The One Habit We Want All Our Kids to Have

The introduction to David Murray's new Bible reading plan for kids

Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids has just been officially released. Apart from Amazon, you can also buy it at Reformation Heritage Books or Westminster Books. Access sample pages here. It can be used with any version of the Bible. Here’s the introduction that explains a bit more of the thinking behind the book and it’s aim of getting our kids into the happy habit of daily Bible reading.

 

We were totally lost with no idea which way to turn. A few hours earlier forty of us boys and six adult leaders had set out to climb a mountain near our church’s summer camp.

We started out with great excitement as we looked forward to the challenges on the way to the summit: a mysterious forest, swampy fields, fast-flowing streams, sharp rocks, slippery paths, and steep climbs. But it would all be worth it for the view at the top.

But now we were wet, tired, hungry, cold, scared, and very, very lost.

LOST ON A MOUNTAIN

What went wrong?

Our leaders had forgotten to check the weather forecast, which would have warned them about the fog and rain that met us halfway up the mountain. They had also failed to provide us with maps, compasses, and whistles, in case we got separated from the main group.

And now, four of my friends and I were on the side of a cold and dangerous mountain, with no leader, no compass, no map, no food, no raincoats, and no idea where to go. We longed for someone to appear out of the mist to show us where to go next and lead us home. We’d long given up hope of reaching the summit. Obviously, I’m here to tell the tale, so I must have survived! If you hang around, I’ll tell you how.

LOST IN THE BIBLE?

Perhaps sometimes you feel lost and confused when reading the Bible. You start to read it as an excited explorer, looking forward to discovering amazing truths about God and the gospel. But after a few chapters you feel lost in a fog, not knowing where you are or where to go. You keep trying to push forward but you lack a leader, a map, and a compass. You wish someone would not only help you take the next step but also lead you to the summit so that you might see the Christian faith in a new and wonderful way.

That’s where this book, Exploring the Bible, comes to your rescue. It will act as your leader, map, and compass to the Bible. It won’t take you to every part of the Bible, but it will take you to the main peaks and give you an all-round view of its beautiful landscape. At times we’ll slow down and look at some parts more closely. Other times, we’ll speed up in order to get to the next major mountain peak in the Bible’s story. By the end of a year, you’ll have learned skills to help you explore the Bible on your own with safety and success.

EXPEDITION

We’ll go on one expedition a week. Unlike my disastrous camp, we’ll begin each expedition with a plan to map out the chapters of the Bible we’re about to explore.

PRAYER POINTS

We’ll then pray for God’s blessing on our travels and write down a couple of extra prayer points for the week. For example, we might pray for help with schoolwork. Or we could pray for our parents, our friends, our church, or for different nations and the missionaries that work there.

SNAPSHOT

I still have a couple of photos from my doomed climbing trip. Every time I look at us, soaked by the rain and surrounded by fog, the bad memories come flooding back.

But I want us to take snapshots of our expeditions that will bring back good memories. That’s why I’ve selected a memory verse from each week’s trip. Write it out from your Bible, and then try to memorize a bit of it each day so that you will build up a bank of wonderful memories from your travels.

DAILY LOG

The daily log has a title that sums up that day’s trip and a note of what verses to read. It has space to write out a verse or answer a question. That’s to help us keep thinking about what we have been reading and to remind us of what we have learned along the way.

EXPLORING WITH OTHERS

Sunday is rest-and-recharge day. Instead of continuing our march through the Bible, we’ll pause and think about what we’ve learned from the past week. We’ll look ahead to what God will show us later in the Bible. And we’ll think about how to live out the Christian life. This is where it’s good to involve Dad or Mom. Perhaps ask them to look at your daily log and chat with them about anything you found difficult.

They can also help you with the discussion questions, which are designed to connect our week’s reading with the rest of the Bible and with our lives.

Another fellow-explorer we can learn from is our pastor. He’s an experienced traveler in the Bible and can teach us how to explore it better. That’s why there’s space in the log for you to write down your pastor’s sermon text and his main sermon points, and what you will do in response to his message.

I’m looking forward to exploring the Bible with you and enjoying the beautiful views of God and of salvation that we will discover.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot to tell you how my friends and I were rescued. A strong wind blew away the fog so that we saw a road in a distant valley. When we got to the road, we flagged down a driver who then took us all the way back to our camp. I hope this book will blow away the fog from the Bible and lead you along a road that takes you all the way home to Jesus Christ.

Your Fellow Explorer,

David Murray

David Murray is Professor of Old Testament & Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. This article first appeared on his blog, Head Heart Hand, and is used with permission.



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