December 22 – Family Christmas – Grafted Into His Family Tree

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Grafted Into His Family Tree

By Danny Saavedra

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” – John 1:12 (NIV)

Irish novelist George Moore once wrote, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” There may not be a more apt way to describe our relationship with the Lord than this! We can travel the entire earth in search of purpose, significance, fulfillment, joy, peace, and belonging. We can experience all this world has to offer, and yet, we’ll never find what we’re looking for until we come home to Jesus. 

You see, Christmas is all about how Jesus, the Son of God, left His throne in heaven, humbled Himself, and became a servant, taking upon Himself the sins of the world and giving His life for us. It’s the greatest love story ever told: God loved us so much that He sent His Son to open the door for us to become part of His family. This beautiful story that began all the way back in the Garden with Adam—that God made known to Abraham with a promise, that He illustrated through Isaac, and reaffirmed to David—all led to the coming of the Savior. 

In John 15:5 (NLT), Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches . . .” The moment we receive Him and believe in His name, we are grafted into His family tree, which means we become fused, bonded to Him—the vine. We’ve been given the right to be called children of God. We’ve been given sonship and all the privileges that come with being an heir in God’s family. Not like one who is adopted into a family, but rather as one who is a natural born heir. When we receive Jesus, we die to our former life and are born again as children of God.

The Christmas story is the fulfillment of a beautiful promise God made; it’s the catalyst to His plan for reconciling us to Himself. It’s our history and our heritage, our past, the story of how we became sons and daughters of Almighty God. But it’s also our legacy and our future because we’re all part of the story! 

God is still writing His legacy of redemption every single day, bringing more and more people into His family through you, His children. In 2 Corinthians 5:17–20 (NIV), the apostle Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

Family, we want to leave you with this encouragement as we prepare to celebrate Christmas tomorrow: The God who created everything loves you so much that He made a way for you to be a member of His amazing, unique, diverse, and perfectly imperfect family. 

Today, and every day, celebrate Jesus and give honor and praise to God the Father who sent Him! Trust in the Lord and open your heart and life to be used by Him to bring more people into His family every day. There is power in your family story because it carries with it an amazing legacy. The line of Christ is your family heritage, a part of your story, so tell it every chance you get!

December 21 – Family Christmas – Trusting in the Name

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Trusting in the Name

By Danny Saavedra

“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21 (NLT)

Throughout our journey, one thing we’ve clearly seen is that God chose to use some very unique, unexpected, and “unqualified” characters—each of whom are in Jesus’ lineage—to bring us to this point in the story. From prostitutes to pagans, from kids to kings, the range of people God worked through definitely varied in all areas, except one: they all trusted and believed in Him.

The people God entrusted His only begotten Son to were no different. They seemed like a strange fit to raise the Savior. After all, Mary was a young peasant girl who wasn’t even married yet (Luke 1:34), and her fiancée Joseph was a poor carpenter whose family came from Bethlehem, a town considered “too little to be among the clans of Judah.”

But when Gabriel told Mary she’d have a child through the Holy Spirit, her response reveals exactly why God chose her. In Luke 1:38 (NLT), she says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true . . .” She knew no one would believe her, that this would likely be a scandalous and dangerous thing for her, but she trusted God. She believed in Him and His Word. She surrendered her life, will, and future into His hands. Mary trusted in the name of Jesus! 

Joseph was also in a difficult position when he found out Mary was pregnant. In that society, pregnancy before marriage was a serious offense, and if word got out, it would’ve spelled major trouble for Mary. But Joseph was a good man, a righteous man who loved God, like his forefather David. So he decided to protect her by ending the engagement privately and discreetly. But then, an angel came to him and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20–21 NIV). 

How far are you willing to take your obedience to the Lord? What happens when God tells you to do something difficult, troublesome, or inconvenient? Do you answer the call or let it go to voicemail? 

How did Joseph react? He was obedient and took Mary as his wife. Joseph’s courage and obedience is not to be trivialized. This was a life-changing decision on his part. He could have played it safe and sent Mary on her way, but he didn’t. Instead, like Mary, Joseph trusted in the name of Jesus!

