For the word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12
Stephen was an up-and-coming comedian, and a prodigal. Raised in a Christian family, he struggled with doubt after his dad and two brothers died in a plane crash. By his early twenties, he’d lost his faith. But he found it one night on the frigid streets of Chicago. A stranger gave him a pocket New Testament, and Stephen cracked open the pages. An index said those struggling with anxiety should read Matthew 6:27–34, from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Stephen turned there, and the words kindled a fire in his heart. He recalls, “I was absolutely, immediately lightened. I stood on the street corner in the cold and read the sermon, and my life has never been the same.”
Such is the power of Scripture. The Bible is unlike any other book, for it’s alive. We don’t just read the Bible. The Bible reads us. “Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit . . . ; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Scripture presents the most powerful force on the planet, a force that transforms and leads us toward spiritual maturity. Let’s open it and read it out loud, asking God to ignite our hearts. He promises that the words He’s spoken “will not return to [Him] empty, but will accomplish what [He desires] and achieve the purpose for which [He] sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Our lives will never be the same.
How has Scripture changed your life? What expectations do you have when you read it?
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the Bible. Please make it alive in my life.
Learn more about the overall message of the Bible.
The book of Hebrews begins by saying: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1–2). Moses, who enters the picture in chapter 3, was one of those messengers who called people to faith and trust in God—to enter into His rest. Hebrews 3:7–4:7 emphasizes the “today-ness” of the Scriptures (see 3:7, 13, 15; 4:7). The writer’s word choices in Hebrews 4:12 highlight the potency of the Word of God: it’s “alive and active”; it’s “sharper than any double-edged sword”; “it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The invitation to believe God’s dynamic Word remains: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest . . . , Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (v. 14).