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Bible Project | Trees | A Review

Bible Project | Trees | A Review

What’s trees got to do with it?

Have you ever wondered the significance of the Tree of Life in Genesis and in Revelation?
Do you want to fully understand its purpose and place within scripture and eternity? Maybe
you’re just interested in why there are so many trees mentioned in the Bible, especially at
key moments when God’s people meet with Him. Well then this is the Podcast Series for
you.

Tim Mackie and Jon Collins from the Bible Project take you from the Tree of Life in Genesis
right up to the Tree of Life in Revelation, looking at all the key moments in scripture where
trees are present, finishing off in the ninth podcast by looking at ‘Jesus on the Cursed Tree’.
This is then followed by a question and response section.

Tim Mackie is a very well-respected Bible teacher and has some excellent biblically-based
insights on scripture and its meaning. Jon Collins, Tim’s co-founder, is excellent at helping
people to understand the complex parts of scripture and help to make it understandable.
In the opening two episodes, starting with ‘Humans are…Trees?’, Tim and Jon look at how
there are humans and trees together at many of the hinge points of the biblical story. This
is then followed by a look at the representation of Trees throughout ancient cultures,
including during biblical times, which is where the meaning and context of the tree of life is
explored.

The following three episodes discuss the two trees in the Garden of Eden and tell us
something truly profound about the human condition and the choice we all face. We then
see how the lives of Noah and Abraham are explored as these two great men of faith face
important tests and big decisions before a tree on a high place. Tim and Jon also explore
the reason for and purpose of sacrifices at these moments of testing on high places.
After this, we see a journey through the lives of Moses and the nation of Israel with all the
tests that they face, also before trees on high places. This is moved onto the life of David
with a new Eden being set up in Jerusalem; however, many false Edens are being set up by
the people. There is a sense of a need for a response from God and this response that God
will give is prophesied by the prophet Isaiah who speaks of the seed who will usher in the
new Eden, pointing to God’s answer.

The series concludes by looking back to the Tree of Life and it’s place in the Kingdom of God
with Jesus Himself as the tree at the centre and the future promise of the new Eden to
come. The penultimate episode then focuses in on Jesus’ final test in a high garden before
His sacrifice on a tree on a high place for a broken humanity.

As I listened to this podcast series, I was just amazed and enlightened to the incredibly
central theme of trees in the biblical story. I was also struck by the significance of the Tree
of Life too in God’s plan and the Kingdom of God. As you listen to this podcast, I hope that
you too will realise the focus that God places on trees on high places in scripture and how
they are so important to the story from the Tree of Life in Genesis right up to the Tree of
Life in Revelation.

I have never found so much enjoyment and had so much interest in trees before. There was
just so much that I hadn’t really grasped about their role in God’s wonderful plan and the
story before humanity and after Jesus comes again into eternity. I’m sure if you listened to
this yourself too that you would find amazement in the beautiful use of trees in the Bible.
Here is the link to the series for you to listen to it yourself online:

https://bibleproject.com/podcast/series/tree-life-podcast/

You can also listen on Spotify

And on Apple Podcasts

 

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Winning the Race

Winning the Race

Philippians 3

Have you ever won a prize before?
Have you ever come first place at something?
Are you really good at something and often get lots of praise for it?

So was Paul!

Paul was brilliant at many things in his life. He was very popular, lived in a great area, had plenty of money and life was good. But… he didn’t believe in Jesus. In fact, he was really nasty about Jesus and said and did horrible things to people who did believe in him.

Thankfully, one day God spoke to Paul and blinded him for 3 DAYS!! But after 3 days, Paul saw the light. The light of day and the light of Jesus.

From then on, Paul decided to spend as much time as he possibly could with God. He wanted to understand Him. So he fasted, prayed, and listened – sometimes all night long!!

Once Paul knew God he wanted to tell everyone!!!

His friends, his family, people on the street, and even people he’d never met before. He would travel around as many places as he could and write as many letters as he could. He also made sure he told people who didn’t want to hear about it- brave move!

People got annoyed at Paul for talking about Jesus ALL the time—so they threw him in jail! Instead of moaning and grumbling or feeling sad, Paul saw it as a brilliant opportunity to tell more people about Jesus and rejoiced in this blessing!

They even threw rocks at him! But he was so focussed on Gods calling in his life he forgave them and carried on.

It’s nice to be good at something and get lots of praise, isn’t it? We all like it when someone says well done or notices when we do something well. It’s really important to encourage one another.

God gave us our talents and dreams, he wants us to thrive and always try our best. But he also wants us to remember that He is our prize. Our greatest aim and ambition is to please and love our God. Our biggest need is a fully restored relationship with God. Paul really understood this which is why he found joy when he was thrown in prison.

Chat

Think of all the things you are good at.
Think of things your friends and family are good at.

God blesses us with our gifts and talents and we must celebrate them.
Sometimes we can get carried away and become too focused on the things we are good at and forget about God. Sometimes we can boast about ourselves and how good we are instead of boasting about God.

What do you think humble means?
This is something Paul was very good at. As we know, Paul was good at many many things but he never boasted about it. Humble means not boasting and showing off about the things we are good at.

Pray

Help us to celebrate our gifts our talents but also to stay humble and only boast about you God.
Thank you for sending Paul to teach us that the prize only worth winning is you.
Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you and to keep focused on Gods calling in our lives.

Play

Why not play prisons and guards this week? you might like to build a big prison with pillows and blankets in your living room. Take it in turns to be Paul and the prison guard.
If you are Paul then talk about Jesus NONE STOP…without taking a breath! And remember Paul was probably overly joyful.

