December 18 – Jesse Tree Story Day 19
Christmas is just 1 week away! And my list of things I haven’t done yet is long. I’m kind of living in this thought right now—having my heart fully fixed on God during Advent and Christmas and how He wants me to show love to others is the priority, and whatever doesn’t get done on my list pales in importance to placing God first in my life. This lessens the anxiety for me. How about you? Are you feeling stressed or at peace with Christmas?
God, I pray for a renewed focus on including You in our Christmas preparations this next week! With our focus on You, the details will fall into place, either literally or through us placing less importance on those details as we bring You in focus.
READ: Jeremiah 1:4-10, 2:4-13, 7:1-15, 8:22-9:11
Jeremiah 1:4-10 details the calling of Jeremiah as a prophet of God. Jeremiah responds to God in vs. 1:6, “’I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” Have you ever ignored God’s nudges because you didn’t know enough about religion, or the Bible, or whatever to do what He was calling you to do? I have. And I know this is an indicator of weak faith in the abilities of God. There’s no doubt God can do it; I just have to let Him be God. God steam-rolled Jeremiah’s sentiment here. Vs. 10 says that God appointed Jeremiah to uproot and tear down nations and kingdoms. You mean, like the kingdom of Judah and Jesse’s tree? Yep. Jeremiah prophesied during the reigns of Kings Josiah, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah of Judah. While Zedekiah was king of Judah, the people of Jerusalem went into exile, and Judah was no more. Worldly kings in the line of David ended here, but the once-and-for-all king of heaven and earth in the line of David was yet to come to earth.
The rest of today’s reading is none too pretty. Just like me without Jesus. Further proof we need a Savior! The Bible records our Savior echoing His Father in a couple of the verses from our reading today:
- Vs. 2:13: “’My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.’” Sounds kind of like us and the world we live in, doesn’t it? Trying to do everything ourselves, including being our own gods. Now, read John 4:10, 14.
- Vs. 7:11: “’Has this house, which bears My Name, become a den of robbers to you?’” This was God’s response to the Israelites worshipping Baal in their daily lives then coming to the temple for protection just in case. Now, read Mark 11:15-17. Jesus’ anger burned hot! What do you think Jesus’ reaction would be if He walked into your church on a Sunday morning?
You desire all of me, and You want me to let You be God.
Please help me to let You be God. When You nudge me, help me to dive in knowing You have my back. I don’t want to live any part of my life without You. Thank You for the gift of a Savior to save me from my ugly selfishness. Please continue to help me focus on You and Your will during Advent.