When it comes to being part of God’s family, it’s all about trusting in the name of Jesus. In Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT), it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” So, no matter what we face, no matter how insurmountable, impossible, or unbelievable our circumstances, if we trust in the name of Jesus, we’ll never be disappointed. 

Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve, a day we can reflect on Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and celebrate the coming of our King. Take some time today to read through Matthew 1–2 and Luke 1–2 on your own or with your family, so you can relive their obedience to God and God’s faithfulness to us!

December 20 – Family Christmas – The Word Made Visible

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The Word Made Visible

By Danny Saavedra

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king . . . He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David . . .” – 2 Kings 22:1–2 (NIV)

Do you remember what you were doing at eight years old? Learning to multiply and divide? Playing video games? Managing a lemonade stand? Whatever you were doing, Josiah probably has you beat! He became king over God’s people at the ripe old age of eight! But get this: he was actually one of the few people who had a heart after the Lord. 

His reign came after several years of neglect of God. A lot of rebuilding had to be done, starting with the temple. It was in shambles, so Josiah decided to restore it to its former glory.

This young man was one of the most important kings to have ruled over God’s people. A revival took place under his leadership, turning the people’s hearts back to the Lord. By all accounts, Josiah’s reign was a success. But as we’ll see, his character defined his political career. 

As the workmen began to clear away the debris from the temple, they came across something that had been discarded and forgotten: a copy of the Scriptures. They dusted it off and started to read it to King Josiah. As God’s Word was being shared, Josiah became aware of how far he and his people had strayed from the Lord (2 Kings 22).

The king was so convicted by God’s Word that he did what so many kings before him failed to do; He made the Word of God visible again. Then he did a thorough “house cleaning” by sweeping through the kingdom and ending the practices that were contrary to God’s ways. This young king pulled out all the stops to make sure that the people of God were properly honoring God as He deserves to be honored. 

Everything in the kingdom changed dramatically and it all went back to the discovery of God’s Word. The Scriptures had a radical effect on Josiah and once they were taken into his heart and mind, he was never the same. 

In John 1, we read that when the fullness of time had come, “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NASB). God made His Word visible for the entire world to see in the person of Jesus Christ! 

The Christmas season is a time to rejoice and celebrate because it is the moment in time where God sent the light of the world, the Word in the flesh, Jesus, to restore us to a right relationship with Him. And just like it did for young King Josiah, God’s Word should so impact our hearts that it moves us to action! 

It should be that source of life change that convicts us to the core and causes us to take sin so seriously that we “clean our house.” It should also be that dynamic that inspires us to pull out all the stops as we remember and celebrate who God is and all that He’s done for us. And it should bring us to the place where we are moved to see it take hold in the lives of the people around us; our families, loved ones, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, and anyone else we come into contact with. 

This Christmas do like Josiah: make the Word of God visible for the people in your life to see. Allow the light of the world to shine brightly through you, letting it guide people to Jesus!

December 19 – Family Christmas – A Man After God’s Heart

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A Man After God’s Heart

By Danny Saavedra

“For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” – John 7:42 (NLT)

Have you ever just had a moment that changed your life forever? The kind of thing where one minute, you’re just minding your own business, and the next, your world has been flipped, turned upside down? That’s exactly what happened to David. 

It’s a very interesting story. The Israelites were no longer happy being set apart and different from the other nations. They asked Samuel for a king like all the other nations had. This upset Samuel. He took it as a rejection. But God said, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them” (1 Samuel 8:7 NASB). 

So God appointed Saul, who the Bible calls the most handsome man in Israel; a tall, strong figure, a man’s man, a pillar of physical perfection. But soon, Saul showed that his heart did not match his appearance. He needed to be replaced. So, God sent Samuel again to find the new king. 

Samuel happened upon the house of Jesse, who presented seven of his sons to Samuel. God didn’t choose any of them. But it just so happened that Jesse had one more son—David, his youngest—who was out tending to the sheep in the field. When David arrived, immediately the Lord confirmed to Samuel that this was the one. 

