“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”
As I became a teacher and as I have become a parent, something has been strong on my heart. I want my children to know Jesus. I want them to ache for Him and strive to please Him and live for Him and bring Him glory. I want this more than anything. I want it more than their happiness and more than their success. I will know that I have done God’s will in my life if my children grow up to know Him.
I am concerned about kids these days, just like everybody else is. I’m worried about how disrespectful kids are when they are “bored.” I’m worried about how they never have to learn to sit through a church service because they always have one catered specifically to their age group that is flashy and fun at all moments. I’m worried about how so many children’s versions of bible stories are based completely on the “good” parts of the characters and not on their sin, which is the whole point of the bible! God uses sinful, horrible, terrible people to bring glory to Himself. Constantly! Always! Every time!
My church does an amazingly good job of teaching kids about God’s word, but I want something extra for my home. I want my kids to read the whole bible when they are kids. I want them to know that the “boring” parts AND the interesting parts are all from God. I want them to see some of the absolutely awful people that God used for His glory. I want them to see the relevance and to seek to come to Him in all of those moments. I want them to love and cherish God’s word as a vital part of their everyday lives instead of a chore or an item on their checklist. Most importantly, I want them to connect from an early age that the whole bible points to Jesus, even thousands of years before He was born! The Jesus Storybook Bible does a great, great job of this! But it doesn’t include the whole entire bible, and that’s where I’m drawing my inspiration for the Matthew 19:14 project: I want to paraphrase the entire bible for kids and show the connections to Jesus.
So for this mission, I am going to create kids’ story versions of the entire bible according to the guidance that I feel through prayer from the Holy Spirit. I pray that as I strive to create stories at an appropriate cognitive level for kids that I keep the heart and message of the story in a way that brings glory to God. I pray that this work will soften my own heart to the message of Christ as if I am again a little child, of whom the kingdom of heaven belongs. I pray that this work will speak to children in elementary school so that they have another resource from which to learn about their Jesus. Because He is their Jesus, too. I pray that they will use this work to come to Him and to not be hindered.