A Strait Betwixt Two: Heaven and Earth

Devotional from Philippians 1

 

Heaven must smell like vanilla, he thought.

Grandfather lay in his hospital bed thinking of family and friends.  He knew they would miss him if he left for Heaven; but, oh, how he wanted to go.

Grandfather missed his dear wife of sixty years. Every time he caught the scent of vanilla he thought of her placing it behind her ears.  He wondered why she always smelled so when she passed through a room until he caught her doing it one morning.  Heaven must smell like vanilla, he thought.

“Grandpa, are you awake?”  It was one of his grandchildren come to visit.

“Yes, Jeremy.  I’m awake.  Just lying here thinking about your grandmother.  I sure do miss her.”

“I know, Grandpa. It must be hard without her around after so many years.  But you’ve got us to keep you busy.  Your breakfast is cold.  Did you not know it was here?  Let me get you something hot from the cafeteria.”

“No, Jeremy. I knew it was here.  I just didn’t feel like eating.”

“But you’ve got to eat so you can keep up your energy.  Please, Grandpa.  You’ve got to eat.”

“I know, Son. But I’ve got other things on my mind.”

“Grandpa, we love you.  Please get better.   We need you.  Dad is going crazy trying to keep up the business. Sarah and Joe need you to help with their first garden.  And I, well, I need you too.”

“I know, Jeremy.  I know.”

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Philippians 1:23-26

During a time of imprisonment in Rome, the apostle Paul revealed his desire to depart this earth and be with Jesus in Heaven.  His longing is often interpreted as his desire to no longer endure the sufferings that he bore.

However, I believe Paul had a deeper longing than merely escape.  His personal relationship with the Lord was only made stronger by the sufferings which he endured.

The Christ that Paul met on the road to Damascus had become his sole purpose for living.  Every breathing moment was lived intently to bring honor to Christ’s name.

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21

Knowing that others needed the same grace, mercy, and forgiveness that he had received kept Paul busily sharing the gospel.  The thought that anyone would die without the knowledge of Christ was unacceptable.  The world must know Jesus Christ and His resurrection power.

Just like Grandfather in our story, Apostle Paul lay in his cell desiring to go to Heaven.  He knew his family and friends would miss him.  But, more importantly, there were many whom he had never met who needed to hear of Christ.

Paul thought of the Philippians who had ministered to him in his time of need although they were experiencing poverty.  Suddenly he realized that his bondage in Rome might be a discouragement to them.

Epaphroditus was in Rome.  Whether he was in the same cell with Paul or just visiting, I do not know.  But I do know Paul dictated an important letter for Epaphroditus to pen down.

That letter sent to the Philippians expressed that Paul’s current imprisonment was only a display of Paul’s bond to Christ.  His bondage served as an encouragement to the brethren to speak boldly of Christ.

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Philippians 1:12-14

Was it Paul’s time to leave for Heaven?  Not yet.

Paul realized his purpose on this earth was not yet met.  Heaven would come, but now was not the time.  Souls needed to hear the gospel.

Cell doors were not a deterrent to the gospel message.  Being behind cell doors gave Paul time to pen letters which we can read today.  These letters are now part of the New Testament that you and I can read for ourselves.

Don't let what you perceive to be cell doors hinder your missionary efforts. (Photo from Pexels.)
Don’t let what you perceive to be cell doors hinder your missionary efforts.  (Photo from Pexels.)

Grandfather knew that his family needed him.  It gave him comfort to know that one day he would be in Heaven and see his lovely wife again.

But today, well, today was not his day to go.  Today was his day to get better.

©2018 by Peggy Clark


Questions to Consider:

Are you torn between two paths that loom in front of you?

Which path seems to more fully support God’s direction for your life?

What Scriptures support your decision to take one path over the other?

Uncovering Paul’s Secret to Strength

The Horse:  A Picture of Strength

I love to see horses galloping across a mountain ridge, muscles bulging, nostrils exhaling steam in the crisp air. What a picture of strength and power to anyone who views such a sight.

The horse is a symbol of strength and beauty.
The horse is a symbol of strength and beauty.

The Strengths We Lean Upon

Mankind has depended upon the strength of the horse to defeat his enemy in battle, but it is a strength upon which we are commanded not to depend.

The strength that we must depend upon can only come from the Source of All Strength who desires to bestow us with power that confounds the unbelieving onlooker and draws their attention to Almighty God.

