I'm a bibliophile. A book lover. I've always loved to read. My sisters taught me to read before I started school, and I've been an avid reader ever since.

Books can teach us a lot. There have been books that have changed the course of history, both for good and for bad. Books can have a lasting impact, far beyond the lifetime of the author.

Maybe because of my love of books, I used to think that God basically said, "OK, world ... here's a book that tells you everything you need to know. Read it and do what it says." Then I actually read that book, read the Bible, and discovered that that's not what happened at all.

God never just sent a book. He always sent people. When He wanted to give His Law to the people in the Old Testament, He didn't just drop a book out of the sky. He called a man named Moses, interacted with Moses and the rest of the people, then gave laws to Moses for Moses to teach the people.

When God's people strayed from that Law, God didn't send books or letters to correct the problem. God sent men, His prophets.

When God was ready to bring salvation to all men, He didn't do it through a book. He did it through His Son, Jesus.

When Jesus wanted to pass on His teachings, He didn't write them down. He told people and had them tell others. Those first followers of Jesus did write books, but the emphasis of their ministry was on people talking with other people.

From the beginning, that's how God has worked. He works through people. We now have the Bible, a book which God's people didn't have in the beginning. We can learn about God's nature and learn about His will for us. Yet God continues to work through people, people in a community of believers that encourage one another.

Even the times in the Bible where we see people reading God's Words, we always see them doing it in the presence of others, helping one another to understand what is written.

God never just sent a book. He always sent people.
God gave us a book. We should read it and learn from it. But we must never neglect our need for other people, our need for God's church.

If you aren't a part of a church, I'd like to help you find one. God never intended for you to try and go it on your own. You need His Word, but you need His people as well. Write to me at tarcher@heraldoftruth.org or visit www.hopeforlife.org and contact me there.

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