Quick Tip – History Window

quick_tips_fbEver read something while you are working in WORDsearch that strikes you, but you close the window and forget what book you were reading or where you were? Luckily, WORDsearch has a history window to help you quickly navigate back to where you were, including the location in the book.

Here’s a (very) quick, but helpful, tip on how to view your history and get back to your reading and studying.

To view this window, click its entry in the Tools menu.

historymenuThe history window will open, showing you the date, book, and location. It will open like a book would, so if you have books open when you open the history window, they will stay open and the history window will open alongside them.

historywindow

To navigate to any entry in the history list, either double-click it or select it and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

To change the sort order in the history window, click on any of the column headings. In the picture above they are outlined in red. The column controlling the sort order will have an arrow next to it.

There you have it! Now you don’t have to worry if you forget what book you were in, and you have an easy way to get back to where you were.

Have you ever used the history window? Share with us in the comments below?

The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit – Cross-Reference Explorer

toolkit, cross-ref explorer

One of the best ways to interpret Scripture is by using Scripture, or in other words, using cross-references. In the Bible there are around 340,000 cross-references (OpenBible.info) that can help you explore the unity and common themes between the Old and New Testaments. On top of biblical cross-referencing, WORDsearch can help you explore your entire library to find mentions of the verse you are looking for to help you build out a sermon or lesson.

As we saw with the last Quick Tip, one of the most time-saving features of WORDsearch is the Cross-Reference Explorer. The Cross-Reference Explorer is a powerful and easy tool to find critical notes, historical and cultural information, and insights from others on God’s Word.

Let’s take a deeper look into how to use Cross-Reference Explorer when creating a sermon or lesson.

Let’s say we are creating a sermon on the baptism of Jesus, what it meant, and where it is alluded to in the Old Testament.

If you open a Bible open to Matthew 3:13-17, verse 16 states, “This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!” we can easily see the biblical cross-references by clicking on the little number 4 in brackets. This means there are four other Scripture references related to the verse. From this, we see that John 12:28 and Luke 9:35 also mention Jesus’ baptism, showing us that it must be significant.

We also get two Old Testament references with Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1.

cross reference explorer

Now that we have our cross-reference verses, we can see what the other books in our library have to say about them. Let’s say we want to know more about the cross-reference of Isaiah 42:1 first.

Open the Cross-Reference Explorer and type in Isaiah 42:1.

cross-ref_2

Here we see many references to the verse, but we’re interested in the ones that specifically relate to Matthew 3:17. After reading a few entries, we can go back and type in Matthew 3:17 in the search bar to go back to our original verse.

Here are just a few things we can learn:

  • In the Bible Background Commentary, we learn how Matthew writes his gospel this way so that his readers would see allusions “not only to Psalm 2:7,” which we saw earlier as a cross-reference, but “also to the suffering servant of Isaiah 42:1-4.”
  • Isaiah 42:1, we’re informed,  is a fulfilled Messianic prophecy of the Messiah being filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • Matthew Henry Concise explains that Jesus’ baptism shows the full Trinity at work — Jesus the man, the Holy Spirit descending, and God the Father speaking.
  • In Wells of Living Water from a sermon titled the “Preaching and Baptism of John”, we discover an application of how to apply this message to the audience personally. How important is baptism to us?
  • Instead of searching through all the topics in my Sermon Help Illustration books, using the Cross-Reference Explorer, we can find two illustrations mentioning Matthew 3:17 in 6,000 Plus Illustrations for Communicating Biblical Truths, one bringing to light the importance of Fathers telling their children, “You’re mine,” to help them feel secure.

With all of this information, I can structure my sermon around how the Old Testament points to Christ, the importance of His baptism, and the importance of baptism for us. By understanding the Old Testament allusions to this event, we gain a much richer knowledge of the New Testament. Using the Cross-Reference Explorer, you can craft a much fuller and deeper sermon.

What is your favorite part of using Cross-Reference Explorer? Share with us in the comments below!

Guest Post – Did You Know that Selfie Is in the Bible?

2 timothy

Source: pinterest

Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Pictures and portraits of people have been around throughout history. In time, famous artists started focusing on themselves, painting self-portraits. Rembrant, Van Gogh, de Goya, Renoir and Rockwell – all created selfies long before “selfie” was a trendy word.

What is a selfie? A selfie is a picture of a person, taken by that person. Whether it be the portraits of long ago or the selfies of today, there is, and has been, a narcissistic obsession and love affair with self that can not be denied due to the sheer volume of examples that exist today.

In 2 Timothy 3:2-5 (HCSB), part of the text warns about “self-loving.”