We each have leaned upon our horses of money, family, friends, and societal status. Our experiences have taught us, however, that these horses will not sustain us.

The Horse of Religious Pride

The Bible tells us about a man named Paul who leaned upon his horse of religious pride. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and considered himself blameless concerning the law. Some might say he was a bully who used the law to hide his own weaknesses.

Paul’s intention was to destroy the followers of Jesus. Yet he was brought to his face in the dirt on a road to Damascus. The brilliance of God’s presence stripped him to the foundation of his religious beliefs. The walls of his resistance were broken down by a voice from heaven, “[I]t is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 9:5). Left blinded, Paul’s companions led him by the hand into Damascus where he was left on Straight Street. When the dust settled, three days had passed before he finally regained any sight.

“[I]t is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  Acts 9:5

The Horse of Self-Sufficiency

It was there on Straight Street where the Master Architect in Heaven began to reveal His plans for Paul’s life. Through the disciple, Ananias, God began laying a new foundation that would enable Paul to truly know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

Following God’s instructions, Ananias lay his hands upon Paul speaking words that opened the windows of Paul’s understanding. His life’s calling was revealed to him. He would be God’s witness to all men, experiencing great things “for Christ’s sake” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Sometimes our view is obstructed by our lack of understanding.
Sometimes our view is obstructed by our lack of understanding.

Paul’s experiences “for Christ’s sake” soon revealed a path that would take him through mental, physical, and emotional suffering. Having a weak body and contemptible speech, his horse of self-sufficiency toppled.

Seeking deliverance from his weaknesses, God’s words of wisdom came to him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The True Source of Strength Revealed

Humbled to submission, Paul realized that he could do nothing without the indwelling power of Christ. He became thankful for his weaknesses because those weaknesses revealed Christ’s strength at work through him.  In fact, his weaknesses became the tools that God used to make his ministry powerful.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

The Transformation That Must Take Place

What transformation must take place before we can truly become strong? With Paul, this transformation began with prayer, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).

God gave Paul a simple instruction, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”  Paul obeyed and was led to the city of Damascus, and there the cracks in his foundation were replaced with the solid foundation that enabled him to truly stand for Christ.

As Paul yielded to God’s plan, his life was transformed. He found that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. The horses that he had previously depended upon were laid aside.

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:35).

The Weakness That Drives Us to the True Source

Many are the stories that one could tell of those who “out of weakness were made strong” (Hebrews 11:34).  Weakness is the catapult that drives us to God’s presence. It is the horse that bucks us into the arms of God’s abounding grace that is given to us as we submit to its transforming power to conform us to the image of Christ. We learn to embrace this misunderstood friend as we lay ourselves prostrate before a holy God and wait for His enduement of power from on high.

Circumstances of life may have left us in difficult places. Yet as we yield to God’s transforming power, we will discover that He can make our lives fruitful regardless of any handicaps or weaknesses that hinder us.

Emptied of our own strength, we must acknowledge that the horses of this world cannot empower us. We must then choose to embrace the Source of All Strength, our Almighty God, who enables us to do all things through Christ.

My prayer for you today is that you will focus not upon your weaknesses but upon the One who can accomplish great feats through you that will confound unbelievers and draw them into the arms of the true Source of All Strength.

When you feel weak and defeated may the following verse be an encouragement to you. It has helped me tremendously when my weaknesses have tried to overwhelm me.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward [me]; that [I], always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Prayer

Dear Father in Heaven, I realize I have no strength of my own. I confess that I have depended upon the horses of this world and they have failed me.

I now lay them aside and embrace You as the Source of All Strength. I yield to Your transforming power. Enable me to fulfill Your purpose and follow Your plan for my life.

Thank you for Your indwelling presence that will make my life fruitful and will empower me to do Your will through Christ my Saviour. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

Questions
  • In what ways do we allow our weaknesses/handicaps to hinder us from doing God’s will?
  • How is God’s strength perfected in us?
  • What horses have I personally leaned upon to strengthen me instead of leaning upon the strength that only God can give me?

All Scripture quotations above are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Noticed Changes?

A Work in Progress!

 

A work in progress?
Yes, it definitely is!

 

If you’ve visited this website before, you will notice that huge changes have been taking place.

  • First, the color palette is changing. The background color has changed as well.

