I’ve written a Bible study guide on the Lord’s Prayer which is published today by the Good Book Company. It’s a series of seven studies entitled Talking to our Father: Praying and Living the Lord’s Prayer. Here’s the blurb:
In these studies, Tim Chester helps small groups to examine the Lord’s Prayer line by line, exploring other passages in Matthew’s Gospel along the way.
As we learn more about the prayer Jesus taught us, we’ll get to know God better and seek to live according to his purposes.
Each study is designed to last between 1 and 1.5 hours, but can alternatively be split into two sessions. Contains ideas for starter discussions and for personal and group prayer as well as a focus on practical application. Substantial leader’s guide included.
Stott on the Christian Life is published today by Crossway as part of their Theologians of the Christian Life series. It was a great privilege to be commissioned to write this book and a great joy to write it. Here’s the blurb:
John Stott was a twentieth-century pastor-theologian widely hailed for his heart for missions and expository preaching. Even today, Stott’s legacy continues to influence churches around the world. As both a faithful preacher and a thoughtful writer, Stott profoundly shaped evangelicalism’s contemporary understanding of Christianity through an approach to the Christian life founded on the word, shaped by the cross, and characterized by the pursuit of Christlikeness in every area of life. Tim Chester invites a new generation of readers to experience the Christian life as John Stott envisioned it—not simply a theological puzzle to be solved, but the daily practice of humble service and compassion found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Fifty years ago, I became a Christian through reading John Stott’s Basic Christianity. Since then, Stott’s books and sermons have been my closest companions. If we could be allowed but one mentor to grow us into Christlikeness, John Stott would be at the top of my list. I am so very grateful to Tim Chester for summarizing Stott’s theological contributions in a manner that is exceptionally well done. Reading this book was a profoundly moving experience.”
Derek W. H. Thomas, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina; author, Let’s Study Revelation and Let’s Study Galatians
“John Stott was, of course, an inspiring leader and Christian disciple. But what made his legacy so powerful was that he was also a master of the distilled theological summary, the result of his deep wrestling with the Scriptures. His crystal clarity was always hard-won. Tim Chester has achieved the almost impossible by distilling a lifetime’s ministry into a highly accessible and, above all, heartwarming book. We have so much to learn from Stott, and I am confident that this book will open up his legacy for a new generation. I am so grateful for Chester’s work and this book, and I thoroughly recommend it.”
Mark Meynell, Director (Europe and Caribbean), Langham Preaching; editor, The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott
“Why should anyone read John Stott these days? Tim Chester’s book provides abundant reason and motivation. While not a biography, it tracks the sources and maturing of Stott’s thinking along the historic contours of his immense lifetime’s ministry, and across the breadth of his spiritual passions and intellectual profundity. Thoroughly researched and meticulously documented, this is a superb introduction to one of the greatest yet most humble leaders God has ever gifted to his church—comprehensively worthy of the man himself while glorifying Christ, as he would have wanted. If you knew John Stott, relish the spiritual challenge and tonic of journeying with him through this book. If you didn’t, start here! You will be enriched, informed, and inspired.”
Christopher J. H. Wright, International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership
“John Stott towered over sixty years of global evangelicalism. This is the best examination of his theology of the Christian life, full of insight and practical helpfulness.”
Julian Hardyman, Senior Pastor, Eden Baptist Church, Cambridge, United Kingdom
“This highly readable book invites us into the life and teaching of John Stott. It interprets for us the social, ecclesial, and theological contexts Stott navigated through the course of his ministry. Drawing on a broad range of Stott’s writing, this book vibrantly conveys the central emphases and methods of his thinking, preaching, and institutional leadership—challenging readers to consider how the pursuit of Christlikeness takes visible shape in a life of service, obedience, and humility.”
Laura S. Meitzner Yoder, Director and John Stott Chair of Human Needs and Global Resources, Professor of Environmental Studies, Wheaton College
Michael J Tinker has a new single out on Wednesday with two songs: “Be Strong and Courageous” and “Let Your Light Shine”. I’ve had a sneak preview and they’re both fun, energetic and biblical – all you would expect from MJT songs. You can pre-order now from iTunes. The more pre-orders that are made, the more likely it will be to hit the children’s chart!
