Living Word Bible Studies

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The book of Joshua offers adventure, great stories, vivid characters, and—above all—an amazing account of the way God fulfills his promises to his people. Joshua is not bare history; it is history with a point—and the point is that God’s Word is true—always, completely, without fail. Kathleen Nielson challenges us to live according to that Word. She reminds us that God’s promises are just as good and true for God’s people today as they were in Joshua’s day—and they are now completed and fulfilled in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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Nehemiah is not only an example of great leadership; his story shows us in living color God’s sovereign plan to work through his people for his redemptive purposes in Jesus Christ. Kathleen leads us to immerse ourselves in a dramatic story of God’s people led by a godly leader at a crucial point in salvation history. As we follow the rebuilding of the wall, we witness God’s faithfulness in preserving a chosen people according to his promises, and we realize our need for a savior.

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The way of the Psalms is a well-traveled and blessed way! Not just the psalmists but also God’s people throughout many generations have used these words to find their way and to express their prayers and praises to their God along the way. In the Psalms we learn more about God’s ways, human experience, and the beauty of poetic language. Kathleen Nielson invites us to spend time in the Psalms—musing, marking, meditating, memorizing, and praying.

In this first volume, Kathleen Nielson gives an overview of this genre of scripture and equips the reader to explore the whole of the Psalms.

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The way of the Psalms is a well-traveled and blessed way! Not just the psalmists but also God’s people throughout many generations have used these words to find their way and to express their prayers and praises to their God along the way. In the Psalms we learn more about God’s ways, human experience, and the beauty of poetic language. Kathleen Nielson invites us to spend time in the Psalms—musing, marking, meditating, memorizing, and praying.

In this second volume, Kathleen focuses on how to study the Psalms. Each lesson guides the study of one psalm and then provides the tools for more independent study of another thematically related psalm.

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A proverb is wisdom in a poetic nutshell: it is small, like a nut, and gives more and more flavorful meaning as we keep pondering it. In the book of Proverbs we find divinely inspired observations concerning how to live rightly as the people of God. Proverbs’ wisdom is far from theoretical; wisdom given by our Creator relates to every part of his creation—from our words, to our friendships, to our money, to our marriages and children—and on and on. Kathleen Nielson guides us in how to digest the poetry of Proverbs and relish this part of God’s revelation with thankful delight. She encourages us to hear and respond to wisdom’s call and let the light of Christ illuminate our lives.

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Poetry speaks to us as whole people, appealing in unique ways to our imaginations and emotions as well as to our intellects. Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes are beautiful Old Testament poetic books that answer two of life’s deepest questions: “What is the meaning of life?” and “What is love?” Kathleen Nielson takes us on a journey into these image-filled Scriptures, equipping us to relish God’s Word in poetic form.

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Sometimes called the “Romans of the Old Testament,” the book of Isaiah is a theological masterpiece. Not only does it deliver some of the most beautiful poetry in the Bible, but it also gives us a glimpse into God’s perspective on human history and his magnificent redemptive plan. Kathleen Nielson helps us apply this book to ourselves as the people of God and points us to our Savior, the promised Messiah.

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John: That You May Believeguides you through what many consider to be the most artful and poetic of the gospels. Opening with a remarkably beautiful, mind-stretching statement of who Jesus is, John clearly reveals Jesus’ identity as the promised Christ, the Son of God, come to bring life to those who believe in his name. Its portrait of the Word made flesh rewards careful study so “that you may believe.”

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Colossians and Philemon are two of Paul’s “prison epistles”—letters written while he was imprisoned for preaching Jesus Christ as Lord. Even in the face of persecution, prison bars could not contain Paul’s zeal for the gospel. In his letter to the Colossian church he sounded the alarm of false teaching and encouraged the believers to find sufficiency in Christ. In his letter to Philemon he pleaded for mercy and forgiveness for a runaway slave. Kathleen Nielson helps us see how these messages are still relevant and alive in many ways.

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The apostle Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians form part of an exciting, complex story of the growth of the New Testament church. Amidst false teaching and persecution, missionary trips and newly planted churches, Paul urges the Thessalonians to walk steadfastly and points them to the ultimate hope of the gospel—the day of the Lord when Jesus will come again. Kathleen Nielson helps us dive into the excitement of the early church and challenges us to live more faithfully as members of Christ’s body, until he comes again.