I hope you like the new gray. It seems to be better on my eyes, but I would like to know if it is effective on your device.  Please let me know.

  • Second, the banner graphic has changed.

I love taking pictures with my cell phone. I caught the background while walking up a street in Savannah, GA.

 

  • The tagline and site name have changed.  Previously, the tagline was Paul’s Message to you.    I am trying to be more specific.

 

  • Other changes are taking place also. Please bear with me as I tweak the site to make it more productive.

I am checking to make sure all links are working properly (notice the underlines). If you do notice a link not working correctly, PLEASE drop me a note in the comment box.

I’m not here to sell you on anything; although, I really do hope you decide to purchase the Bible study.  I know it will be of great benefit to you.

My desire is to see us grow in the Lord; to provide helps for those of us needing ideas or information for a study; and to further assist those of us wishing to do further research in God’s Word.

  • The study material may expand to other Scriptures in the future. But for now our focus will continue to be God’s Message to us from the epistle of Colossians.

I look forward to hearing your ideas, questions, or thoughts about the site.

May you have a blessed day in the Lord.


A precious letter holds the key to something you've been missing yet longing for. It's addressed to you, so pull back the covering and take a peek inside. Find the key to the gold tried in the fire, who the missing piece of the puzzle may be, where the search party should be focused, and who owns the amazing inheritance.

Greet Paul's helpers and join with them in spreading the good news of the gospel. Are you ready to receive God's message to you?

Writer, teacher, and former educator Peggy Clark makes the message of Colossians relevant to the present day reader.

Her Bible study published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan, is entitled So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome.

Get your copy today!

 

Colossians: Mnemonic Outline for Teachers

The Use of Mnemonics

Teachers use a variety of methods when teaching their students. Those methods are intended to help students remember the important parts of any given lesson.

One such method is the use of mnemonics.

To Aid in Memorization

Mnemonics greatly helps many students memorize important points, events, rules, or formulas. They are also useful in teaching Scriptural passages.

Some Helpful Mnemonics

A helpful mnemonic for study in The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the  Colossians uses the word ‘body’.

See if it helps you as you teach or study through Colossians.

  • The body’s prayer
  • The body’s head
  • The body’s conversation
  • The body’s warfare
  • The body’s work
  • The body’s witness
Another helpful mnemonic might emphasize the letter ‘w’.
  • The body weeping (in prayer)
  • The body worshiping (the head which is Christ)
  • The body warring
  • The body walking
  • The body witnessing

Create Your Own

Search through the book of Colossians and create your own mnemonics to aid you in teaching your students.

Copyright ©2017 by Peggy Clark


Join in the conversation:
Do you have a helpful mnemonic that you would like to share with others?
What teaching methods do you enjoy using the most?
Does your pastor use mnemonics in his sermons?
For further helps in studying The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, you may purchase the study entitled So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. Available from WestBow Press and other online retailers.

 

Apostle Paul and His Ministry

Preacher and Missionary

Apostle Paul was a first century preacher of the Word of God. He was converted while traveling on the Damascus Road. Later, he was ordained a missionary by the church at Antioch.

The Apostle Paul conducted three missionary tours extending from Antioch through Asia Minor to modern-day Greece. After arriving in Jerusalem on his third tour, he was arrested and taken to Rome, Italy. After a period of imprisonment, he was beheaded for his faith.

Moved by the Holy Ghost

Being moved by the Holy Spirit, Paul also wrote the New Testament books of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. Six of his books or epistles were written while he was imprisoned at Rome, Italy.

 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Steward of the Gospel

Paul used every opportunity to present the teachings of Christ. He saw himself as a steward of the teachings he received from Christ.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1).

“[D]eclaring unto you the testimony of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1).

Three-fold Ministry

In his epistle to the Colossians (1:28), Paul’s preaching ministry is described as three-fold: warning, teaching, and presenting.

His messages warned believers and non-believers alike of the deceptive tactics of Satan. Believers were warned of the possibility that they could lose rewards for not following Christ’s commands. All were warned of the judgment to come.

Paul teachings revealed the mystery of Christ “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). He sought to clearly present the gospel message, establish believers in their faith, and ground each in Christ’s doctrine.

Christ tells us to seek that we may find, to knock and it shall be opened unto us. Our searching should be for eternal things because those things will last beyond this life.
Christ tells us to seek that we may find, to knock and it shall be opened unto us. Our searching should be for eternal things because those things will never see corruption.

