Friday Introductions: Study Tools

I was watching "WipeOut" with my family the other night when a commercial came on for Old Navy "Flare" jeans. As I watched the commercial, I looked at my husband and said, "Didn't we used to call those bell bottoms?" It seems the same fashion trends come and go over the decades. We just give them new names. The same is true with so many other aspects of life as well. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

We may think that we are facing a world that has lost sight of what's important, a world where personal pleasure has taken first place and devotion to God has disappeared. Yet, when we read the Bible, we find from Moses to Paul, people frustrated with the godlessness of the world around them and crying out to God to fix it.

Paul's letters are filled with admonishments about greed, hatred, sexual immorality, lying, corrupt government and false teachers. All things we're still dealing with today.

The Bible's relevance thousands of years after it was written shows the awesomeness of God. He wrote the Bible so it would be just as relevant today as it was when Moses and Paul were writing their portions.

And that means that no matter what you are dealing with, the Bible has something to say about it. The trick is to find what the Bible has to say. It used to be if you were looking for a verse dealing with a particular subject, the only way to find it was to pull out a concordance, which was often as big as the Bible itself. You could look up the subject you wanted verses on, and the concordance would give you a short piece of the verse that incuded the word. Then you needed to look up the verse to see if it really was a verse that dealt with the topic you were interested in.

The advent of the Internet has changed all of that. Sites abound that allow you to search the Bible with a keyword, then offer you a list of the full verses that contain that word. Whether you're looking for a verse to use with your kids or one to apply to your own life, these sites are a great resource that can help you use God's word in your life. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com): This site offers 25 searchable English translations of the Bible and searchable translations in languages from Arabic to Chinese. Along with the Bible, Bible Gateway has reading plans, devotionals, commentaries and audio Bibles.
  • Biblos (www.biblos.com): This site offers dozens of searchable Bible translations and allows you to view the same verse in several different versions at the same time. You'll also find atlases, commentaries, lexicons, timelines and a multitude of other study tools.

No matter what site you use, remember that the Bible has something to say about just about everything in our lives. Let's make use of the tools technology has given us to hide the word of God in our hearts.