“Dad, why do people get old and die?”
Kids have questions—important questions. And they expect their parents to have all the answers. But what do you do when your children come at you with those head-scratchers that are sometimes hard even for adults to understand?
Bible Answers for Parents of Curious Kids is a fantastic resource for moms and dads of 5- to 8-year olds. This book includes 101 questions and answers written for parents, giving you the tools you need to engage your children in kid-friendly, faith-building conversations.
Other questions and answers include:
- How could Jesus walk on water?
- Why do we pray if God already knows everything?
- Does God have a mom and a dad?
- What will people do in heaven?
- How did so many animals fit on Noah’s Ark?
- How could a fish be big enough to swallow Jonah?
- Why did God make germs?
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||726 KB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
WHO IS GOD?
God is the great, loving Spirit who lives in heaven. Jesus said many times that God is your "Father in heaven" or "your heavenly Father" (Matthew 5:16, 48; 6:9, 26). So this really is how you should think of Him.
Your heavenly Father is even better than your earthly father. Your Father in heaven always watches over you. He loves you more than you can imagine. He is very kind. Even when bad things happen, He makes sure that everything works out for good in the end.
Think of earthly fathers. They work to earn money so their kids can eat healthy food, wear nice clothes, and have a safe place to live. They provide for them. Jesus said, "Look at the birds ... your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds?" (Matthew 6:26 GNT). Yes, you are! Jesus told you to pray, "Our Father in heaven. ... Give us today the food we need" (Matthew 6:9, 11 GNT). God wants you to trust that He will give you what you need.
Fathers on earth give their kids gifts, and God does too. Jesus said to Jewish fathers, "If you, then ... know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11 NIV). God loves you far more than your earthly father and gives you even better gifts.
God also cares for you and protects you. One way He does this is by giving you rules to keep you happy, healthy, and safe. Jesus said, "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. My Father will love those who love me" (John 14:21 GNT).
God also disciplines you, just like a father. The Bible says, "For the LORD disciplines those he loves. ... As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?" (Hebrews 12:6–7 NLT).
When you disobey God, you make Him sad. But don't worry that He no longer loves you. When children disobey their earthly dad, he might send them to their rooms. But he doesn't kick them out of the house. God is even better! He says, "I will never leave you; I will never abandon you" (Hebrews 13:5GNT).
God loves you and is always looking out for you!
* * *
Can you think of times when God took care of you like a father?
In what other ways is God a Father to you?
HOW BIG IS GOD?
To understand that question, we need to first of all understand how big the heavens are — because that's where God lives. When we say "the heavens," we usually mean the universe made up of stars and planets and empty space. And it has no end.
There are about 170 billion galaxies in the universe. And each galaxy is full of billions of stars. Some galaxies are near, and others are very, very far away. Astronomers can barely see them when they look through the most powerful telescopes. If you took a spaceship past the farthest star in the farthest galaxy, you would find empty space that goes on forever.
Guess what? God is bigger than that. Solomon said, "Not even the highest of heavens can hold God" (2 Chronicles 2:6 ICB). God is everywhere in the universe with every star. He also fills all the empty space beyond the edge of the farthest galaxies.
The Bible says, "God is love" (1 John 4:8 NKJV). Imagine you could go past the edge of the universe, past the last lonely star. You would still find your caring God there. And He would still hold you close.
David said, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast" (Psalm 139:7–10 NIV).
"The LORD says, 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool'" (Isaiah 66:1 GNT). A footstool is a short, small stool that someone rests their feet on when they sit in a big living room chair or on a king's throne. This verse doesn't mean God actually rests his feet on the North Pole. That's not why the Arctic ice is melting. It simply means that God is so huge that our entire planet is very small to Him.
God knows that it's hard for you to imagine Him being so big. That's why He came down to earth as a man, as Jesus, the Son of God. He did it so that you could relate to Him and understand Him better.
* * *
Do you understand how God could be so big?
Does it matter if you can't?
How does learning how big God is help you understand how powerful He is?
HOW CAN GOD KNOW EVERYTHING?
The short answer is God can know everything because He's God.
But here's a longer answer: You can't know everything because your mind is so much smaller than God's mind. Your mind is only a little bigger than a softball, but God's mind is far bigger than you can even imagine. He can think of everything that has ever happened, everything that is happening now, and everything that will ever happen.