Why him? What made David so special out of all the men in Israel, or even out of Jesse’s other sons, whom Samuel was very impressed by. Why? 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV), one of the most famous verses in Scripture, tells us: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

You see, David wasn’t just appointed, he was anointed by God! His life was changed in one instant because God saw his heart. In Acts 13, Paul tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart, one who would trust in the Lord, who would listen to God’s voice and obey. In David, we see humility, devotion, faithfulness, and a deep love for the Lord. He wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t need to be. 

David wasn’t God’s anointed because he did all the right things; he definitely didn’t. It was because he sought after God with his whole heart, even when he fell short. It wasn’t his virtue, bravery, or wisdom that made God choose him. And it wasn’t by his might that he was able to conquer Goliath. Rather, it was because he believed “in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45 NIV). 

Before the end of his life, God made David a promise; an ancient promise made to Abraham and reaffirmed to David in 2 Samuel 7:16 (ESV): “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” In Matthew 1:23 (NLT), we’re given the name by which this branch of David’s tree would be called: “Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Today, people around the world have the opportunity to experience a moment like David did, a moment that changes their destiny and turns their world upside down as they believe in the name of Immanuel—God with us, Jesus Christ, the LORD Almighty! For those who have received Him, rejoice! Praise God today for the gift of salvation through Jesus. And pray for those who have not yet experienced this amazing grace!

December 18 – Family Christmas – The Resolute Daughter and the Redeeming Kinsman

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The Resolute Daughter and the Redeeming Kinsman 

By Danny Saavedra

“But Ruth clung . . .” – Ruth 1:14 (NLT)

The story of Ruth begins on a tragic note. A family of four migrate from Israel to Moab. In Moab, Naomi’s husband dies, leaving her a widow. Then both of her sons get married—one to Ruth—and they soon die as well, leaving a family of three widows.

Naomi tells her newly widowed daughters-in-law to move on with their lives. She gave them an “out” from the obligation of caring for her. One daughter-in-law leaves, but Ruth clings to Naomi.

What stands out about Ruth’s decision to stay was that she had no idea how her future would be affected by choosing to do the right thing. Would her chances of getting remarried have increased if she’d left Naomi? Possibly. But Ruth didn’t take that angle. Something inside of her bound her to Naomi. She, a pagan Moabite, exclaims, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16 NLT). 

You see, Ruth came in contact with the Lord. So, when we read that she clung to Naomi, the One she was really clinging to was God! This is the second time we see God touching the heart of a “pagan” and calling her into His plan of salvation. Both times, these women responded in faith and trusted in God. And both times, God saved them for it. The Lord saw that Ruth was faithful in the present, so He showed Himself faithful in the redemption story He was about to write into her life.

He did this through what the Old Testament calls a kinsman redeemer. What’s that? Well, it’s a male relative who, in keeping with the law, had the opportunity and responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in great need. 

The kinsman redeemer is seen in the Old Testament delivering or rescuing, redeeming a person or property, or avenging a wrong. This idea is most clearly illustrated in the story of Ruth.

In Ruth 2:1, we read about an influential man from Bethlehem named Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi who owned the field Ruth would collect leftover crops from. Boaz took notice of Ruth and asked others about her. When he heard her story, how she selflessly stayed with her mother-in-law, she gained his respect and soon, his affection. 

Not long after, Ruth, as was custom for a widow, asks Boaz to marry her. And even though he wasn’t the nearest relative, Boaz’s love for Ruth caused him to seek the right to marry her, and soon after, he did! 

What a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness and redemption! Christian scholar Donald A. Leggett once wrote, “In the actions of Boaz, we see foreshadowed the saving work of Jesus Christ, his later descendant. As Boaz had the right of redemption and yet clearly was under no obligation to intervene on Ruth’s behalf, so it is with Christ.” 

There’s no doubt that Ruth and Boaz’s saga is one of the most beautiful love stories in the Bible—in human history even. But it’s nothing compared to the story of Christmas—God’s love story! You see, our sin separated us from God, and He could have left it that way. After all, it’s what we deserve! But “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him” (1 John 4:9 NLT). Today, join us in celebrating our great love story and honoring Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer!

