Jesse Tree – Day 21-25

Christmas is almost here and there are still five more ornaments to be made for the Jesse Tree. Our family Jesse tree is bulging with all the previous ornaments. Enjoy making your last set of ornaments.

DAY 21 DOVE

John the Baptist, the man of God telling us about the coming One, lives out in the wilderness and is clothed like a prophet and lives a life dedicated to the Lord. It is to John that Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem grown up, will come to be baptised. It is here by the Jordan River that God’s voice is heard saying, “ This is my Beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” And it is here that the Spirit descends in the form of a dove. John’s voice cries in the wilderness, thunders in the dry. But God Himself is the speaker. Can you hear the thunder? The good news of Jesus, the gospel, it always begins in the wildernesses, in the parched and thirsty places and it’s in our wildernesses that grace must find us. And repentance, changing our hearts and minds and ways, it can bring tears, and it comes like gentle rain to our cracked and hard hearts. Our sins are washed away in showers of grace, and new growth and hope sprouts, tender shoots. Grace, it comes, heaven’s water falling softly.

Matt 3:16

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven opened, and he saw God’s Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him.”

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DAY 22 HEART

That same angel Gabriel who came to Zechariah in the temple, he comes now to Mary in the quiet, and the glory story of Love making His way to us, that grace which God has begun, He carries it on to completion. There in almost forgotten Galilee, land bordered by a people who didn’t even believe in God, Gabriel whispers the impossible news: Mary, with the name that means exalted, Mary poor and long-ago descended from the line of King David, Mary will be made mother of the Messiah. God’s rescue near! The promise God made back in the beginning, at the Fall, in Eden, He’s keeping it and completing it and He’s coming, a Babe to Mary, the One who will crush the head of the enemy. God can do anything and He can come curl small in the womb of a young girl and the hands that slung all the stars across space, He can fill the womb of Mary who says yes, let me serve you, Lord. Mary a Girl with a surrendered heart bows humbly to the great plan of God. Nothing is impossible for God who is with us and God who is in us and God who works through us, and may all things happen just as God says. Grace could fill all our empty spaces today.

Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

 

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DAY 23 ANGEL

Joseph is a man in the royal line of David and he’s a carpenter, a builder, a man who carries a hammer and nails and builds shelters and restores the broken down. And in the night while he sleeps, an angel comes to speak to him in a dream, because it’s when we’re still and wait quietly that we’re most likely to hear God whispering, “This is the Way.” “Take Mary as your wife,” the angel assures Joseph, because “she will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” The angel announces Jesus as our Saviour but we each still need to accept Him as our Saviour, and He is only Jesus who saves us because He is God who is with us — only God alone can save man. Jesus, son of the hammering man, he alone brought God and man together in one, that God might be with us and we might be with God and in Jesus all the happiness of our Garden beginning begins again because we are friends again with God. He is God with us. Because the carpenter’s Son will take the nail and a tree made into a cross, and He will rebuild us and restore us and all we who are broken down will find shelter in grace and make the heart of God home.

Matt1:-20, 21

“…..an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 

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DAY 24 SANDALS

At that time, for such a time as this, now in the fullness of the long journey of time, God sends out an order for His Son to make His way into the world and God who has no beginning or no end, He travels into time to meet us as a helpless Babe. Joseph journeys with his Mary and God comes nearer and people round the globe push in closer, the whole of Earth waiting with bated breath, all the dusty world with all its heavy baggage journeying to Bethlehem tonight. We seek a deliverance of our own. But tonight there will be no room in the inn. Jesus comes as a traveler and if we follow Him, this world is not our home, but heaven is our destination, and we put on our shoes and go out into all the world, so more will hear of Him and journey with us to the cradle of the King.

24- Luke 2:1-5 (NIV)

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

 

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DAY 25 STABLE SCENE

Luke 2:6-21 (NCV) Matt 2:1-12

6 While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, 7 and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.8 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.” 13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying: “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.” 15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child. Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them.19 But Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them. 20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them. Matt 2:1-12 Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea during the time when Herod was king. When Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. 2 They asked, “Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, as were all the people in Jerusalem. 4 Herod called a meeting of all the leading priests and teachers of the law and asked them where the Christ would be born. 5 They answered, “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea. …..7 Then Herod had a secret meeting with the wise men and learned from them the exact time they first saw the star. 8 He sent the wise men to Bethlehem, saying, “Look carefully for the child. When you find him, come tell me so I can worship him too.” 9 After the wise men heard the king, they left. The star that they had seen in the east went before them until it stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When the wise men saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11 They came to the house where the child was and saw him with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their gifts and gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 But God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their own country by a different way.

