Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young, a review

Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young, adapted by Tama Fortner, is a devotional book for kids adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year winner Jesus Today.  The book includes 150 short, one-page devotions, accompanied by 2-4 related scriptures written out on the facing page.  Interspersed throughout are two page spreads with an inspiring quote and an additional Bible reference.  The book also includes a scripture index.  

The problem I have always had with this book, and others by Sarah Young, is that the devotions are written in the first person, as if Jesus was speaking.  It seems a bit presumptuous of Ms. Young to speak for Jesus--if I want to know what Jesus has to say, I can read the Bible.  Ms. Young does a terrific job, though, of basing her words on scripture.  She lifts words straight from the accompanying Bible verses, and those words are italicized in the devotional reading so the reader knows they are scriptural.

I love the messages in the pages of this book.  As I mentioned, everything is based in scripture, and I have found tremendous hope and reassurance.  The devotions are written in language that young children can easily understand, with themes appropriate for children, and the short, two-page per devotion format is perfect for kiddos who are about 8-12 years old.

The main problem I still have with this book, though, is it feels terribly awkward to read these out loud, and reading out loud is how my family does devotions--none of my kiddos reads devotions on their own.  If they did, this book would be a terrific option for them.  It feels a bit blasphemous for me to be reading, out loud, something like, "I watch over and protect everyone who loves Me.  Let this promise of mine comfort you.  This promise is for you because you love Me."  As if it's actually me, and not Jesus.  I've adapted by replacing I and Me with Jesus when I read out loud, but that has been cumbersome.

Bottom line: this scripturally based devotional can be a great resource for families, if you can get over the first person writing perspective.

I received this book for free from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

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