Alive and active

No, I’m not talking about myself. I’m not that active, but it’s sure good to be alive! This is how the Bible gets described in Hebrews 4:12…

bible_picFor the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

It’s not how many people would describe the Bible. Maybe, ‘dead and dull’ or ‘outdated and boring’, but certainly not alive and active. I’ve got a few books at home written in the 1800s, even some written in the 1500s and 1600s. I even have a few editions published two centuries ago. They are truly old! But the Bible was written two to three millennia ago! That makes it truly ancient!

And yet, I agree with these words. It is alive and active. It’s every bit as relevant today as when the quill first hit the papyrus. It’s no accident that it continues to outsell every other book. There’s good reasons why people read it and study it, discuss it and teach it.

I’m persuaded that the Bible is more than a human manuscript. I believe it is God’s word and that he continues to speak through it today. So it obviously makes sense for me to pay it a lot of attention. I enjoy getting to know God as I read his words. I’ve spent many years seriously studying the Bible, and I haven’t begun to exhaust it’s wisdom. I keep working to understand and apply it to my life, and to explain and teach it’s relevance to others.

But I don’t think you necessarily need to believe that the Bible is God’s word for it to be worth your while reading it. You can gain massive insight into the human experience through this book. It’ll help you understand our culture and many others. It may even help you understand yourself. But most importantly, it’ll introduce you to arguably the most influential person who ever lived, Jesus. There is so much value in patiently discovering all you can about Jesus, and asking questions about who he was, what he taught, and whether he’s relevant to you, today.

I’d urge you to add Bible reading to your to do list for a while. You could put it on your bucket list, but then you might never get to it! Perhaps, begin with the New Testament and, if you need help focusing, try asking three questions:

(1) what does it say about who Jesus is?
(2) what does it say about what he said and did?
(3) what does it say about how I should respond to him?


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