A Book Review from Books At a Glance
by Kristin Stiles
Sinclair Ferguson is a familiar name to many of us, and we appreciate his fine work for adults, but his growing number of books for children most certainly should not be missed. In the 31 Devotions series, Ferguson has written four books (more to come?) to assist children in spending time every day with Jesus and thinking about Him. The individual titles in the series are these:
I had the opportunity to read through the last two of these books.
For each of the 31 devotions, Ferguson begins with the same one-sentence prayer asking God to help the child to think about, learn about, and obey God better that day. This is followed by a Scripture reference for the child to read. The length of text varies from a single verse to a whole chapter to selections from several different books of the Bible. This is followed by thought-provoking questions or explanations or relevant anecdotes from Ferguson’s life or events from history that help the child ponder the topic for the day. Those topics cover a broad spectrum of information: attributes of God, Christian living, assurance of salvation, witnessing to others, repentance, persecution, etc.
Ferguson does a good job writing at the level of a child’s comprehension. He uses many real-life analogies that will resonate with any child. He doesn’t talk down to the child, nor does he sugarcoat hard truths. He also makes a point of explaining to the reader that all this added Bible reading and thinking about Jesus are not what saves you. He says that is a wrong concept he had as a boy, and he wants to make sure children understand it is not head knowledge that saves, but repentance and trust in Jesus.
This series would make a great devotional for a family to go through together or for an older child to use on his/her own. There is a wealth of teaching and encouragement that is offered here that would give a young person a tremendous head start in his/her Christian walk.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.