Reading:-

We are the ones amazed, because when we come quiet and look over the edge of the feed trough and look into the red wrinkled face wrapped there in swaddling clothes, we almost whisper, “Can this really be the Messiah, God with us?” For why in all the universe would the Creator God, who sculpted the mountains and cupped the waters of the world, come to us as a mere flailing Babe? And when we hear all the night air fill with the thrum of the angel wings and the night stars sing the refrain of the angels, “Glory, Glory, Glory to God in the Highest,” we can feel it burning in our hearts and we know, “Surely this Baby is the Son of God.”It’s for this moment the whole span of history rises, surges. For this, the Ancient of Days, made only the span of a Baby long. All the beads of our days have been strung and accomplished and we’ve read the whole epic drama of God’s story and hung all the symbols and now at the top of the tree — we hang the star. The starry hosts over the fields blink wonder over the God Child. The shepherds under them sing praise. And all peoples in all homes all around the world, we spin with Creation in the dance of the saved! Jesus here. God! With! Us! Love for us — and all the world! The angels will return to heaven. The shepherds will go to tell all the world the good gospel news. And soon…. even the star on the top of the tree will be packed away. But we will be like Mary, who does not leave, but long keeps all these things in her heart. And we too will keep Christ here, ponder Him in our hearts all the year round and because all things are in Him and from Him and to Him (Rom 11:36), we treasure our Jesus as the only true Gift ever given.

 

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And every day, all year long, He invites us to unwrap more of His love.

Jesse Tree – Days 17-20

DAY 17 WHALE

Jonah runs from God who asks him to go to Nineveh and preach to the people. On his run he hides in a ship and ends being swallowed by a big fish. Sometimes we say no and we run hard and God say yes and He scoops us up gentle, rocks us quiet, like a man rocking in the belly of a fish, and we finally turn right around — and go God’s way. And Jonah, spewed out of the depths of the big fish, now obeys God and he goes marching to Nineveh. Jonah is one prophet, not many, and he preaches in Nineveh but one sermon, not many, and all the many people of Nineveh turn from their many false gods to worship the One God Alone. Had they repented because they heard the miracle story of the stormy sea and the fish that swallowed up the man who ran from God? Had they heard that this God is the God of second chances, the God who can raise men dead in the dark of a whale tomb back to life, the God who rescues a man even from the stinking stomach of a fish? This the merciful loving God the Ninevites cast themselves upon and cry out to. And the Ninevites do not eat for days but hunger for forgiveness and they rock themselves in grief for their sins and turn themselves around and turn their faces towards the face of God. And God sees! God sees who turns from sins and He changes his mind and when God forgives, God forgets and He does more: He gives the sorry sinner a new heart and a new spirit and whole new life! There is one who is greater than three-days-in-a-fish Jonah who is here, and His name is three-days-in-the-tomb Jesus. And our Jesus asks to bring only one sacrifice, the only gift that wise men ever bring: the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.

Jonah 3: 5-10

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence…. God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways

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DAY 18 TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

O Little Town of Bethlehem, little town that means a house of Bread, little backwater town that was little among the thousands of Judah, you were meant to be the birthplace of Christ who is our Bread of Life. Bethlehem, the hometown of that long-ago King David, you would welcome the King of Kings and, though you were the least, she who was having a baby gave birth in one of your barns, because this is always how God works: to come to the poor and forgotten and exalt those of no degree. Little Town of Bethlehem, around the world they still sing of you because you were graced with the God come in the flesh, and Christ makes the last first, and the little of this world great, and when related to Christ, one is always lifted up. Tonight, how still we see you lie, little town of Bethlehem, the hopes and fears of all these years met in you tonight — in the arms of your Bethlehem Babe …

Micah 5:2-5 (NCV)

2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago.”

