My Favorite Study Tool…WORDsearch by Dr. Rod Mattoon

index~~element123I have been asked to write about how I use WORDsearch in my message preparations and
studies. 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, I am preaching through the book of Job right now and wanted 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. The Naves Topic book, Thompson Chain Reference, and Dake’s Topics
are very helpful. They would be a good addition to your library. If I need outline ideas, I search in
my outline books.
B. Illustrations
The “Topics” button also helps me to search for illustrations on a certain topic. WS books
that are about illustrations and quotes are very helpful. I highly recommend that you get every
sermon illustration book you can get through WS. 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. I like Wuest Word Studies, Vines Dictionary, Vincent Word Studies,
BDAG, Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English lexicon, and AMG Complete Word Study Dictionary.
These books are very helpful. 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. John
MacArthur does a great job on Greek word studies and so does Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).
2. The “Cross-Ref” button.
I like to preach verse-by-verse through books of the Bible. 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 which presently has 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 have consistently found good material and exposition from the Pulpit Commentary, the
Biblical Illustrator, John Butler’s books, John Phillips, Barnes Notes, John MacArthur, the Bible
Exposition Commentary by Wiersbe, and the Bible Knowledge Commentary. 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.

Check out a special sale on the books recommended in this post here.

Dr. Rod Mattoon was saved at the age of 15 in August of 1971 on a mission trip to Camp of the Woods near Dryden, Ontario, Canada. On the same night that he was saved, Mattoon dedicated his life to the ministry of the word of God.

He became active in his home church, Calvary Baptist, in Normal, Illinois, where he was trained in aspects of the ministry by Dr. Ron Allen, Dr. Arno Weniger Jr., and Dr. Greg McLaughlin. Dr. Mattoon’s first message was preached at the age of 16 on April 7th, 1972, on “The Tick of Time” from 2 Corinthians 6:2.

From 1973-1977, he attended Hyles-Anderson College. It was there that he met his wife Linda. They were married in 1977 and have since had seven wonderful kids. Mattoon graduated with honors from college that same year and went on to earn his doctor of ministry degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in Dothan, Alabama.

In Texas, Mattoon served as an assistant pastor in two churches and took his first senior pastorate at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Jacksonville. He has been the pastor of Lincoln Land Baptist Church in Springfield, Illinois since 1991. The emphasis of his ministry at Lincoln Land has been evangelistic, expository Bible preaching. He is the author of the Treasures from the Scriptures books that can be found on WORDsearch here. 


  1. Pastor: Ernesto Bermudez says

    I love Mr. Mattoon, love his preaching, books and pray for him, hes a man of God.

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