It seems like ages ago that David Murray began to create devotionals for children and to release them through his blog. I quickly realized their unique value and began to give them to my own kids. In their first form these devotionals were just basic Microsoft Word documents—so basic that I would actually reformat them and make them look prettier before printing them off and handing them to my kids. In that way my children’s earliest devotional habits were formed around Murray’s work and they continued to use it until they got too old and had to move on.
I was glad to see Murray eventually team up with Crossway and artist Scotty Reifsnyder to create Exploring the Bible. That volume has now been joined by a second titled Meeting with Jesus: A Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids (and will soon be joined by a third that is geared toward family worship and titled Exploring the Bible Together). As with its predecessor, Meeting with Jesus is intended for children aged 6-12 and offers short, 5-minute devotionals that will help children build a life-long habit of reading Scripture and praying.
As you may surmise from the title, the premise of the book is that each of us—even young children—can have the privilege of meeting Jesus. The question, of course, is how. How can our children meet him? “If he is in heaven and we are on earth, we cannot meet him face-to-face. That’s where the Bible comes in. God has designed the Bible so that we can meet Jesus as we read it, hear it preached, and discuss it with others. That’s why this book will help you to read the Bible, to hear it preached, and to discuss it with others. My hope and prayer is that in doing so you will meet Jesus in and through the Bible, as millions of others have.”
The book is structured around 50 “meetings” with Jesus, and each meeting is a week’s worth of devotions. The week begins with “Talking to Jesus,” which is a place to record prayers and “Remembering Jesus” which is a memory verse. From Monday to Saturday there is a brief Scripture passage to read and a simple question to answer. Sunday includes a place to record some thoughts and answer some questions about that week’s sermon. And so it continues week after week for nearly a year. It’s as simple as can be, and as effective too. The simple format is perfectly complemented by the stylized illustrations.
What may be more effective than describing the book is displaying it, so here is an example of what children will encounter as they work their way through Meeting with Jesus.
Meeting with Jesus is a worthy follow-up to Exploring the Bible, and I recommend it with equal enthusiasm. Between the two books, you won’t lay a better foundation for a lifelong habit of reading the Word and meeting with the Lord.Buy from Amazon