All Christian parents know they have a duty to instruct their children in Bible doctrine and knowledge of the Gospel, but many find it difficult to find time to do so. Marty Machowski doesn't pull any punches when he says these excuses are largely the result of our sin nature, but rather than simply judge, he offers an excellent solution:daily 10-minute devotionals for busy families that illuminate for children the history of redemption through Christ.
Long Story Short is the first of a two-volume devotional series (the second volume is titled Old Story New) aimed at discovering the ways Old Testament passages point forward to Christ, and how New Testament passages look back to His redemptive work. Designed for use five days a week and covering 1 1/2 years, volume one covers the entire Old Testament in easy-to-manage lessons that require no preparation or supplementary material other than a Bible.
Parents read a Bible passage followed by the lesson—which begins with a short object lesson, review questions from the previous day, or points to look for in that day's reading—and students answer questions at the end. While the material is best suited to 1st-6th graders, the author offers advice for using it to teach both younger and older kids; older kids may find the content considerably less compelling, and younger kids will likely not comprehend much of it. The commentary and questions are easy to grasp without being totally generic or requiring no thought on the part of children.
Christians throughout the millennia have had to fight to preserve a pure Gospel, one untainted by secular influence or weak theology. Machowski's commitment to the presentation of the historic Gospel is both refreshing for parents and essential for imparting the faith to children. His methods (time-tested in over 22 years of service as children's ministry director at his church) are easy to implement and yield genuine results.
While each day explores a different Scripture passage, there is plenty of review so kids genuinely grasp the material and retain information. And the 10-minutes-a-day approach ensures that neither you nor them will get burned out, a particularly important consideration when considering which devotional to use with your family.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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