How Should Kids (and Adults) Approach the Bible?

By Mathew Gilbert

Recently, I taught a group of kids about the supremacy of the word of God. Over the past few weeks, we have been talking about the purpose of man in all of life as glorifying God by enjoying him forever. And we have learned that there is only one way to know how to glorify God by enjoying him forever–the word of God. God has chosen to reveal himself most clearly in a book and in a person, both of which we call the Word.

After teaching primarily that the Bible is our only rule, guide, instruction, and authority for Christian living, doctrine, holiness, and faithfulness, I moved to call the kids, the adults, and myself to one particular thing in relation to the word of God. I called everyone in attendance to treasure, cherish, value, love, and adore the word of God as the one thing in life that will never fade. As the prophet Isaiah declared, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isa. 40:8). Similarly, one psalmist wrote, “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Ps. 119:89).

However, this is only good news if the thing that stands forever is greater than everything that fades. If the joys that fade are more satisfying than the word of God that will stand forever, we should weep. However, the word of God is life. It is like refreshing water for a dry and thirsty heart. The joy of the word of God surpasses all other joys. The satisfaction found in it and ultimately in its Author is enough to fill your soul with pleasure for billions and billions of years.

In the kids’ ministry I lead, we reward kids for bringing their Bibles to our Wednesday night activities. This is for one reason and one reason only; that they would see the unsurpassable worth of the very word of God. Knowing the Bible is valuable, but it is a means to an end. Studying the Bible is important, but it is a means to an end. Enjoying God as he has revealed himself in his word is the ultimate end for every man. And by God’s grace he ushers many sinners into this joy.

So, how should we approach the Bible? How should kids and adults alike approach the Bible? With the adoration and desire of the psalmists…

I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes (Ps. 119:46-48).

The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces (Ps. 119:72).

Therefore, I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold (Ps. 119:127).

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb (Ps. 19:10).

Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandment makes me wiser
than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my
for your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Ps. 119:97-103).

…and the Puritans
My Father,
In a world of created changeable things,
Christ and his Word alone remain unshaken.
O to forsake all creatures,
to rest as a stone on him the foundation,
to abide in him, be borne up by him!
For all my mercies come through Christ,
who has designed, purchased, promised,
effected them.
How sweet it is to be near him, the Lamb,
filled with holy affections!
Let me know that he is dear to me by his Word;
I am one with him by the Word on his part,
and by faith on mine;
If I oppose the Word I oppose my Lord
when he is most near;
If I receive the Word I receive my Lord
wherein he is nigh.
O thou who has the hearts of all men
in thine hand,
form my heart according to the Word,
according to the image of thy Son,
So shall Christ the Word, and his Word,
be my strength and comfort. (“Christ the Word” in The Valley of Vision)

May all kids and adults who are in Christ pray like this and desire the word of God and the God of the word with similar blazing passion.

Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram

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