Read an Excerpt
Children's Favorite Bible Stories
By Tama Fortner
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSTORIES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT
God Creates Light andSpace Genesis 1:1–8
God is eternal. That means God has no beginning and no end. The universe, our world, and everything in it—even time itself—began when God spoke it into being. Let's read about God's amazing creations in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis.
In the beginning God created the sky and the earth. 2 The earth was empty and had no form. Darkness covered the ocean, and God's Spirit was moving over the water.
3 Then God said, "Let there be light!" And there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good. So he divided the light from the darkness. 5 God named the light "day" and the darkness "night." Evening passed, and morning came. This was the first day.
6 Then God said, "Let there be something to divide the water in two!" 7 So God made the air to divide the water in two. Some of the water was above the air, and some of the water was below it. 8 God named the air "sky." Evening passed, and morning came. This was the second day.
The heavens tell the glory of God.
And the skies announce what his hands have made. —Psalm 19:1
Thank you, God, for the beauty of this world. Help me take good care of the beautiful things you have made. In Jesus' name, amen.
Read It! Did you know that Jesus was present at creation? Read about it in John 1:1–2. The Word was Jesus!
Do It! What can you do this week to take care of God's creation? Take some time to help clean up a playground, recycle, or plant a tree.
God Creates Sea and Sky Genesis 1:9–19
Have you ever stood at the edge of the ocean and imagined how deep the water must be? Have you ever wondered if the mountains really do touch the sky? God created this world as a home for every fish that swims, every bird that flies, and every animal that roams. And then God asked us to take care of it all! Let's read about how God prepared a place for every living creature.
Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered together so the dry land will appear." And it happened. 10 God named the dry land "earth." He named the water that was gathered together "seas." God saw that this was good.
11 Then God said, "Let the earth produce plants. Some plants will make grain for seeds. Others will make fruit with seeds in it. Every seed will produce more of its own kind of plant." And it happened. 12 The earth produced plants. Some plants had grain for seeds. The trees made fruit with seeds in it. Each seed grew its own kind of plant. God saw that all this was good. 13 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the third day.
14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the sky to separate day from night. These lights will be used for signs, seasons, days and years. 15 They will be in the sky to give light to the earth." And it happened.
16 So God made the two large lights. He made the brighter light to rule the day. He made the smaller light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 God put all these in the sky to shine on the earth. 18 They are to rule over the day and over the night. He put them there to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that all these things were good. 19 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fourth day.
Blessed be your wonderful name. It is more wonderful than all blessing and praise. You are the only Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens. You made all the stars. You made the earth and everything that is on it. You made the seas and everything that is in them. You give life to everything. The heavenly army worships you. —Nehemiah 9:5–6
Read It! The One who created the waves can also control them. Read about how Jesus calmed the storm in Mark 4:35–39.
Do It! Go outside and see the beauty of God's sunset. Just imagine—God creates a new one every evening!
God Creates All Living Creatures Genesis 1:20–25
What's your favorite animal? Is it a giraffe, an elephant, or a dolphin? On the fifth and sixth days of creation, God made the birds, the fish, and all the other living creatures. Then he put them in the homes he had created just for them, so that the whole world was filled with life!
Then God said, "Let the water be filled with living things. And let birds fl y in the air above the earth."
21 So God created the large sea animals. He created every living thing that moves in the sea. The sea is filled with these living things. Each one produces more of its own kind. God also made every bird that flies. And each bird produces more of its own kind. God saw that this was good. 22 God blessed them and said, "Have many young ones and grow in number. Fill the water of the seas, and let the birds grow in number on the earth." 23 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fifth day.
24 Then God said, "Let the earth be filled with animals. And let each produce more of its own kind. Let there be tame animals and small crawling animals and wild animals. And let each produce more of its kind." And it happened.
25 So God made the wild animals, the tame animals and all the small crawling animals to produce more of their own kind. God saw that this was good.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. —Thomas Ken
Read It! All creatures of the earth were created to show God's glory. Read about it in Psalm 148.
Do It! Visit a zoo and check out the wonderful works of God!
God Creates People Genesis 1:26–31
Even after all those different animals were created, there was something missing from God's creation—someone to glorify God and to take care of his creation. So God created the very first man, Adam.
Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the tame animals, over all the earth and over all the small crawling animals on the earth."
27 So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. 28 God blessed them and said, "Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky. Rule over every living thing that moves on the earth."
29 God said, "Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds. And I have given you all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you. 30 I have given all the green plants to all the animals to eat. They will be food for every wild animal, every bird of the air and every small crawling animal." And it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good. Evening passed, and morning came. This was the sixth day.
You made my whole being. You formed me in my mother's body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. —Psalm 139:13–14
Thank you, God, for making me me! In Jesus' name, amen.
Read It! God created us to do good works. Read about how God wants us to live our lives in Ephesians 2:10.
Do It! Make a card and send it to someone for whom you are especially thankful!
Adam and Eve Genesis 2:18–24
Have you ever been to a wedding? The very first wedding was in the garden of Eden, when God made Eve and gave her to Adam to be his wife.
Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him."
19 From the ground God formed every wild animal and every bird in the sky. He brought them to the man so the man could name them. Whatever the man called each living thing, that became its name. 20 The man gave names to all the tame animals, to the birds in the sky and to all the wild animals. But Adam did not find a helper that was right for him. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply. While the man was asleep, God took one of the ribs from the man's body. Then God closed the man's skin at the place where he took the rib. 22 The Lord God used the rib from the man to make a woman. Then the Lord brought the woman to the man.
23 And the man said,
"Now, this is someone whose bones came from my bones.
Her body came from my body.
I will call her 'woman,' because she was taken out of man."
24 So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife. And the two people will become one body.
"Prayer for the Family"
Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank You for this place in which we dwell, for the love that unites us, for the peace accorded us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow; for the health, the work the food, and the bright skies that make our life delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth. Amen. —Robert Louis Stevenson
Read It! In the book of Mark, Jesus told us how important marriage is to God. Read what Jesus said in Mark 10:9.
Do It! Plan a family night—play games, head for the park, or prepare a meal together. Whatever you do, be sure to thank God for the blessing of your family.
That Bad Snake! Genesis 3:1–15, 23–24
Adam and Eve lived in the beautiful garden of Eden that God had created for their home. God told them they could eat from any tree in the garden—except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Together, Adam and Eve took care of the garden and all the animals. But one day the evil one, in the form of a snake, ruined it all.
Now the snake was the most clever of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day the snake spoke to the woman. He said, "Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?"
2 The woman answered the snake, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But God told us, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it, or you will die.'"
4 But the snake said to the woman, "You will not die. 5 God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will learn about good and evil. Then you will be like God!"
6 The woman saw that the tree was beautiful. She saw that its fruit was good to eat and that it would make her wise. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of the fruit to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.
7 Then, it was as if the man's and the woman's eyes were opened. They realized they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves.
8 Then they heard the Lord God walking in the garden. This was during the cool part of the day. And the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees in the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man. The Lord said, "Where are you?"
10 The man answered, "I heard you walking in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked. So I hid."
11 God said to the man, "Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that tree? I commanded you not to eat from that tree."
12 The man said, "You gave this woman to me. She gave me fruit from the tree. So I ate it."
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What have you done?"
She answered, "The snake tricked me. So I ate the fruit."
14 The Lord God said to the snake, "Because you did this, a curse will be put on you. You will be cursed more than any tame animal or wild animal. You will crawl on your stomach, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your descendants and her descendants will be enemies. Her child will crush your head. And you will bite his heel." ...
23 So the Lord God forced the man out of the garden of Eden. He had to work the ground he was taken from. 24 God forced the man out of the garden. Then God put angels on the east side of the garden. He also put a sword of fire there. It flashed around in every direction. This kept people from getting to the tree of life.
You are my protection, my place of safety in times of trouble. God, my strength, I will sing praises to you. God, my protection, you are the God who loves me. —Psalm 59:16–17
Lord, please protect me from the evil one. In Jesus' name, amen.
Read It! The devil is still on the loose! Read about what he's up to—and what you can do about it—in 1 Peter 5:8–9.
Do It! Look in magazines and newspapers for examples of people making good and bad choices. If the choice was a bad one, what should that person have done instead?
Excerpted from Children's Favorite Bible Stories by Tama Fortner Copyright © 2012 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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