“Mom, is the prince in this story supposed to be Jesus?” asked my four-year-old.
“Yes, he is. What makes you think that?”
“Because he dies for the people.”
The most important job we have as parents is to share the gospel of grace with our children. Pointing them to the cross of Christ and what He did for them there is the greatest gift we can give them.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7
One of the ways I teach my children about the gospel is through books. (I know, obvious, right?) Some books are better than others at helping children understand God’s story of redemption. Today I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites and I have one to give away.
1. The Jesus Storybook Bible, Read-Aloud Edition: Every Story Whispers His Name: I know I’ve written about this book over and over but it is truly excellent at showing children how Jesus is part of every story in Scripture. He is the promised Rescuer, sent to save us from sin. It provides a retelling of the story of redemption in a simple way that children can understand. This last year, we’ve used this book in Sunday School as well and the kids there loved hearing the stories and the lessons we taught from it.
2. The Prince’s Poison Cup: Allegories are an excellent way to help children (and adults) understand Biblical concepts. This story is about a King and his people. They sinned by drinking water from a well that they were told not to drink from. The water turned their hearts to stone. The King asks the Prince to drink a cup of poison to rescue His people. This book is an allegory about why Jesus had to die. At the end of the story, there are questions for parents to ask their children to help ensure they understand it.
3. The Lightlings: Another allegory, this book explains how The King of Light made a race of tiny beings called Lightlings. They sinned against the King and ran away to live in the dark woods where there was no light. It’s the story about the Fall, the effects of the Fall, and about the promised Savior born to set them free. It too contains questions at the end for discussion.
And a new one that I found, The Magnificent Amazing Time Machine: A Journey back to the Cross by Sinclair B. Ferguson, is what I am giving away today. We have many of his children’s devotionals but this is the first picture book I’ve found. In this story, the characters go in a time machine back to the even before the beginning of time. They hear the members of the Trinity discuss their plan to save the world from sin. As they continue forward in time, the story of redemption is carried out in front of them. This book focuses on God’s plan to give His only Son to save sinners. It encourages children to share that plan with others.
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