Do you know the right tools to use?
The Kitchen Aid was all ready to go with the mixing bowl, beater, and all the baking ingredients, including those I would not change: Nestlé chips and real butter. You know that moment when you must try some cookie dough just to make sure it tastes right? Sometimes you are even compelled to do it twice or, on a stressful day, maybe three times!
Then disaster struck, my cookie scoop was missing; all progress was suddenly halted. This little tool makes all the cookies uniform in size, that look that mimics a real bakery making me look somewhat rather professional. It keeps a serving size uniform. Best of all, it pops that cookie dough into my hand to taste test–just the right size so my cheeks won’t look like a chipmunk’s hording for winter.
Grandma used a different set of tools. She used two spoons to set her dough on the cookie sheets. They were awkward but got the job done. Even if those cookies no longer looked professional, they sure tasted great.
The right tool for the right job makes any task a great deal easier and makes you feel like a pro.
Everyone has heard the sayings: “the right tool for the right job” and “you are only as good as your tools.” The quality of the tools you choose to use are as important as the tools themselves, and this even applies to Bible study. You don’t have to have a library that rivals your Pastor’s or so many apps on your electronic devices that you get confused on where to even start. Keep it strikingly simple (KISS).
It has taken me years to finally have a routine of Biblical study time every morning before I start my day. I don’t think God cares if my hair is a mess, there is sleep in my eyes, or my research books and Bible have a few tea stains. What He cares deeply about is the time I spend listening to Him.
God has written His Word to us at a level of reading almost anyone can handle. There are few multi-syllable words to confuse us (including some of those names!). Yet, why do we get intimidated by it?
The Word invites us to dig deeper, and to do that we need the right tools. Before the Internet was widely available (Okay, I am late middle-aged.), I started with Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. It is the tool you use to look up where certain words are located in the Bible. I am not a good memorizer; this tool allows me to find a verse as long as I know a word in it.
Next, I moved to Nave’s Topical Bible, a more descriptive version of a concordance with definitions. What we think a word means might not be the same meaning as the original writers intended. This helps with meaning. It is a valuable tool to use when you need to look up verses on a particular topic. Plus, it is easier on my eyes!
Lastly, I found a Bible commentary in one single volume for both Old and New Testaments. This is a great resource, if you are doing more in-depth research, to read alongside your daily Bible reading. It tends to give a more historical understanding.
Today you can find many of these resources on-line, either free or at very little cost. Having the right tools is especially helpful when it comes to individual Bible studies or preparing for a group lesson. If you are like me, the more you use the right tools to research, the more God opens His Word in ways you had never thought of. You will want to search for more understanding—it is a lifelong process!
By the way, where was that cookie scoop? One of my family members had unloaded the dishwasher weeks before and placed it in the wrong drawer where it was buried under other kitchen gadgets. The right tool in the wrong place; you can bet everyone knows where it goes now. After all, you might have to taste test the right size ball of cookie dough, without making it look obvious.
Think about it:
What is your favorite Bible study tool?
Is there a Bible study tool you would like to know more about?