I've bought my children numerous children's Bibles and Bible storybooks. Today I bought one for me to read. I was listening to a radio broadcast where a lady named Sally Lloyd-Jones was being interviewed. She is a Christian who writes Christian books for children. One of the interviewers is a guy who is pastor of a large church and he says he has one of her books titled the "Jesus Storybook Bible." He says when he preached on one of the Bible stories that is included in her book, he always reads in in her book before he preaches on it. That sort of got my attention. Then another one of the interviewers who writes theological books talked about how big a fan he was of her books. I got even more interested.
I had never heard of Sally Lloyd-Jones before this radio show. It seems that she has a pretty cool heart for children to connect with God. She said one of her goals was to write stories that communicated the Bible simply; not simplistically. There is a difference. She reminded me of something I heard Bill Bright say. He said one of his goals was to understand Scripture profoundly and yet communicate it simply. When you understand something clearly and deeply, you can communicate it simply.
I love to teach the Bible. I love to study and dig into the truths that are there. As I listened, it occurred to me that reading a children's Bible would help me to understand and communicate simply. If I am speaking in a way that is hard to understand, that is not helping anyone. If I can teach Scripture in a way that children can understand, the adults will probably understand as well. Plus, I think it will help me to connect to the story of the Bible.
What are we to do with the youth pastor? Notice the Bible in his hand!
Here's the thing that really grabbed me about what Sally Lloyd-Jones said today. She said that she wanted a Bible storybook for children that communicated that the Bible was about God. She felt that there is a temptation to write and teach children about the Bible in a way that communicates that the Bible is about behaving. Certainly that is a part of it, but God is the primary subject of the Bible. In fact, the subtitle of the book is "Every story whispers His name." I have not read but a few of the stories so far, but it is clear that she is writing in a way that people understand that the story of the Bible is about Jesus. It is not a bunch of random stories teaching some good moral lessons. This just resonated with me. I want to make sure that Jesus is the central person in all of my preaching. It is important that thrust of my preaching is how wonderful Jesus and to make much of Him; not simply tell people how to behave or what they ought to do. The rules are there and they are to help us in our relationship with Christ.
I decided to read the introduction to my children tonight. When Istopped, Joel said, "come on, man, don't leave us hanging." So I read one more chapter and they loved. Laura loved it as much as the kids did, if not more. I'm looking forward to reading my "Jesus Storybook Bible."
Looking for the simply abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Jesus Storybook Bible
2. God's sufficient grace for every day
3. My brother who has a birthday today