Joseph found a calling and purpose in his life. He teaches us specifically that we can be called by God to serve in business, government, or any other profession we sometimes call “secular.”

How should a Christian talk about God in the workplace?

Al Erisman: Joseph is very clear in talking about God in his workplace. He does this in the context of faithfully and excellently carrying out his work, not instead of doing his work. He’s careful to apply to himself what God has taught him, rather than to impose on others. For example, with Potipher’s wife he said, “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). When he stands before Pharaoh, he declares “I cannot do it [interpret dreams] but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires” (Genesis 41:16). When Pharaoh says, “Since God has made all this known to you…” (Genesis 41:39), it reminds us of the words of Jesus who said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

How should a Christian executive handle fear and forgiveness on the job?

Al Erisman: Several modern writers have suggested that we need to separate fear from failure. Failure happens because we live in a broken world, but fearing failure might cause us to never take a risk, rather than to learn from the failure. For the believer, including Joseph, there were many times where doubt and fear could enter the picture. Joseph knew that God was with him, and had confidence that the God who saw him through slavery and prison would see him through the challenges of a 14-year project of collecting and distributing grain on a grand scale. This trust and commitment overcomes fear. When we grasp this, then we need to extend forgiveness to others. Joseph did this with his brothers, and learned a lesson about forgiveness that is vital for all of us. Sometimes we need to forgive more than once, because the other person may not grasp the significance of that forgiveness. We all personally understand this in the forgiveness that God has extended to us through Christ.

What other Bible passages pertain to business ethics and leadership skills?

Al Erisman: The Bible is filled with insights on our work. Proverbs 11:1 is a wonderful illustration of the importance of acting fairly; not just to avoid what God detests, but to delight his heart. As we found in the Theology of Work Project, the entire Bible provides insight on a wide range of topics including fair wages, faithful and creative work, finding purpose and meaning, caring about others, having healthy ambition, dealing well with competition, and the list goes on.

Describe what Ethix magazine is.

Al Erisman: I started Ethix magazine in 1998, looking for stories of business leaders who acted rightly and justly in a world filled with ethics scandals. I’ve had the opportunity to interview more than 100 leaders from around the world, looking for good practices of leadership in a fast-paced world of technology and globalization. Many, but not all, identify as Christians. The interviews are available online at Many of these interviews provided modern illustrations for key points in Joseph’s own leadership, and so quotes from 25 of them are used in The Accidental Executive.

What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?

Al Erisman: I use Bible Gateway all the time. Most frequently, I use it to look up a passage of Scripture. Often in my writing, I’ll copy the text into a document using Bible Gateway. I also use it when I want to follow along in a Scripture reading at church and don’t have my Bible with me. I love the ability it provides to look at a verse in multiple translations.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Al Erisman: Joseph had a career that, in many ways, is like our own. He had some early education that prepared him for his work. He had a difficult period where he was in trouble, he was falsely accused, and forgotten, and this is a powerful reminder to us whenever we have a tough stretch in our own career. Joseph’s difficult period was probably more difficult than any we have endured. The story could have ended with Genesis 40:23, “The chief cupbearer, however did not remember Joseph; he forgot him,” and we could still learn a great deal about dealing with adversity.

In the next part of the story, Joseph has a promotion that’s likely higher than anything we’ll experience: his power, compensation, responsibility, and authority is likely greater than anything we’ll achieve. Yet we can also learn from Joseph how to deal with success when we may be the most vulnerable to failure. Thus I believe all of us can find our careers somewhere between the lows and the highs of Joseph’s career. The entire story helps us see that all aspects of our daily work are a part of God’s story in our own lives.

Bio: Albert M. (Al) Erisman is the executive in residence and past director for the Center for Integrity in Business at Seattle Pacific University (@SPU_SBGE). He teaches business ethics and business and technology both at the undergraduate and the graduate level, and is also co-teaching a doctor of ministry cohort at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on the theology of work. Al is co-founder and executive editor of Ethix magazine (@EthixTweet), the co-author of several books in technology and mathematics, and co-chair of the executive committee for the Theology of Work Project (@TheoWorkProject) (browse the Theology of Work Project commentaries in the Bible Gateway Store).

