Stab may be a bit brutal sounding, but what I mean is to apply the biblical theme to the child’s everyday life. So many Bible story books for children just give the “facts” without applying the theme or lesson to the child’s heart or his daily life. Matters of the heart are: to stir up a love for God, of gratefulness for what Jesus has done for him personally; to show him how he has offended God; to increase his awe and reverence for His creator. It is about the heart because it is what the child feels, experiences spiritually. Applications from a story to a child’s everyday life are about how he acts toward others; his integrity, perseverence, self-discipline; his worship of the true and living God of the Bible. Make it a habit for yourself: never tell a Bible story to children without applying the sweeping biblical themes to the child wherever he/she is in his development. Here’s an example; the applications are in italics:
Matthew 14– Jesus Shows He Is God
The King had just killed John the Baptist, Jesus’s cousin– the one who lived in the desert, whose preaching helped prepare hearts to accept Jesus as the promised Savior. Crowds followed Jesus to a desolate place along the Sea of Galilee. He wanted to be alone because of his grief for his cousin. This shows us how much like us he was. But he had such compassion for the people who had followed him, he healed the sick, and then turned five loaves of bread and two fish into enough food for five thousand men plus all the women and kids–maybe fifteen thousand ate from that bread and fish Who could do that?! It was an extra-ordinary miracle, witnessed by thousands of people. It showed that John the Baptist was right: Jesus was really the Savior promised in the Old Testament. He was God. Do you believe this really happened? Do you believe that Jesus is God–the Savior, your Savior? If you do, you should tell someone–your Mother, perhaps?
Jesus gave another proof of who He was by walking on water in the middle of the night when the Sea was rough and windy. Only his disciples saw this, but they later agreed it had really happened. Peter even tried to walk on the water himself, but, of course, that didn’t last long. He was like us–weak in our faith, tending to doubt. Do you sometimes question if all this really happened? Do you need to ask God to help you believe in Him and have faith that Jesus really is your Savior? Have you ever asked Him to give you a new heart? Have you asked Him to forgive you?
After walking on water, Jesus showed again who He really was by healing among a big crowd of people. Anyone who touched the edge of his clothes was made well. It wasn’t done secretly; everyone saw these people healed right then. It was another way of showing that He was God, and that He cared about people. Are you kind to people when they’re sick? Our world is filled with sickness, even death. One day it won’t be that way but for right now it is. We need to show we care.Â What can you do this week for someone who is sick and would love to know you care about them?
See how the theme of Jesus is the Messiah, God in our flesh, our Savior bores into the mind, heart, and relationships? Is does kind of stab after all. Always apply your Bible story. Kids can take it! They need it.