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DAY 19 SCEPTRE

 

Esther is a Jewish girl without a mother or father and raised by her Uncle Mordecai  She’s a beautiful girl with a smile that wins over the heart of a warrior king. And the king makes Esther his queen. Uncle Mordecai, in his sackcloth and ashes, dispatches a message through to his niece Esther in her queenly robes that all her father’s people and all her mother’s people, all the Jews, are about to be killed by order of the king via the wiles of hateful Haman At a time such as this, will Esther go before the king’s throne? At a time such as this, will she please beg the king to change his mind and save all their people from certain death? Yet to go to the king without being called may mean certain death for the queen herself, for this was the law and all the land knew it: come to the king uncalled-for and you die. Unless… Unless the king held out his gold sceptre toward the one come on bended knee. Esther goes before the King and the plot to destroy her people is broken. But in the fullness of time, our King of Kings coming to Bethlehem, He makes the whole of the universe His court and He invites all men and all women and all children to freely come before His throne of grace and to come boldly, because Christ our King comes with a tender heart to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). So we need not fear that He may not hold out the gold sceptre and save us. Because He holds out his hands that took the iron nails to save us.

Esther 4:16

“…I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

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DAY 20 JOHN AND ELISABETH

 

It only happened once. Just this once in all of the Bible does an angel come right into the temple with a message from God. And the angel all ablaze comes to the aged Zechariah wearing his priestly robes, Zechariah burning his incense to the Lord, his voice murmuring prayers for the salvation of the world as the plume of incense wafts up towards the heavens. Fear not, the angel greets, and he says that Zechariah, a man seeking after God, would bear a son in his old age, and Elizabeth who had long been childless would become a mother after years of waiting. Because sometimes in waiting for what we long for, we praise God long when the gift comes at last. Sometimes God has his people wait long so our gratitude becomes deeper and wider. “Name him John.” The angel says. His name John, it means Gracious. And John would make a people ready for the Lord Jesus, who would grant us grace, to make us full of grace. This boy John would turn the children of Israel back to God and back to loving each other and the gospel always invites us to come home to God.  John who will become the voice preparing the way for Jesus. This Jesus who will be the very answer to Zechariah’s prayers: the coming salvation of all the world.

Luke 1:13-17

But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elisabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord….and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

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Days 1-4
Days 5-8
Days 9-12
Days 13-16

Jesse Tree Day 13-16

It’s exciting to see the ornaments being made for the Jesse Tree. One after another and the devotionals being enjoyed as a family. Here are another four days of ornaments and devotionals. Have a special family time as you create these next four.

DAY 13 RAM’S HORN

So this is the page in God’s Grand Plan, when we turn the leaf and find the Jesse of the JesseTree. And this is where Samuel goes to Bethlehem looking for a king and God leads him to Jesse a man of many sons. And in Bethlehem, the elders trembled in fear and wondered if this Samuel looking for a king had come in peace? “Yes, peace,” he said, “for I bring a sacrifice.” And now is when all our hearts are strained towards Bethlehem, looking for Our Heart’s True King. And on the night when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords came to Bethlehem, the shepherds shook sore afraid and wondered if the angels came to bring peace and they said, “Do not be afraid, yes, we bring you good news.” T Jesus, comes as Peace, for He brings His own offering along with him: Himself as the sacrifice. Samuel was taken by the outward appearance of Jesse’s sons. As each son passes before him on his appointment to anoint the king of God’s choosing God whispers to him, “Not this young man.” Finally the youngest son, David is brought in from the fields and he is chosen by God to be anointed. This Christmas season entices with the shimmer and sparkle of the season. We deck out the Christmas tree and we bake the biscuits and we light the candles, and Jesus whispers quiet, “But do not forget what I really came for…”Jesus comes looking for hearts…

1 Sam 16: 7

“God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

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14- CROWN

For seven perfect years, David has been the king of only Judah when all the tribes of Israel came looking for him, to make him their king too, because, they said, “We are your own family.” True leaders love their lambs, and David, who had long been a shepherd boy all his life, leading the flock to lush pastures and carrying home the lost lambs, is now called by God to gently protect, serve and shepherd his people, be the king of his own family. The King of the universe who is coming to Bethlehem to be the king of our lives, Jesus, He is made to be part of our family, made to be like us, His brothers and sisters, so that He’d know what it is like to feel all the things you feel deep inside, the tears and the pain, the temptation and the struggles. Jesus knows what it’s like to be you. Only so He might be a tender and understanding shepherd to all us wandering ones. (Heb 2:17) That Jesus might be our shepherd who leads us to rest in the green pastures, guide us in the best direction, and we need never be afraid again because He walks by our side, His shepherd’s staff really the sceptre that rules and directs all the world.

