As a parent, I’m always on the lookout for great resources that will help me lead my children in their faith in Jesus. To be honest, most of the stuff on the shelves in the kid’s section in Lifeway isn’t that captivating. One of the best ways I’ve been able to pass down a love for God to my children is to tell them Bible stories. I remember in 2010 when our church was going through the Bible in a year, I was consuming such large chunks of the Bible every day that I always had a bunch of stories to pass along. The challenge though is to make sure your Bible stories don’t just turn into moral lessons. Yes, there is always some kind of action we can apply, but the Bible is a book about God and His story to save mankind. It’s not simply some “how to” manual of how to live a more moral life. We have to see Christ throughout Scripture, especially the Old Testament, so that our kids will learn the grand narrative of salvation.
To be honest, most Bible story books simply take a story out of Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, and turn it into some story about how to obey God better. Again, let me state, that obedience to God is always a great thing, but it always needs to flow out of heart of love for God, not out of a desire to get God to like us more. Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplished God’s acceptance of us, not our obedience. I want my kids to understand the foundational imprint of the gospel throughout Scripture, and I think I finally found a Bible story book that will do that. It’s called The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I read an article by her yesterday about her book, this is what she shared concerning “why” she wrote it:
When we drill a Bible story down into a moral lesson, we make it all about us. But the Bible isn’t mainly about us, and what we are supposed to be doing–it’s about God, and what he has done!
When we tie up the story in a nice neat little package, and answer all the questions, we leave no room for mystery. Or discovery. We leave no room for the child. No room for God.
And that’s why I wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible. So children could know what I didn’t:
That the Bible isn’t mainly about me, and what I should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.
That the Bible is most of all a story–the story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
That—in spite of everything, no matter what, whatever it cost him—God won’t ever stop loving his children . . . with a wonderful, Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.
That the Bible, in short, is a Story—not a Rule Book—and there is only one Hero in the Story.
I wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible so children could meet the Hero in its pages. And become part of His Magnificent Story.
Because rules don’t change you.
But a Story—God’s Story—can.
I love that. We need to learn how the gospel is imbedded throughout Scripture. If you’re a parent with small children, please think about getting this book to read to your children. I think it will be a great discipleship resource for your family. If you’re interested in getting it, here’s the link to it in Amazon: