First Grade Bibles

A few weeks ago, Pastor Josh shared with the congregation that one new area of focus for our Go ministry this year is Bible translation and distribution. As a church, we believe in the power of the Word of God to transform lives, and yet we recognize that there are people around the world who still do not have access to even a verse of the Bible translated into their own language. Because of this, we have made it a priority to partner with organizations that are working on translating and distributing the Word of God to places or people groups who currently do not have access to it.

Here in America we are blessed to have incredible access to God’s Word. We can purchase Bibles almost anywhere, we have Bible apps, we can listen to it online, we can find a copy in most hotel rooms, and most of us have several copies sitting on shelves in our homes somewhere. Because it is so easily available, we often forget or take for granted how exciting it can be to get our very own Bible for the first time. Two weeks ago, however, our Kidway staff was reminded of just how exciting it is, when they had the privilege of presenting almost 40 first graders with their own Bibles. For many kids, this is the first Bible they can call their own, and as our N Main Kidway director observed, “The students’ smiles when they received their new Bibles was unbelievable! It is amazing how much we do not appreciate having a physical copy of the Bible until we get to see the excitement of someone else receiving one.” One first grader was overheard saying, “I have been waiting for this day for a LONG time!”

Hearing that excitement and seeing the anticipation from children is amazing, but also a bit convicting. I find myself asking, “How often am I that excited about God’s Word? How would my life be different if I WERE that eager to read the Bible everyday?” During the presentation of their Bibles, the first graders were encouraged with 2 Timothy 3:16, which says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Broken down, that means that the whole Bible is God’s very own words. In it, He teaches us how to think rightly, He rebukes us when we think wrongly, He corrects us when we act wrongly, and he trains us how to act rightly. Kids were also given 2 challenges, which are actually great challenges for all of us:

  1. Read your Bible everyday! If God has really told us everything important about everything important in the Bible, it isn’t good enough to just read it once a week at church. Set time aside every single day to be reading and thinking about God’s Word.

  2. Bring your Bibles to Kidway (or church) with you every time you come. We don’t want this to just be a pretty book that sits on your shelf, but we want you to USE it!

Some of the most exciting things for staff the past couple of weeks since Bible the distribution weekend, have been the stories we have heard from parents and grandparents about their kids taking the initiative to be reading their Bibles at home. One boy gave up watching football with his grandpa Sunday afternoon so he could go to his room and “read” his new Bible. And another little girl reminded her mom at bedtime that she couldn’t go to bed until they had read her Bible together. If you are a parent or grandparent, we encourage you to capitalize on the excitement of your kids and start instilling in them the habit of daily time in the Word. And even if you don’t have children in your life, be encouraged by the excitement they have and let it spur you on to a greater commitment to God’s Word in your own life.