Here’s what the press release says …
Michael J Tinker is releasing a brand new single. Commissioned by the children of Crabtree Church, Harpenden, the brief was given for an upbeat, rocking song charting God’s faithfulness and His call for us to be ‘strong and courageous’. Michael then set about looking through all the references in the Bible of the phrase and what reasons were given to be strong. What he found was that none of it was to do with our own strength, but what God has done, His faithfulness, His love, His strength, power and provision. Each line of the chorus is a quote or reference from across the Bible showing how that is true.
At a time of uncertainty, unrest and confusion this seems a particularly prescient message. As the first verse goes:
Be strong when worries pile up high
Be strong when things happen and you don’t know why
Be strong when you don’t know what to do
For the Lord will be with you
As for the style, what could be more upbeat and rocking than the big sound of Bruce Springsteen! Michael channels the Boss’ gruff vocals while producer nicholas alexander perfectly captures the E-Street band’s massive sound. The track is rounded off with vocals of children from across the world who sent in their recordings when Michael put the shout out on his daily livestream.
Another thing that came from the livestream was the cover design. Michael ran a competition and the winner was 9 year old Emma.
The B-Side of the single is a song co-written with writer Tim Chester, based on Matthew 5:16 written for a Peak District Primary School to help them learn about their school motto ‘Let Your Light Shine’.
Here’s a new song which I’ve written with Colin Webster and Phil Moore from Cornerstone Worship on the theme of God’s grace to us in creation and recreation. Here’s a lead sheet and the lyrics are below.
Each day we wake and light falls on our eyes,
The morning dawns and glory fills the skies
The word that spoke and darkness fled away
Speaks once again as night gives way to day.
2. Each day we wake your grace within each breath
To us in love you give the world afresh
The Spirit breathes the life each creature shares
This is your gift entrusted to our care
With grateful hearts we lift your name
With grateful hearts we shout your praise
Lord we will sing
We will sing of your unfailing grace
3. Each day we wake and see a broken earth
The scars of sin the shadow of the curse
Yet Jesus lives the firstborn from the tomb
The sign that soon you will dispel the gloom.
4. Each day we wake and see the darkness lift
Despite our sin this world is still your gift
And Christ shall come the earth will be renewed
Each day we wake we dedicate to you.
CCLI Song # 7140960 Colin Webster | Phil Moore | Tim Chester
© 2019 Colin Webster Songs (Admin. by Song Solutions http://www.songsolutions.org)
Phil Moore Songs (Admin. by Song Solutions http://www.songsolutions.org)
Tim Chester Publishing (Admin. by Song Solutions http://www.songsolutions.org)
Bob Kauflin and I have written a new congregational song with the help of Nathan Stiff, David Zimmer, Lacy Hudson and McKenzie Fuller. It’s based on Psalm 91 where the Psalmist encourages us to find refuge “in the shelter of the Most High” and “the shadow of the Almighty” so that we do not fear “the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday”. It’s a great Psalm of comfort at any time, but it seems especially relevant to our current anxieties. Working on the song has certainly been a tonic for my own soul and our prayer is that it will be a blessing to others during this time (and beyond). Bob has been able to arrange this home recording, and the lyrics and music are below.
Here is a lyric video of the song which you might find useful if you’re using YouTube to put together church meetings during lockdown.
Here are the lyrics:
I will dwell within the shelter
Of the God who reigns above.
I will rest beneath the shadow
Of the mighty King of love.
Though a sickness hides in darkness
Though a plague destroys by day
I will stand upon his promises
Christ will be my hideaway.
In You, my God, I trust, You are strong and here with us
In You, my hope remains, Christ will be my hideaway
Angels gather to protect me
When they hear my Saviour call
Sovereign hands are ever ready
To uphold me should I fall
Safe beneath his wings of refuge
All my fears are kept at bay
I am shielded by his faithfulness,
Christ will be my hideaway
Though a thousand fall around me
Though death looks me in the eye
Evil shall not have the vict’ry
While the Lord is at my side
God in power raised my Saviour
I no longer fear the grave
Through this fragile life and evermore
Christ will be my hideaway
Music & words by Tim Chester, Bob Kauflin, Nathan Stiff, David Zimmer, Lacy Hudson, McKenzie Fuller. © 2020 Sovereign Grace Worship/ASCAP, Sovereign Grace Praise/BMI