Last year we did Advent at Christmas time. My kids loved it and learned so much from it. I wanted to ride the wave of their enthusiasm for the Word and made it my NUMBER ONE new year’s goal for 2017 to do weekly devotions with the kids. So I started the year doing what I typically do; wing it. We went through the fruits of the spirit and I had them cut out fruit shapes as we studied each of the nine attributes over the course of 9 weeks.
They also learned the sign language for 5:22-23 which was awesome (too bad I can’t get the video to load).
Then we moved into the Lord’s Prayer and now we say it as a family almost every night.
I’ve really wanted to keep this up, but we’ve been lingering on The Lord’s Prayer for a while and I wasn’t sure where to go next. That’s when Susan Shipe of Hope Heart Home put out a request for bloggers to review her new book 52 Commands of Jesus for Children- A One Year Devotional with 52 Coloring Pages I jumped at the opportunity.
This is exactly what I had been looking for, a one year devotional-journal for parents to use with their children.
The book goes through 52 commands and character qualities of Jesus. One for each week of the year. I can’t think of anything better than unpacking the things that Jesus taught us and to really focus on them one at a time. I love it so much I could just about forget the children and keep it to myself. Just kidding, I can share. I want to share! I really want my kids to get this and it’s something that you can use over and over.
If you do want to reuse the book or if you have more than one child and don’t want your children to color on the pages you can print copies of the individual images and graphics from Susan’s website (here).
In the introduction of the book, Susan says “The 52 Commands of Jesus, found in the Gospels, each teach a character quality and it is that which offers the great lesson- how do we instill these characteristics in our children? This devotional is a simple place to begin the journey”
Just a few examples of the character qualities covered in the book are virtue, determination, justice, and contentment. Remember when I talked about choosing two main character traits for your family to focus on as core values? My husband and I chose compassion and self-control and those are both covered in the book 52 Commands of Jesus for Children (day 21 and day 7) so I can’t wait to go over them with the kids.
I know I am talking about character when the book is about the commands of Jesus, but each command is paired with the character trait. Commands and character go hand in hand which is a lesson in itself. Jesus gave us lots of instruction, but he was clearly most concerned about our hearts. He taught that obedience must be from the heart rather than just technical observance of the law (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-42, 43-44, etc.) This is why I really love how Susan did put a character quality with each command. What a great way to teach kids this valuable lesson that you can’t just follow the laws because you are determined, but because Christ changed you. If you LOVE him you will keep his COMMANDS (John 14:15).
I’ve looked over the book and obviously gotten excited about the 52 Commands of Jesus for Children, but since my oldest son has been out of town I decided to wait for him to get back to get started. I’m sure I’ll have more to say and follow up once we all go through it.
Now for some really fun news. Susan is giving away one copy of 52 Commands of Jesus for Children to one of you! If you have kids, teach Sunday School, homeschool, or are a caregiver you will want this devotion. Better yet, just go to Amazon for your guaranteed copy. The book is only $12.99 (or $6.99 for the ebook) and the information in it is sound Biblical teaching with invaluable impact.
I’ll announce the winner of the giveaway in one week.
Also, if you missed my feature about Susan’s testimony you can check that out here and there is a fantastic interview with Susan about the 52 Commands of Jesus for Children over here at Life Letter Cafe.
This is such an exciting book launch and giveaway. I am so grateful that I get to be a part of it!