Children need the gospel.
That is the underlying premise of Jessica Thompson's new book Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family.
Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus' substitutionary death on the cross!
It's the drum beat that Jessica keeps playing over and over and over. It was the resounding chorus through her first book (co-written with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick-- Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus). It's the theme of everything Jessica blogs about. And it is the singular message through the family devotionals in this new book. Truly, there is nothing better Jessica could point us to than the gospel. Praise the Lord!
We have no lasting joy outside of Christ. And our children are no different.
I found each of these forty devotionals to be quick reads, but they are slowly simmering their way through ongoing conversations in my home. Jessica illustrates lessons from Scripture with real-life scenarios about children who are just like your kids and mine-- children who need to know the love of Christ. I think any elementary-age child would be able to latch on to the stories, engage in the candid discussion of Scripture, and rehash the teachings about the gospel throughout their everyday experiences.
Jesus extolled child-like faith. And the precious irony of discipling our children is that the Spirit gifts parents with child-like faith as they go about this glad work. Exploring Grace Together is basically a collection of forty different reminders that we can all heave a collective sigh of relief that the burden of our sin has been lifted by Jesus himself and he gives us everything we need for life and godliness.
I am so thankful for the way this book challenged me personally. Here's the thing-- I know (and heartily agree with) the truth that children need the gospel more than they need behavior modification. But in the thousands of little moments with my children throughout the days and nights, the first thing I want to reach for is behavior modification simply to make my life more convenient for the next ten seconds. Reading Jessica's book was like throwing kindling on a fire for my affections for Christ, whose grace is steadily and surely digging the roots of my convenience-idol out of my heart. Only Jesus can enable us to love grace forever more than we love ten seconds of convenience.
You can pre-order Exploring Grace Together on Amazon and The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide). But if you can't wait two weeks for a hard copy to come in the mail, the Kindle edition is available now.