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Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”

Joseph Brodsky won the Nobel Prize for Literature and was a US Poet Laureate. He proposed that books of American poetry be placed next to the Gideon Bibles in motel rooms. “Poetry,” he reasoned, “is perhaps the only insurance we’ve got against the vulgarity of the human heart.” However, before Brodsky’s death in 1996, many books had already been distributed to hotels and hospitals across the country.

Those of us who love poetry find in it pleasure, wisdom, and inspiration. However, even the best literature cannot be compared to the value of the words of the Bible. Imagine a despairing soul on the verge of suicide picking up a book of poetry and thumbing through its pages. It’s highly unlikely that even the noble thoughts of Henry W. Longfellow or John Greenleaf Whittier, to say nothing of a modern poet like T. S. Eliot, would inspire him to fall on his knees and cry out to God for mercy and grace.

Yet, the Gideon’s files are full of testimonies from individuals who, alone in their hotel rooms, have opened a Bible in the darkness of night and through its message have been born again to newness of life. Poetry has its honored place in our culture. But human words, however creatively woven together, can never take the place of God’s Eternal Word. What a privilege we have each day to seek God in His remarkable and Eternal Word!

Further reflection:

Some time ago I read a story about a boy who I’ll call Charles. His middle name was trouble. He lived in a home for orphans, but he didn’t like it. He was always miserable and disobedient, so he ran away. However, when he ran away he took with him the Bible that his housemother had given him. Several years later, the young man returned to the home he had abandoned. He told the people that while he was gone, he had begun reading the Bible. “Now I want to accept Christ,” he told his astonished listeners.

My, what a remarkable book the Bible is! Read by a hurting and troubled young man, this Book was used by God’s Spirit as it spoke to his heart to show him his need for salvation. My brethren, we live in a troubled world that needs to read its words of:

(1) Comfort
(2) Hope
(3) Cleansing
(4) Encouragement
(5) Joy

People need to discover, woven throughout its pages, the good news of salvation (which this young man did) is only through Jesus Christ and His shed blood for all who will believe. Jesus made this quite clear in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-15). We who know Christ as Savior are to be sowers of God’s Word, but we don’t decide who will receive it; our job is to scatter the seed, and God will bring the increase! Maybe you’ve been looking for a good witnessing tool and never thought that God’s Word is the answer.

Why not give a Bible to those you want to reach for Christ. Then watch what happens! They can be changed by the book, God’s Eternal Word, because He speaks through His Word to those who listen with their heart. The question is:

(1) Have you been changed by His Eternal Word?

The key to understanding the written Word is knowing the Living Word (Jesus Christ)!