Saturday’s Roundup

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October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and here at WORDsearch we hope you know how much we appreciate you and the work you do for the kingdom. We admire the divine call on the lives of pastors and the sacrifices they make for others every day. We know how busy you are, so in case you missed any of our emails or releases, here’s what’s been happening at WORDsearch this week.

Treasures from Isaiah and the Mountains of the Bible

Many of you have heard us talking about Dr. Rod Mattoon, and that’s for good reason. Mattoon is one of our bestselling authors, with his commentary set, Treasures from the Scriptures, being used every day by pastors, teachers, and Bible students. So you could see why we are excited that this week we released two new volumes in the series. Treasures from Isaiah, Volume 1 covers the first 24 chapters of this major prophet. It’s full of outlines, illustrations, applications, and alliteration, all easy to apply to sermons and lessons. Treasures from Bible Mountains is a little different. It teaches what can be learned from the 14 famous mountains of the Bible lands. Each chapter examines one of these locations, all rich in Bible history and spiritual significance. Don’t worry, it is not just a geography lesson, it is an inspiring experience in human behavior and Christian living.

Appreciating Our Pastors

Like we mentioned above, October is Pastor Appreciation Month, so in a spirit of gratitude we set up a special pastor appreciation page with excellent tools that will benefit pastors and their ministries. Even if you aren’t officially a pastor, we know most of you probably should or could be! All serious students of God’s Word are ministers to others, and we appreciate your drive and commitment to study God’s Word. Feel free to participate in our Pastor Appreciation Sale, the page even includes some free resources, so don’t miss out.

Last Minute Reminders

The Scroggie Library sale ends Oct. 20. 

Butler Sermon Starter Set is on sale until Oct. 23.

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed This Week from WORDsearch

What can I, you, we all do? Much in every way, according to all God has blessed each one of us to have. It’s not that we can’t, it’s whether we will. – New Guest Post: What Can I Do?

6 Tips for Highlighting in WORDsearch – New Quick Tip

Don’t forget to stop and say hi on social media, we love to hear from you! Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to thank your pastor if you see them this Sunday!

Free Friday! Studies on Saving Faith

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Happy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $4.95, is Studies on Saving Faith by A.W. Pink. Click here to download.

It is in no captious spirit that we write, seeking to make men offenders for a word. It is not that we are looking for perfection, and complain because we cannot find it; nor that we criticize others because they are not doing things as we think they should be done. No; no, it is a matter far more serious than that. The “evangelism” of the day is not only superficial to the last degree, but it is radically defective. It is utterly lacking a foundation on which to base an appeal for sinners to come to Christ. There is not only a lamentable lack of proportion (the mercy of God being made far more prominent than His holiness, His love than His wrath), but there is a fatal omission of that which God has given for the purpose of imparting a knowledge of sin. There is not only a reprehensible introducing of “bright singing,” humorous witticisms and entertaining anecdotes, but there is a studied omission of the dark background upon which alone the Gospel can effectually shine forth.

In Studies on Saving Faith Pink lays bare the danger in focusing too much on God’s love and mercy, where the only end in mind is to escape hell and not to have a radical change of heart. A believer who is truly repentant will long to turn away from sin and idols, abhor their rebellious nature and in doing so be made into a new creation.

Arthur Walkington Pink was born in Nottingham, England on April 1, 1886 and became a Christian in 1908, at the age of 22. Desiring to grow in knowledge of the Bible, Pink immigrated to the United States in 1910 to study at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He left the Institute after two months and pastored a church in Silverton, Colorado. He becoming an traveling Bible teacher in 1919 and had short term pastorates in California, Kentucky and South Carolina.

From 1925 to 1928 he served in Australia and then he returned to England, and finally to the United States the following year. In 1932 he started a monthly magazine entitled Studies in the Scriptures which circulated among English-speaking Christians worldwide, though only to a relatively small circulation list of around 1,000. In 1934 Pink returned to England, and within a few years turned his Christian service to writing books and pamphlets.

