I was in the kitchen the other day when I suddenly stopped and looked down at the utensil in my hand. It was a large flat wooden spatula—perfect for stirring deep pots when you want to be sure everything is being scraped and lifted off the bottom. It wasn’t so great for serving foods with a lot of liquid out of the pan. I reached for my large slotted spoon. “The right tool for the job,” I muttered to myself.
“Oh, good grief!” was my next thought. “Now I sound like Bob!” My husband still likes to “teach” me how to do just about anything, even after 43 years of marriage.
I thought once more of those words yesterday when I was at Walmart. I’ve been making jewelry again this week. When I began this little hobby several years ago I was a complete novice and did not have a clue what I needed to buy to accomplish it. I had purchased a little packet of “mini-tools”—mostly because they were on clearance and cheap! Over the years I had come to realize that they were difficult to use sometimes because they were so small. This week especially I had fumbled over and over again trying to get a good grip on them and make them work. Now as I stared at a set of three regular-sized jewelry tools—round nosed pliers, needle nosed pliers and side [wire] cutters—those words came back—the right tools for the job! It was as if Bob was right there encouraging me to buy them! I decided to spring for the $8.00, and sure enough—they were so much easier to use when I tried them out later that day.
This morning as I pondered what to blog about, I went to BibleGateway.com for (hopefully) some inspiration. At first glance, I didn’t really find anything that motivated me, but suddenly I realized that the website itself, www.biblegateway.com was my inspiration this week!
I seldom review or endorse a product or organization here on Sundays with Cindy. I am going to do so today because I want to share a valuable tool that may be as helpful to you as it has been to me. Nothing will ever replace my leather and paper Bible. I like the feel of it in my hands; I like to underline passages of Scripture and write notes in it; I think of it is being something tangible and precious that I can pass down to my children someday. However, when I am studying or writing this blog, for instance, I like to use an online Bible. Research is so much easier, looking up Scripture is so much quicker, and when, like me, you are a slow typist, “cutting and pasting” Bible verses and long passages of Scripture makes a huge difference! God’s Word is God’s Word whether it is in a book, on a screen or carved on the wall of a cave!
I’ve used BibleGateway.com for several years now. When I can only remember a portion of a verse, I type the part that I recall in “Keywords” and a list of verses that contain those words pops up. Same thing when I am looking up verses that refer to a word like “rejoice,” or “grace” or “wisdom.” When I know the reference to a specific verse, I can just type it in the box that says “passage lookup” and it will bring up the verse I want; the verses before and after it; the complete chapter and the chapters preceding and following that—in whatever version or language I want! Lately I’ve noticed they’ve added a few more tools: a parallel page where you can get two or three versions of your choice of the verse(s) side by side; an audible reading of the Scripture you type in; your choice if you want footnotes and/or cross-references or not; and even what size font you need!
BibleGateway.com has been an extremely useful tool for me as I study God’s Word. We’ve bought various programs such as Bible Explorer and eSword, but BibleGateway is far easier to use—and it’s free! And in addition to these study tools, BibleGateway also offers Bible reading plans, commentaries, Bible dictionaries and audio Bibles. You can subscribe to their daily devotions, verse of the day or any of their fifty or more devotionals for men, women, families, leaders…
When it comes right down to it, we don’t really need study tools to read, study, meditate on, understand or appreciate the Bible. It is, after all, God’s Word—His communication—to us personally (as well as to the Church, Israel, unbelievers…) When we prayerfully study with an open heart and mind, not allowing sin to block our relationship with Him, His Holy Spirit will teach us and open our eyes and understanding to His Word. It is wonderful, though, to have these study tools available to us and a shame not to use them if we can! After all, I can spread peanut butter on bread with my finger, but it is sure easier to use a knife! The right tool for the job!
II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Whether it is with a Bible and a highlighter; a Bible, notebook and pen; a whole library or an online Bible, we all, no matter our age, ought to make Bible study our lifelong priority!