2 Sam 5: 3, 4

3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

 

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DAY 15 RISING SUN

Looking out our windows this time of year, we can see it, the whole world bedecked in strands of lights, twinkling and blinking awake. Because we once lived in a dark land, a time before the warming hope of Christ, but now we celebrate the Light of the World who now shines the brilliance of grace upon us. We wake to wonder! The Child to be born in the barn is our mighty God; the ancient of days, God makes Himself His gift to us — Love born to us! He is Wonderful, wonders following Him everywhere, the wonder of His birth, His miracles, His resurrection, His wondrous gift of salvation, and He is our Counselor, the very wisdom of God telling us how to walk in the light, and He is our Prince of Peace whose kingdom grows larger and larger right in our hearts. We wake to wonder! The light of God’s Son blazes sure and bright, His light a strong love warming all our faces in the land of the dark.

Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 (NCV)

2 Before those people lived in darkness, but now they have seen a great light. They lived in a dark land, but a light has shined on them… 6 A child has been born to us; God has given a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be Wonderful Counsellor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.

 

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Day 16 ALTAR AND FIRE

God’s people have turned away from Him. Elijah, alone on Mount carmel, faces the people and calls them to make a choice to worship the true God. The people are silent. Four times Elijah has God’s altar drenched with water, pouring twelve barrels of water over the wood and over the stones, till all the timber’s soaked. Not exactly the way you’d think to prepare a fire. But our God is a holy fire and He forks the sky with lightning and ignites the sun into flame and our God, He answers with fire and drops fireballs straight out of heaven and the waterlogged altar bursts into fire and this is not a flame like earth’s but the white heat of heaven, and those stones of the altar are now but the flakes of papery ashes. Our God is the Lord God! And God will do it again, He’ll light the sky again with a starry brightness over a Bethlehem barn and all wise men will make their choice and turn their hearts to the one true God and follow Him. And there is yet a day still coming in our future when the sky will combust with the glory of God and Christ will come again all ablaze in the sky with all His mighty angels (2 Thess 1:7) and all the world will fall to the ground and murmur worship: “The Lord – he is God, the Lord – he is God and He is Here!” Wise men are always worshipping, men and women, who keep their eyes turned towards the heavens for the blazing glory of God to come down… sometimes even a gift of a Baby come down from the Father of heavenly lights can make our hearts burn with love.

1 Kings 18: 38, 39

Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”

 

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Days 1-4
Days 5-8
Days 9-12
Days 13-16

Christmas is getting closer and there are more ornaments to enjoy making for days 13-16. May your Christmas season be extra special.

Jesse Tree Day 9-12

The Christmas season is upon us and our family have already put up our Jesse Tree. Starting on December the first we had our first devotional and now we have our first ornament on our tree. I am looking forward to going through the devotionals each day until Christmas. Here in this post I have added the next series of Jesse Tree ornaments covering day nine through to day twelve. I hope you enjoy them as much as our family have enjoyed them.

Day 9 COAT OF MANY COLOURS

From the wool of a lamb, there was this coat woven into a tapestry of flaming colors, brilliant hues, rich tones, and the father Jacob gives it as a gift to one of his sons, slips the coat of rainbow colors onto Joseph and the boy is filled with joy but his brothers are filled with jealousy. They sell Joseph into slavery, tear his coat from him and dip it in the blood of an animal to deceive their father into thinking Joseph had been attacked by a wild animal. However, God turns the tragic event around for good as Joseph becomes the ruler of Egypt and the provider and deliver of His people. Joseph believes all God’s promises! And one day God would make His Son like a lamb and His robe would drip with blood and because of Him, God would take all the ugly things we’ve done that hurt and harmed His heart, and He’d forgive our sins and all the wrongs we have committed in treating each other so badly. Jesus will save many lives and God gives us the most shimmering love gift of all, a robe of righteousness. The Babe in the manger, through Him, God would turn our evil into good and because of Jesus our Christmas Child, God gives us all this, a clean heart as our coat, all the promises fulfilled. Is that why this time of year the whole world is filled with joy, all alight in these blinking, beautiful colors?