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.

“Lovers of self” is a translation of the Greek word φίλαυτος philautos. Some of the different bible versions translate φίλαυτος philautos as the following:

2 Timothy 3:2 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible
self-loving,

2 Timothy 3:2 (NIV) New International Version
lovers of themselves,

2 Timothy 3:2 (AMP) Amplified Bible
lovers of self

2 Timothy 3:2 (KJV) King James Version
lovers of their own selves,

2 Timothy 3:2 (ESV) English Standard Version
be lovers of self,

2 Timothy 3:2 (ISV) International Standard Version
lovers of themselves,

As you can see, the above translations are in agreement as to how the word φίλαυτος philautos should be translated in the text.

In WORDsearch, the Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary states:

5204. φίλαυτος philautos adj

Self-centered, selfish.

Philautos is a compound of the Greek words phileō (5205), “to love” or “to have affection for,” and autos (840), “self.”
Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “5204. φίλαυτος.”

Could you imagine Paul just after receiving 40 lashes minus 1 using a mirror to show his back so he could take a selfie of lash marks to show people what he had done for the Kingdom?

Jesus taught just the opposite of these things. He taught us not to promote ourselves. He taught us that our right hand should not even know what our left hand is doing when we were giving. He did not teach us to take a selfie while putting money in the collection plate. He taught us that when we pray, to go into our room, close the door, and pray to our Father in secret.

When one honestly considers the other words used in this warning in 2 Timothy, and when one considers the context of the other verses surrounding this warning, then we can conclude that self-loving is not a good thing. We were bought for a price, and all that we say and do as followers of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) reflects on Him and His Name. Let’s remember that as we go through life, pushing away selfish thoughts and focusing on Jesus.

Bill Bannister writes for Even If…Ministries. You can read more here.

iOS 8 App Update Fix

ios_updateIf you recently updated your iOS device to iOS 8, you might have noticed an issue with the WORDsearch app crashing when you try to log-in to sync your library.
We are currently working on a fix so that this won’t happen in the future, but if you have already updated and are experiencing this issue, there is a one time fix. To fix this, log out of your account and then log back in prior to doing an initial sync after upgrading to iOS 8.
This should stop the freezing/crashing and get the app working and synced again. Thanks so much for your patience!

B&H to Publish Lost Spurgeon Sermons with Critical Review

spurgeon, wordsearch, b&h, publishing, sermons

By Bob Smietana

NASHVILLE, Tenn:

Nineteenth century legendary London pastor Charles Spurgeon was a publishing and preaching juggernaut.

He preached to more than 10 million people, baptized more than 14,000 converts, and sold more than 50 million copies of his sermons. Spurgeon’s fans nicknamed him “the Prince of Preachers” and flocked to hear him.

All told, more than 3,500 Spurgeon sermons were eventually published, but none date from his early ministry, said Spurgeon scholar Christian George.

That will change next year.

Nashville-based B&H Publishing will release “The Lost Sermons of Charles Spurgeon,” a multi-volume edition of early Spurgeon sermons and sermon outlines.

spurgeon, wordsearch bible

George and Baird look over the sermons.

“I have been involved in Christian publishing for over twenty years,” said Jim Baird, publisher of B&H Academic. “A project like this comes to you once in your lifetime if you are fortunate.”

The collection of over 400 sermons and outlines dates from Spurgeon’s days as a young pastor outside of Cambridge. The son of a minister, Spurgeon came to faith in 1850 during a service at a Primitive Methodist Church. That encounter with God set him on a path to become one of the most prolific preachers in the English language.

“It is sometimes overlooked that Charles Spurgeon published more words in the English language than any other Christian in history,” said George, curator of the Spurgeon library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.

spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon, known as the “prince of preachers.”

Spurgeon began preaching not long after his conversion. At 17, he became pastor of a Baptist church in Waterbeach, not far from Cambridge. He kept his sermon outlines – which he called “skeletons” – along with some full-text sermons in a series of handwritten journals.

The first of the 13 newly-discovered journals is dated October 1849, a few months before Spurgeon’s conversion. The last is dated from 1854, right before he became pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London. The journals reveal how Spurgeon developed his theology as well as his skill in preaching.

“They give us a rare and remarkable glimpse into Spurgeon’s pre-London life and ministry,” George said.

Some of the journals show Spurgeon’s spiritual struggles. Many of the sermons end with simple and sometimes blunt prayers.

“Lord, revive my stupid soul,” Spurgeon wrote after finishing one sermon. Another ended with, “Oh my God. Do help. For Jesus’ sake.”

