Thursday, February 13, 2014

Come Into My Heart, Lord Jesus

Do you have a child you want to lead to Christ? A child you hope will pray the sinner's prayer? Then Stormie Omartian's Come Into My Heart, Lord Jesus may be just the book for you. Full of bright, cheerful, kid-friendly illustrations by Shari Warren, the premise behind this book is very simple: God loves us - all the time. We can make God happy by talking with him. But there is one particular prayer that makes God the most happy: when you "ask Jesus to come into your heart."

The text then explains how Jesus is our savior, saving us from
"bad things and bad people. But most important of all, He saves you from ever having to be separated from God. When you receive Jesus, it means that someday you will go to heaven and live with God. Jesus said that the only way to get to heaven is by receiving Him into our hearts first. We can't find the way without Jesus."
Omartian then explains that Heaven is a desirable place, where nobody gets sick or sad. She also talks about how Jesus helps us while we're still here on earth.
"You can't see the air, but you know it is there because you are breathing it. You can't see Jesus, but you know He is there because He has promised to be with you forever, and He never breaks His promise. Just as the air is always there keeping you alive, Jesus  is always there giving you life, too."
She then suggests that when the child is ready, he or she can say the sinner's prayer printed on the last page of the book. There is a place on that page to write the child's name and the date, as a sort of remembrance.

What I Like: Warren's illustrations keep young children interested in this book, showing images of children playing, eating, sleeping, praying to a smiling Jesus, and more.

What I Dislike: I think Omartain could have done a better job explaining things to children. For example, what on earth does it mean to ask Jesus into our hearts? Children tend to be literal, so I think you can expect them to wonder things like, "Will that hurt when Jesus comes into my heart? How does Jesus make himself small enough to live there?" and so on. The Bible never talks about asking Jesus into our hearts, which makes this a doubly questionable way to explain salvation to kids. (For more on the history of the sinner's prayer and asking Jesus into our hearts, click here.) However, this flaw could actually encourage parents to discuss these and related issues with their children - which is a good thing.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: The publisher doesn't specify, but I'd say 5 - 9 or so.

Publishing Info: Harvest House, 2014; ISBN:  978-0736950688; hardback, 32 pgs., $10.79

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