Tuesday, December 11, 2012

For Christmas, Give "The Story"

This morning I finished reading "The Jesus Storybook Bible"; not to my children, but to myself. Marian and I do read this particular Bible to our little ones, but I have recently been moving through it on my own in the mornings. I even bought my own copy, because I'm funny about my books.

Each time I would read to my children I found myself wanting to continue the reading, at my pace, not theirs, because I would get so caught up in "The Story"; and because this Bible better than most things I've read reveals "The Story" well; and because I'm not all that creative, and so can't see what the creative see. Let me summarize this way: If you want to know what God has been doing in the world for ever how long the world has been here; and if you want to grasp better the reason for creation and the subsequent giving and fulfilling of God's promises to Adam (Ge 3:15), and Abram (Ge 12:1-3); read this Bible. (By the way, history turns on these promises). If you want to feel the love of God for His sinners, read this Bible. If you want to go further into the meaning and effects of the death, resurrection, ascension, and return of Christ, read this Bible. If you want to get at the heart of what your sin is, read this Bible. And if you want to understand what Jesus meant when He said that all of the Scriptures are about Him, read this Bible. If you have read your Bible but struggled to gain from it or be changed by its contents, read this Book.

This Bible is a splendid and even transforming gift for adults, and then for children. If Dad and Mom could lay hold of the message of this Book, and pass it on to their children, how happy and beautiful and distinct and fit for heaven our families would be.

And if you have unbelievers in your life (I hope you do) for whom you pray and labor that they may come to faith, give them this Bible. You might want to explain that you do not insult them by giving them something written for children; that you have read it and benefited from it, and that it reveals remarkably well the ways and works of the Creator to get His people back. Besides, isn't it true that we all need to improve our understanding of and love for the foundations and extending basics of God's message in the Scriptures? This Book will do much for that. It gets to the heart of the matter by showing the gracious heart of God and the rebellious heart of people. It makes sense of so many of the smaller parts and pieces of the long story. And it does so in brief, hitting "highlights" from the Old and into the New Testament.

I finish with this: I've never enjoyed reading anything more. I learned from Sally Lloyd-Jones' insight (The Scripture texts are her paraphrases/interpretations). My view of God has been challenged, and changed, for good. And the "good" that flows from Him in the news of the gospel means more to me because of "The Jesus Storybook Bible."

Check it out here, along with related resources.

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