Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Awesome Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know (2013)

Awesome Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know...And What They Mean. Rebecca Lutzer. 2013. Harvest House. 111 pages.

Hi, kids!
The Bible is like a huge treasure chest, full of wonderful truths that help us in many ways. The Bible tells us about God, how we began, the world, how we should behave, and how we can please God. It teaches us what is wrong and what is right, corrects us when we are wrong, encourages us to do the right thing, comforts us when we're sad, and tells us about Jesus and how much He loves us. God gave us the Bible because He loves us and wants us to know Him. 

Awesome Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know would be a great resource for parents willing to memorize verses alongside their children. There are thirty-four entries in the book. But each entry features more than one memory verse. Parents may or may not want to have their children trying to memorize more than one verse at a time, so parents could choose to break down each entry so that it lasts for two weeks. Or they could choose just one of the listed memory verses for a particular subject.
The subjects covered include:

  • God
  • Creation
  • Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit
  • The Bible
  • The Devil and the Armor of God
  • Angels
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Sin
  • The Savior (John 3:16,17; Acts 2:23-24; Romans 5:8-9)
  • Forgiveness
  • Redemption (Job 19:25; Ephesians 1:7-8; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
  • Salvation
  • Justification (Romans 5:1-2; Romans 8:33-34)
  • Obedience
  • Discipline
  • Conscience
  • Temptation
  • Guarding Your Mind
  • Anger
  • Discernment
  • Friendship
  • Character and Courage
  • The Fear of the Lord
  • Worry
  • Grace
  • Giving Thanks
  • Death and Grief
  • Heaven
  • Honesty
  • Prayer and Peace
  • Accepting Ourselves
  • Getting Along With Others
  • Jesus's Return

Some entries have multiple verses. For example, "God," has four verses: Psalm 77:13, Psalm 90:2, Isaiah 40:25, 28, John 1:18. Sin, on the other hand, only has two verses: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:12, 23. Each subject/entry is introduced in a short paragraph. Each entry features a "what do I think," a "what God wants me to know," and a "look at it this way." The "what do I think" section is essentially imagining ways kids might relate to in a verse, how they might react to a verse, questions they might have. The "what God wants me to know" sections, on the other hand, focus on listing [absolute] truths that can be drawn from reading and understanding a particular passage. These are doctrinal truths or positions. "Look at it this way" is a section with a story. Each entry ends in a prayer you can read aloud with a child.

The book is simple, easy to understand. The "what God wants me to know" sections can be really great at making theological concepts understandable--very reader-friendly. The entries are concise. The book doesn't list every single verse in the Bible about any given subject!

I think this book will be most successful when parents and kids do the lessons together and both memorize.
What God Wants Me to Know...[about Redemption, p. 44]
1. Everyone is born into the slave market of sin. As sinners, we cannot pay for our own sin. God requires a payment that is impossible for us to make.
2. God could not accept money for our redemption. Jesus paid the complete price of redemption by dying on the cross and shedding His blood.
3. Jesus could pay our price and die in our place because He was part of the human family. God the Father could accept the payment Jesus made for us. The high price Jesus paid for us is proof that He loves us very much.
4. The blood of Jesus Christ is much more valuable than gold and silver. It is so precious and costly that God the Father accepted Jesus' death on the cross as a full payment for our sins. While He was dying on the cross, Jesus said, "Paid in full." [Note: he really said, It is finished, John 19:30]
5. This is called redemption. It is the free gift of salvation from our sins. We don't have to work hard to earn it. All we have to do is accept it.
6. We have been bought by Jesus, so now we belong to Him. Being redeemed does not mean that we don't sin anymore, but it does mean that we do not have to give in to temptation. Now we are free to obey and serve Jesus Christ.
Look At It This Way....[Redemption, p. 45]
A young boy once built a toy boat to float on a small lake near his house. He spent a lot of time putting it together, painting it, and testing it to make sure it could float. One day a breeze blew the boat to the far side of the lake. He searched for it carefully but couldn't find it, and soon it became dark. A week later he was walking along the street of his small town when he noticed his boat for sale in the window of a thrift shop. He went inside the shop and explained that the boat was his and that he had made it. But the store owner insisted that he had bought the boat from a man who had brought it to the store. The boy wanted it back so badly that he paid for it himself. Later he said, "The boat is mine twice--once because I made it, and a second time because I bought it." We belong to God because He created us. But now we also belong to God in a special way because He redeemed us. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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