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: The Good Samaritan

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The Bible was originally written to an ancient people removed from today by thousands of years and thousands of miles. The Scriptures include subtle culturally-based nuances, undertones, and references to ancient events, literature, and customs that were intuitively understood by those who first heard the Scriptures read. For us to hear the Scriptures as they did, we need a window into their world.

[See the Bible Gateway Blog post, Zondervan to Release NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible]

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Zondervan, 2016) (website) with notes from Dr. John H. Walton (Wheaton College) in the Old Testament and Dr. Craig S. Keener (Asbury Theological Seminary) in the New Testament, brings to life the ancient world of Scripture for modern readers.

You’ve heard many Bible stories hundreds of times, but how many behind-the-scenes details are you missing? Get a FREE online course on Bible backgrounds taught by Wheaton College professors John Walton and Andrew Hill. This course will help you to gain a deeper understanding of Scripture and allow you to treasure it more.

[See the Bible Gateway Blog post, NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: An Interview with John Walton and Craig Keener]

For example, the Infographic below helps to explain the cultural context of the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 in the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. (Also see the Infographics The Tower of Babel and The Last Supper.)

(Click to enlarge the Infographic in a new window)
Buy your copy of NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible in the Bible Gateway Store

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship: An Interview with Tom Lin

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Tom LinIn May, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA (@InterVarsityUSA) announced that Tom Lin would become the eighth president of the campus ministry. He started August 10.

Tom has been vice president and director of missions for InterVarsity since February 2011, and also director of Urbana 12 and Urbana 15, InterVarsity’s triennial student missions conference. He succeeds Jim Lundgren, who served as InterVarsity’s interim president for the past year. Tom enters his new role as InterVarsity prepares to celebrate 75 years of ministry and experiences growth that’s unprecedented since the earliest days of the Fellowship.

Bible Gateway interviewed Tom Lin (@TomLinNow), author of Pursuing God’s Call (IVP Books, 2012) and Losing Face & Finding Grace: Twelve Bible Studies for Asian-Americans (InterVarsity Press, 1997).

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA website

Describe InterVarsity and explain its mission.

Tom Lin: The purpose of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is to establish and advance at colleges and universities witnessing communities of students and faculty who follow Jesus as Savior and Lord: growing in love for God, God’s Word, God’s people of every ethnicity and culture, and God’s purposes in the world. We currently serve over 40,000 core students and faculty in over 1,000 chapters on campuses across the country.

What obstacles are in the way of InterVarsity accomplishing its mission?

Tom Lin: The obstacles we face include some similar ones that the rest of the North American Church is facing today—a challenging post-Christian cultural context, a generation that tends to embrace comfort over suffering for the gospel, and a less biblically literate and less churched generation (which we also see as an opportunity). We face some unique obstacles due to the context of our ministry, such as campus access challenges when universities prohibit InterVarsity from establishing chapters, hosting worship gatherings, or leading Bible studies on campus.

What is your cross-cultural experience and why is it important in your new role?

Tom Lin: Given that the demographics of higher education grow more diverse and opportunities like ministering to international students and students of color continue to grow, I believe that organizations who are able to cultivate cross-cultural competencies and have this as a core value will be in the best position to thrive in the future.

Regarding my own cross-cultural experience, I’ve lived most of my life constantly crossing cultures—from my bicultural upbringing in a Taiwanese family raised in Chicago, to a season of ministry in an overseas majority world context (Mongolia), to many leadership experiences where I’m the only non-White person in the room and am engaging folks who are from a very different cultural background as myself.

How would you characterize the perception of the Bible among skeptics and non-Christian students and professors on campuses today?

Tom Lin: With less than 1% of faculty at leading universities identifying themselves as Christians, we’re seeing skeptics and faculty less and less “neutral” about the Bible, as well as less respectful of it.

