>For the word of God is living 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

If you want to feel younger, hang out with old people. If you want to feel skinnier, hang out with fat people. If you want to feel “Christianer,” then hang out with lousy Christians. If you have multiple issues, then hang out with older, fatter Christians who eat a lot of snacks and watch a lot of TV. Then, we can feel better about ourselves. Ouch.

If getting into Heaven or living an outstanding Christian life was a contest, it would be pretty easy to win. Just look at the people around you. There are plenty of reasons to vote them off of the island.

The Apostle Paul addresses this kind of thinking, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12). It’s easy to be a “better” Christian if I am more knowledgeable or more obedient or more holy than you, but then again, I’m probably also more prideful. Oops.

I’ve found that it’s much easier to pick up the remote than to pick up the Bible. I do read and study God’s Word. Usually there is not a remote around. Most of us have quite a collection of Bibles, yet why is the Bible so hard to open? I’m not talking about that behemoth family Bible on the coffee table. I’m talking about the one on your nightstand or is it on the shelf? It’s around here somewhere.

Why is it hard to pick up the Bible? The Bible cuts to the chase. The Word of God “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” We can justify ourselves all day long, but God’s Word pulls the covers back to expose who we really are. It gets to places in us that we can’t even go: the space between our soul and spirit and the gap between our joints and marrow. The Word of God can penetrate our entire being. No wonder we’re sometimes reluctant to pick it up.

How does the Bible have this kind of effect on us? The Word of God is living and active. While there are many books that can inspire and inform us, there is no other book that is alive. Think about this: the Holy Spirit lives in every believer (Romans 8:9-11), and the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible to be written (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16). The Spirit that inspired the Word lives in you. There is a wonderful exchange that takes place when we interact with the Bible.

What happens when you pick up God’s Word? Do you ever have times when its seems that the Words just leap off of the page and it’s exactly what you need to hear? Or, do you ever read a familiar passage only to discover things that you had never really seen before? These are a couple of ways that God speaks to me through the Bible.

Now, if you feel that God reveals something that no one has ever heard of before, then you should carefully check the context. But, overall, you will be surprised at how God can guide you by His Spirit to ‘hear” from reading the Word.