We live in a world where kids are taught that the Bible is out-of-date. They are told that the world has changed, the culture has changed, and standards have changed. Why base our life on an ancient manuscript?
But God is talking to us RIGHT THIS MINUTE. He IS His Word.
For the word of God is living and active … (Hebrews 4:12)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
To illustrate this for kids, find a letter that someone has written who has since died. Then in your own words, explain the difference between that letter and God’s Word. I do this with my grandmother’s letter – pictured below.
This is a letter from my grandmother. She died when my kids were in elementary school, so she has been gone a long time.
She wrote this letter two months before my wedding. Although she lived in New Jersey and I lived in Illinois, she knew about and cared about what was happening in my life (as she proves in another part of this same letter when she talks about my bridal shower).
My grandmother also gave me instructions. In the shower part of the letter, she explains to me that I need to write thank you notes (Thanks, Grandma, I wouldn’t have known that without you.)
And I also like how she tells me she loves me in the same paragraph as she instructs me to tell my dad to cut the dead wood out of his rose bushes and use a good fertilizer! She was a fun lady and I loved her a lot … and I knew she loved me.
Wait a minute! Why am I sharing a letter from my grandmother?
Because sometimes we think of the Bible as a letter from God the same way we think about a letter from grandma.
But God’s Word and Grandma’s letter have a big difference.
Yes, my grandmother loved me. You can read that right here in her own handwriting. Yes, my grandmother cared about me. Yes, my grandmother gave me instructions on how to live.
But my grandmother is dead. I don’t know what exactly she is doing in heaven right now – maybe talking to my dad and mom, maybe walking through a perfect garden that doesn’t need fertilization. I don’t know. But I do know she isn’t writing me a letter about dead branches in the rose bushes.
In contrast, the Word of God is alive. When God says that He loves us, He is saying that RIGHT now, RIGHT this minute. When He gives us instructions on how to live our lives, those instructions are for RIGHT now, RIGHT this minute. When He tells us to talk to Him in prayer, we can do that RIGHT now, RIGHT this minute.
God’s Word has the very same characteristics as God Himself.
Unlike my grandmother’s letter, God Word is here-and-now communication. He is loving us. He is instructing us. He is teaching us. These are not words He thought of a long time ago only to disappear into cyber space or be tucked away in a memory box.
In fact, when I sit at my desk, reading the Bible – truly, it’s as if God is sitting right next to me, saying the words.
That’s how very present His words are.
This is a concept we must get across, not only to young kids, but to our older kids, too, because they will hear that they don’t need to obey a command written in ancient times. They will hear that cultural standards are more worthy than biblical standards. They will hear that the Bible is out-of-date.
They need to know that God’s Word is very in-date. God’s Word is alive. He IS His Word. His commands are as imperative today as they were when those words were first written down.
He is the LIVING God, speaking to us through His LIVING Word.