There is a story, one that runs from the beginning of creation itself, through thousands of years of human history. It is a story of triumphs and disasters, miraculous deeds and terrible betrayals, divine justice and ultimate sacrifice, and of steadfast faith continuing down through generations and across continents to the present day. This is a story that is still going on, and will be finished only at the end of time. The story of IFES is now 75 years long, and there have been many incredible adventures along the way, just as there are in the books of Luke and Acts.
In these 30 days of devotions, we can zoom in on a very important part of the Christian story, and use the lessons it teaches to strengthen our faith and enhance our evangelism. Each day there is an opportunity to dig deeper into the main themes that Luke uses to build his narrative of Christ and the church; pray into the issues Jesus and his apostles faced that we also see in our lives today; reflect on the passage and respond to its teachings; explore ‘the wider story’ and the context; and finally, to meditate on an ‘evening psalm’, to recentre and bring us back to God after the busyness of our day.
What people are saying
“For 75 years, God has worked in and through the ministry of IFES, enabling people to know and serve Him. How appropriate that in celebration, David Montgomery has produced an excellent devotional on Luke-Acts. Like the ministry of IFES, this devotional centres Jesus and his ongoing work. IFES insiders and strangers alike will be blessed by insights from Scripture, stories from students, and prayers from global IFES staff.”Walter KimPresident of the National Association of Evangelicals
“The deepest, truest learning is always over the shoulder, through the heart, and in The Unfinished Story we are graced to learn from a wise, practised teacher of Scripture with a lifelong love for students. Through a month of reflections that weave together biblical text with prayers and psalms, David Montgomery draws us into the story of those whose encounter with Jesus was “a taster of the kingdom to come,” inviting us into a way of reading the Bible that is, at one and the same time, “for me, to me, about me, from me, and within me” – which is at it should be as we engage Luke’s story, a story which is the heart of the gospel that continues to be written in every century and every culture.”Steven GarberSenior Fellow for Vocation and the Common Good, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and author of Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good
“It was with great joy that I read the book that my colleague and friend Monty has prepared. His way of writing and presenting these devotionals is very special. First, because they follow the good tradition of Scripture Engagement in IFES, where the main point is to invite us to a personal encounter with the Lord through the Scriptures. Going through Luke and Acts, reflecting on these selected passages, connecting with the reality of the student work through the beautiful stories shared and with his touch of personal perspective here and there, all create a very welcoming environment for this encounter with the Lord in the Word. Also, the invitations to wider readings that give us context to the great and wonderful story, the prayers that help us respond and the connections to the Psalms to be used at the end of the day help us to interact with the Word in different and inspiring ways. An excellent contribution from Monty so that we continue to celebrate many IFES anniversaries loving, studying, living and sharing the Scriptures.”Ricardo BorgesIFES Secretary for Scripture Engagement
“This book by Dr David Montgomery provides a helpful way to explore Luke’s two contributions to the New Testament (Luke’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles). The way in which the passage of Scripture is opened up for us each day provides a model of solid Biblical study, done with a devotional heart. The stories which are mingled into the exposition, many of them from people touched by the ministry of IFES, brings personal application of the themes being discussed and underlines the book’s other purpose, namely, to mark the 75thanniversary of IFES. It is also delightful to see a Psalm for each evening, in a day when the Psalms have become somewhat neglected in the worshipping life of the church. I thoroughly commend this book.”The Rev Professor A.T.B. McGowanDirector of the Rutherford Centre for Reformed Theology
“Luke’s Gospel – and his sequel, Acts – record how God’s redemption story found it’s climax in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and as the good news was preached to all nations, starting in Jerusalem. This story hasn’t finished, and students in IFES movements across the globe are living and speaking for Jesus in remarkable ways. As Monty invites us to meet Jesus afresh, and introduces to students around the world following him, expect to have your own heart changed and your passion for student ministry stirred.”Peter DrayInterim Executive Director, UCCF; co-author of Reality and Other Stories