Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
I have recently been using a number of essential oils in a diffuser and learning more about how to incorporate them in other uses in my home. Whenever we start learning something new, we need to know what tools we need and understand why and how we are to use them. I am learning a lot in this field, and I am reminded that as you and I study the Word of God, we need the right tools. We need to know why we need to use them and how to use them. In his book “Searching the Scriptures,” Chuck Swindoll shares some of the tools you may need to effectively study the Bible:
“Every home needs a dictionary. Let me add to this: you also need a Bible dictionary. This resource will identify places and names in the Bible and explain words that may be unfamiliar in our modern-day context. Words are important – they form the building blocks of spiritual thoughts. The meaning of a word has everything to do with the meaning of a sentence and the meaning of the sentence has everything to do with the paragraph. Keep a dictionary handy.
You need a concordance. A concordance is an alphabetical listing of all the words in the Bible. If you want to find the word ‘integrity’ in the Scriptures, you can look it up in a concordance and you’ll see a list of every time the word appears in the Bible. You will want to know what the Bible says on whatever topic or subject you’re studying.
You need a good set of maps. Look in the back of your Bible, and you may find several maps there. It is helpful to have a current map of the land of Israel so you can understand where the corresponding locations are today. In your study, you will often find that you need to familiarize yourself with the geography of a story so you can understand more of the context. A map will help you find the locations and a Bible dictionary will explain how the places differ.
Make an inventory of the resources that are available to you. What features does your Bible include (maps, index, concordance, etc.) that will be helpful for your personal study? Where can you go to find further information about the Bible (concordance, dictionary, online resources)? Gather your resources together and create a physical place for study with limited distractions. Make this the place where you can daily feast on the Word of God”.
Perhaps it is time for some new tools… or it may be time to use them and become skilled at using them once again.
Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves as Director of Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and teaches a Bible Study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.