I have a thing about kids’ Bible storybooks. I think they are stupid. They are usually full of half Bible stories and no real scripture. I don’t want a storybook that makes Noah’s story about a fun boat ride with animals–when really it’s a story of God’s judgment, protection and love!
When we were children’s pastors, we’d try to look up scriptures with the kids–you know, get them familiar with God’s Word. And a kid would raise his hand and show us a comic book or a book with a cartoon on the front and say, “I can’t find Genesis.” It looked like they had dug through their little sister’s baby books and found the first book that didn’t have a Disney character on it! Kids need a real Bible! (Here’s my fave.) So, usually, I don’t even look at Bible Storybooks. But I’d heard about this book called The Jesus Storybook Bible. I read on a few blogs about how great it was. But really, I was thinking, just get your kid a real Bible. Then I read The Jesus Storybook Bible’s byline, or subtitle or whatever you call it, “Every story whispers His Name.”
That resonates with me! My favorite authors, Brock and Bodie Thoene say it this way, “Everything means something!” God’s Word is not just a story. It is The Story. And this is a storybook that gives us insight to what God’s Story really means to us today! So, I picked it up for Lydia yesterday. It’s a beautiful hardback (I love!) with edge-to-edge full color illustrations. A-maz-ing.
I told Lydia I had a brand new book for her. A Jesus book. She said, “Je-dus! Je-dus!” So, we sat down with her gigantic stuffed bear and read it. I thought we’d read one page. Instead we read the prologue, chapter 1 and chapter 2. By chapter 2 I was crying.
Eve and Adam have eaten the fruit God commanded them not to eat…
“and a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God’s children, ‘God doesn’t love me’…
And terrible pain came into God’s heart. His children hadn’t just broken the one rule; they had broken God’s heart. They had broken their wonderful relationship with him. And now he knew everything else would break. God’s creation would start to unravel, and come undone, and go wrong…
God loves his children too much to let the story end there. Even though he knew he would suffer, God had a plan–a magnificent dream. One day, he would get his children back. One day , he would make the world their perfect home again. And one day, he would wipe away every tear from their eyes.
You see, no matter what, in spite of everything. God would love his children–with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.
And though they would forget him, and run from him, deep in their hearts, God’s children would miss him always, and long for him–lost children yearning for their home.
Before they left the garden, God whispered a promise to Adam and Eve: “It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you! And when I do, I’m going to do battle against the snake. I’ll get rid of the sin and the dark and the sadness you let in here. I’m coming back for you!”
And he would. One day, God himself would come.”
WOW! This is what I want Lydia to learn from God’s Word. That God loves her despite her sin. And He sent Jesus because He was a broken-hearted Father who desired His little girl.
I was so happy to see Lydia excited about her “Je-dus” book. We read it for fifteen minutes at least. Finally she just wanted to flip the pages. She’d point to the pictures and say, “Je-dus” until it turned into a little song. I felt like she was worshiping at the one year old level she knew, “Je-dus! Je-dus! Je-dus!” She’d look at the pictures then point to the words and say, “Mommy, Read!” Oh, how I pray she always desires God’s Word this way!
Please run out and get this book. It’s appropriate for all ages. Children as young as Lydia need God’s Word spoken over their lives. Elementary kids will love to read it and look at the pictures. And adults should just read it because it’s amazing. Here’s a link to the author, Sallly Lloyd-Jones’ blog and a link to buy it. (Because it was a ton cheaper online than at the bookstore. Hmph.)
Oh! And don’t just buy it. Read it. Your kids need you to lay that foundation of God’s Love. Don’t miss out on the most important thing you’ll ever do–introduce your kids to “Je-dus”!