by Teddy James
Every January, it becomes practically impossible to find a parking space at the gym. Gym regulars take it in stride, knowing that the parking lot will be back to normal in a few days.

Also in January, Internet searches for phrases like “Read the Bible in a year” increase sharply. However, much like going to the gym, most abandon these plans within a few weeks.

Today, new tools are available to help Christians dig deeper into Scripture and find encouragement and accountability.

Ease of use
One such tool is Logos Bible Software. Upon opening Logos for the first time, it is easy to see it isn’t like any other program.

The home screen has been called “The front page of your daily theological newspaper.” For your own front page, Logos allows you to choose content from daily Bible readings, devotionals, Logos blog posts, excerpts from commentaries, sermons and more.

To learn how to get the most out of Logos beyond the home page, its creators offer tutorials, hints and tips on a YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/LogosBibleSoftware).

Ways to use
Today’s world likes mobility. With that in mind, Logos made tablet and smart phone use seamless. Users can highlight and annotate passages of Scripture, sections of commentaries and excerpts from devotions on their computers and see those same highlights and notes on their web-enabled phones and tablets. Also, selected devotions or Bible readings of the day are synced with each device so they can begin reading a devotion on their tablets in the morning, stop in the middle and pick it back up to finish on their phones later that day.

The mobile app is not just for those who have purchased Logos software. Logos has a free app for Apple and Android products that includes 69 resources. It is available for download from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store by searching for Logos Bible Software.

Why use
At a recent conference, Josh McDowell, author and apologist, said, “I used to spend six to seven hours in research to find one fact. With Logos, I can find what I need in under 10 minutes. It has made me a better steward of my time.”

Other users of the software believe McDowell was not exaggerating. Bryan Fischer, host of AFR’s Focal Point, said, “When I’m listening to a sermon and I want more information on a word or phrase, I just click on a word and it pulls up the Greek or Hebrew translation on my phone, and I see all I need to know. It has replaced an entire wall of books from my library.”

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Low cost, high return, paper-based study resources

Effective Bible study certainly doesn’t require high technology. All that’s needed is a Bible and the Holy Spirit. But for those who want to avail themselves of the best Christian minds over the centuries, Bert Harper, pastor for 38 years and co-host of American Family Radio’s Exploring the Word, recommends these widely available helps:

Strong’s Concordance – invaluable help for word studies.
Life Application Bible – notes that explain difficult passages and give information on Bible life and times.
Explore the Book by J. Sidlow Baxter – a complete Bible survey course.
My Utmost for His Highest – devotions by Oswald Chambers.
▶ A hymnal that includes old and new songs and worship resources.
▶ A blank journal or notebook for personal reflections.