A Book Series Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
There is a wide selection of devotional books for children on the market. This series, however, takes a unique approach by focusing on three aspects of the Christian life: conversion, godliness, and sharing the gospel.
Each devotional story in this series has five components. The stories begin with a passage of scripture, usually just a verse or two. Next there is a short story that is related to that passage. These stories are true stories that were taken from 19th century writings and are updated in modern language. Most stories are only a couple of pages, but there are some significantly longer narratives, as well. Following the stories are questions that check basic comprehension and then “Think” questions which are more application-oriented. Finally, there is a sentence to direct a time of prayer.
In volume 1, “Taking Root,” Diana Kleyn provides stories related to conversion. These are stories about how people have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. They range in age and culture and certainly in experience. Some of the people heard stirring messages from a preacher while others were reminded of the gospel truths taught to them as children when a stranger shows them a simple kindness given in Jesus’ name. Many of the stories end with pointed questions to the children about their spiritual condition and call them to salvation.
Volume 2, “Bearing Fruit,” focuses on godliness. These stories feature young and old believers who demonstrate living out the Christian life in word and deed. Some of the characteristics described are faithfulness, kindness, truthfulness, and forgiveness. It is inspiring to hear how God works through His people for their good and His glory.
Volume 3, “Sowing the Seed,” tells stories about sharing the gospel. This is probably my favorite of the series. I love the stories about everyday people going about their everyday lives and finding ways to share the gospel. It’s too easy to have the mindset of “let the professionals do it.” We are each called to make disciples. A mill worker, a nurse, a mechanic, a sick little child are all tools that God used to share His word with lost people. There are also several stories about pastors and missionaries mixed in, and this is a good lesson to children that God does call many into ministry and that He will equip them for the work He has prepared.
While some of these stories feel rather dated to the modern reader, we serve a never-changing God and the examples of how He worked in the past apply to the present and the future. This series of devotions would be very beneficial to young and old alike and may be the means of grace that God uses to bring your children to salvation or to bring them along further in their sanctification.
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.