In my never-ending quest for good Bible story books and devotionals for my kids, I gladly accepted the chance to review Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young and adapted by Tama Fortner. This is a collection of 150 devotions, published by Tommy Nelson publishing, geared for about 6-10 year olds. The underlying theme is that Jesus is a Friend who is always with you. The devotionals concentrate on the love and hope that come from Jesus.
- The devotionals are a good length for this age group, and the language used is clear and understandable.
- Each devotion is a few paragraphs, accompanied by at least 3 directly-quoted Scripture verses. This is a BIG PLUS for me! So many things written for children are dumbed-down, or paraphrased, or simply retold. I like giving kids chunks of real Scripture to digest mentally. Scripture is the Word of God, and I want my kids reading it just as He intended from childhood. It is hard to find a devotional like this for this age group, and I like it. The verses are mainly taken from the ICB (International Children's Bible), which, though very simplified, is "not a storybook or a paraphrased Bible. It is a translation of God’s Word from the original Hebrew and Greek languages." (Bible Gateway website)
- The print is a good size and font for this age group, with simple illustrations but not excessive pictures.
- The theme is well carried-out and explained.
- The devotions are written in first person as if stated by Jesus himself. This may be something some people like. It definitely makes the idea of Jesus speaking through His word more personal to the child. Since the words of the author, however, are written like they are words coming straight from Jesus, I feel like it could be confusing for some children. It is not my preference for a devotional to be done this way.
Overall, I think this is a good devotional book for preteens to use to start having a daily devotional time on their own, as opposed to having Bible stories read to them by their parents. I am using it with my 10-year-old. I do caution, however, that the first-person wording of the devotions needs to be discussed with the child, to make sure he or she understands that the Scripture quotes are directly from the Word of God, while the devotional paragraphs are written by a human author with words she thinks Jesus might say.
About Jesus Today: Devotions for KidsJesus is the Friend who is always with you. Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids will pour this powerful truth into your children's hearts as they learn that He knows everything about them and loves them more than they can imagine. Each devotion is based on Scripture and is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, assuring that He is in control, that He is good, and that an amazing future awaits all who put their hope in Him. Adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year-winner Jesus Today, this devotional has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures. It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together.
Hardcover: 368 pagesAge Range: 6-10 years
About Sarah Young: Sarah Young's devotional writings are personal reflections from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying and writing in prayer journals. With sales of more than 14 million books worldwide, Jesus Calling has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling, Jesus Today, Jesus Lives, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling for Little Ones, Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence -- each encouraging readers in their journey toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.
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