Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot--yes, a new branch bearing fruit from the old root...In that day the heir to David's throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to Him, and the land where He lives will be a glorious place. Isaiah 11:1, 10
The nativity story didn't start with a journey to Bethlehem, an emperor's decree, or a virgin conception---it began with Adam! Exploring the lineage of Jesus through the Advent tradition of the Jesse tree, Voskamp retraces the epic pageantry of mankind from Genesis to God's greatest gift---his Son. A timeless reminder of the true meaning of Christmas!
With your purchase of The Greatest Gift, you'll be given access to an online resource where you can print out the 27 beautiful Jesse Tree ornaments featured in the book.
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Customer Reviews for The Greatest Gift: An Advent Devotional
Review 1 for The Greatest Gift: An Advent Devotional
Beautiful and Complete
Date:December 2, 2013
Ann takes us back to the beginning--the very beginning, where humans were created in the image and likeness of God. She unwinds the story of pain, the story of the fall. She takes you through the dawns of evil, reveals the depths of the depravity, realizes the desperation for a Savior.
She shows the goodness of God. The holiness of the Maker. The graciousness of the Father.
I loved the way that this Advent devotional was written. Truly beginning at the very beginning, showing the desperate need of humankind for a Savior before the miraculous event of God taking on flesh.
The Gospel glows throughout this book. Ann reveals and stresses through her poetic, real, and encouraging prose that Christmas was the means to usher in the true redemption. That Jesus was born to die, to give us life. But because He is God, the chains of death could not hold Him. He rose again, and gave us victory.
Christmas is beginning of the life--the promise fulfilled. Immanuel, "God with Us".
I highly recommend this devotional. The sweetness of the Gospel, the holiness of such an oft commercialized event--this devotional helps it all to come into perspective.
I adored the style of the formatting. The graphic design, the fonts, the colors--the peaceful art appropriate to its message.
Each devotional begins with a scriptural reading, followed by Ann's encouraging words on the particular passage. The following remaining pages for the day feature a quote appropriate to the day's topic and a few questions for pondering with blank lines on which to write out your own thoughts.
I am grateful to Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for The Greatest Gift: An Advent Devotional
Advent is a time of waiting and preparing. Ann helps us do that by using the Jesse Tree (with ornaments you can make from her website). For each of the 25 meditations, there is a photo of an ornament, a Scripture reading, a meditation, a reflection, a quote, and questions for reflection.
Ann starts at the beginning – Genesis. She shows our need for a Savior. She continues by relating Old Testament stories to the coming of the Messiah. She includes Abraham, Isaac and laughter, Isaac and God providing a ram, Jacob and the ladder, Joseph and thin places, the ten commandments, Rahab, Ruth, David, Elijah, Jonah, Bethlehem, Esther, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Mary, and then … God with us!
Ann's beautiful prose and thoughtful reflections cause us to pause and think on the miracle of Christmas. This is a book to be savored as we prepare our hearts anew for the coming of the Savior.
Food for thought: “Advent is made of the moments. This slow unfurling of grace.” (5)
“The message of Christmas is that this world's a mess and we can never save ourselves from ourselves and we need a Messiah.” (139)
“We can always have as much of God as we want.” (233)
“It cost Him everything to be with you. Who will spend a fraction of time just to be with Him?” (235)