Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Jesse Tree Ornament - The Heart

"And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28 (KJB)
Pattern for the Jesse tree heart symbol, given to the
Virgin Mary, mother of Christ.
       Mary being espoused to Joseph, the angel Gabriel appeared to her, to announce to her that she should be by a miracle of divine power, the mother of the Messiah. To confirm this message, and to show that nothing is impossible to God, he added that her cousin Elisabeth, who was old, and had been hitherto barren, was then in the sixth month of her pregnancy. Mary thus convinced, answered, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." Luke 1:38

       The Hebrews used this word, heart, for the soul, comprehending all its feelings and faculties. Hence are derived many modes of expression. "An honest and good heart," Luke 8:15 is a heart studious of holiness, being prepared by the Spirit of God to receive the word with due affections, dispositions, and resolutions.
A painted, baker's clay heart for the Jesse tree.
       Keeping the heart is a duty enjoined in the sacred Scriptures. It consists, says Mr. Flavel, in the diligent and constant use and improvement of all holy means and duties to preserve the soul from sin, and maintain communion with God; and this, he properly observes, supposes a previous work of sanctification, which hath set the heart right by giving it a new bent and inclination. 
  1. It includes frequent observation of the frame of the heart, "I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search." Psalms 77:6
  2. Deep humiliation for heart evils and disorders, "Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah." 2 Chronicles 32:26
  3. Earnest supplication for heart purifying and rectifying grace, "Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults." Psalm 19:12
  4. A constant, holy jealousy over our hearts, "He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him." Proverbs 27:14
  5. It includes the realizing of God's presence with us, and setting him before us, "I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Psalm 16:8 and "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." Genesis 17:1.

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