In the New Testament, in the second letter from Paul to his young disciple and partner in the gospel, Timothy, Paul writes:
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT
And many of us are also familiar with Christ’s own declaration that “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
These truths are not only relevant to adults, though. If God’s Word is so foundational, and so important for teaching us what is true, what is right, and helping us follow after God in an increasingly confusing, chaotic and dark world, should we not also be reading it with our children and teaching them to dig deep into God’s Word on their own?
Now we know this can be a slightly intimidating charge. The Bible is huge and has some admittedly odd and even gruesome stories. It can be hard enough to know where to begin and what to focus on for ourselves, much less for our children.
That is why we want to suggest what we believe to be 7 great Bible stories to read to your children. This will give you a good place to start and hopefully give you the encouragement and confidence you need to explore further afterward.
Creation – Genesis 1-2
There is no better way to start teaching your children about God and sharing the Bible with them than beginning at the very start with the Creation story. This is where children will learn the “why” of our existence.
They will see God’s orderliness, perfection, and His delight in His creation as you read with them each step as God created the world and then man in His own image. They will see that the world and man was made perfect and that mankind had a perfect and fulfilled relationship with God and with creation.
It is important for children (and for us) to understand the perfection and joy with which the world began. The rest of the Bible is about how this was lost and how God pursues mankind to redeem them and fallen creation.
The Fall – Genesis 3
Next in chronological order and importance is the story of the fall of Adam and Eve from perfection and relationship with God into sin and a broken relationship with God, creation, and each other.
Through reading this story with your children, they will learn that Adam and Even chose to believe the serpent, Satan, rather than God, and their pride led them to disobey God’s only command. Their sin resulted in its consequences: separation from God and death.
Though a harsh story, it is vital for children to understand the fall and its consequences. It will help them understand what the rest of the Bible is about – their need for salvation and God’s loving pursuit of humankind and His provision of salvation ultimately through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Understanding the Fall will also help children understand the darkness, brokenness and chaos of the world around them, which they will begin to see more and more as they grow. The Fall has led to a world history full of humanity’s errors and pain as seen in war, sickness, and all kinds of cruel and devastating actions.
Noah’s Flood – Genesis 6-9
Many years after creation people forgot about God. They no longer wanted to hear stories about Him. People became wicked. God decided that He would destroy the world and the people and start over. Instead of creating everything from nothing like He did before, He was going to use just a few people to rebuild the world. All the people who trusted in Him would live. The others would die.
God asked Noah to build a large boat called an ark. God brought animals to Noah to put into the ark. Noah preached to the people that they too could be saved if they would believe in God. Sadly, the only people on the ark when it started to rain were the people in Noah’s family. Eight people were saved from the flood.
The Bible says that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. All the people and animals outside the ark died. When the water finally dried up, Noah and his family let the animals go to begin having baby animals. Instead of creating all the animals again, this is the way God filled the earth with people and animals the second time.
David and Goliath – 1 Samuel 17
The people of Israel were fighting the Philistines. The two armies faced each other for battle. One man from the Philistine army stepped forward to challenge anyone from the Israelite army to fight him. This man was a giant named Goliath. He was over 9 feet tall! A young boy named David heard Goliath mocking God and the Israelites (the people of God). David stood up for God and His people. David took five stones from the river and attacked Goliath with only a slingshot and his faith in God. One rock is all it took for David to kill Goliath. After Goliath fell David cut his head off with Goliath’s own sword.
The Rescue of Israel from Egypt – Exodus 5:1 – 14:31
The Old Testament is full of so many stories of God’s power and faithfulness to individuals and people who do not really deserve it and who would be unlikely heroes.
But few stories so well demonstrate God’s power as well as His plan to rescue mankind through His own effort and provision than the story of the Exodus of Israel.
In this story, children will see how God’s power was supreme over the gods of Egypt, how God gives opportunities to those who do not know Him to turn to Him, God’s faithfulness to do what He says, and a foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrifice for humanity’s sins through the Passover lamb.
The Birth of Christ – Matthew 1-2:23; Luke 1:26-45 and 2:1-40
A pinnacle moment of the Gospel, and ultimately what the whole Old Testament is leading up to, is of course the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s Son and the way to salvation that God gives to mankind.
Children will see how the birth of Christ perfectly upholds the Old Testament prophecies about God’s Messiah, which were given even hundreds and thousands of years before it came about. They will see how God humbled himself by becoming a baby born in the humblest of circumstances, revealing God’s love and faithfulness to mankind.
The Feeding of the Five Thousand – Matthew 14:13-21 and John 6:1-15
The Feeding of the Five Thousand is a great story where children will get to see Jesus’ ability to heal all illnesses, His love and compassion for a hurting people, as well as His ability to take what little is offered by His servants and use it to provide abundantly more than is needed.
Children will get to see that even if they only have a small amount to offer to God, He can use it to accomplish great things in their lives and the lives of others.
The Easter Story – Luke 22:7 – 24:53
The true climax of the entire Bible and the history of the world – Christ’s trial, crucifixion and resurrection from the dead.
This story will show children that God was faithful to keep His promise to provide a way to be healed from sin and have a right relationship with God again. It will show them that God loved mankind so much that He Himself was willing to suffer and die in mankind’s place, to take their deserved punishment on Himself.
But it will also show them that He is so powerful and so perfect that Death could not hold Him back as Jesus rises again from the dead in three days and comforts His followers and leaves them with His peace and a new assignment to share the good news of salvation with the world.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – Acts 2:1-39
Another important element of the Gospel story is that, though Jesus ascended into heaven, He did not leave His followers alone. He promised to send His Holy Spirit to live inside each believer to empower them to follow Christ’s example and to teach others about Jesus.
The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost will help children see that when they believe in Jesus for salvation, He comes to live inside of them through the Holy Spirit, who will be their comforter, their teacher, and the One to give them strength to do what is right and to tell others about Him.
Buy a Children’s Bible Online Today
These stories are certain to enrich and capture your child’s heart and mind. If you are wanting to share these stories with your child or children, but are needing a reliable place to start, buy a children’s bible online today to begin your special journey.