We just finished a Bible study on the Parables of Jesus at my local church last night, and I find myself reminiscing about times past. I’ve been involved in church ever since I can remember, but my high school years were a challenge. I remember coming to a point where I really wanted to learn how to study the Bible, not just read it, but I didn’t know how. I asked my pastor if he could help me, but he said he wanted to focus his time and energy on some of the other youth who were planning on going into full-time vocational church ministry.

I remember how discouraged I was, and I remember asking my parents what they thought I should do. My mom proceeded to pull out the family concordance and said, “I’m not sure if this will help or not, but it’s a start.” I taught myself how to use it, and I used it…a lot. For my high school graduation, my parents bought me a Thompson Chain-Reference Bible so that I could study the Bible even more…I did my undergrad at Evangel University in Springfield, MO, and, for the first time in my teenage years, I had the freedom to ask as many questions as I wanted to…and I grew immensely.

Things have changed a lot since then…I still have the family concordance, but my Thompson Chain-Reference Bible is long gone (I use the Greek and Hebrew texts now). What is amazing to me, though, is that one simple act…pulling out the family concordance…changed the course of my life.

Parents, we have an amazing opportunity to help our children grow mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Everything we do matters…even the little things…like finding the family concordance. Ministers, we have an incredible opportunity to make a long-term impact on our communities. Let’s take the opportunity to teach people how to study the Bible for themselves and encourage them to ask questions. Together, we can make a difference!

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