Tuesday, November 06, 2007


For the past year or two, I've been very consistent about reading a Bible story to my oldest kid every night at bedtime. I read from a simple Beginner's Bible, which paraphrases 95 stories from the Bible. This Bible I particularly like, because it includes many New Testament stories. (For pre-schoolers, I highly recommend the most recent edition of The Beginner's Bible, distributed by Zonderkidz).

This has been a tremendous experience for the both of us. He's learning Bible stories. Actually, we're both learning them. Some of the details that come out even in this simple paraphrase are new to me! He also takes advantage of that time to ask questions and figure things out.

What puts the biggest smile on my face is when he makes references to the stories during the day. He's actually learning this stuff!!!

Today I read Explaining the Gospel to a Child from Pulpit Magazine. Then I realized that as good as our Bible story time is, I can make it better. These paraphrases are wonderful, powerful tools, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. -- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
These paraphrases of God's Holy Word still have power, and are still effective when spoken in Faith. God gave His message to His messengers thousands of years ago. This message has been faithfully passed down and translated from one generation to the next. I am now determined to read a few verses from "the grown up Bible" as a part of our Bible story time from now on.

Why is this so important, you may ask? Because I was dangerously close to forgetting the whole point of reading these stories to him in the first place. It's not my focus that he learns how Jacob stole Esau's blessing; or that Baal was a pretend god; or even that God pursues us like a shepherd after a lost sheep.

These are all pieces to the puzzle. Building blocks to the ultimate goal. He needs to learn that, as my two favorite vegetables say, "God made you special, and He loves you very much." I have to teach him about sin, Heaven, Hell, forgiveness, repentance. It is my job to show the Gospel to him as often as I can; to live it out.

Reading an English translation of scripture not only shall accomplish that which I purpose, but it instills this Gospel into my own heart. It makes it more a part of my own life. It helps me to live it out.