A lot of people try to figure that out. But they still can't understand it. Then they say that God doesn't make sense. That's like saying that your math teacher makes no sense because you can't understand what she's teaching. The fact is, she's very smart. You just don't understand the math problem she's explaining.
Have you ever seen a movie or a TV show where a scientist is standing in front of a whiteboard full of long equations? The scientist is a genius and understands those equations. But you say, "All I know is 2 + 2 = 4. I can't make sense of his big equation. So because I can't understand it, it must be nonsense."
What would the other students do if you said that out loud in class? They'd probably all burst out laughing.
The Bible says, "Our Lord is great and very powerful. There is no limit to what he knows" (Psalm 147:5 ICB). Another Bible translation says, "Great and mighty is our Lord; his wisdom cannot be measured" (GNT). There is a limit to your understanding, however. That's why you're in the grade that you're in, and not in the next one. And your understanding and wisdom can be measured. Teachers measure them by asking you questions and by giving you tests. This gives them an idea of what you know and don't know.
"'My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,' says the LORD. 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55:8–9 NLT).
God designed all the amazing living creatures on this planet. He even designed the law of gravity. He's so incredibly smart! You can't possibly understand Someone who knows absolutely everything. You may ask, "How can God know everything? His mind would have to be enormous!" And guess what? It is! Maybe now you understand why God is so big!
* * *
A genius is much smarter than you. How much smarter is God than a genius?
What questions do you have? Who knows the answers to them all?
DID GOD HAVE A MOM AND A DAD?
Good question! Lots of kids ask this one. In fact, when I was young, I asked my grandpa the same question.
Why do you wonder such things? Probably because everything you can think of has a beginning and an ending. You know from nature shows that lions give birth to lion cubs, and elephants give birth to baby elephants. And cats have kittens and baby birds hatch from eggs. You were once a baby too. You celebrate the day you were born with a birthday party.
So you may wonder if God had a beginning too. Did He have a mom and a dad? But if the Lord had a mother and a father, then they would have been God before He was born. Then God wouldn't be the only God. But no one was around before Him. The Lord tells us, "I alone am God. There is no other God — there never has been, and there never will be" (Isaiah 43:10 NLT).
So where did He come from? Well, He has always been. If you could go way, way, way back in time, you would find that God was always there. He is called "the living God." That's because He has always been living and always will live. He has no beginning, and He has no ending. He was never born, and He will never die. Millions of people are born, live their lives, then die. But God lasts forever.
If you don't understand how that works, don't worry. If you could understand everything, you'd be as smart as God. And no person can know as much as God. Right?
You may also have wondered if God has brothers and sisters. The ancient Greeks believed that their "gods" had families just like people. Their fathers and mothers quarreled and fought, and their children did terrible things to each other. But in the Bible God says very clearly: "There is no other God. ... I am the only One" (Isaiah 44:8 ICB). So God doesn't have any brothers and sisters.
Many people in the world say there are lots of gods. But Christians know that there's only one God. These other gods aren't real. They're just made up. Some people worship things as gods. For example, they worship the sun. But it's not a god. A wise man once said that "there is one God, and there is no other but He" (Mark 12:32 NKJV).
* * *
How do you know God doesn't have parents, or brothers and sisters?
What did the Greeks say their gods had families like? "Just like _____."
WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE?
Many people think God looks like an old man with a long, white beard and white hair. They believe He has a face, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth — and a body with arms and legs — just like us. And they picture Him wearing white robes, just like men in Bible days wore. Where do people get these ideas?
They get them from the Bible. The prophet Daniel said, "I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool" (Daniel 7:9NLT).
But remember: God is bigger than the whole universe, so we could never see all of Him at once. The Bible says that "the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him" (2 Chronicles 2:6 NIV). Daniel saw God sitting on a great throne in heaven, in a human-looking body. But God still filled the entire universe.
What does this mean? It means that God was in a body and — at the same time — He was still everywhere outside that body. You can't do something that amazing. You're in one place in one body, and that's the only place you can be. But God can be in one special place — like on His throne in heaven — and still be everywhere else. It's impossible for humans, but God does it all the time.
We don't know how He does it, but we know why He does it. He does it to relate to us. He knows we can't look everywhere at once to see Him. And He knows we're most comfortable seeing other humans. So He appears on His throne in heaven in a human-looking body.