Evangelist and Minister

Paul’s goal was to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28). Not only was Paul an evangelist who preached the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but Paul was also a minister who instructed his converts to continue in the faith and grow to maturity in Christ.

Product of His Ministry

Paul took the responsibility of his ministry seriously. He labored in preparation for the day that he would present to Christ every person to whom he had preached as a product of his ministry. His desire was that that product would be acceptable to Christ.

Every preacher, evangelist, and missionary today should take that same mindset: that the products of their ministry will be those to whom they have presented the gospel of Christ.  May those products be mature Christians who also share in Christ’s ministry.

Copyright©2017 by Peggy Clark


Join in the Conversation:

What do you find intriguing about Paul’s ministry?

Have you ever thought about being a missionary?

Paul continued his ministry while imprisoned in Rome. Should we allow obstacles to prevent us from fulfilling our calling?

How can we “remember” those who are imprisoned for their faith?

Teaching Scripture: Know the Destination of the Passage

The Importance of Knowing to Whom a Scripture Passage Is Written

Many times we miss out on a fuller understanding of the Word of God because we do not stop to consider to whom a passage of Scripture is written.

  • When preparing to teach a letter or a book or a chapter of the Bible, it is very important to know to whom the letter, the book, or the chapter is being written.

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians was obviously written to the church body located in Colossae. However, after careful reading, we also find that the letter was written to the church body at Laodicea.

Why is this type of information important?

  • The destination of a letter directs us in seeking information about the culture of a particular group of people living during the time frame in which the letter was written.

Information contained within the letter may give clues as to the culture.

Secular history may also give additional needed information that can help us in understanding the mindset of the people who lived in the area.

Where did these people live?

In a large metropolitan area or in the wilderness? By the seaside or in the mountains?

What was the main occupation?

Fishing or farming, shepherding or trading in goods?

Was the location of political or religious or economic importance?
What major events may have happened there?
Were they a city-state governing themselves or were they part of a large empire?
How did they bury their dead?

These and many other questions may pop into one’s mind. Seeking the answers to these types of questions will contribute to the understanding of the Bible passages we choose to study.


What questions pop into your mind?

Add to the list by leaving a comment below.

Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark

 

Giveaway Winner Announced

The Goodreads Giveaway is now over.

Congratulations to Hester.

Hester has been sent a confirmation of winning the giveaway by private message through Goodreads.

An autographed copy of So, What’s the Latest News? Messages From a Prisoner in Rome is in the mail.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.

If you did not read the preview pages available at Goodreads, I hope you will take the time to do so.

Thank you to everyone who added my book to your Goodreads shelf.

As we enter this time of Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday season, I hope you will support the many Christian authors who wish to glorify God and helps others through the study of God’s Word.

May this study of Colossians be a blessing to you.

Your reviews and comments concerning So What’s the Latest News?  Messages From a Prisoner in Rome are greatly appreciated.
Peggy Clark is the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome, available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. 
This verse by verse reader-friendly study of The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians makes the Scripture meaningful and relevant to the modern-day.

 

Sovereignty of God and True Liberty

True liberty cannot be enjoyed by a people who do not recognize the sovereignty of Almighty God.

 

It is God and God alone who has absolute authority over the affairs of men.

The Institutions of Home, Church, and Government

It is God who rules in the Heavens and the Earth, who has created the Laws of Nature, and who has instituted the home, Church, and government as societal institutions under His authority.

 

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”  Colossians 1:16

 

To protect these institutions, God gave laws governing the conduct of each.

 

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

“And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.” Genesis 9:7

 

Home

Mankind was to exercise dominion over the earth.

The responsibility of the institution of family is one of reproduction. The display of government in the home is also a reflection of God and His glory.

The rejection of God’s laws concerning the home is a rejection of not only God’s sovereignty but a rejection of God Himself.

 

“And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:5-6, 8-9

 

Church

The Church (local body of Christ) as instituted by God has also been given an important role in society.

Under God’s direction, the Church is to provide moral and spiritual guidance.

It is also to give instruction and provision for worship and fellowship.

 

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18

 

In rejecting God’s sovereignty over the church, man is declaring himself to be sovereign.

The deception of a man’s heart will lead him to follow vain philosophies and traditions.

