“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
If I’m not careful, our faith begins to resemble a list of platitudes, and this particular Scripture is one I struggled with for years. Without a strong background in the Bible or, quite frankly, anything included in the Catechism, the idea that the Word is living was just a metaphor to me.
The Word is living? To me that meant it was figuratively alive with comforting words and good advice. It meant that it was still relative today. Those words didn’t have a concrete and literal meaning until I began to learn more about my faith.
It is true that the Bible remains relevant and restorative to those who seek assurance, but there’s so much more. He is always offering us so much more.
Think of it this way: God’s word is alive. In Genesis, He speaks, and we exist. His word commands literal creation at its very essence. Something out of nothing. Complete void into complex structures and beings.
Not only does His word alone bring about life, but His words are absolutely timeless. We see our behaviors in Old Testament stories, and we are able to directly apply to our daily lives the wisdom and commands of Christ in the Gospels.
You might think, That’s true, but can’t we say those same things about any great work of literature? Yes, we can. But here is the difference: when we read the Word of God we are encountering Jesus Who is the Word Made Flesh. We are having a personal encounter with God who knows the desires of our hearts and gives us understanding of the words through the aid of the Holy Spirit. It is not a text that sits passively while you digest. Instead, through it, God actively works in you.
So the next time you feel like you are slogging through Scripture unsure of how it applies to you, remember that the Holy Spirit is in those words, and He is passionately working within you as you read—luckily, whether you are conscious of it or not.
Have you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church? It's on the Vatican's website . . . for free! Read through the table of contents today!
Jenna Hines has a teeny army of four children and is married to a bearded fellow named Mike. She is happiest when it is sunny outside and she has an embroidery needle in her hand. You can find out more about her here.