A blessing and a curse
The internet is a blessing. It has given billions of people access to what seems like endless amounts of information.
At the same time, it can be a curse because of the choice paralysis it causes. There’s so much so it’s hard to know where to start.
So I wanted to list some resources that I have found to be great resources as you study God’s word.
Read is a great app that focuses on helping people read the entire Bible. This app uses animated videos to give you context to help you as you read through the prescribed reading assignment.
Another cool feature this app makes available is a progress tracker so you keep up with where you’ve been. And just in case you forget, the app gives you an option to send you reminders.
Audible is a great audiobooks resource. It allows you to listen to books instead of reading them. Which opens up some opportunities you can take advantage of that paper or ebooks to allow.
With audiobooks, you can listen anywhere. You can knock out a book faster because you can listen as you walk, workout, or drive down the road.
Audiobooks also give you an option that has been a gamechanger for me. I like to read but I’m a slow reader. So reading a book can take me a long time. Not necessarily a bad thing but there are so many great books I want to read that faster would be better. Well, with audiobooks I can speed the audio up by half increments. So now instead of listening to an audiobook at normal speed, I can increase it by a half which means I can finish the book a lot faster.
Podcasts are a great way to learn from some very smart people about almost any topic you can think of. But the greatest resources for me has been to subscribe to weekly sermons. I must confess I am a sermon-aholic. I love listening to God’s word being preached. And if you are, now you can do that anywhere.
I use iTunes but there are tones of other podcast apps that you can use to get sermons, interviews, or book reviews downloaded to your phones automatically.
You might be wondering why I listed YouVersion because of it basically an edible. Yes, it is that, but it also comes with another great option.
YouVersion has a listening option. Now you can pick almost any translation you like and listen to someone with a great British accent or some other accent read you the Bible. This, if you don’t already know, is an app, which means you can soak in God’s word while working on your to-do-list or simply going for a walk.
BibleHub is a great online database that allows you to search tons of information on specific verses. All you have to do is type in the verse you are researching and you will have access to several different options.
You can look at commentaries and sermons that relate to your verse. This site also gives you a really neat option to view the different translation of the same verse all on one page so all you have to do is scroll down while you read them. Another really cool option you have is the ability to look at different topics that are found in the verse you are looking at.
Did I mention you get all this for free!
Openbible is another great tool I have used. The main function I have used this site for is the topical bible search. When you click on the tab it takes you to a search engine that allows you to look up verses based on a topic you are interested in. All you have to do is type in your topic where it says “what does the Bible say about…” and you get a great list of verses that include your keyword.
Something else that I like about the search bar is that when you start typing in your keyword, it starts trying to guess what you are looking for much like the google search engine does. Which can be helpful if you only have a vague idea of what you are looking for.
LookattheBook is an option if you want to add something more guided to your study time. John Piper does an excellent job of taking passages of the Bible and breaking them down into tiny bits of information.
The way he captures the videos also shows what he wants you to focus on – the Bible. He uses some kind of software that allows him to underline and circle words so you know what he’s referencing. He also writes points on the screen as he makes them so you can come back to them later if you need to and not have to stop the flow of the lesson.
Olive Tree is another great Bible Study Tool that offers too much to even mention in a short format. The app can be accessed online or you can use it on your mobile device.
Once you are on the site you have the option to look through free resources but also many options that are for sale.
Under the free options, you will have access to many different Bible translations, some study tools, which offer a couple of commentaries, a dictionary, and sample of Bible maps. Another great free resource available is a collection of ebooks that include biographies, sermons, and devotionals.
Remember these are just tools. So try one out. If it doesn’t work or if it distracts you from getting into God’s word find something better.
The main thing is to be in God’s word.