His unrealistic view of life will cause him to blame his environment, government, or other factors as the cause for the complications and consequences of his uncontrolled desires. He will not see himself as a sinner in need of a Saviour.

 

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Romans 13:1-2

 

Civil Government

Not only did God institute the home and the Church, He also instituted civil government.

 

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Romans 13:4

 

Civil governments were instituted by God to restrain evil.

The law is a schoolmaster to show us clearly our sinful natures. That law is based on God’s natural laws and the laws or principles as given in His Word, the Scriptures.

God’s laws do not change according to man’s desires. They remain the same.

When man rejects God’s sovereignty in this area, he will create his own laws. Those laws will change as his desires change. He, therefore, will lose respect for present law and for those whose duty it is to implement that law.

Refusing to adhere to God’s laws, society will continue in a downward spiral. The continued lack of respect for godly authority will give way to ungodly authority and that society’s eventual downfall.

 

“But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Colossians 3:25

 

True Liberty

True liberty comes as we subject ourselves to the commandments of God concerning the three areas He has instituted for society.

As families follow God’s principles for the home, families will be blessed. Wives and children will be protected.

As local churches follow God’s instructions for evangelism, worship, fellowship, and guidance, families and communities will grow stronger.

As civil governments and civil servants follow God’s mandate for the implementation and obedience to God’s unchanging standard concerning good and evil, society will be safer.

 

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 21:21

“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:17

 

True liberty can be experienced by all men as they submit themselves to God’s sovereignty and divine will.

 

For further study in Colossians, a great resource is So, What's the Latest News: Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. This title is available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.
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Goodreads Giveaway Winners Are Announced

The Goodreads giveaway for one of three autographed copies of my book So, What’s the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome has now ended.

Congratulations to Paul from Illinois, Sabine from Colorado, and Kat from Ohio. They will be receiving their autographed copies shortly.

Thanks to each of you who entered the giveaway. I hope you enjoyed reading the preview pages and added my book to your reading shelf.

cover photo of book as shown in Goodreads giveaway contest
So, What’s the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome

Let me know what you think of the cover. I am considering doing a series with this design.

If you have read the book, you may email me privately with your review, ideas, and/or suggestions at peggyclark947 (at) yahoo.com.

Thanks once again for entering the Goodreads giveaway and considering So, What’s the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome for your next Bible study.

Bible Study Tools

Bible Study Tools

There are several tools that we may use to help us study the Bible; however, they are no replacement for the Bible itself.

One can study the Bible alone and with the aid of the Holy Spirit be successful in attaining knowledge and wisdom. Never underestimate the power of the Written Word.

Sometimes it helps to add some tools to help us get a job done faster. Those tools assist us as we work toward the goal of repair or correction or as we build on a new foundation or continue a construction project. Every mechanic needs a good screwdriver and every plumber needs a good pipe wrench.

Concordance

One tool that will greatly assist the Bible student is a concordance. A good study Bible will contain one in the back of the book. It will list a variety of words in alphabetical order and give references where those words are found in Scripture. However, this type of concordance is limited due to space.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

I personally use Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. There are many others but this is the one that I prefer.

It lists every word in the Bible and gives every reference where a particular word may be found. This is very helpful when you are trying to find a particular verse but can only remember a part of it or can’t remember the reference.

This particular concordance contains a Hebrew dictionary for the Old Testament and a Greek dictionary for the New Testament so that you can also find the meaning of any given word.

Bible Dictionary

Another useful tool is a good Bible dictionary. Some are called Pictorial Bible Dictionaries.

These give definitions of words, character studies, information on Bible places, archeological findings, etc. The pictorial ones obviously include many pictures of places and things. Use discernment with these as they are not a replacement for the Scriptures.

Bible Atlas, Bible Maps, Bible Handbooks, Commentaries

Other tools that may assist us are Bible atlases, Bible maps, Bible handbooks, and commentaries.

A good map can help us understand where a story took place, learn about the terrain of an area, and the distance one had to travel between locations.

Commentaries can give us another person’s insight on a particular scripture passage.

The Best Tool Is the Bible Itself

Just remember that these tools are available to assist us in our study not to become a replacement for our study of the Bible itself.  If there are any discrepancies, then we must not let these tools sway us from the truth of the Scriptures. Remember, God’s Word is truth and mankind is fallible.

May your knowledge of the Bible be increased and your skills in teaching others the Word be maximized as you put these tools in use in your daily Bible study time.