Saturday, August 18, 2012

May I Recommend a Devotional for Kids?

This is not a new devotional so maybe you are already have it and have worked through it.  We decided to take a break from the Jim Cromarty devotional as it could get a little lengthy and was usually too difficult for Seth and sometimes even the girls to understand.   We picked this one up instead for our table devotions and have been very happy with it.  The devotionals are short but packed with meaty theological and practical issues with great examples and word pictures that make what can be a difficult concept easy to understand.  Here are a few of my favorite nuggets from Nancy on various topics (so far...we are only on March 26): 

Holy Living: "Some people think that because God is so generous with grace, holy living is optional..."

God's Wrath:  "God's anger shows us how serious his love is."

Being a Good Person:  "If you see yourself as a basically good person who may have made a mistake or two--if you are a person who deep down believes that God is lucky to have someone like you on his team--you are saying that you really don't need a Savior."

Our Motives:  "When we agree with God's opinion of our efforts to be good--that they're all useless, all tainted with bad motives--we come to God and live before other people empty handed, with nothing good of our own to offer.  And God gives us his own goodness."

God's Standards:  "And while it might seem fair and reasonable to us that God could simply lower his standards to allow for a little sin, a little humanness, to do so would make him less than God."

Tests and Trials:  "When God puts us to the test, he is giving us the opportunity to experience and demonstrate what it is like to live out our faith in him" (Like taking a car for a test drive--not pass or fail--but demonstrating how it operates)

How we spend our time:  "God has given us a great deal of freedom in what we feed our schedules and our souls.  Are you filling up on the junk of the world or working up a big appetite for God?"

God creating something out of nothing:  "It means that God can create faith where there is none in our hearts and minds..."

A continued desire to experience God:  "We lose out when we settle for only what we've experienced of God so far."  Like finding out there is chocolate cake for dessert after we have just said "I can't eat another bite!"

Being God's masterpiece:  "You are a masterpiece, not like a Mona Lisa, which hangs in a museum behind thick glass.  You are like a Stradivarius violin, whose true beauty and value are seen and experienced in its usefulness--especially when it is used by a Master."

Thinking about dying:  "It forces us to remember what Christ has done for us on the cross, and it builds our confidence in his victory over eternal death."

Repenting:  "The most godly people you know are godly not because they never sin.  They are godly because they are quick to repent."

Fairness:  "In a completely fair world, there is no room for grace--receiving what you don't deserve."

Meekness:  "Meekness is strength under control"

Prayer:  Prayer is about a two-way conversation with God, not about wearing him down to get what we want.  Asking, seeking, and knocking have little to do with getting what we want from God and everything to do with enjoying the Spirit in our lives."

And I love the January 16 devotion on Examine Yourself (examining ourselves for true faith), March 24, A Deposit to Your Account (an illustration on faith as a channel to receive the righteousness of Christ) and the follow-up on March 25, God Picks Up Your Tab (continued illustration on the imputation of Christ's righteousness and payment of our debt.)

The only negative of the devotional is the lack of index on topics or Scripture verses.  If you ever think, "How did Nancy explain that or what illustration did she use?" and want to go back to check it out you are forced to page through the entire devotional.   So, if you don't have this devotional and are looking for a new one to use with kids I highly recommend this one (for whatever my opinion is worth!)

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