Mr. Pink’s view of the Scriptures, of doctrine, and of Christian practice was not the view of the twentieth century, nor even of many of his contemporary Evangelicals. Few men have traveled so widely and yet remained so uninfluenced by prevailing opinions and accepted customs. When Puritan and reformed books were generally disregarded by the Church as a whole, he advanced the majority of their principles with untiring zeal. Events have justified his outlook. Two World Wars have substantiated his view on human depravity; the progressive decline of his nation (Britain) was to him the inevitable consequence of the prevalence of a gospel which is able neither to wound nor heal. Familiar with the whole range of revelation, Mr. Pink was rarely sidetracked from the great themes of Scripture: grace,justification, and sanctification. He was, in some ways, a Puritan born out of time.

In 1940 Pink took up residence on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland and lived a very isolated life. Pink died in Stornoway, Scotland on July 15, 1952. The cause of death was anemia. After Pink’s death, his works were republished by a number of publishing houses, among them, Banner of Truth Trust, Baker Book House, Christian Focus Publications, Moody Press, Truth for Today, and reached a much wider audience as a result. Biographer Iain Murray observes of Pink, “the widespread circulation of his writings after his death made him one of the most influential evangelical authors in the second half of the twentieth century.” His writing sparked a revival of expository preaching and focused readers’ hearts on biblical living. Yet, even today, Pink is left out of most biographical dictionaries and overlooked in many religious histories.

After you have read the book, we would love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page.

Have you read a book that’s inspired you lately? Let us know in the comments below!

Guest Post – What Can I Do?

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“What can I do?”  It’s a question that’s often raised, either in sincere inquiry or more as a statement of inability. It’s not a lack of ability that usually keeps one from being involved as much as it is a lack of desire. There is no one specific ability or talent that God wants in service to Him, as the talents He has blessed us all with, whatever they may be, all have a place of service in His kingdom. To the congregation in Corinth that exalted certain gifts above others, Paul reminded them of everyone’s importance when he wrote, “But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired” (1 Cor.12:18). Whether those abilities need maturing, have changed, or diminished with the passing of time, they still are valuable to God and His kingdom and they still can be used to His honor and glory.

So what can we do? Well, for starters, we all can PRAY! Can you think of anything more relevant, more powerful, than approaching the throne of God to seek His help and presence? There is no one greater than our Creator and Sustainer, nothing more significant than petitioning the Father through the Son for our needs, for guidance and direction, for His will to be done.  Paul knew what a source of strength prayer was, as he asked of the Ephesian Christians to be “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).

We all can SPEAK WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT! There are times when all of us need to hear a friendly voice, when we need a sympathetic ear.  What help it is to hear from someone who can understand what we’re going through, who can offer support and love, to help whatever we are dealing with be a little easier to bear. With as many people having cell phones in use in so many different ways, surely we can use them for the glory of God and to build up the body of Christ! And while there’s no substitute for the sound of the human voice, text messages, emails, cards, and other communications to let people know we care and are there for them can be greatly appreciated and helpful, too. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11).

We all can SPEND TIME IN THE WORD OF GOD! We might find fewer problems in life and more solutions to problems if the spiritual was front and center in our existence. God’s Word goes with us, from being a babe in Christ to maturing in the faith. It addresses our needs from youth through old age. It deals with being single and married, having children and grandchildren, being employed or employing others. It covers every area of life and how to let Christ mold our conduct so we are always in His will. We will find a better quality of life if the Word is in us, and better advice to help others as well. “I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (Psa. 119:15-16).