Increasingly, they’re prone to attack the Bible or attack the faith of Christian students who identify as believers in the Bible’s authority. These attacks manifest in a variety of ways such as higher criticism, textual criticism, and comparative literature. The vast majority (73%) of elite university faculty believe the Bible is a book of fables and legends.

On a positive note, InterVarsity Press has published a number of helpful books defending the Bible from these attacks in a way that students can understand, such as David Lamb’s God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Prostitutes and Polygamists: An Interview with David Lamb]

How would you characterize the state of Bible reading/engagement among Christian students on campuses today?

Tom Lin: We’re actually more encouraged about this than what the general perception may be among the Christian public today. We’re seeing Christian students who still have a strong belief in the authority of the Scriptures and who study the Bible regularly.

In 2013, we partnered with the American Bible Society and Barna to conduct a study about how InterVarsity students read the Bible. The students surveyed shared that involvement with InterVarsity caused their view of the Bible to change from “restrictive” to “life giving.” Students attributed this change in how they view the Bible to actually reading it, experiencing in-depth study (alone and in community), and learning to apply Scripture to their lives. And while only about a quarter of millennials nationwide read the Bible on a weekly basis, 87% of InterVarsity students read the Bible at least weekly, with 65% of InterVarsity students reading the Bible at least several times each week and participating in at least one group activity focused on encountering God in the Word.

The responses of InterVarsity students stand in stark contrast to research suggesting that the typical millennial might read the Bible three to four times per year.

Describe the ways InterVarsity places an emphasis on the Bible.

Tom Lin: Bible study has been a part of the DNA of InterVarsity since its inception 75 years ago. Jane Hollingsworth, an InterVarsity staff in the 1940s, had attended the Biblical Seminary of New York, an accredited seminary which emphasized inductive Bible study in all of its courses. Jane brought a love for and training in inductive Bible study to InterVarsity in those early years, and it’s remained an essential part of our ministry ever since.

Today, we emphasize the Bible both organizationally and in our daily ministry on the ground with students.

Organizationally, we’ve included love for “God’s Word” as an actual phrase of our purpose statement (one of our four loves), and IVP remains committed to publishing significant Bible study resources.

In our daily ministry, our small group inductive Bible study is a core part of our evangelism strategy called “Groups Investigating God,” and it also remains a core method of discipling Christian students. Bible study training weekends (“dig-ins”), week-long intensive Bible study camps, and Scripture study at every conference including the Urbana Student Missions Conference, are unique hallmarks of InterVarsity’s ministry which reflect our high value for the Scriptures. Lastly, we’ve recently acquired two domain names, HowTo.Bible and to provide more resources for those engaging Scripture online.

Why is it important for InterVarsity to encourage students to engage with the Bible?

Tom Lin: A belief in the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible and a desire to obey its precepts is a foundational value of ours. Thus, we believe that students learning to study the Bible for themselves is crucial. It’s important for students to be able to articulate biblical themes—such as hope to a world which seems hopeless—in a way that will be compelling to their non-believing friends. As they face criticism for their faith, our students also need to articulate and embody biblical truths through their words and their lives to skeptical friends, family, or professors. We also believe that encouraging students to regularly engage in Scripture will build habits which will set them up well as they seek to learn and live out Kingdom values in their future contexts and vocations.

What is Urbana and why is Bible teaching a central component there?

Tom Lin: Urbana (@UrbanaMissions) is our triennial student missions conference; the largest student missions conference in the world. Over 300,000 participants have been mobilized for global missions since our first conference in 1946. And Billy Graham has often shared that over half of the missionaries in the world have been called due in part to an Urbana Conference.

Since the first Urbana, Bible teaching has been a central component because we believe that students will be most compelled to participate in global mission when they understand the biblical mandate and God’s story of mission in Scripture, rather than compelled merely by charismatic speakers. It’s one of the reasons we’ve incorporated inductive Bible study into every morning of the conference, so that students can study God’s Word on their own rather than simply listen to a speaker’s exposition of the Scriptures (which is also a wonderful hallmark of Urbana).

