Let me say up front that I use WORDsearch almost every single day because I study every day. There are two main features that help me immensely.
1. The Topics button
A. Subject Research
This tool enables me to do in-depth studies on any particular subject I want to research. For example, if I am preaching through the book of Job and want to find material on “trials.” By finding verses and information about “trials,” I can then form an outline on this particular subject or incorporate the principles into my message.
If I need verses about “trials,” I search in my books that are topic-index books. If I need outline ideas, I search in my outline books.
The “Topics” button also helps me to search for illustrations on a certain topic. WORDsearch books that are about illustrations and quotes are very helpful. I highly recommend that you get every sermon illustration book you can get through WORDsearch. They are worth their weight in gold.
C. Word Studies
If I want to find research on a Greek or Hebrew word, I type that word into the blank and search in my language books. Word studies in the Greek or Hebrew are so important because they reveal great truths about words that are lost in the translation from Hebrew or Greek into English. Wonderful treasures of the Bible are hidden in the study of Greek and Hebrew words.
Book recommendations for word studies: Wuest Word Studies, Vine’s Dictionary, Vincent’s Word Studies, BDAG, Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon, AMG Complete Word Study Dictionary, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, and Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).
2. The Cross-Ref button
I like to preach verse-by-verse through books of the Bible. Let’s say this week I am preparing messages on Job 13:20-28. To find material on this portion of Scripture, I type in Job 13:20 in the box. I can search all of my books in my WORDsearch library of 4373 volumes. Everything in my library that has material on Job 13:20-28 will pop up. What a blessing and a time-saver!
If I want to shorten the search, I can make a list of my favorite books or search only in my Bible commentaries. I also like to search my own books for research that I have done in the past. I like to use the Cross-Ref button to also search for illustrations on the passage I am researching. Type in the reference and search in your sermon illustration books. Very helpful.
I hope some of these ideas will be helpful to you and that you will learn to get the fullest benefit of using the WORDsearch software.
-Dr. Rod Mattoon is the author of the Treasures from the Scriptures books that can be found on WORDsearch here.