Isaiah 44:12 (ESV)
The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint.
Over the years I have spent hours and hours woodworking, During that time I’ve come to realize how much woodworking relates to our walk with God. I’m not alone.
Over a span of 10 days I am going to share 10 ways I’ve discovered that woodworking goes along with our spiritual life. Today I am sharing the 2nd way I’ve discovered that woodworking affirms the spiritual life.
I began building things out of wood with my dad. I used mostly hand tools and then one Christmas my wife got me a tablesaw. (What do you know? I can cut a straight board!) Good tools save you time, keep you accurate, and make the experience more fun. For the workshop, I recommend beginning with a good table saw, a router, and an orbital sander (there’s no end to this list, by the way, there is always one more tool that you will need).
In the same way, you need good tools in the spiritual life. Good Bible study tools are a worthy investment that will help you understand the Bible better and pave the way for proper application. As far as priority, I recommend:
• A good study Bible. Be sure you study a translation, not a paraphrase. Some great examples are the New American Standard Version, the New Living Translation, the English Standard Version (the Kindle Version is currently free), and the New International Version (the 1984 edition).
• An exhaustive concordance. This tool allows you to look up and study any word in the Bible. These days, it’s easy to use a good computer program like Accordance (Mac) or Logos (PC), because these allow more complex searches. If you want a physical concordance, I recommend the NASB Exhaustive Concordance or NIV Exhaustive Concordance.
• A good atlas. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about Bible lands is that it has given me more understanding of Scripture than even Greek or Hebrew. I have listed my recommended atlases in another post.
There is no greater investment in your spiritual life and understanding of the Bible.
Dear Lord, help us to use the tools around us to study Your Word. Help us to understand what we study and apply it to our life. I the Name of Jesus, Amen.