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Big Truths for Young Hearts

July 23, 2013 | by: Michael Shafran | 0 comments

Posted in: Parenting Tags: parenting, Christian Doctrine

Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God 

Big Truths BookFor the last few months, we have been teaching our kids some important and at times weighty truths about God. Sometimes it is difficult to explain the “doctrines” to children in terms they understand. Typically, either the books written are too generic (or even just plain wrong!) on the Bible’s teaching or way too complicated.

   Bruce Ware has hit a nice balance here with his book Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God. Dr. Ware is professor of theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This is no “dry” theology book however. Encouraged by his now grown daughters, Dr. Ware puts into print now those teachings he sought to instill in his own daughters when they were young.

   Like many Christian parents, he would pray with his daughters before going to bed, but he wanted to instill in them the greatness of God. This book is a systematic summary of those “Big Truths” that Dr. Ware would teach his theology students but brought down to the level his daughters could understand and appreciate.

    As we have been reading this book in our family devotional time, we have been working slowly through it. There are ten major sections with six chapters in each section. Each chapter is about 2-3 pages long. On some chapters, I have found it better to split the chapter into two days. We’ll read a few paragraphs of the chapter the first day then review and finish the chapter the next. My children are 3, 6, & 9 so this has worked well for us. Parents with older children could easily cover one chapter each night. Each chapter also ends with a couple review questions as well as a memory verse that is very helpful.

    While it is written with kids (of all ages) in mind, parents will greatly benefit from it. As Dr. Ware explains (pp. 14-15), for younger kids, parents will need it read to them while middle school age kids could easily read it themselves. This is also a good introductory book for adults who may not be familiar with all the teachings of the Bible and are learning them for the first time. I can tell you as a pastor, while my kids are learning, I am enjoying it as well.

   Take a moment and look over the contents of this book. It deals with some hard yet helpful topics all parents will need to talk with their kids about such as evil and bad things in the world, what happens to Grandma when she dies, and what must we do to be saved, to list just a few.

Here is a list of the Contents:

 1. God’s Word and God’s Own Life as God

  • God has made Himself known
  • God Talks – The Bible is God’s true and lasting Word
  • God is God apart from us
  • God is God with us
  • Some truths about God’s richness that make Him God
  • Some truths about God’s kindness that make Him God

2. God as Three in One

  • There is only One God
  • One God in three Persons
  • The Father is God
  • The Son is God
  • The Holy Spirit is God
  • How the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Relate

3. Creator and Ruler of All

  • Who made the World? God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) did
  • God rules the world He has made
  • God provides all good things in the world
  • God controls all bad things in the world
  • Our responsibility in the world God controls
  • Pain and suffering in the world God controls

4. Our Human Nature and Our Sin

  • Men and women, boys and girls – God’s Masterpieces
  • What it means to be made in God’s image
  • Other features of being human
  • How sin came into our world and what sin is
  • How sin has spread to all people
  • The punishment for our sin

5. Who Jesus Is

  • A Person Who was alive long before He was born
  • The incarnation – God and Man together
  • How Jesus emptied Himself in becoming also a man
  • Jesus lived in the power of the Spirit
  • Jesus resisted temptation, living a sinless life
  • What Christians of the early Church came to believe about Christ

6. The Work That Jesus Has Done

  • Jesus’ death shows God’s justice and His mercy toward our sin
  • Jesus paid the full penalty for sin
  • Jesus’ victory over Satan by his payment for sin
  • Jesus’ resurrection: the proof that Christ’s death for sin worked
  • Jesus is King over all
  • But is Jesus really the only Savior?

7. The Holy Spirit

  • The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament times
  • Old Testament Promises of future Spirit transformation
  • The Spirit on Jesus and on Jesus’ followers
  • The Holy Spirit gives new life in Christ
  • The Holy Spirit unites believers together in Christ
  • The Holy Spirit fills believers to live for Christ

8. Our Great Salvation

  • God’s kindness and wisdom in choosing some to save
  • “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
  • Declared right in God’s eyes when we believe
  • Made more like Christ through all of our lives
  • Saved by good works? No – Saved for Good works? Yes
  • But must people know about and believe in Christ to be saved?

9. The Church of Jesus Christ

  • Jesus is the Lord of the church
  • A people of the New Covenant
  • Communities of Christians who worship and serve together
  • Baptism: Picturing Jesus’ death and resurrection
  • The Lord’s Supper: Remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection
  • Growing the Church through making disciples

10. What Will Take Place in the End

  • Knowing the future helps in the present
  • What happens to Grandma when she dies?
  • The Promise-keeping God and the Salvation of Israel
  • Jesus will come again
  • The suffering of Hell and the joys of Heaven
  • God’s greatness and glory shown forever and ever

You can purchase the book from Amazon, Christian Book Distributers, or WTSbooks.