HELPS FOR LEADING FAMILY DEVOTIONS

I. GETTING STARTED IN FAMILY DEVOTIONS IN GOD’S WORD

A. YOU MUST BE A READER OF THE WORD OF GOD YOURSELF

1. Start with Geoff Thomas’ excellent booklet, READING THE BIBLE; Banner of Truth and then read his THE SURE WORD OF GOD; Reformation Heritage. You must understand why you are to have confidence in God’s Word as you are to persevere in regularly having and leading in family devotions.

2. Add to your overall biblical knowledge with just four books. Mark Dever has helped us all with his overviews of the whole Bible: THE MESSAGE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT (Promises Made) and THE MESSAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (Promises Kept); both from  Crossway. Peter Jeffrey has given us an excellent primer on the New Testament,  STEPPING STONES, Banner of Truth. And for a great overview of the whole Bible, R. C. Sproul’s WHAT’S IN THE BIBLE from
Word/Thomas Nelson is great.

3. It is important that you have a growing sense of the theology of the Word of God. What does the Bible actually teach?  Read slowly and prayerfully and have at your fingertips for ready reference James Packer’s CONCISE THEOLOGY; Tyndale House Publishers

B. HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR FAMILY BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY READ
1. A little bit of advance preparation in reading & prayer beforehand makes for better family devotions

2. Pray and ask God the Holy Spirit to help you glean spiritual wisdom from His Word

3. You can adapt and fit what you learn from commentaries to your family devotions

4. Look for Christ promised (O.T.), Christ present (the Gospels), and Christ present with His Church by His Spirit and yet personally coming again (Acts to Revelation).

5. Mark His commands to obey, His promises to claim, His warnings to heed and His overall providential care to keep you and your family in this wicked world and help you to glory

6. Keep your eyes out for Christ and the gospel about Him. Note also your personal responsibility to repent of each of your sins & follow new paths of obedience. Remind yourself daily that only the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit can empower you to become God’s man or woman.

7. Close in prayer for the Holy Spirit to help you apply what you learned–for Christ’s sake!

II. SPECIFIC TOOLS TO HELP YOU LEARN YOUR BIBLE

A. STUDY BIBLES THAT HELP WITH THE BASICS
1. ESV STUDY BIBLE
2. REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE
3. ARCHEOLOGY STUDY BIBLE
4. HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD STUDY BIBLE
5. NASB STUDY BIBLE

B. OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
1. GENESIS–James Boice, GENESIS: AN EXPOSITIONAL COMMENTARY; Baker and/or Nancy Ganz, GENESIS (A Commentary for Children); Shepherd Press

2. EXODUS–Matthew Henry, “Exodus”, COMMENTARY ON THE WHOLE BIBLE;
Hendrickson and Nancy Ganz, EXODUS (A Commentary for Children); Shepherd Press

3. LEVITICUS– Allen Ross, HOLINESS TO THE LORD; Kregel and Nancy Ganz, LEVITICUS (A Commentary for Children); Shepherd Press

4. NUMBERS–James Philip, NUMBERS (Christian Communicators Commentary); Word/Thomas Nelson and Nancy Ganz, NUMBERS (A Commentary for Children); Shepherd Press

5. DEUTERONOMY–Raymond Brown, THE MESSAGE OF DEUTERONOMY; IVP and Nancy Ganz, DEUTERONOMY (A Commentary for Children); Shepherd Press

6. JOSHUA–Dale Ralph Davis, JOSHUA (No Falling Words); Christian Focus

7. JUDGES–Dale Ralph Davis, JUDGES (Such a Great Salvation); Christian Focus

8. RUTH–Sinclair Ferguson, A HEART FOR GOD; Banner of Truth–the chapter on the book of Ruth and God’s faithfulness is worth the price of the book all by itself!

9. I SAMUEL–Dale Ralph Davis, I SAMUEL (Looking on the Heart); Christian Focus

10. II SAMUEL–Dale Ralph Davis, II SAMUEL (Out of Every Adversity); Christian Focus

11. I KINGS–Dale Ralph Davis, I KINGS (The Wisdom and the Folly); Christian Focus

12. II KINGS–Dale Ralph Davis, II KINGS (The Sound and the Fury), Christian Focus

13. I CHRONICLES–Cyril Barber, I CHRONICLES (God’s Faithfulness to the People of Judah);  Christian Focus

14. II CHRONICLES–Cyril Barber, II CHRONICLES (God’s Blessing Of His Faithful People); Christian Focus

15. EZRA–Derek Kidner, EZRA-NEHEMIAH; IVP

16. NEHEMIAH–James Montgomery Boice, NEHEMIAH (An Expositional Commentary); Baker Books and/or James Packer, A PASSION FOR FAITHFULNESS; Crossways

17. ESTHER–David Firth, ESTHER (The Bible Speaks Today); IVP

18. JOB–Gary Benfold, WHY LORD? (The Book of Job for Today); Day One Publications and/or Bill Cotton, JOB (Focus on the Bible Series); Christian
Focus