What’s your vision for InterVarsity in Scripture engagement as you start your presidency?

Tom Lin: Just as I personally have been influenced by InterVarsity’s profound value and practice of Scripture engagement, my hope is that this will only continue to grow and remain strong as we enter into the next season of ministry. Through our daily work on campus, our conferences and camps, and through the books we publish through IVP, InterVarsity will continue to place high priority on seeing this next generation of students and graduates fall in love with God’s Word, studying God’s Word, and living out God’s Word.

What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?

Tom Lin: I use Bible Gateway as my main go-to resource online for Bible texts and Bible searches. I’m grateful for the strategic ministry of Bible Gateway.

Bio: Tom Lin serves as President/CEO of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, with previous roles as Vice President of Missions and Director of Urbana as well as Country Director of the student movement in Mongolia. Tom is also the Lausanne Movement’s Regional Director for North America and has served on the Boards of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Missio Nexus, and Crowell Trust.

Bible News Roundup – Week of August 7, 2016

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Trevin Wax Named Bible & Reference Publisher at B&H Publishing Group
News Release
Read the HCSB on Bible Gateway

Divers Quote Bible Before Winning Silver at Olympics
Read Philippians 4:6 on Bible Gateway
See Greater Than Gold: From Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption by David Boudia with Tim Ellsworth in the Bible Gateway Store
Baptist Press coverage of the Olympics
Religion News Service coverage of the Olympics
See books related to the Olympic Games in the Bible Gateway Store

Highest Military Court Rejects Religious Freedom Defense in Bible Verse Case
CBN News
Read Isaiah 54:17 on Bible Gateway

Archaeology: Bible Name of Eshbaal on 3,000-Year-Old Clay Vase
NBC News
Read about Eshbaal in Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway
See resources about Biblical Archaeology in the Bible Gateway Store

Cambridge University Professor Simon Gathercole Lectures on Geography in the Bible
Wintery Knight
See Bible Atlases in the Bible Gateway Store

Shedding Light on the Old Testament’s Great Villain—the Philistines
Baptist Global News
Read about the Philistines in Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway
Read about the Philistines in Easton’s Bible Dictionary on Bible Gateway

Paperwork Filed for 10 Commandments Monument to be Placed on Arkansas Capitol Grounds
Arkansas Times
Associated Press
Read the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20 on Bible Gateway

Hamilton County Tennessee School System Receives Nearly $1 Million for Bible History Course
Chattanooga Times Free Press

Audio Scripture Ministries Reaches Audio Bible Distribution Goal of 417% Over Last Year
Mission Network News
Listen to audio Bibles on Bible Gateway

Ancient Illustrated Bible Found in Ethiopian Monastery
CBN News

6 Surprising Ideas the KJV Translators Had about Other Bible Translations
George Guthrie
Read the King James Version of the Bible on Bible Gateway

Swedish Church to Use Drones to Drop Thousands of Tiny Electronic Bibles into Jihadist-Controlled Iraq
The Local Sweden
The Telegraph

Japan Bible Society Congratulates the Publication of Manga Bible in China, Expecting Further Cooperation with China Church
China Christian Daily

Dedication and Celebration of New Takwane Bible
Mission Network News
Read various Bible translations on Bible Gateway

New Bible Translation Clears Way for Revival
The Alliance

Israel Museum Attempts to Show What Jesus’ Jerusalem Looked Like
CBN News

Decline in UK Christianity ‘Halts’

North Korea Bans Crosses Amid Fresh Crackdown on Christians

US Ambassador Says Religious Freedom Is Seriously Lacking for 3/4 of World’s Population
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, I Am N: An Interview with Cole Richards and Jason Peters
See resources on the topic of Christian Persecution in the Bible Gateway Store

Charred Bible from Balloon Crash Serves as Reminder of Victims

Stained Glass Artist Lives on Through ‘Illustrated Faith’
Amarillo Globe-News

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More Countries Visit Bible Gateway Than Are Represented at the Olympics

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2016 Summer Olympic Games

As the Internet’s most visited Christian website, visitors to Bible Gateway come from 238 countries and territories to set up personal accounts and freely read, hear, search, study, compare, & share the Bible in more than 200 versions & more than 70 languages. Countries that are represented by athletes at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympic Games number 206.

Buy your copy of Greater Than Gold: From Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption in the Bible Gateway Store

[See our Bible Gateway Blog post, The Purpose Driven Life of Michael Phelps]

Along with empowering global users to freely access the Bible using their desktops, laptops, tablets, ereaders, or smartphones, Bible Gateway also offers the membership service Bible Gateway Plus, which begins with a 30-day free trial (try it right now).

Our free engagement features include

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And see the Bible Gateway Store for books with subjects relating to the Olympics.
Buy your copy of Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams in the Bible Gateway Store

The Purpose Driven Life of Michael Phelps

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Michael PhelpsEditor’s Note: Just before the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics, ESPN shared a magazine article and video about Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps that chronicled his downward spiral following the Beijing Olympics and his subsequent recovery. A key turning point in Michael’s life was when his friend Ray Lewis gave him a copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (Zondervan, 2013). In the interview, Phelps says, “It’s turned me into believing that there is a power greater than myself and there is a purpose for me on this planet…I think it helped me when I was in a place that I needed the most help.”

[See the Recovery Resources section in the Bible Gateway Store]

[See the Sports section in the Bible Gateway Store]

The following is excerpted from a chapter of The Purpose Driven Life shown in the video.

Buy your copy of The Purpose Driven Life in the Bible Gateway Store

Everyone’s life is driven by something.

Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. You may be driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief. There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your life. Here are five of the most common ones:

Many people are driven by guilt. They spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. When Cain sinned, his guilt disconnected him from God’s presence, and God said, “You will be a restless wanderer on the earth” (Genesis 4:12, NIV).

God’s purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and he can do amazing things with the rest of your life, too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start. The Bible says, “What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! … What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record” (Psalm 32:1, TLB).

Many people are driven by resentment and anger. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it onto others. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful.

Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past. Listen: Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment. Your past is past! Nothing will change it. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake, learn from it, and then let it go. The Bible says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do” (Job 5:2, GNT).

Many people are driven by fear. Their fears may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high-control home, or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo.

Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love. The Bible says, “Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love” (1 John 4:18, MSG).

Many people are driven by materialism. Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make me more happy, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue.

But possessions only provide temporary happiness. It’s also a myth that if I get more, I will be more important. Self-worth and net worth are not the same. Your value is not determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable things in life are not things!

The most common myth about money is that having more will make me more secure. It won’t. Wealth can be lost instantly through a variety of uncontrollable factors. Real security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you—your relationship with God.

Many people are driven by the need for approval. They allow the expectations of parents or spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.

I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24, NLT).

There are other forces that can drive your life but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life.


A fulfilled life is a purpose-driven life—a life guided, controlled, and directed by God’s purposes as revealed in the Bible. Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps recently experienced this after reading The Purpose Driven Life. You can, too.

Adapted from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (Zondervan, 2013), 40 million copies sold worldwide; the bestselling non-fiction hardback book in history. When it first released in 2002, it simultaneously hit No. 1 on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly. In March 2005, the book was propelled back into the national news when hostage Ashley Smith persuaded a captor to release her by reading portions of The Purpose Driven Life. The book has been translated into 50 languages including Afrikaans, Arabic, Farsi, Rwandan, Sango, Swahili, and Zulu.

Died: Tim LaHaye, Bible Teacher, Pastor, Author

Tim LaHayeBible teacher, pastor, broadcaster, and bestselling author Dr. Tim F. LaHaye (@Dr_Tim_LaHaye) died July 25, 2016 in a San Diego area hospital, days after suffering a stroke. He was 90 years old.

