Bible Study Lesson 1

I am beginning a series on how to use the online Blue Letter Bible (BLB) for study. It is one of the most powerful of the free study tools that I have found.

The Blue Letter Bible now has over 4,000,000 links onsite to over 165,000 pages of concordances, lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, images, and Bible versions! Our prayer is that you will enjoy the site, in Jesus’ name! (taken from their site 2/5/09)

The first thing to do, then, is to get your copy. You do not have to download it. It is always online. Just add it to your “Favorites” on your browser, or set a link on your desktop.

The link above will take you to the homepage of the BLB.

The first thing to do is to set your preferred translation.

Look on the right-hand column and find the third blue bar from the top. It is labeled “Featured Items.” Under that, the first item is My BLB with a hotlink that says “My Preferred Bible.” Click on that and you will be taken to a new section.

Look in the middle column lableled My BLB Preferences. Click on the dropdown arrow. The available translations are listed. Set yours.

Notice that even a Spanish version is available. If you have an Hispanic friend, let them know about this. Invite them to join in this study.

You should still see three columns. On the left is a blue column with many links for various things that you should become familiar with. Many of those links open a window that explains part of how the BLB works. Others show the feature-rich aspects of this study tool. You can always return to the home page by clicking on the Bible logo at the top of the left column.

Explore this column.

If you take the time to go exploring, you will have done plenty for the day’s lesson. You will probably get side-tracked with some of the tools they make available. That’s okay.

We will come back to this to learn how to use some of the various and exciting tools of the BLB.

How Expensive is Cheap?

In a previous post, I wrote about how the concept of getting things for free has begun to warp our minds. I related it specifically to financially supporting the ministry that spiritually supports you.

But, there are things in our physical life that are connected with this concept also. The idea of free so permeates our thinking, that we continually look for the things that are so listed. It has become a major ploy of marketers to get our attention. Hardly anything is offered without something FREE being attached.

Moving up the ladder of expense, the next step is CHEAP.

Another thing that most of us have learned about CHEAP is that the price reflects the quality. Yet, we continue to buy cheap.

We shop for lowest price. And often find ourselves disappointed at some level with our decision.

This was a common experience when I was in the home repair business, both as a contractor and as a materials salesman. Homeowners would call me for a “free estimate” for a job. They were always looking for the “best price.” More than once, I was called back to repair what was not done by the cheaper guy.

But, we have allowed “cheap”to determine our stewardship–as was mentioned in the previous blog.

Is buying the “cheapest” a proper stewardship? Is it the way to properly use the resouces God has blessed us with? Is “saving money” the equivalent of “good stewardship?”

This ‘cheapness’ has entered into the way we care for our body. And now we find ourselves in trouble.

We’ve bought cheap food. And we got what we paid for. Now we find that the cheap food is also addictive. And we are hooked.

We are eating things that do not make the temple glorious, so we are not glorifying God with our body. (1 Corinthians 6:20–for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. )

We find ourselves overweight, low on energy, battling depression, angry, confused and then ask God for healing. All the while, we cannot quit our habits.

Have you ever bought cheap gas? Ever had bad gas? The car does not run well, does it? So, we buy an additive. Works for awhile; but then something else begins to go wrong. We hear of a new product that will fix the symptoms we have in the car; so we buy the new product. It works for a while.

The same thing happens with our body. Feed it poorly, and it will run poorly. Run out and buy the latest supplement, and you are repaired for awhile. But, then something else begins to show up and we need a new repair (fix).

We have gotten to this place because of our ‘cheap’ mentality.

Examine yourself to see if this might not be true for you. It is for me.