Tools For Christians
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
Several years ago, a church where I was serving formed a building team that undertook projects around town for the less fortunate. We did a lot of roof work, drywalling, ramps, fences, and so on. One time, we were doing a roof tear-off and replacement, and a long discussion ensued on nailers, air hose lengths, and the compressors needed for the job. I finally turned to one of the project leaders and suggested that we just use hammers for the job. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about all of this other equipment. Suddenly, the room grew quiet. Then there was a nervous laugh. Finally, everybody began to laugh. They thought I was kidding! They couldn’t conceive of using a hammer when faster, better tools were available.
That lesson stuck with me: Use the best tools available for the job. If you don’t, the job is harder!
As Christians, our most important tool is God’s Word. Yet, we often use archaic tools to get the job done. Many of us are still packing a hard-to-read King James translation of the Bible or a Bible without any notes. The King James Version is a beautiful translation but it is 400 years old!
Better tools are available today! Get yourself a contemporary translation like the NIV, the NRSV, or the Common English Bible, and make sure it is a study Bible with explanatory notes so that you can better understand meaning and context. If you have questions, see me. Getting a study Bible years ago as a gift made a huge difference in my understanding of the text.
One of my favorite Bibles is called “The Quest” Bible. What differentiates it is that it doesn’t have notes. What it does have is questions and answers on the side. Nearly every question you can think of is answered. I’ve used it myself, given it as a gift many times, and also used it when we did college ministry
An argument can be made that we don’t need print Bibles any more because of the availability of Bibles apps for smart phones, which often provide the scriptures in a variety of different translations, though usually without explanatory notes. I like to underline stuff and write notes in the margins, but having an app on your cell phone means that you never have to go anywhere without God’s Word. One app that I have used and recommend is biblegateway, and it offers dozens of different Bible translations. It’s also a website, so go to www.biblegateway.com. It’s free, and it has audio so that you can listen to the incomparable Max McLean and many others read the Bible wherever you go!