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3:16: A Study for Small Groups Paperback – Bargain Price, September 11, 2007

77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lucado (When Christ Comes; Facing Your Giants ) digs deeply into one of the most famous and oft-quoted passages of the Bible-John 3:16. First situating it in its biblical context as part of Jesus's conversation with Nicodemus, Lucado then dissects the 26-word promise phrase by phrase, picking out key theological ideas that provide hope to Christians. What does it mean that God "so loved the world"- What must we do to gain everlasting life- Using his trademark folksy style, Lucado employs great stories and real-life illustrations to drive home points about God's love, justice and determination to save. The chapter on hell (pinging off the phrase "shall not perish") is alone worth the price of admission; it's uncharacteristically hard-hitting for Lucado, with the beloved pastor drawing a line in the sand for evangelicals who might be tempted to believe in universal salvation or who imagine hell as a mere metaphor. That chapter, in fact, could and should be further developed in a book of its own. Some of Lucado's points in this book are devastatingly insightful, others only gimmicky or superficial; still, the book is an excellent entry into the popular Texas writer's body of work. It's short, marvelously accessible and followed by a 40-day Bible study on the life of Jesus (excerpted from Lucado's prior books).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

John 3:16
Timeless and powerful, these words proclaim a message of love, a source of hope, and a promise of life. One sentence, softly spoken nearly two thousand years ago, is just as relevant today as when Jesus first uttered it.

In this interactive small group study guide, based on the book 3:16, Max Lucado unpacks the incredible message of John 3:16, illuminating one of the most beloved Scriptures in the entire gospel. Ideal for your small group, Sunday school class, or individual use, this study includes:

Scripture-focused lessons
Interactive questions for reflection and mediation
Twelve weeks of study
Leader's guide for shepherding small groups

Experience these words as if you've never heard them before. Open your heart to the message of Jesus's twenty-six-word parade of hope - 3:16

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1418529230
  • ASIN: B002GJU5XA
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,530,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's a match made in heaven (or that's what Thomas Nelson Publishers must believe). In 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, one of the world's best-known and best-loved Christian authors takes on the world's best-known and best-loved Bible verse. Max Lucado has authored over 50 book with sales exceeding an incredible 50 million copies in print. His books are regularly on the New York Times list of bestsellers and continually dominate the Christian charts (where he has had up to eleven books present at one time). 3:16 is as close as we could expect for a sure-thing bestseller. An unparalleled marketing campaign will all but guarantee it. It is no coincidence that the book will release on 9/11, allowing people to contrast numbers of despair with numbers of hope. The book will also stand as the centerpiece of a major global ministry initiative launching on Palm Sunday, 3/16/08. This book is going to make a splash.

In 3:16 Lucado unpacks ("exposits" would probably not be quite the right word) what he calls the "hope diamond of the Bible," the verse that is known and cherished by more believers than any other: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Of this passage he says, "If you know nothing of the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here." Good advice, and advice that immediately shows that this book is written for a dual audience, both those who know the Bible and those who do not; those who love God and those who do not. It is written to show the reader the value of understanding and living in light of the words of John 3:16.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. D. Kennedy on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The author of 3:16 The Numbers of Hope, Max Lucado conveys the central message of the New Testament that is contained in John 3:16 in a poetic way. The verse reads, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." He summarizes the basic Christian faith in a way easy to grasp, but a way that deeply touches the heart: Jesus Christ, the son of God, came into the world to deliver people from sin through his crucifixion and resurrection. This was the holy plan of redemption from the beginning of time.

Max Lucado dedicates a chapter to each phrase that is contained in this verse and explains it with stories from the Bible and everyday life. He starts with the most famous conversation in the Bible, the one between Nicodemus and Jesus regarding "spiritual rebirthing." He then continues on to explain the love of God that moved him to give his one and only son as a sacrifice for all. The author explains how this gift is available to `whomever' and is not limited to only a select few.

While reading this book, I almost felt like I was listening to Max Lucado talk with me face to face. His style welcomes the reader into a heart to heart conversation, where truth is the mediator. He has the ability to transform any abstract idea into a tangible message that finds its way straight to the heart. An example of this is apparent in the following sentence: "...perish... a sobering word. We'd like to dilute, if not delete, the term. Not Jesus. He pounds Do Not Enter signs on every square inch of Satan's gate and tells those hell-bent on entering to do so over his dead body. Even so, some souls insist." (10)

I have read almost every book that this inspiring author has published.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was a pleasure to read both for me, as a Christian who was saved several years ago, and now by a family member, who is struggling with faith. I just know that hope will engulf her and His light will shine upon her and give her soul rest in the hope of eternity. I found answers to things that I thought I knew about the resurrection but was incorrect and I also found myself sharing this book as a bible study with a friend. We both had different views on the contents and what we shared were feelings that helped us both and just created MORE hope. There is nothing you can possess that is greater than God's promise of eternal life. The Kingdom Wins!!! Amen!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian authors, in that he has a style of writing that takes you beyond the words and into the emotions of people and places. In 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, he uses the verse John 3:16 for a number of mini-sermons that place emphasis on each word and phrase of the verse. It's an excellent read, and forced me to stop and actually contemplate all that the verse means again...

Contents:
The Most Famous Conversation in the Bible; No One Like Him; Hope for the Hard Heart; When You Get Booted Out; The Only One and Only; The Heart He Offers; Heaven's "Whoever" Policy; Believe and Receive; God's Gracious Grip; Hell's Supreme Surprise; What Makes Heaven Heavenly; The Last Word on Life; The 3:16ed Life; Only Jesus - 40 Days with the Son; Notes

Lucado is able to break down the verse in ways that you might never think of. Each chapter starts off with a story from his life or some illustration from life that anyone can relate to. From there, he turns the illustration in a spiritual direction and shows how the words of John 3:16 in many ways encapsulates everything that the Bible teaches and stands for. To me, the best value comes from his ability to paint color with his words, to give us a scene from the Bible and bring the characters and the message to life in a way that brings fresh perspective. I guess since I've always had a hard time doing that on my own, I appreciate and value it all the more when I come across it in someone's writing. For non-Christians, this book will succinctly provide the message of the Gospel. For Christians, you'll once again be reminded in fresh ways of God's love...

An excellent read...
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