19. PSALMS–Steven Lawson, THE PSALMS (3 volumes); Broadman & Holman

20. PROVERBS–Ray Ortlund, Jr.; PROVERBS (Skill in Living), [Preach the Word Series], Crossway

21. ECCLESIASTES–Sinclair Ferguson, THE PUNDIT’S FOLLY (Ecclesiastes); Banner of Truth and/or Philip Ryken, ECCLESIASTES: WHY LIFE MATTERS (Preach the Word Series); Crossway

22. SONG OF SOLOMON–Richard Brooks, SONG OF SONGS; Christian Focus

23. ISAIAH–John Calvin, ISAIAH (edited & modernized by Packer & McGrath); Crossway

24. JEREMIAH & LAMENTATIONS–Philip Ryken, JEREMIAH & LAMENTATIONS; [Preach the  Word Series]; Crossway

25. EZEKIEL–Peter Jeffrey, OPENING UP EZEKIEL’S VISIONS; Day One Publications; and/or Iain Duguid, EZEKIEL (NIV Application Commentary
Series); Zondervan

26. DANIEL–Dale Ralph Davis, DANIEL (The Bible Speaks Today); IVP and/or Sinclair Ferguson,  DANIEL (Christian Communicators Series); Word/Thomas Nelson

27. THE MINOR PROPHETS–James Montgomery Boice, THE MINOR PROPHETS  (2 volumes.); Kregel and/or Sinclair Ferguson, THE MINOR  PROPHETS [2 vols.] (Preach the Word Series);  Crossway (forthcoming)

B. NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

1. MATTHEW–J.C. Ryle, EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON MATTHEW, Banner of Truth (Crossway has an abridged and updated version of Ryle on each of the four gospels edited by J. I. Packer and Alistair McGrath.]\

2. MARK–J.C. Ryle, EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON MARK, Banner of Truth/Crossway

3. LUKE–J.C. Ryle, EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON LUKE (2 Vol.), Banner of Truth/Crossway

4. JOHN–J.C. Ryle, EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON JOHN (3 Vol.), Banner of Truth/Crossway

5. ACTS–Derek Thomas, ACTS (Reformed Expository Series); P & R and/or Kent Hughes, ACTS (The  Church Afire) [Preach the Word Series]; Crossway

6. ROMANS–R. C. Sproul, ROMANS; Christian Focus;  or Ray Ortland, Jr., A PASSION FOR GOD; Crossway

7. I & II CORINTHIANS–Richard Pratt, 1ST & 2ND CORINTHIANS (Holman N. T. Commentary);  Broadman & Holman

8. GALATIANS–Philip Ryken, GALATIANS (Reformed Expository Series); P & R

9. EPHESIANS–Peter Jeffrey, OPENING UP EPHESIANS; Day One Publications and/or Sinclair Ferguson, LET’S STUDY EPHESIANS; Banner of Truth

10. PHILIPPIANS–Sinclair Ferguson, LET’S STUDY PHILIPPIANS, Banner of Truth and/or James Montgomery Boice, PHILIPPIANS: AN EXPOSITIONAL COMMENTARY; Baker

11. COLOSSIANS–Kent Hughes, COLOSSIANS & PHILEMON (Preach the Word Series); Crossway

12. I & II THESSALONIANS–Andrew W. Young, LET’S STUDY THESSALONIANS and/or David Jackman,  THE AUTHENTIC CHURCH (What Are Our  Priorities Before Christ Comes Again?); Christian Focus

13. I TIMOTHY, II TIMOTHY, and TITUS–John MacArthur, Jr.; 1ST TIMOTHY, 2ND TIMOTHY;  and TITUS; Moody Press and/or John Calvin, THE  PASTORAL EPISTLES (abridged and modernized);  Crossway

14. PHILEMON–Kent Hughes, COLOSSIANS & PHILEMON (Preach the Word Series); Crossway

15. HEBREWS–Stuart Olyott, I WISH SOMEONE WOULD EXPLAIN HEBREWS TO ME!; Banner of Truth or Hywel Jones, LET’S STUDY HEBREWS; Banner of Truth

16. JAMES–Alec Motyer, THE MESSAGE OF JAMES (The Bible Speaks Today); IVP

17.  I & II PETER–W. H. Griffith Thomas, THE APOSTLE PETER (Outline Studies of His Life &  Writings); Kregel

18. I, II & III JOHN–Ian Hamilton, LET’S STUDY THE LETTERS OF JOHN; Banner of Truth

19. JUDE–Mark Johnston, LET’S STUDY 2nd PETER AND JUDE; Banner of Truth

20. REVELATION–Richard Bewes, THE LAMB WINS !  (Revelation); Christian Focus and/or Derek Thomas, LET’S STUDY REVELATION; Banner of Truth

III. CAN I GET THESE BOOKS INEXPENSIVELY ?

–all these books are can be found at a good discount at CUMBERLAND VALLEY BIBLE BOOK SERVICE  (1-800-656-0231) or CVBBS.COM

May you be faithful to teach your family the things of God and see them in God’s timing come to saving faith and fellowship in the things of God.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin