What God is Saying

Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. — Psalm 96:2-3

Monday, December 24, 2012

Jesse Tree - Peace on earth and goodwill toward all

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."  
Luke 2:6-7

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."  Luke 2:10-14

Christmas EveJesus
Bible Reading: Luke 2:1-20
Jesse Tree Symbol: Mary holding Jesus (go to Jesse Tree ornaments 2)

The birth of Jesus...the God of the Universe come down to us, taking off His royalty and putting on human flesh, leaving behind all His glory to be born as the son of poor, humble parents. Heralded by thousands of angels, worshipped by lowly shepherds, lulled to sleep by the sounds of the animals He had so lovingly created.

Can we begin to comprehend what happened that night? The moment that God took His first human breath? The moment that He first saw the world He had created through human eyes. The realization that the capacity to love, which He had placed in each human being, was now being poured out on Him by His earthly mother and father.

What joy God must have felt!

He had felt the sting of rejection and death with that first rebellious bite of fruit in the garden. His heart was heavy when He commanded Adam and Eve to leave the Garden, when He shut up Noah and his family in the ark, when He brought down the fire of judgment on demon-worshipping peoples.

But now, finally, His plan was being set into motion. He was here! Here on earth to show the people He had created, His infinite love. No longer would He rely on prophets to tell them. Instead, He would tell them in person,,,in person. Oh blessed Heavenly Father, what You did for us is too great for words!!!

Yet, You did use words...the words of the angels..thousands and thousands of angels -  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." 

"They sang of Christ, and the salvation which he came into this world to work out. And what they said of this salvation was this: they said, first, that it gave glory to God; secondly, that it gave peace to man; and, thirdly, that it was a token of God's good will towards the human race.

There had been no peace on earth since Adam fell. But, now, when the newborn King made his appearance, the swaddling band with which he was wrapped up was the white flag of peace. That manger was the place where the treaty was signed, whereby warfare should be stopped between man's conscience and himself, man's conscience and his God...Do you not feel my brethren, that the gospel of God is peace to man? Where else can peace be found, but in the message of Jesus?...And what a peace it is, beloved! It is peace like a river, and righteousness like the waves of the sea. It is the peace of God that passeth all understanding, which keeps our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God has good will toward man for He gave His Son. No greater proof of kindness between the Creator and His subjects can possibly be afforded than when the Creator gives His only begotten and well beloved Son to die." Taken from a sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 20, 1857, by
the Reverend Charles H, Spurgeon.

May that be our prayer this Christmas, as we gaze upon the baby in the manger...Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. And may this prayer be not only for our family and friends but for all the world.

Lord Jesus, just as You were born into a manager so long ago, may You be born into the hearts of men, women and children throughout the world today!

The above commentary is part of a 4-week Advent Reflection for the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is similar to an advent calendar. Every day you will read a Bible passage to your child(ren), discuss what it means to them in personal terms and color an ornament to hang on your Jesse Tree. A fuller description of this can be found at The Jesse Tree

When you are finished today, you might want to discuss how Christmas is about giving much more than getting. One way that your family can give is through their daily prayers. This might be a good time to pray for a specific country or for a group of people who do not know about Jesus. Today, over 2 billion people, 1/3 of the earth's population, have never heard the Gospel message. They don't know about a God who loves them, made them unique and celebrates who they are. They need our prayers. 

Two great websites to help you do this are:
Operation World  go to Featured Nation and click on Country Profile

Another way to give is by giving a gift to those, throughout the world, who have very little. It might be a chicken, or sheep or a goat...maybe you can help pay for the digging of a well or provide a sewing machine to a widow so she can provide for her family. There are many ways to help this Christmas. Visit  Gospel for Asia and take a look at their Christmas Catalog. 

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