What can I, you, we all do? Much in every way, according to all God has blessed each one of us to have. It’s not that we can’t, it’s whether we will. And if we will, then what a difference we can make for others, for ourselves, for the world in which we live.  What will you do today for the glory of God, for the work of His kingdom, for the sake of others? “Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please Godas you are doingdo so even more” (1 Thess. 4:1).

rjohnson colorRobert Johnson is a minister in Longview, Texas, where he has been a preacher for over 40 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Biblical Languages, and a Masters is in Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma. He loves sharing the gospel with others and ministering to people’s needs.

Saturday’s Roundup

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In case you missed any of our emails or releases, here’s what’s been happening at WORDsearch this week.

An Underlying Theme of Redemption

I do not believe that we have to make a choice between the critical and the devotional study of the Gospels, but that the critical should be pursued devotionally, and the devotional, critically.- Scroggie

William Graham Scroggie is highly regarded when it comes to Bible study. Scholars, preachers, and Bible students alike respect his work, and he is often quoted and cited in other works of Bible scholarship. He attended Spurgeon’s Pastor’s College, and was later forced to leave his first two ministries due to his opposition to liberalism. He drew large audiences with his scholarly, yet practical exposition of the Scripture. And now, WORDsearch has just released three of his most influential works as The Scroggie Library.

Scroggie teaches us to study the Bible synthetically (putting things together) and analytically (taking things apart). He shows us how to drill down to specifics in study and how to see the Bible as a whole, where the underlying theme of all Scripture is Redemption. Each volume is filled with hundreds of charts, making it easy to visualize the teachings and organization of Scripture. This is even more powerful in WORDsearch because these charts have many Scriptural references that are hotlinks to Bible texts. Just mouse-over a link and the text will pop up for easy reference. Warren Wiersbe calls this work “indispensable.”

“Why Didn’t I See That Before?” – What You’ll Be Saying When You Read John Butler’s New Volumes

John G. Butler has single-handedly authored over 65 volumes of alliterated sermons, lessons, and study helps over the last 23 years. His half-century of ministry and lifetime of Bible study have made him a wise theologian with much to offer anyone in ministry. You’ll find that he often takes perplexing passages of Scripture and helps us see them in new ways that make perfect sense.

And now, WORDsearch has just released what many consider to be his best work yet. Butler’s Sermon Starters are far more than just starters. Each concentrates on a single Bible verse and contains an outline of 4 to 6 crisply alliterated sermon (or lesson) points as only John Butler can do. This man has a gift for alliteration. f you preach or teach, you’d agree this alone would be worth the price. But Butler always delivers more than expected. With each alliterated point, Butler offers us a paragraph or two of concentrated material. These are not full-blown sermons, but they are carefully written, containing only the distilled material you will actually use. As you read them, you’ll be encouraged to add your own illustrations, personal elements, and applications. These sermons are also Scripture synced.

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed This Week from WORDsearch

Let your mind focus on what God has in store for the days ahead. – Guest Post: Think on These Things

Quick Tips – Narrow Your Search with Topic Explorer

The Topic Explorer in WORDsearch is a powerful tool that searches your entire library for a single subject in seconds. Instead of searching every word of every book for your search term, the Topic Explorer narrows your search by looking only at the the titles of articles and chapters that include or are related to your search term. Imagine searching the subject indexes of all of your books in an instant, and you’ll have imagined the Topic Explorer.

Let’s say we want to teach a lesson or create a sermon on the broad topic of “love.” First, we’ll click on the Topic Explorer icon to open the window.

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There are two different types of searches we can do with the Topic Explorer. The first and fastest type, “At beginning of topic,” looks only at the first word in our subject indices for our search term. The second and more thorough type, “Anywhere in topic,” searches every word in our subject indices for our search term.

Let’s look at how to get the shorter list first. To do this, we’ll follow these steps:

  1. Type “love” in the Search for: bar at the top of the Topic Explorer window
  2. Choose “At the beginning of topic” from the Find topic text drop down option
  3. Select a collection of books to search or choose to search all books
  4. Click the search button

As expected, all of our results start with the word “love,” because we chose to find only the index entries that begin with the word “love.”