Just because God appears in a human body, doesn't mean He's our size. God is huge! Moses once prayed, "Now, please show me your greatness." God answered, "But you cannot see my face. No one can see me and stay alive." Then God said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. My greatness will pass that place. I will put you in a large crack in that rock. And I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back. But my face must not be seen" (Exodus 33:18, 20–23 ICB). God had to have huge hands to cover the whole opening Moses was standing in.
* * *
Do you think God looks like an old man with a white beard and a robe? Why?
Why did God often appear to people in a human-looking body?
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE SAY THERE IS NO GOD?
The Bible says, "Only fools say in their hearts, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1 NLT). Some people insist that they won't believe in anything they can't see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. It really bothers them that they can't find God with their physical senses. The funny thing is, these same people believe in gravity, even though they can't see it. But gravity keeps on working even when people are foolish enough not to believe in it. Why? Because it's real.
You may have noticed that 99.999% of the time, God can't be seen. In fact, the apostle Paul calls Him "the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15 GNT). That's just the way He normally is. Moses "kept his eyes on the one who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27 NLT). He couldn't see God, but he kept on following Him. He trusted that God was there just the same.
You must do the same thing. "For we live by believing and not by seeing" (2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT). You can't see God, but you can believe He's there. You know He's there because He protects you, gives you peace and love, and supplies what you need. He does small miracles for you every day. The fact that God answers prayer proves that He's real. It shows that He's close to you and is watching over you.
Often, people sin or don't pay any attention to God for a long time. Then He may remove all signs that He's there. He stops answering their prayers — usually because they're no longer praying. So God hides from them. This forces people to search for Him, and they cry out, "God, where are You?"
You may ask, "Does God actually hide Himself?" Well, odd as this may sound, the answer is yes. Isaiah wrote, "Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel" (Isaiah 45:15 NKJV). Another translation says, "The God of Israel ... is a God who conceals himself" (GNT).
Many Christians talk about "seeking God." By this they mean to pray until they feel that God is near. The apostle Paul said God's "purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him — though he is not far from any one of us" (Acts 17:27 NLT). Often, people seek God only for a brief time. They don't keep at it until they truly find Him. So keep seeking God until you're sure He's there.
* * *
How easy or how hard is it for you to trust the invisible God?
Do you feel very close to God sometimes? Or far away other times?
WHY SHOULD I FEAR GOD IF "GOD IS LOVE"?
The Bible says many times that believers are supposed to fear God. In fact, it says "God is greatly to be feared" (Psalm 89:7 NKJV). And Jesus said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell" (Matthew 10:28GNT).
But isn't God your Father who looks on you with love? Yes, that's true. And the Bible says, "God is love." Plus it says, "There is no fear in love" (1 John 4:8, 18 NKJV). So you may ask, "Why should I fear God?"
First of all, let's understand what the Bible means when it says to "fear God." King Solomon said, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10 NKJV). But another translation translates it this way: "Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord" (ICB). You must respect the Lord and worship Him. And you must be in awe of Him, because He truly is awesome.
Siberian tigers are the biggest, most dangerous cats on this planet. A male Siberian tiger can weigh 850 pounds. That's 100 pounds heavier than an African lion. And these awesome beasts, with their beautiful orange and white fur with black stripes, are deadly. They're dangerous. You do not want to be alone in a room with them. You respect them, all right. You fear them. You'd be crazy if you didn't.
But what if you're a tiger cub, and that ferocious Siberian tiger is your dad? Well now, that changes everything. And you have that kind of relationship with God. You're His son or daughter. You still must respect the Lord, be in awe of Him, and worship Him. You are to fear Him. But fearing God is not a negative thing. In fact, the Bible says, "The fear of the LORD is pure" (Psalm 19:9 NIV).
To fear God means to be afraid to disobey Him. If your dad warns you that you'll be grounded for a week if you come home late, you're going to be afraid to break his rule. God won't harm you, but He will discipline you. A tiger cub may play with his dad and wrestle with his tail. But if that cub does something wrong, he finds out real quick who's boss.
There will be times in your life when God shows His great power. So make sure you respect Him.
* * *
How much do you respect and fear God? Are you in awe of Him?
How is fear of something powerful and dangerous, a good thing?
Excerpted from "Bible Answers for Parents of Curious Kids"
Copyright © 2018 Barbour Publishing, Inc..
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Chilliwack, BC Canada