Gen 37:3

Now Israel, who is Jacob, loved Joseph more than all his other children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours

 

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DAY 10 TEN COMMANDMENTS

God gives us ten Commandments. He wrote them on stone with his own finger and gave them to Moses. Wouldn’t you think we could keep just ten commandments? But no, the poison of that sin we first contracted in the Garden of Eden, it courses through our thoughts and our hearts and our desires and it makes it impossible for us to keep even one of God’s commandments. And if we break even one of the commandments, even just once, God, perfect and holy and pure, He considers that we have broken all of the commandments — which breaks His heart. And our relationship with Him. God knew we could never keep these ten commandments without His enabling Spirit, but He gave them to us, ten perfect gifts of pure holiness, given for our best happiness, for He knew they would be like a kind teacher for us, each commandment teaching us how much we need Jesus. Jesus to help us, Jesus to cleanse us from our sins, Jesus who is like a Moses to us, more, who stands between God and the people, to be the actual Word of the Lord, that we may never be afraid again in approaching God. Right into stone, God wrote the law of ten commandments and Jesus came and wrote our names right on His hands, (Isa 49:19) to free us from the condemnation of the law and save us by grace. It’s those ten commandments that drive us into the two open arms of Christ.

Ps 19:7

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

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DAY 11- WHEAT

Famine and their gnawing, hungry stomachs drove the family of Naomi out of Bethlehem, that place with the name meaning “House of Bread.” And when her husband dies and both her sons die in Moab, it is Naomi’s sad, hungry heart that drives her back to Bethlehem. And her daughter- in-law Ruth, without husband, without blood relatives, without children, stands at a cross-roads — will she go back to her home or will she go with Naomi? And Ruth decides to go with Naomi and make a mother-in- law with a broken heart her only family. When God is our God, we take His people as our people, and we take a vow of forever love and loyalty, and when Jesus Christ is our Lord of Lords, not even death will separate us from Him. Nothing can ever separate us from Christ! Isn’t this the gift that always mends our hearts? Though Naomi felt the Lord was against her, that she had returned home with nothing but trouble, feelings can lie. Because God loved her tender and had given her a daughter-in-law who went to the fields to gather the grain to make into bread. And one day this Ruth would marry kind Boaz and God would bless them with a son wrapped close named Obed, and Naomi who wanted to be called bitter would be made a laughing delighted grandmother. And Ruth who had been an outsider was made part of the family of God. And that little boy Obed? He would be in the family line of Jesus, the Baby born generations later also in Bethlehem, the Baby Who would be Bread to make sure our hearts would never be hungry again.

RUTH 1:6

But Ruth said, “Don’t beg me to leave you or to stop following you. Where you go, I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God

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DAY 12- SCARLET CORD

She had a reputation as a bad girl, this Rahab, a girl looking for love in all the wrong places. But if you run your fingers along the names recorded in Hebrews 11, that Great Hall of Faith chapter, there you read of… Abraham… and Joseph… and Moses… and… There she is: Rahab. “By faith Rahab…” By faith in God, Rahab welcomed into her own home the very spies against her own country. By faith in God she risked the wrath of her king, the revenge of her neighbors, and her very own life. God saves Rahab and her family. And many years later Rahab, that girl with the shady background, God makes her a wife of Salmon. They have a baby boy named Boaz — the Boaz who was the father of Obed! Ruth, the foreigner who found love with Boaz, her mother in-law is Rahab, the foreigner who tied the red rope in the window — the girl with the reputation as a bad girl, lovingly adopted into Jesus’ family line.Like the Israelites in Egypt sprinkling the blood of the lamb on their door frames so that the angel of death might pass over them, Rahab has the faith to hang a red rope from her window, to spare her whole household …. And we too look to the blood of Jesus Christ and whisper Rahab words: Save us!

Our Christmas gift is coming just for that…

Josh 2:17-21

17 Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. 19 If any of them go outside your house into the street, their blood will be on their own heads; we will not be responsible. As for those who are in the house with you, their blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on them. 21 “Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.” So she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

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Days 1-4
Days 5-8
Days 9-12
Days 13-16

Have a happy week creating the next set of ornaments.

