Old Story New
Machowski frees parents from the pressure by giving them everything they need for five daily devotions per week.
Excerpt taken from Old Story New by Marty Machowski
The greatest hope of all Christian parents is to see their children come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Most parents would climb the highest mountain or slay the fiercest dragon should it guarantee their children’s salvation. But just as our conversion was a work of grace, so the conversion of each of our children depends upon the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, not our labors. And yet we are not powerless to act, for in God’s kindness he chose to partner with us in his saving work by giving us something to do.
We get to tell God’s story to our children—the mighty life-transforming message of the gospel. The gospel, the Bible tells us, is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). We are sowers who plant the seeds of faith each time we speak the truth of God’s story to our children. Like a farmer sprinkling the newly planted seed with his watering can, we send our prayers to God while we keep our eyes fixed upon the soil of their lives, waiting to rejoice with the first sprouting leaves. Even then, though we’ve sown the seeds of the gospel, we still marvel and wonder about how they sprouted (Mark 4:26–29).
The gospel story, filled with adventure, suspense, drama, and mystery, easily captures the attention of our children. A good book is said to come alive when you read it if it captures the imagination. The gospel story in the Bible goes a long step further: It is alive and able to cut through the hardest sinful heart, giving life to the deadest, unbelieving soul.
Like a double-edged sword cuts an apple in two, the Word of God cuts through our pride to show us our sin. Then it points us to Jesus, the only hope for our forgiveness before a holy God. As John said toward the end of his Gospel, it was written “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). We are saved, and our children are saved by the Holy Spirit as we review the story of Christ in the gospel.
Why is it, then, that, for so many Christian families, the Bible sits on a table unopened or remains hidden on a shelf, sandwiched between storybooks and a dictionary? One common explanation that some good Christian parents offer is that they don’t know where to begin. The Bible seems long and sometimes complicated. They are not sure how much to read at one time or what to say to their children about what they just read. They are not sure where to begin or how much to share and, if they give it a try only to be met at the end by their children’s blank stares, they get discouraged.