“… and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8b
The mandate is clear – not just for pastors and teacher, but for all Christians. Further, in these troubling times, it is all the more imperative that the Body be the witnesses we’ve been called to be. We are in a battle not just for our own lives, but for the lives of everyone in our family, city, state, nation, and world.
“…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power… put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” – Ephesians 6:10, 13-18a,19-20
What does our armor for battle consist of? Jesus Christ’s atonement and reconciling salvation, which counts us all as righteous; the factual truth of God’s Good News/Gospel; trust and faith in the one True God; and lastly the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s breathed Word. Our calling is to take on that armor and proclaim Jesus Christ.
I have spent the last two days exploring one powerful resource for our armor, the new Logos 7 Bible software, and am very impressed. The many quality scripture tools and resources within it encourage, empower, and equip the Church body to share the Gospel in myriad new, easy and creative ways.
First, brethren, be encouraged:
“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you…” – Acts 18:9-10a
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” – 2 Kings 6:15-16
The blessings of fellowship and community; iron sharpening iron. – Logos 7 includes social tools that allow the user to “ask the author” of favorite books, share community notes, and participate in groups. One can also highlight images and quotes and share them to Facebook and Twitter. Your home dashboard is also easily personalized with your chosen daily devotions, giving your day an uplifted start.
Second, brethren, be empowered:
“Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” – Nehemiah 4:19
There is nothing stronger than the Word of God. Logos 7 is not only rich in the Word, with dozens of Bible variations at your fingertips, but it “empowers” you to reach new levels of understanding with extraordinary Bible study tools—like “the Ancient Literature tool, which connects ancient texts to the biblical text; Factbook, which quickly assembles an overview of resources related to any biblical topic; and Visual Copy, which makes creating and sharing quote images and slides easier than ever.” There is even a Sermon Starter to help you get your thoughts organized.
The ‘Factbook’ contains information concerning people, places, events, and more. You can look up Gethsemane and be inundated with information. There are Bible study tools, preaching and teaching tools, Greek and Hebrew tools, Academic tools, Power searching, and even a chaplain library.
You can create sermons, documents, memes, interactive media, and more. You can also sync all of your personal devices together – including your PC and Mac!
“You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. – 2 Samuel 22:40
“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. – 1 Samuel 17:40
Several Scripture passages tell of people who were properly equipped to carry out the work they have been given.
Logos 7 does an amazing job equipping us for our work. Detailed and understandable tutorials guide you through the process of setting up your customizable dashboard. Your home page consists of three parts. The overhead banner with just a few simple buttons and a search bar, a left sidebar where you can set up prayer reminders and reading plans, and a main body with randomly generated excerpts from your own book list to help you get started with serendipitous study… in case you are suffering from writer’s block.
To customize the side bar, start by choosing your preferred Bible. From that point on, it will be the version that always appears first. You can also create a reading plan for any book or bible in your library. You can customize the reading plan by which passages, in which Bible, on what start date for which and how many days. When finished with your reading for the day, you can mark the passage ‘read.’
Items to choose from on the banner include the home page, library menu, search engine, document menu – (which you open up for prayer plans, notes, highlights, and reading plans) – and guides and tools.
Whether the guides and tools are empowering or equipping – or both – matters not. They are powerful resources. Passage guides help you to copy Bible verses, do text comparison and perform passage analysis. There are exegetical guides, Bible word guides, the Sermon Starter, and topic guides. The Tool option includes interactive media, a Greek alphabet tutor, Hebrew cantillations, morphology charts, a numeric converter, a parallel Gospel reader, proverbs explorer, psalms explorer, text converter, weights and measures converter, and more. The reference section has an Atlas, Bible Sense Lexicon, the Factbook, and a timeline. The Library contains collections, highlights, favorites, and history.
How to access it all is extremely simple. Simply input a passage reference you want to study into the command field on the banner – and it finds all the relevant information for you. You don’t even have to write the passage reference in full form or use colons. Simply input common chapter abbreviations and leave a space between the relevant numbers.
When doing a Topic/subject study – type in one study word and click “go.’ One window will open with three panels – left panel, right upper panel, and a right lower panel. Within these panels, you will have up to five resources each. There will be Bible versions, cross references, ancient literature, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and topical books. A personal research assistant would take hours, if not days, to come up with the same amount of information.
Link panel tabs in order to scroll titles simultaneously. Hover over words for their definition, original language, and additional information. You can also run an inline search for that one throughout the Bible.
When doing a passage study, there will be one window with five panels. In them, you will have:
- Passage and exegetical guide
- Bible versions
- Priority Bible Commentaries
- Text comparison, side by side.
- And additional information
Save as “Layout,” if you think you will use this search again.
With Logos 7, you easily “[s]tudy to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” – II Timothy 2:15
“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” – II Corinthians 4:5