He Chose the Nails: What God Did To Win Your Heart
Max Lucado, Thomas Nelson, 2016

£30.00 (Approx)
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Five Sessions for Lent.

God’s greatest gifts ever given to us. Every gift from God reveals his love, but no gift reveals his love more than the gifts of the cross. These gifts came not wrapped in paper but in passion. They were not placed around a tree but around a cross. They were not covered with ribbons but sprinkled with the blood that Christ shed on our behalf.

In this five-session video Bible study, Max Lucado explores the many gifts that Christ provided to us at his crucifixion. These include not only the gift of the cross but also the gift of the thorns that pierced his brow. The nails that tore his flesh. The seamless robe that he removed for us. The empty tomb where he forever defeated sin and death.

The hill of the cross is rich with the gifts of God’s grace. These were gifts he didn’t have to give. The only required act for our salvation was the shedding of blood, yet God did so much more. So, as we unwrap these gifts, we need to pause and listen for his voice. As we do, perhaps we will hear him whisper, ‘I did it just for you’.

What do you get?

Video with five sessions of 15 minutes or so each (on a DVD also containing Because of Bethlehem, four sessions, to accompany the Study Guide of the same name, also available from Thomas Nelson). Study Guide for use with groups or individuals, including an optional extra session:

  1. He Chose to Be One of Us
  2. He Chose to Forgive us
  3. He Chose to invite us into His Presence
  4. He Chose to Love Us Forever
  5. He chose to Give Us Victory
  6. Optional Session: He Chose to Give Us Confidence

Children’s and student material available from here.

Who is it for?

Adult, small groups, whole church, Beginning, Growing.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Typically well-produced production from Max Lucado and Thomas Nelson. Accessible, moving and thought-provoking. A wonderful lead up to Easter; highly recommended.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    All the aims are carefully spelled out throughout, with consistent applications to make sure the participants are on track.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    DVD box includes a leaflet outlining how to use the material for a whole-church or small group experience. In addition, there are concise and helpful leader’s notes at the beginning of the book. Suggested timings supplied. Easy to follow, comprehensive material, of which each session comprises: Introductory quotations; groups discussion: Checking In after the week; Video: around fifteen minutes, with main points included in the book, plus space for personal further notes; Groups Discussion: questions based around the theme, plus further input; Individual Activity: what I want to remember - a couple of minutes to record this; review of upcoming Lenten practice; Closing Prayer time.

    Who could lead it?

    Any leader – this would be very straight-forward to use. The only thing to keep an eye on would be keeping the pace up, and deciding whether to include all the material.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Each participant needs a copy of the book. There are notes, plus space for your own, for the video and for all the subsequent sections and questions. The between-session ‘Lenten Practice’ is printed on soft grey paper so easy to find, after each session. These explore further the main theme from the previous session, and suggest Daily Scripture Readings, taken from the Book of Common Prayer Daily Office, with morning and evening psalms as well as selections from the Old Testament, New Testament epistles, and the Gospels. The idea is to spend fifteen or so minutes every day throughout lent, reading these scriptures, allowing God to speak to you through them, recording your responses to the supplied responses questions in the book, and reviewing and sharing your experience at the next session. Very helpful and practical.

    How good is any digital material?

    Videos are creative and calming, delivered by Lucado, with some cutaways in relevant locations. Lucado is a thought-provoking and kindly speaker, with some great memorable anecdotes and challenges. Some downloadable material is available via blog.churchsource.com but is not essential to the course.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Familiarisation with the material, including watching the video. Decisions about how much of the (excellent) material to use. Leader needs to do the Lenten Practices between sessions. More preparation needed if using as a whole-church course.

    Is there website support? Links?

    See above.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Excellent approach to interaction, encouraging discussion, honesty, reviewing and caring for and supporting each other.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Good mix of video and discussion, listening and engaging with the material. Thinking for oneself is encouraged, as is consolidating learning at all points.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Broad appeal, with a combination of head and heart level input. The between-session Lenten practices would need some adapting for low literacy groups – perhaps looking up biblical passages and stories online, for example, in animated or video form. A leader may choose also to condense some of the input which appears as part of the discussion sections. There is plenty to work on from the video alone.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Feedback from the Lenten Practices is included as is care for each other’s hopes and dreams; lots of discussion and finishing together in prayer. Really strong application throughout.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Firmly Bible-based throughout, with each theme based on a passage or two, and many more referred to.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Some passages are written out; some are not. The Daily readings for the Lenten Practices are references only. A variety of translations are used. The biblical material shapes the themes, and each one is thoroughly explored via input and great, open questions.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    A strength of this resource. The biblical material is directly related to the potential effect on our lives, thoughts, beliefs and actions. Very good.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No; although the Lenten Practice readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer Daily Office.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    The focus is on the motivation God had in allowing Jesus to go to the cross – and the implications for our faith and lives.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Great open questions encourage people to engage with the themes, both in discussion and personally. The Lenten Practice during the week cannot fail to encourage people to grow in their faith.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    Good mix of big picture themes and how they relate to each individual. Comprehensive. Encourages us to think through things both from a head and a heart level.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    The reality of our spiritual poverty without Jesus is acknowledged but not dwelt on. The emphasis is on allowing ourselves to receive and live by the extraordinary gifts that God gives to us because Jesus chose the nails.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a particular focus, but implicit in the message that we desperately need what God has done for us.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus, but implicit.

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