Jesse Tree – Day 5 – 8

Is your family having fun starting to create their own Jesse Tree? In my previous Jesse Tree post I introduced you to the concept of the Jesse Tree and the first four Devotional Readings and ornaments you can make for the Jesse Tree. In this post I will share with you the next four ornaments and family worship readings.

DAY 5 THE STAR

Abram, lives in Ur, and the very God of the universe, makes Himself known to Abram there in Ur. He hands Abram no map. He just tells him to go to a land that He’ll show Abram. Would you go? There’s only mention of getting a glimpse of the land, no mention of actually getting it. While He’s there, God tells Abram he will be the father of a great nation — even though he and his wife Sarai are now too old to have children and they don’t have even one child! Would you believe? That Abram would one day have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. But Abram of Ur believes without hesitation in the God who doesn’t make mistakes, the God who can make a man out of the dust of the ground. And when God said that, through Abram, He would bless all the families of the world, God was talking about you, me, all the families on this rotating globe right now. God was talking about our Christmas gift right there and Abram believed the unimaginable, that through his promised family, God would send the crowning blessing of all the earth, that Jesus, that blessing God promised right from the beginning, that baby as small as a seed who would one day crush Satan and free us from the disease of sin. By faith, we believe! The Lord God’s about to appear to us.

Genesis 12:1-7 (NIV)

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2,3 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing……… and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

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Day 6 – BABY ISAAC

The promise-keeping God who lets no word of His fall to the ground forgotten, He does everything in perfect time, and He sends a son to Abraham and Sarah, the couple renamed father and mother of many nations, just as He promised. And they name him exactly what God tells them: Isaac, laughter. for who would have thought that God would make this improbable impossible happen too and they laugh for joy. That God would send a promised child, a King, to be born in a barn feed trough! That He would crush Satan by laying out His own hand for a nail! That the Babe born under a star in Bethlehem would make us laugh wonder at amazing grace made into flesh and forever love that sets us free! God has made us the happiest people, and all the world sings at Christmas.

Gen 21: 5-7

5 Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. 7 No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham’s child, but even though Abraham is old I have given him a son.”

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Day 7 THE RAM

“Take your only son,” says God. “Take your Isaac, the only true son of yours, the son whom you love, and do you love me more?” says the God who did not take but gave the Greatest Gift of His Son, His only begotten Son, the Son whom He loved. And again, Abraham, who left his country without a map but with a heart directed towards God, he rises first thing the next morning and, without hesitation, he heads towards Moriah. And Isaac carries the wood, like Jesus would one day carry the Cross, and the son lies down on the altar, the boy named laughter now still, and again God keeps His word and God provides a lamb. Isn’t that the gift we always need? The promised Christmas Child who is the lamb sacrificed instead of us .Ours is the God who always provides a ram in the thicket, whatever we need today,whatever is best for us, that even today the people might say, “The Father who tenderly loves His children provides us with grace upon grace,love upon love, gift upon extravagant gift.” Even His own Son.

Gen 22;12, 13

12 The angel said, “Don’t kill your son or hurt him in any way. Now I can see that you trust God and that you have not kept your son, your only son, from me.” 13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a male sheep caught in a bush by its horns. So Abraham went and took the sheep and killed it. He offered it as a whole burnt offering to God, and his son was saved.

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DAY 8 THE LADDER

‘Tis the season to be going! Banquets and reunions, concerts , caroling and parties. The calendar squares nearly bulge with dates and times, people and places, and yet we read of a man, Jacob, running from home who slept on a stone and had a dream from God. Jacob saw a ladder, and Jesus, that Christmas Child coming to us, He alone is our ladder and we have no way to heaven but by the rungs of Christ. And God, He whispers to us this best gift of all: “I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go…. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” God is with us in this season of coming and going and God is with us in these places, though we know it not, at our tables and in our cars and down our street and in the unlikely, unexpected places, even in a place like the manger of a barn and we meet God today in a thousand places.

Gen 28: 12-16

12 Jacob dreamed that there was a ladder resting on the earth and reaching up into heaven,and he saw angels of God going up and coming down the ladder. 13 Then Jacob saw the Lord standing above the ladder, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your grandfather, and the God of Isaac…..and all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, but I did not know it.”

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Days 1-4
Days 5-8
Days 9-12
Days 13-16

I hope you enjoy making the next four ornaments for your Jesse Tree.