If you’re the prison guard then you could say ‘Sshhh’, roll your eyes, or make grumbling noises! You might also be confused why there’s such a happy man in prison?
Use your imagination and have fun!

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Shine Like Stars

Shine like Stars

In Philippians 2 Paul is telling us what it means to live like Christ. He writes a letter to the Philippians and tells them about Jesus’ humility.

What do you think humility means? Some of you will know and understand this word but others might find it a little tricky. That’s okay- have a go anyway.

Humility means putting others before yourself and giving things up for other people.

Jesus was humble and obeyed God completely. In fact, he made himself nothing and took on the nature of a servant! That means always putting others before yourself. And when we put our trust and hope in Jesus we also have to love others first.

How can we look after others and put others first?

Staying home from school is putting others first!
If you’re still in school, then washing your hands and keeping your distance is putting others first!
Not seeing your friends and family in lockdown is also putting others first!

But hang on…
What about when Covid disappears and things go back to normal again?

What can we do to value others more than ourselves then?

Maybe you could show humility by sharing your toys? Opening the door for someone and letting them go first? Saving the last biscuit for your brother or sister?

In v 14 it says we need to do all this Without grumbling or arguing!!!
Now, this is a tricky one! Not just for children but for adults too!

Mainly because our hearts are telling us we want to do something else. We want things to go OUR way and we think everything is about us. When actually, it’s about Jesus. We need to pray to Jesus and ask for his help. And through him, we can shine like stars in the sky. V15

Isn’t that lovely? Through Jesus, we can shine like stars in the sky!

Take some time now to be quiet.
Get comfy
You might like to Close your eyes to help you relax.

Think about the whole universe,
The Planets dotted around the darkness.

Think about the stars, so bright and beautiful- full of light.

Imagine God at the center of it all. Controlling everything.
God, the creator of all heaven and earth.

Sometimes we try and put ourselves at the center. Sorry God.

Our tiny little planet seems so small when we think about how big the universe is.

But Jesus loves our tiny planet and everyone on it. He wants us to shine like the stars in the sky.

Remember last week? We remembered how much Jesus loves us from the birds singing in the trees. Now it’s time to love others as Jesus loves us.

How can you love like Jesus? What can you do to put others before yourself?

 

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Party in the Trees

Party in the Trees

Trust

Click here to read Matthew 6:25

Sometimes when we are in our garden or walking to the park we can hear some very noisy birds singing above us. Flora always says ‘the birds are having a party in the trees!’ It certainly sounds like they’re having a party! They are singing and making beautiful chirping noises and if you look up it looks like they are dancing! Weaving in and out of the branches and bobbing up and down.

The more I think about birds, the more I realise they never seem to be sad or worried at all! They always seem so happy, full of spirit, wild, free, and full of joy!

This reminds me of when Jesus tells us to be like the birds in the sky.

In Matthew 6:25 it says ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’

Sometimes it’s hard to trust that Jesus is in control. But the birds trust him completely! They can sing and dance in the trees knowing they can trust their Heavenly Father! Because he loves them, and if he loves them, how much MORE do you think he loves YOU!?

Chat:

If you were a bird where would you fly to? (Why not pretend to be a bird and fly around your house!- carefully!) what can you see? How do you feel?

Do you find it hard to trust Jesus?

What do you think you can do to trust him better?

Pray:

Help us to trust in Jesus better.
Thank him that he loves us SO much more than the birds in the sky.
Thank him that he provides our every need.

Reflect in the week:

Why not go for a walk together this week and listen out for the birds having a party in the trees!
Remember to trust Jesus. He is in control.

 

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Peace – No Worries

Peace.- No Worries, Phillipians 4:1-7

Click here to read the passage

In this passage, we learn about two friends, Euodia and Syntyche. In verse 2 It sounds like they’ve had a bit of a falling out. Their worries have become too big and instead of turning to God and asking for his help they are arguing and saying things they don’t really mean.

Thankfully, Paul reminds them If they have peace with God they will have peace with each other and their hearts don’t need to be angry.

They can come to God and he will help them find peace in their worries and situations and help them to be kind and rejoice with one another.

When we find things stressful, we are more likely to be unreasonable, lack peace and understanding.

When we are feeling anxious, we are more likely to fall out with people.

When we worry, we can be very grumpy with one another.

But… when you give everything to God in prayer… then the peace of all understanding will guard your hearts.

Chat:

Maybe you are finding it hard to have peace with the world at the moment?

Are you feeling grumpy about all the school work you have to do at home/ school?

Do you miss seeing your friends and family?

Are you letting your worries become too big?

What makes you feel grumpy?

Maybe you’re just really fed up with all this coronavirus stuff and just want things to go back to normal. (I think we are all feeling a bit like this!)

Maybe you are feeling calm and happy at the moment…this is great. Rejoice and praise God for he is good.

Pray:

Pray for one another.

Parents, pray for your children and their worries and rejoice and be thankful for their blessings.

Pray the scripture over. Pray for any worries to be lifted and our week ahead is full of peace and happiness.

Try:

Let your reasonableness be known to everybody. The lord has at hand. V5

Despite feeling fed up, let’s try really hard to be radiant in His joy.
Reflect in the week:

Sometimes we can have ‘opsy’ moments and forget to trust Jesus. That’s okay, come back to Jesus, read the passage again, take a deep breath and try again. Jesus doesn’t mind how many times we try again. Keep praying and asking for Jesus’ help.

Why not print or write out the passage and stick it on your fridge and read it over yourselves and your family every day.

Listen to whatever God wants to say to you.

Rejoice and have fun with one another!

Have a good week everyone x

 

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Psalm 119:114

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