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For the second type of search we can do, we follow the same instructions as above, but choose “Anywhere in topic” in step two, we’ll see a longer list of results. For example, our search results now include “Beloved Disciple,” “Brotherly Love,” “Family of Love,” and more. This is because we chose to find index entries that include the word “love” anywhere within them.

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When we click on the plus sign next to one of our search results, for example, the “Beloved Disciple”, we’re shown the book that includes the topic (sometimes there is more than one). From there, we can click on the entry in the book to read what the book says. If we want to continue reading a particular entry in a new window,we can click on the button “Open in new window”.

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The Topic Explorer defaults to sorting our results by Topic alphabetically, but we can also sort our results alphabetically by book title or book category (i.e., location). Another helpful feature within the Topic Explorer is the red level button. When we click this button and then expand a topic, book, or category, every sub-folder underneath that topic, book, or category will also be expanded, so we don’t have to keep clicking through the levels to get to our results.

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The Topic Explorer is one of our favorite features of WORDsearch, because it makes finding relevant material so easy and so efficient.

Have you made an exciting or surprising discovery because of the Topic Explorer tool lately? We’d love to hear about it in our comments below!

The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit – Syncing Sermons

pastor/teacher's toolkit, wordsearch bible, sermonsSometimes, when creating a sermon, writer’s block hits, or the specific point you want to make seems to elude you, or you have trouble outlining your sermon. Have you ever wished you could see the opinion of another pastor on the topic you’re studying to help nudge you over the block?

WORDsearch publishes sermons from prominent preachers, and reading them can give you training from some of the best preachers in the world, past and present. Recently, we updated our published sermons to make them sync with Scripture. This helps you more quickly navigate to sermon content based on the Scripture you’re analyzing. This helps you see how the preacher divided up Scripture, and how they preached on that verse.

Let’s say I have my HCSB and Bible Knowledge Commentary opened and synced to Mark 6, where Jesus is rejected in Nazareth. In my commentary, I get background information about how far Jesus traveled to get to His hometown and who was with Him.  In verse 2 where the people ask, “What is this wisdom given to Him, and how are these miracles performed by His hands?” the BKC explains how their tone was disparaging and that they were offended. And that’s when writer’s block hits. How do I write a sermon about this?

Leaving my Bible and BKC open, I open up Wells of Living Water, a collection of sermons by Robert E. Neighbor. It immediately opens to Mark 6, because it’s syncing with my opened Bible. Here I find a sermon titled “How Unbelief Hindered Christ.” There are multiple parts of this sermon, with topics that could easily be split into a sermon series. Some of them include “Holding Jesus of Nazareth Down to a Human Genealogy,” “Making it Impossible for Christ to Do Mighty Works,” and “Marveling at Their Unbelief.” It also provides an illustration Neighbor personally used to help bring the point across.

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I can easily open up another set of sermons and navigate to Mark 6 to see if it contains any messages on that verse. Also, as I progress through Mark 6, the sermon follows along with anything it says about the verse I’m clicking on.

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Reading Neighbor’s words reinvigorates my enthusiasm for the text and fills me with fresh ideas on how to present it.  I decide I like the focus on the unbelief in these verses and how Jesus was not able to do any miracles in His hometown because they didn’t believe in Him. I craft my outline, add my ownl illustration of unbelief, and use WORDsearch to find other stories of how active faith allowed Jesus to do amazing things.

Scripture-synced sermons allows you to find great ideas by some of history’s finest preachers with the click of a button. As a result, your sermon prep time is greatly reduced. This is an excellent way to find fresh inspiration from renowned preachers and their sermons. And syncing makes it easier than ever to find just the material you’re looking for.

If you own any of these sermons sets already, simply go to Help, Check for Book Updates, then choose the sermons you want to update. This added functionality is free!

For more tips, don’t miss out on the other posts in the Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit series, Bible Dictionaries and Bible Surveys.