As we move approach the Christmas season, we’ll be sharing excerpts from our family Advent devotionals as previews for your family. Today, we are sharing two days from Wonders of His Love: Finding Jesus in Isaiah by Champ Thornton.
You can take a peek of the interior of the book here.
We Need God’s Life
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding.Isaiah 11:1–2a NLT
What kind of Christmas tree do you like best?
Do you like trees filled with decorations? Some trees are stiff and prickly but can hold lots of ornaments.
Or do you prefer trees with a perfect triangle shape? Or perhaps your favorite trees fill the house with a wonderful smell all through the Christmas season.
(Or maybe any tree will do—as long as it’s surrounded by gifts and presents.)
But even the best Christmas trees don’t last, do they? Unless you have a fake tree, you have to give it water. If you don’t, it’ll dry and shrivel up. Why? Because it’s not connected to the roots anymore. Without the roots, the tree is dead.
The roots provide everything the tree needs. The roots keep the tree fresh and green and alive.
A long time ago, God’s people thought they could live without God—the God who provided everything they needed. But they didn’t obey him, love him, or trust him. They thought they could live on their own (Ezekiel 34:6).
Before long, they were like a tree cut down, with no more roots. No more life, no more fruit (Jeremiah 8:13).
But God made them a promise: “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding” (Isaiah 11:1–2a NLT).
One day God would send someone—someone wise—to bring his people back to life. Do you see the little shoot, coming out of the stump? That’s the start. Not a huge tree, not a mighty trunk. Just a sprig. But watch what happens next.
Jesus Brings New Life
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.Luke 2:52 NLT
Do you see the little baby?
Not very big. Not very strong. Just an infant. But from this little life, more life would grow.
Do you see the little boy?
He’s not grown up. But the Bible says that “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (Luke 2:52 NLT).
When he was all grown up, no one was wiser than Jesus. And no one did more amazing things.
Like a new tree growing from the stump, Jesus was full of life and fruit. He always obeyed his Father. He always loved God.
He always trusted the Lord.
And this life would branch out and spread to others. One day, Jesus told his followers: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NLT).
So, wherever Jesus went, he brought lots of life.
Jesus brought life to a little girl who had died. It wasn’t even hard for him. It was like waking her from a nap. “Holding her hand, he said to her . . . ‘Little girl, get up!’ And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around!” (Mark 5:41–42a NLT).
Jesus brought life to other people as well. He brought life to hands that couldn’t work anymore. He brought life to legs that couldn’t run anymore. He brought life to hearts that didn’t love anymore.
He was the source of life. He is the source of your life. He is the true and fruitful Branch.