I know I shouldn’t have favorites, but if I had to pick my favorite books of the Bible, James would definitely make the list. Written by James, the brother of Jesus, the Book of James is one of the most easy to understand, practical books in the Bible. Because of that, it is one of the books I suggest kids and teens just beginning to read their Bible independently tackle first.
With only five chapters, a child or teen who reads well can read the entire book in less than an hour. It’s not a bad idea to let them read the book through quickly the first time. They will feel a sense of accomplishment and get a better feel for the meaning of the entire book. You may even want to ask them what they think the “big picture” of the book is after they have read it. We like to ask kids and teens, “Why do you think God thought this letter was important to put in the Bible?”
After your children have quickly read the book, encourage them to go back and read one chapter or even part of a chapter each day. While it’s not quite like Proverbs in that almost every verse has wisdom to practice, it does contain quite a lot of practical advice on living a Christian life. You may even want to have your child create a poster, listing all of the practical advice found in James. Discuss the list as a family. What items do you need to work on and which ones has your family practiced fairly well so far?
Then take a third look through James together. This part is the most fun and perhaps the most important. What are some “projects” your family can do to put James into practice? Get creative. Have fun with it. The important thing is for your children to begin to understand how the Bible makes a positive difference in lives when it is obeyed.
So grab your kids and your Bibles and take a look at James. It’s a great first book for anyone wanting to read the Bible.