Family Jesse Tree Study – December 2
Welcome to our family Bible study focused on preparing our hearts for Christmas. The Jesse Tree is the family tree of Jesus (see Matthew 1 and Luke 3 for a complete genealogy of Jesus). All along its branches are men and women of God who have incredible stories to share and from which we can glean a deeper understanding of faith and build a stronger relationship with God. God orchestrated these people and stories for a reason — to point us to His Son Jesus who comes to save us once and for all.
For this study, we encourage you to read, reflect, and journal on these scriptures on your own and then find a good time with your family to do this devotion together. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading followed by a devotion, discussion question, and prayer taken from “Jesse Tree Family Devotions” by the Reformed Church in America, then below that is a SOAP journal note from one of our study leaders. For printable ornaments to make your own Jesse Tree, see: http://images.rca.org/docs/discipleship/jessepatterns.pdf. If you’re doing this study with smaller kids, consider using a children’s Bible to share the stories, or use the shorter version of the scripture provided in parentheses. For older kids, consider introducing them to the SOAP method of journaling through this study.
We hope you join us in this study, and please share how it’s going, your favorite Christmas traditions, and prayer requests in the Comments section on our website.
Genesis 1 (shorter version – Genesis 1:26-31) – Creation
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
God is the creator of all things. God made the world and everything in it: the air and the water, the plants and the fish, the animals and the people. When God finished creating the world, it was perfect. When God first created people, even they were perfect. They did not sin or do anything to make God unhappy. Even though there is now sin and sadness in the world, God still cares for us. We have been given a beautiful world in which to live, and God has asked us to take care of it. We can care for the world by showing kindness to all living things. The world is God’s gift to us. God wants us to enjoy this gift, but God also wants us to treat it with care.
What are some ways that you can take good care of plants, animals, birds, rivers, people, and everything else in the world that God made?
Thank You, Creator God, for making our wonderful world.
SOAP JOURNAL NOTE
…And It Was Very Good | Dyea Rowland
Creation – ALL of the amazing and wonderful things that God brought into existence: the World, day and light, and, we can’t forget, humanity. I am so in admiration of the Mighty God we serve. Taking a look at verse 2, we can see the Holy Spirit hard at work giving everything the power it needs, the same power He gives us today. Don’t overlook our King Jesus in verses 26-29, creating “us”, in “their” image – the same likeness that He longs to have us strive for, still today.
In verse 4, God, You saw the light; not only did You see it, but You said it was good. You went on to divide that light from darkness. As I read in the very last verse…that after You looked back at everything, You created and put into motion…and it was very good. As this Christmas season starts and we celebrate the amazing gift of You, I want to magnify in my life all the light You’ve given to me; let me turn from any darkness, such as selfishness, greed, bitterness, and anger and display nothing but kindness and giving, the kind that You show all of the time, no matter what season we are in.
Dear Father, I am so excited for this study. You made everything very good and continue to give and promise. This season, as I celebrate the best promise You ever gave, Jesus — let me not forget to enjoy all the other amazing gifts that You have given too. In Jesus’ name…Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.