Monday, January 28, 2013

The Jesus Storybook Bible

We will be using the Jesus Storybook Bible to share the Gospel during hosting as well as at Camp Friendship.  I have been reading it.  Writing a curriculum based on it.  And I have been blessed.  I like the Jesus Storybook Bible.  I like it for children, teens, adults. Orphans, adopted children.  Biological children. Parents.  Yeah, I pretty much like it for everyone.  Anyone.  Why?  Especially since its a "storybook", not a word for word translation by any means.  There are a lot of reasons why I like it.  I will give one, based upon my personal experience.

When my older children were little, I took the whole character training route.  Not that there is anything wrong with character training.  UNLESS, they pick up along the way that good character earns them favor with you.  And with God.  At some point, by God’s grace, I learned that character could not be taught apart from the Gospel.  One might as well teach a blind man to see. Not that I don’t struggle with this still.  But that’s why I like the Jesus Storybook Bible. Everyone, anyone, will see the precious Gospel woven throughout; they will see God, Christ, in every story, not the dreaded to do list.  

A beautiful example from the story of the Ten commandments:  "God promises to look after you," Moses said.  "Will you love him and keep these rules?"  "We can do it! Yes! We promise!"  But they were wrong.  They couldn't do it.  no matter how hard they tried, they could never keep God's rules all the time.  God knew they couldn't.  And He wanted them to know it, too.  Only One Person could keep all the rules.  And many years later God would send Him - to stand in their place and be perfect for them.  Because the rules couldn't save them.  Only God could save them.  

Like many, I taught my children when they were young about  the rules they had to follow in order to escape my wrath and God's.  I taught them about the characters in the Bible, more than about the God of the Bible.  I taught them that Noah was the only “good” man in the world, and thus he was saved from the flood.  I taught them about Joseph’s bad brothers selling him into slavery; I told them they could be Davids slaying their Goliaths. I tried to teach them to be good….or else. 

Our dialogues went something like this:
Me:  why can’t you just obey me?
Child: I don’t know.
Me:  Well, you better figure out why because the Bible says you are to obey your parents.  Yada-yada-yada.

Today, my dialogue with my youngest goes something like this:
Child:  I can’t obey.  Its too hard.
Me:  I know.  That is why Jesus came.  He knew you could not obey on your own.
Child: Will he help me obey?
Me:  Of course, he will. 

The Jesus Storybook Bible won’t teach your kids to be like Noah, or David, or even Christ for that matter.  It won’t give you a list of character traits that your child must master.  What it will teach you, and help you to teach your kids, is that God's love is unmerited and unrestrained; and that He is a Faithful and Sovereign Creator, King and Deliverer; and that faith in Him is the only way to Him.    It will help you and your child go back to your real, non-storybook Bible, and more clearly see Christ in every story.   And I like that.  



  1. Have you ever seen the curriculum that is already available for Jesus Storybook Bible? It comes with amazingly PRECIOUS videos that make my eyes welly every time I use it (or just look at them personally!) I LOVE it!

    And there's also the Gospel Storybook Bible (different publisher/creator) but same principle for older kids that's great, as well.

    Oh, and if you've not seen it, there's now Jesus Calling/Jesus Storybook Bible (which is cool) - a kids version of Jesus Calling, but using bits of JSB with it.

    AND, perhaps my new favorite, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing - also by the JSB people - it's AMAZING. Sort of a devotional...totally worth getting. Everyone I've given it to loves it...(and I suspect uses it personally more than with their kids!)

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