These days before Christmas are a beautiful opportunity to walk towards Jesus’ manger, and discover the wonder of God coming to be with us on earth. The miracle of Jesus’ birth amazes me and draws me into a closer relationship with Him.
This year I’m inviting my children to walk with me on this journey. Each day I am writing a devotional that I share with my children and we read a Bible verse. We are making a treat while I share an object lesson. These treats can be shared with others or just enjoyed in our family. We are making one homemade gift that we can give this Christmas.
Please join us on this journey to the manger. Jesus is there and we want to find Him. We are not waiting for presents or thinking about Santa. We are expecting Jesus and He is waiting for us.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Have you ever heard some really bad news along with some good news? Sometimes people will ask, “Do you want the bad news or good news first?” Hearing you have a lot of chores to do somehow sounds better when you find out afterwards we are eating ice cream.
This is exactly what was happening when Isaiah said the words in our Bible verse. Do you know who Isaiah was? Isaiah was a prophet of God who lived 742 years before Jesus was born. He lived in Israel near Jerusalem. His job was to tell the Israelites that they would be conquered by the Assyrians because they had disobeyed God. Isaiah wasn’t very popular because he had bad news for the people.
Then Isaiah had some good news from God. The news was that a Savior would come and rescue them. Isaiah didn’t say when it would happen, but he gave the people a clue from God. We will see as we read each day that God gave many clues so the Israelites could find Jesus, the Savior.
Today’s clue is that a woman who was never married would become pregnant. A son would be born and His name would be Immanuel. Do you know what Immanuel means? It means “God with us.” The person who would rescue the people from their sins would be God Himself.
The people must have been so excited that the Savior was coming. They just didn’t know they would have to wait 742 years!
Is it hard to wait? What can we do when we are waiting for something?
Making a Treat with an Object Lesson
Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chips
1. Place semisweet chocolate chips and white chips in separate microwave safe bowls. Melt chips in microwave for 45 seconds. Remove bowls and stir chips. Return to microwave and heat until completely melted.
2. Dip pretzel rods in melted chocolate and roll in sprinkles.
3. Dry on waxed paper.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He knows us because we are His children. He uses a “rod” in our lives for three main purposes: He protects us, He disciplines us, He examines us.
Jesus protects us from things that can hurt us. Maybe there are friends or situations that would lead us down dangerous paths. Jesus provides a way for us to get out of harm’s way.
Jesus disciplines us when we are making choices that are not what He desires. He uses the rod not to hurt us, but to get us to turn around. He wants to get our attention so we won’t continue walking down a path that will hurt us or others.
Jesus examines us to make sure we are completely healthy inside our heart and in our lives. Every day when we read the Bible Jesus can show us what He can see. We don’t need to be afraid of Jesus because He loves us and wants us to have His very best.
On 4×6 inch index cards have each person in the family (or just the children) write Bible verses. It is easiest to have the lined cards for children. If a child is too young, then let them draw a picture of a person in the Bible or some biblical event. This does not have to be completed in just one day. You can work on it until just a few days before Christmas.
After all of the cards are completed, make copies of the cards on cardstock paper. Cut them into 4×6 inch cards. Bind the cards on top so they can be flipped.
This is a great gift for grandparents, aunts, uncles, Sunday School teachers.
Copyright © words and photographs by Jane Carole Stein