December 17 – Family Christmas – Hope for the Harlot

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Hope for the Harlot

By Danny Saavedra

“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe . . .” – Hebrews 11:31 (NKJV)

Did you ever watch Sesame Street? On the show, they’d sing this one song called “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others.” The purpose was to try to get the audience to identify the one object that was different from the rest. One version of the song said: “One of these is not like the others, which one is different? Do you know? Can you tell which thing is not like the others? I’ll tell you if it is so.”

If we had to identify one person in Jesus’ family tree who we wouldn’t expect to see at a family reunion among Abraham and King David, it would probably be Rahab. She arrives on the scene in Joshua 2 as the Israelites are on the verge of destroying her city, Jericho. Two Israelite spies cross paths with her and having heard of the power and faithfulness of God, she protects them by letting them hide in her house in the hopes that she would be saved.

Keep in mind, Rahab was a “pagan” woman who had no connection whatsoever to the covenant God had established with the Israelites. She was also a harlot, a prostitute. Rahab is about as far from what you’d expect a child of God to be as you can get! She’s the epitome of “one of these things is not like the others.” 

But that’s the beauty of the gospel and the family of God: Nobody belongs because we’ve all fallen short of God’s glory. But at the same time, everybody belongs because God made a way for us through faith in Jesus. God doesn’t choose based on our resume, because even the most prestigious of all people is unfit and unqualified to enter God’s Kingdom apart from Christ. Instead, God honors faith. 

When a person makes the conscious decision to place their faith in the Lord, to trust Him and believe what He says, He honors and blesses them. And here’s the amazing thing; this holds true for everyone. A person’s background—who they were and what they’ve done—doesn’t disqualify them because that’s all irrelevant in God’s eyes once faith enters into the equation.

Rahab was saved because she believed the God of Israel was real and she put her life in His hands. The Lord saw and honored her belief and she was miraculously saved while the rest of her city and its inhabitants perished. God honored Rahab even further by making her an ancestor of King David and Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 1:5). That’s a lot of honor for a pagan prostitute! But it all happened because God honors those who trust in Him, no matter who it comes from. Consider the men and women Jesus associated with and chose—Peter the denier, Mathew the tax collector, Thomas the doubter, Paul the murderer, and us! 

The next time you doubt that God loves and accepts you, remember Rahab and how her story shows the extent of God’s amazing grace toward all who believe. Remember the great lengths God went to—sending His Son Jesus to pay the price for our sins—in order that we may be part of His family. And remember that when God looks at those who believe, who have “put on Christ, like putting on new clothes,” all He sees is Jesus! So this Christmas, no matter who you are or where you’ve come from, you can be certain that God has a place for you in His family!

December 16 – Family Christmas – Family Feud

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Family Feud 

By Danny Saavedra

“Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy . . .” – Genesis 44:33 (NIV)

The Bible is full of stories of authentic people. God didn’t shy away from showing our “heroes” of faith in their darkest hours. Why? So we can see people with real shortcomings and struggles; people like us.

One great example is found in Israel’s family. In this story, we see Joseph—loved by his father and hated by his brothers—sold into slavery. That’s right, because his brothers were so jealous and filled with malice, they lied about Joseph’s death after selling him as a slave. 

But what happened? Joseph prospered! He went from son to slave to prisoner to steward to ultimately the prime minister of Egypt. Why? Because he honored and served the Lord. 

Joseph became top dog in Egypt, helping people through a prolonged famine. Eventually, he gets a visit from his brothers—except for Benjamin, the youngest. They came because the famine had reached them, and they heard about the surplus in Egypt. Though Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him, so he pretended to be a stranger. Testing them so he could see if they had changed, he tells his brothers they can’t leave Egypt unless they bring their youngest brother there. So, he kept one of his brothers and sent the rest to get Benjamin. 

They went back to their father, but Israel refused to let Benjamin go. Knowing his family’s need and repentant from what they’d done to Joseph, Judah said, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life.” (Genesis 43:8–9 NIV). With that, Israel finally agrees.

They brought him to Joseph. Before they left, Joseph had his steward put a silver cup into Benjamin’s bag to make it seem as though he’d stolen it. This was their final test. When he decreed that only Benjamin would have to stay as his servant, Judah offered to take his brother’s place in prison. Judah’s actions paint a picture of what was to come through his descendant, Jesus, who came to pay a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay! 

