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  • Shawn Thornton

A Living Book

Saturday - August14th

Scripture to Read Today: Hebrews 4:12-16


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.

Hebrews 4:12

God gifted some children's ministry teachers to make the Bible come alive for kids. During my first year of ministry out of seminary, I oversaw all the Christian Education ministries of the church outside Philadelphia, where I served. One of the teachers (Don) for the elementary-age children's church made the Bible so real for the kids.

Don created a giant upright-standing Bible from which He would come out each week as a different Bible character. The character told his own story from a first-person narrative. He then told the kids he had to go back into the Bible and would slip into it and come out on the platform minutes later as himself to make some practical applications for the kids' lives.

The big Bible prop stood near an upright piano. Don could get inside the Bible as the children's church service took place by crawling out of a storage room, behind the piano, and into the upright Bible. He had made a door where the back cover of the Bible would be and a door for the front cover. Don built the three-dimensional Bible so that it was about two feet thick. He could easily slip inside and wait for another teacher to ask the kids who they thought would come from the Bible that day. The other teacher built up the eager anticipation of just who would come out of the Bible.

Don was a master teacher. He could communicate the Bible to the age-appropriate level of his audience with a sense of clarity, passion, and practicality. It was a joy to watch him. He made the Bible so alive to the kids in children's church.

While Don's ability to communicate biblical content to an audience brought the Bible to life in his teaching style, the Bible itself is inherently alive. Paul told Timothy that God's Word has the living breath of God in it (2 Timothy 3:16). Likewise, the writer of the Book of Hebrews said, "The Word of God is alive and active" (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is distinctly different than any other book ever written or that will ever be written. God breathed it into existence, and it actively engages with our hearts and minds.

Hebrews 4:12 emphasizes that the Scriptures go deep into our very being and, like a surgeon's scalpel, can cut out the bad and leave the good. As the Spirit of God uses the Word of God in our lives, the Bible both convinces us of what is right and convicts us of what is wrong. It works in us. It shapes us. It cleanses us. It comforts us. It nourishes our souls, calms our minds, and strengthens our hearts.

The Bible is alive whether or not someone can creatively and skillfully communicate it in a living way! But, of course, we are all blessed when we see it taught to all ages with the belief and passion that it is inherently alive!

The Word of God is a breathing, living, active book that transforms us into the image of Christ!


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