top of page
  • Facebook

Reflections: Have your sword ready

Observing people in church and at various faith-based meetings, I’ve noticed many people enjoy the convenience of having the Bible handy on their phones. The You Version app even allows churches to enter services as events and upload sermon notes and scriptures, making it very handy to follow along with the message, click on related Bible verses, and even take notes. (Side note: if you do this, turn off your other notifications except maybe immediate family and tornado warnings; distraction is really a thing.)


Other people, though, enjoy using their print Bible in church. I’m one of those—but surprisingly, not all of them are in my age group. At my church, I regularly see young adults carrying a study Bible, notebook and pen, ready to engage actively with the sermon. In talking with them, I find that I’m not the only person who uses an app for an online study community, but keeps a print Bible and physical notebook handy.


Seeing young people carrying Bibles takes me back a few decades to junior Sunday School classes and youth meetings, where we regularly had “sword drills”—competitions to see who could locate most rapidly the scripture references the leader called out. To be prepared for these drills, we regularly recited the books of the Bible in order, Old and New Testament, but the competitions quickly revealed who actually practiced finding scriptures outside of the drill, for personal reading, in church, or both. Our leaders regularly reminded us of Paul’s list of the armor of God, including “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).


Many years later, I realize that knowing my way around the Bible was about much more than a contest at youth group (which I often won). It was foundational to understanding why there is an Old and a New Testament; how the books align historically; and most importantly, how it all points to Jesus and God’s plan for eternity.


I’ve heard testimonies of people in restricted nations who literally walked for days just to receive a Bible, some risking punishment if caught, but excited to take this priceless treasure back to their families or underground church. More recently, I’ve also heard about people who are able to access a digital Bible on their phone even though it is not safe, or even possible, to get a print one. I’m thankful for the printing press that improved access to Scripture centuries ago; I’m also thankful for technology that puts it into more hands today.


Jesus knew sharing the gospel to all nations would not be easy. He warned his disciples in Luke 22, “The one with a purse should take it, and likewise a bag; and the one without a sword should sell his cloak and buy one.” In other words, be prepared! I can’t help thinking that advice made it to Paul via some of those disciples, leading to the sword analogy of being prepared by knowing the Word. Regardless of what we may face, knowing and studying the Bible helps us answer questions from a hurting world with confidence that God is with us.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page