Zondervan’s Jesus: A 365 Day Devotional makes an effort to connect Jesus to all of Scripture through 365 short devotionals for kids. Each contains a starting Bible reference (268 in the Old Testament; 97 in the New Testament), a half-page of text, and a concluding prayer of one sentence. Less than make an attempt to reference from where the Jesus-connection is made and simply say something like, “See? Jesus is like this.” Much of it is typical Evangelical, happy-happy-joy-joy talk that doesn’t push any sort of thinking and wrestling with Scripture. In fact, I noted only seven lessons that point to anything difficult and/or accountability for a Christ follower. It teaches kids simple, sloppy theology like: repent means do the opposite (89), the point of Job is that you get a really good reward (145), just say “yes” to God to live forever (148, 246), ask anything in Jesus name and he’ll give it to you with no reservation (154), and if you’ve ever said “yes” to God then you have eternal life even if you give up and walk away from him (251).
The premise of this book is good, and there are, of course, some lessons that will prove beneficial; however, this is not something I would encourage kids to use. As always, should one choose to use it anyway, I encourage parents/guardians to work through such things with children and know what they’re reading.
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