This selfless act also had a major impact on Joseph. Hearing Judah’s compassion and willingness to take his brother’s place, Joseph could no longer contain himself and reveals himself to his brothers. In Genesis 45:5 (NIV), he says, “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” At last, after several years, we see a family reunited. 

The Christmas season marks the perfect time for reconciliation. You see, Jesus came to reconcile us to God, to bring forgiveness and restoration. And the story of Israel’s children shows us that it’s never too late for reconciliation and forgiveness, for healing in our lives and in our families. Are there broken relationships in your life? Maybe old friends, siblings, or a parent? Just like he did for Joseph and his brothers, God can do the same for you. All you have to do is take the first step!

December 15 – Family Christmas – The Runner & the Wrestler

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Read Genesis 32:24-25

The Runner and the Wrestler 

By Danny Saavedra

“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him . . . He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint . . .” – Genesis 32:24–25 (NKJV)

It would be an understatement to say that there are some interesting and eccentric characters in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. And among this amazingly diverse group, Jacob definitely sticks out. 

From his heel-catching birth to getting his brother’s inheritance for some stew; from the hair-brained scheme he hatched to trick his almost-blind father into blessing him to his soap opera-style romantic saga over Rachel, Jacob had some stories to tell. If ever there were a person in Jesus’ family tree with some wild stories—the kind of stories so insane they’d have to be true—it would be Jacob.

Now, one of the things you’ll notice as you read through the many exploits of Jacob is that he was a runner. After stealing his brother Esau’s inheritance, he ran. When he wanted to get out from under his uncle Laban’s control, he ran. His default in difficult times was to run, because at heart, Jacob leaned on his own abilities in life. Even though he knew God, believed in Him, and listened when He spoke, he relied more on himself than on God.

After running away from Laban and being commanded by God to return to the land of his fathers, he sent a messenger with gifts to his brother Esau. Genesis 32:6–7 (NLT) says, “After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, ‘We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!’ Jacob was terrified at the news.” 

So, what do you think he did? You guessed it. He got ready to run again. While his brother Esau was on the verge of tracking him down, Jacob ended up alone in his camp wrestling with a man—only it wasn’t a man, it was actually God! He wrestled with Jacob in order to transform him, to bring him to a place of submission, and so God knocked his hip out of its socket. 

Why in the world would God do a thing like that? Remember what Jacob did when things got tough? He ran because he leaned on himself. But now, with a hip out of joint, Jacob could no longer run or lean on his own power. From this point forward, he would have to lean on God. His hip was a constant reminder of that!

And to drive the point home even further, the Lord gives Jacob a new name, Israel, which means “governed by God.” The days of running and relying on himself were over. For Israel, the time for standing in faith had finally come, just as it had for his fathers before him.

Like Israel, God also wants us to be governed by Him. When the Prince of Peace left His heavenly throne and became a man, He gave us the perfect example of how to live governed by God. We need to lean into Him and allow Him to lead and direct us (John 5:30; 8:27–28; Luke 22:43–44). 

Today, as believers, we can rejoice because we have the Holy Spirit of God within us to convict us and wrestle us back into a place of submission when we try to revert back to our Jacob-like ways. Spend some time today praying, asking the Lord to reveal any areas where you need to submit.

December 14 – Family Christmas – The Sacrificial Son

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Read Genesis 22:8

The Sacrificial Son

By Danny Saavedra

“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” – Genesis 22:8 (NIV)

Have you ever been asked to do something completely out of the ordinary; something seemingly insane . . . something you never thought you’d have to do? If you have, you’re not alone. In Genesis 22, God gave a strange command to Abraham. 

God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. Wait, what? You mean the son of promise? The son of his old age? The one from whom a great nation would be built? Yes, that one. God said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:2 NIV). 

There is no doubt that this must have been a heart-wrenching, indescribably painful thing for Abraham. Can you imagine being asked to sacrifice what you hold nearest and dearest? Would you be obedient like Noah or run in the opposite direction like Jonah? Think about how unreasonable and insane God’s request sounded. Isaac was Abraham’s beloved son; the future of God’s covenant rested on him. Isaac was a miracle, God’s gift in response to the faith of Abraham and Sarah. 