According to his obituary: “Long considered a foremost expert on the Book of Revelation, Dr. LaHaye and his co-author Jerry Jenkins used a fictional backdrop to bring the topic into contemporary culture with their 16-book series, Left Behind. Combined, the books sold more than 80 million copies since the title novel was initially released in 1995, topping the bestselling lists of The New York Times, USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Christian Booksellers Association.” CT says “LaHaye and Jenkins…had readers rethinking the rapture.”Buy your copy of the Left Behind series in the Bible Gateway Store

In his tribute to Dr. LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins writes, “The Tim LaHaye I got to know had a pastor’s heart and lived to share his faith. He listened to and cared about everyone, regardless of age, gender, or social standing.”

TIME magazine in 2005 named Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly—founder of Concerned Women for America—“The Christian Power Couple.” The magazine also named Dr. LaHaye one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

[Read about Eschatology in the Dictionary of Bible Themes on Bible Gateway]

Buy your copy of The Book of Revelation Made Clear in the Bible Gateway Store Buy your copy of Revelation Unveiled in the Bible Gateway Store Buy your copy of A Quick Look at the Rapture and the Second Coming in the Bible Gateway Store

Dr. LaHaye wrote extensively on the Bible topics of end-times prophecy, the rapture, and the tribulation. He founded the PreTrib Research Center in 1993. He also went beyond those subjects to write about such topics as sexual techniques within marriage and psychological emotions as he saw them from a biblical perspective.

Buy your copy of The Act of Marriage in the Bible Gateway Store Buy your copy of TIThe Act of Marriage After 40 in the Bible Gateway Store Buy your copy of Spirit Controlled Temperament in the Bible Gateway Store

Bible News Roundup – Week of July 31, 2016

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Died: Tim LaHaye, Bible Teacher, Pastor, Author
Bible Gateway Blog post
Christianity Today
The Huffington Post
Browse books by Tim LaHaye in the Bible Gateway Store

Americans Prefer to Talk About Politics Rather Than God
LifeWay Research
See resources in the Evangelism section in the Bible Gateway Store

Anne Graham Lotz Leads Global Bible Reading to Spark Revival
The Christian Times
Listen to audio Bibles on Bible Gateway
Browse the audio Bibles section in the Bible Gateway Store

After-School Satan Clubs are Planned to Counter Bible Clubs
ABA Journal
The Washington Post

Historic Archaeological Discovery of Egyptian Statue Unearthed in Tel-Hazor Israel
The Jerusalem Post
Read about Hazor in Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway
Read Joshua 11:10 on Bible Gateway
Browse the Biblical Archaeology section in the Bible Gateway Store

Noah’s Ark Mosaic Uncovered in Ancient Galilee Synagogue
Read the story of Noah’s ark from Genesis 6-9 on Bible Gateway
Read about Noah in Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway

Ancient Tomb of the Prophet Nahum May Soon Crumble
The Jerusalem Post
Read about Nahum in Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway
Read the book of Nahum on Bible Gateway

Newspapers Were Once Full of Bible Quotes—And a Professor’s Tool Lets Us Learn From Them
The Washington Post

Isolated Brazilian Group Translates Bible into Their Language
The Vindicator
Read the Bible in more than 70 languages on Bible Gateway

Team Brings Sign Language Bibles to Remote Village
Mission Network News

How a Children’s Bible Is Taking Fear and Pain Away: An Encounter in Ukraine
United Bible Societies
Read the Bible in Ukrainian on Bible Gateway

The Bingham Colloquium on Linguistics & the Bible at McMaster Divinity College
Domain Thirty-Three

Video: Bible Marathon in Cochran, Georgia
Robb Hill Photo
Read the Bible on Bible Gateway

Family Reunited With 120-Year-Old Bible
Lincoln Times-News

Tampa, Florida Man Connects People with Their Lineage Through Family Bibles
Bay News 9

‘How My Bible Saved My Life’—Soldier Shot in Chest and Survived
Lincolnshire Echo

See other Bible News Roundup weekly posts