This week the blog is sponsored by Reformed Free Publishing Association. This post is about their brand new picture book, The Ten Commandments for Children, written by Prof. Ron Cammenga and illustrated by Ana Sebastián.
Jesus Christ is glorified when we obey Him. That is what Jesus meant when he told his disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Because we love our Savior and we want to bring glory to his great name, we live according to his law—by keeping the Sabbath day holy, avoiding theft and murder, telling the truth, and all the rest. We want our children to show the world their love for Jesus, and so we teach them to obey God’s law, too, even from a young age.
But what is harder to explain to our children, and what we can often forget, is that there is so much more to keeping God’s law than following a list of do’s and do not’s. God sees and knows our hearts.
We might bring the whole family to church each week, but God knows where our minds actually are on Sunday morning. Our children might not swipe the gadgets from Best Buy that are small enough to fit in their pockets, but God sees the bitterness and envy they harbor toward friends and classmates who always seem to have the latest device connected to their air pods.
Truly keeping God’s law is so much more than external obedience. Truly keeping God’s law is loving him and loving others from the heart.
If you are looking for a resource you can share with your family to explain and apply this truth, consider The Ten Commandments for Children by Ronald Cammenga. This new children’s book from the Reformed Free Publishing Association (RFPA) explains and applies each commandment in language that kids understand. In two to three chapters, it covers what God forbids—the negative side of each commandment—and what he requires—the positive.
The book is made up of 28 two-page chapters that can be used either as lessons or devotions on God’s law. Here is the layout of the book:
- Chapters 1–2 introduce the law of God
- Chapters 3–6 explain why God has given us his law
- Chapter 7 teaches about love, the summary of the law
- Chapters 8–28 present each commandment in two to three chapters, focusing first on what is forbidden in each commandment (the negative) and then what is required (the positive)
This book is the first in a three-part series by the author, Prof. Ron Cammenga of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
If you have children or grandchildren, Ten Commandments would make a great devotional to close out the summer or start the school year off right.
“The book is designed not just to be read to them,” says the author, “but also to serve as a devotional you can use with your kids in the morning before they go off to school.”
Kids and parents alike will also appreciate the beautiful full-color illustrations by Ana Sebastián, a digital illustrator based in Madrid, Spain.
Here are a couple of excerpts from chapters 24 and 25 that demonstrate the positive and the negative applications of the ninth commandment.
From Chapter 24, “Do Not Lie!”
A lie is a deliberate untruth. You know what the truth is. But you deliberately change the truth.
Often people lie to cover up a sin or avoid punishment. How often haven’t you done that? You were being mean to your sister or brother, but when your mother asks you about it, you lie. You deny that you said or did anything mean.
From Chapter 25, “Speak the Truth in Love!”
We must speak the truth that God is the only true God, that God’s word is truth, that God’s Son Jesus is the only Savior. We must also speak the truth about ourselves—never lying to impress people with how great we are. And we must speak the truth about others so that we never put them down or make them look bad. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.”
Let’s teach our children to glorify their only Savior, by keeping his commandments from the heart.
You can purchase your copy of The Ten Commandments for Children here. Subscribe to the Reformed Free Publishing Association email list on their website homepage to be notified of sales, news, and upcoming children’s book releases.