But Abraham heard God and immediately obeyed Him in faith. Sometimes in our lives, we’ll be faced with having to make what seems to be an impossible, difficult choice—a choice we may not understand. But when we understand the character of God and His desire to bless and fill us, we can faithfully obey Him. 

You see, Abraham knew that God’s will would never contradict His promise, so this faithful father held on to the promise, which said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called” (Genesis 21:12 NKJV). Abraham believed that even if God allowed him to sacrifice his son, that He could raise Isaac from the dead. In this we see the true nature of faith. It doesn’t demand explanations; it rests on promises. That’s why Abraham was able to say to his servants, “We will worship and then we will come back to you,” and why he was able to tell his son, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:5, 8 NIV).

Now, something that often gets lost in this story is Isaac’s faith and obedience. So often, when we picture this story, we imagine Isaac as a young child. But most biblical scholars believe he was between 18 and 33 years old—after all, he had to be big and strong enough to carry all the wood for the burnt offering. 

Isaac’s story gives us an amazing parallel to God’s plan for redemption through Jesus. It’s widely accepted that Isaac knew what was happening. He carried the wood of his own sacrifice and remained silent as he was being placed on the altar. He didn’t protest when Abraham raised the knife. Instead, he willingly gave himself up to his father . . . just like Jesus! Clement of Alexandria wrote, “He (Jesus) is Isaac . . . for he was the son of Abraham as Christ the Son of God and a sacrifice as the Lord.” 

In the end, God stopped Abraham’s hand and provided another sacrifice. So Abraham named that mountain “The Lord Will Provide.” Through the birth of Jesus, Christmas signifies the epic moment where God provided for all mankind. Today, as we get closer to Christmas, find time to reflect on all those moments in life when you didn’t have the answers, but God provided.

December 13 – Family Christmas – A Blessing to All Families

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Read Galatians 3:7

A Blessing to All Families

By Danny Saavedra

“Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.” – Galatians 3:7 (NIV)

Abraham is called the father of faith, the patriarch of Israel. James 2:23 (NLT) says, “’Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God.” 

It all started in Genesis 12. Here, God instructs Abraham to pack up and leave his home and all his comforts behind, to uproot his family and travel to a foreign land. In fact, Abraham wasn’t even told which land. God told him to “go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1 NLT). But along with this colossal call came a promise: “I will make you into a great nation . . . All the families on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2–3 NLT).

At 75 years old, Abram answers this call and heads out with his family. The interesting thing about God’s promise was that Abraham and his wife Sarah had no children. How would God make a great nation out of a childless old man and his wife? Well, Abraham wondered the same thing! So, God revealed His plan and told Abraham that he would have a child, and that eventually his descendants would outnumber the stars! And guess what? Despite the odds, despite the logic and circumstances, Abraham believed God! And it was at that moment that God counted Abraham as righteous.

Later in Genesis 15, God seals His promise to Abraham by making a covenant. God was originally going to make this pact with Abraham through a sacrifice. But before this could happen, God caused Abraham to fall asleep, and as he awoke, he “saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day . . .” (Genesis 15:17-18 NLT). The covenant was made without Abraham because it wasn’t dependent on him or on his descendants, but on God alone.

You see, the story of Abraham teaches us our role in God’s plan of salvation. It’s not work, but worship. In Genesis 12, Abraham received the promise by faith. And immediately after that he built an altar, a place of worship. Why? Because he understood very clearly that neither his right standing with God nor the promises God made to him were dependent on who he was or what he did, but on his faith and God’s faithfulness. 

As you go through your day today, remember there is power in worshiping God for all He is and the strength He gives you. As we see with Abraham, it’s not about what we can do, but what He’s done. So worship Him, because “you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ . . . And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26–27, 29 NKJV).

As believers, saved by amazing grace, we belong to Jesus—the Seed of Abraham, the One who came to fulfill the promise made by God. That means that, by faith, just like Abraham, we have become heirs, sons and daughters, members of God’s family, part of the promise. That’s the beauty of the Christmas story. It was all done so that we could be grafted into the line of Abraham and become part of Jesus’ family tree! God did all the work. All we have to do is receive His gift.