How do I teach the bible to my children?

July 19, 2016

Article By: Generations

Chad Roach: So if there's one book of the Bible that everybody knows and yet is one of the least mined and least well-studied books of the Bible, it strikes me that that book is the Psalms. We all love the Psalms, but we know so very little about them. 

Kevin Swanson: Yeah, yeah, that's really it. Nobody says, "Well, oh, the Psalms. I don't like the Psalms."

Chad Roach: Everybody likes the Psalms.

Kevin Swanson: Everybody knows the Psalms are important to the life of piety and devotion. It's an everyday kind of experience, yet people don't know the Psalms.

Chad Roach: I didn't know the Psalms.

Kevin Swanson: What is Psalm 38 about? What is Psalm 27 about? What is Psalm 104 about? What is Psalm 134 about? People say, "I'm not really sure." They just are not familiar with the Psalms. The Psalms are really the very, very most basic element of the Christian life. They come into play for worship, for spiritual warfare, for prayer, for, well, every part of life. And they need to be there to enervate us, and energize us, and to encourage us, and to edify us and to help us along the way. What would we do without the Psalms? A Christian life without the Psalms would be a car like without gas. It couldn't going anywhere.

Chad Roach: No comfort for the Christian.

Kevin Swanson: That's for sure. So the Psalms really are essential. We gotta teach the Psalms to our children, to prepare them for where God is gonna lead them in their lives.

Chad Roach: And the Bible study guides here on the Psalms, they really are teaching the Psalms. I mean, we went through this. Psalms that I had maybe read once or twice in my life, didn't know anything about, I actually started to learn something about them after going through this Psalm. You get into it.

Kevin Swanson: We really dissect the Psalm. We got eight different sections, we talk about the type of Psalm it is, the category, is it didactic, is it...

Chad Roach: A faith Psalm.

Kevin Swanson: Thanksgiving or praise Psalm. The occasion for the Psalm. Every Psalm has an occasion. Why is that important? Because you need to know when to pull that particular Psalm out. There are 150 occasions and all of us experience these occasions at some point in our lives. So if we know what the occasions are, we can apply that Psalm to that particular occasion. And then we have the author and then we move on to the feel for the Psalm, the mode of element of the Psalm. The Psalms help us through the ups and downs of life. They help us, they shepherd us in the area of our emotions. They take us when we're discouraged and they help us, they encourage us to praise and to worship, they train the emotional fabric of our lives. And so, we walk through the emotional fabric of the Psalm and then we talk about the exposition of the Psalm. What does the Psalm say? How do you understand the Psalm? Then we have the application of the Psalm. How is the Psalm applied to our lives? And then how does the Psalm teach us to worship God?

Kevin Swanson: Remember, the Psalms is a basic worship guide and it tells us, worship 101. The reason why so much worship is so impoverished, whether it be in our congregations, or in churches or in our family worship or in our private worship, the reason why our worship is so bad, the reason why our prayer life is so impoverished, is because we don't understand how to worship. We gotta take worship 101 and you'll find that in the Psalms.

Daniel Craig: That's this. Somebody wrote in and said... And this is to the the point that I think there's a lot of gratitude for the work that's been done here. Someone wrote in and said, "Thank God for men like Mr. Swanson who mined the amazing treasure of scripture, and seek to balance truth in relationships, faith in works, mercy and justice. These books are indispensable, these books are timely, why not gather your family together and sit down with a book that will truly change you?"

Kevin Swanson: Praise God. Praise God. And that's what the word of God is there for. It teaches us to worship, it changes our lives, it renews our devotion, draws us closer to God and each one of the Psalms does that in a different way.

Chad Roach: And you go through each one of those questions for every single Psalm and each Psalm, you're gonna start all over and ask, "How does the Psalm teach us? What does the Psalm do? How does the Psalm teach us to worship? What does this say to our emotions?" Every single Psalm. And then one of my favorite little cheat guides is at the end of each of these Psalms books, you have an appendix of the category and occasion of each Psalm. So this is for leading my family when we go through our tough time.

Kevin Swanson: So, if you're depressed?

Chad Roach: Yeah, there you go.

Kevin Swanson: Psalm 42.

Chad Roach: That's right. Or you just had one of the big blessings and gifts that God has given you, you come down to joyful worship and a praise Psalm. Or you're dealing with sin and you're gonna go slide over and find Psalm 51, and it's gonna be a penitent Psalm. And you're dealing with all the different things that come up in life, you can flip right back to the back of these and realize, "Well, actually, there's a Psalm that deals exactly with that." You start flipping to that Psalm and you're mining out some of the deep riches and treasures of what God has for you in that moment from his word, all helpfully categorized and just pointing right there.

Kevin Swanson: And then as we do with all the study guides, we've got content questions and again, family discussion questions, which inevitably bring in the issue of application. How do we apply this specifically to our family right now in our present situation?

About Generations

The vision of Generations (formerly Generations with Vision) is to pass on the faith to the next generation through the biblical family, discipleship, and education. We equip families and churches around the world through our daily radio programs, discipleship resources, the Christian Curriculum Project, and discipleship events and retreats.

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