This summer, I’m teaching the men in my Wednesday morning Men’s small group how to prepare and give a short talk from the Bible (sometimes called "A Devotion"). In my experience, the best talks are simply the "overflow" from what God is doing in our own hearts and lives.
One of the questions that came up today was, "How do I search for particular words or phrases in the Bible?" I thought I’d answer the guys online so others might benefit too.
One of my favorite Bible study tools is an "Online Bible Search" (a concordance in the electronic age). Here’s how you can quickly "jump-start" your initial studies:
- Go to our church website here
- Type in a search word, like "joy"
- Look at the BibleGateway.com’s results page
Let me give you an example from my studies last week for the message "Knowing Joy" (1 John 1:1-5). I wanted to know every time the word "joy" appeared with the word "fill" or "full". Here’s how you could find this:
Go to BibleGateway.com
- Click on the Keyword Search
- Search for "full joy", checking "Match ALL words." If you used the NKJV, you would receive these 8 matches
- Search for "fill joy", checking "Match ALL words." If you used the NKJV, you would receive these 5 matches
- Take notes on what you find
I have included a scanned copy of the notes I took in my message journal. You can click on the picture to see it full-sized.
P.S. If you are interested, here is a scanned copy of the short Bible talk (or "devotion") that I gave this morning. It’s also copied from the pages of my message journal.