After becoming a pastor in London, Spurgeon had planned to publish those early sermons. But that never came to pass. They were stored in the archives of Spurgeon’s College in London, and forgotten.

spurgeon, journal

A drawing.

George discovered the journals three years ago, while doing research at the college. A librarian there brought him a stack of Spurgeon’s journals to look through.

“Only when I began flipping through their pages did I realize the significance,” he said. “These were the lost sermons Spurgeon tried so long ago to publish.”

The multi-volume set from B&H Academic will include sermons from those journals, along with critical commentary on them from George. It will be the first critical edition of Spurgeon’s work ever to be published, according to George.

Most other works about Spurgeon either reprint his sermons without analysis, or only focus on his “celebrity-like reputation, uncanny oratorical abilities, and worldwide influence,” said George. That leaves many people with a one-dimensional view of the great preacher.

“But there is a growing interest in Spurgeon scholarship in recovering his humanity – his inconsistencies, his weaknesses, his doubts, struggles, and sufferings,” he said. “In this way, we discover a Spurgeon who does not arrive on the theological landscape of nineteenth-century Britain in perfect, polished form, but instead a preacher in progress whose exegesis, rhetorical tendencies, and homiletic method evolve over the first five years of his preaching ministry.”

journals, spurgeon, sermons

The stack of journals.

Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Seminary, said he is “proud to support Dr. George and to partner with B&H and LifeWay Christian Resources in this historic undertaking. The Christian tradition as a whole will prove the true beneficiary of this monumental work.”

LifeWay president and CEO Thom Rainer said he is excited to make the sermons available to pastors and scholars alike. “This project is the most recent example of the tremendous impact B&H is having on evangelical publishing. As we constantly endeavor to faithfully serve the church, we believe the Lord will bless our efforts,” Rainer said.

spurgeon

An open page of the journals.

George hopes this new edition of early Spurgeon sermons will lead to more scholarly interest in the great preacher. Pastors, he said, will also benefit from these early sermons.

“ He models for us an unwavering commitment to Christ-centered preaching, fervent prayer and discipleship, local and world evangelism, and incarnational urban ministries,” George said.

Baird said the new books will be published next year. Digital versions will be available exclusively through WORDsearch.

Bob Smietana is senior writer for Facts & Trends magazine. 

4th of July Sale – 40 Books Marked Down to $4 Each

4thjuly, independence day, sale, books, americaHappy Independence Day Eve! Since our Customer Service Reps will be enjoying the holiday with family and friends, we’ve put together a special 4th of July Sale, good all the way through July 14.  For this sale, we’ve hand-picked 40 excellent tools for your digital library and priced them at just $4 each. You’ll find volumes normally priced at $27.95, $24.95, $19.95, $14.95, and $12.95, but, to celebrate the holiday, they’re all just $4 each. Click here to browse this sale. Downloading new content is fast and easy, and you can be using it within minutes. If you prefer ordering by phone, call 1-800-888-9898. Mention special offer 8261.

You’ll find lots of tools for preaching and teaching. We’ve selected a wide range of volumes from our categories of: Commentaries, Sermon Helps, Theology, Homiletics, Study Notes, Word Studies, Dictionaries & Encyclopedias, Sermon Illustrations, Handbooks, Outlines, Evangelism, and more! Click here to browse this 4th of July Sale now.

R.C. SPROUL 6-Vol. Commentary – Sale ends Monday

This is the commentary many have been waiting for. Respected theologian, R.C. Sproul, presents the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary. This is a teaching and preaching commentary, as all included material has been preached by Dr. Sproul from his pulpit at the St. Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, FL. These 6 volumes cover the books of Matthew, Mark, John, Acts, Romans, and 1-2 Peter. Purchased in hardcover, these 6 books sell for $210.95, but, through July 7, this bundle is on sale for only $49.95. Click here for more details or to download today. Or, call 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8261.

Vance Havner Bundle – Lowest Price Ever
Here’s a highly-collectible library of preaching and teaching helps by the great preacher Vance Havner. Through July 7, our Vance Havner Bundle, a 25 volume, hard-to-find collection is on sale for70% off. This includes 8 sermon books (with over 100 Havner sermons), 5 devotionals, 5 books on Christian Living, and 7 additional Havner volumes on a host of biblical topics. For more details and a complete listing of the works included, click here. Or, if you prefer ordering by phone, call 1-800-888-9898. Mention special offer 8261. This sale ends on Monday.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these specials before they expire. As always, I guarantee you’ll be delighted or I’ll be happy to refund your purchase.

In His Service,

Jim Baird