Living Word Studies Endorsements

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 5.39.42 PM I began to write these Bible studies for the women in my own church group at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. Under the leadership of Kent and Barbara Hughes, the church and that Bible study aimed to proclaim without fail the good news of the Word of God. What a joy, in that study and in many since, to see lives changed by the work of the Word, by the Spirit, for the glory of Christ.
In our Bible study group, we were looking for curriculum that would lead us into the meat of the Word and teach us how to take it in, whole Bible books at a time — the way they are given to us in Scripture. Finally, one of our leaders said, “Kathleen — how about if you just write it!” And so began one of the most joyful projects of my life: the writing of studies intended to help unleash the Word of God in people’s lives. The writing began during a busy stage of my life — with three lively young boys and always a couple of college English courses to teach — but through that stage and every busy one since, a serious attention to studying the Bible has helped keep me focused, growing, and alive in the deepest ways. The Word of God will do that. If there’s life and power in these studies, it is simply the life and power of the Scriptures to which they point. It is ultimately the life and power of the Savior who shines through all the Scriptures from beginning to end. How we need this life, in the midst of every busy and non-busy stage of our lives!

I don’t think it is just the English teacher in me that leads me to this conclusion about our basic problem in Bible study these days: we’ve forgotten how to read! We’re so used to fast food that we think we should be able to drive by the Scriptures periodically and pick up some easily digestible truths that someone else has wrapped up neatly for us. We’ve disowned that process of careful reading. . . observing the words. . . seeing the shape of a book and a passage. . . asking questions that take us into the text rather than away from it. . . digging into the Word and letting it speak! Through such a process, guided by the Spirit, the Word of God truly feeds our souls. Here’s my prayer: that, by means of these studies, people would be further enabled to read the Scriptures profitably and thereby find life and nourishment in them, as we are each meant to do.

In all the busy stages of life and writing, I have been continually surrounded by pastors, teachers, and family who encourage and help me in this work, and for that I am grateful. The most wonderful guidance and encouragement come from my husband, Niel, whom I thank and for whom I thank God daily.

May God use these studies to lift up Christ and his Word, for his glory!

Knowing The Bible: Studies

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The books of Ruth and Esther recount two of the most moving stories in all of Scripture: Ruth, a displaced widow in search of a new home and loving husband, and Esther, a courageous queen intent on saving her people from imminent destruction.

This guide explains the biblical text with clarity and passion—leading us on a journey to discover the God who hears the cries of his people and remains faithful to his promises.

Over the course of 12 weeks, these studies explore books of the Bible and:

  • Ask thoughtful questions to spur discussion

  • Show how each passage unveils the gospel

  • Tie the text in with the whole story of Scripture

  • Illuminate the doctrines taught in each passage

  • Invite you to discover practical implications

  • Help you better understand and apply God’s Word

Part of the Knowing the Bible series. 

Click here  to see Kathleen’s introduction to  Ruth and Esther: A 12-Week Study

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The Knowing the Bible series is a resource designed to help Bible readers better understand and apply God’s Word. These 12-week studies lead participants through books of the Bible and are made up of four basic components: (1) reflection questions help readers engage the text at a deeper level; (2) “Gospel Glimpses” highlight the gospel of grace throughout the book; (3) “Whole-Bible Connections” show how any given passage connects to the Bible’s overarching story of redemption, culminating in Christ; and (4) “Theological Soundings” identify how historic orthodox doctrines are taught or reinforced throughout Scripture. With contributions from an array of influential pastors and church leaders, these gospel-centered studies will help Christians see and cherish the message of God’s grace on every page of the Bible.

After returning to Jerusalem from exile, Israel struggled to remain faithful to their identity as the people of God. The Lord raised up Ezra and Nehemiah to reestablish the nation by rebuilding the temple and the city walls. Over the course of twelve weeks, Kathleen Nielson shows readers God’s mercy and faithfulness as demonstrated in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah—encouraging Christians toward sincere repentance, true worship, and persevering hope.

TCG Women’s Initiatives: Nehemiah Study

Rebuild: A Study in Nehemiah takes us into a compelling story. The Book of Nehemiah tells of God’s people returned from exile and rebuilding the broken-down city of Jerusalem. More than that, it tells of God’s people being rebuilt according to his Word. As we watch the leader Nehemiah direct the rebuilding, we’re watching the Lord God direct history according to his promises—all of which were fulfilled in the promised Christ who came from this people’s seed. This study of Nehemiah helps us understand our history as believers in Jesus Christ. It helps us learn to walk in faith according to God’s Word, even in times of weakness and rebuilding. Eight lessons draw us into the text, giving background and asking questions that lead us to make fruitful and personal observations.
This product features:
• Small-group experience for eight sessions
• Teaching segments from Kathleen Nielson, Nancy Guthrie, and D. A. Carson
• Personal study segments
• Leader kit includes one member book and two DVDs