During this time of the year many people who don’t normally take the time to give thought to the real meaning of Christmas are at least more aware of it than at other times, even if they don’t really believe.
I love this time of year. But in all honestly, it saddens me some that it has gotten so commercialized. We’ve lost touch not only with the Person of Christmas, but the purpose behind it which is to have Christmas in our hearts all year around. In other words, to live with the attitude of giving what we can, when we can, without being concerned whether or not we’re going to get something back.
I was thinking about this today on the way to work. While I was driving along, I was suddenly, keenly aware of just how good God has been to me and how completely underserving I am of any of His goodness and how little I’ve given Him in comparison.
I don’t know about you, but my human nature is frequently and naturally inclined to occasional fits of self-pity, selfishness, and inconsideration of others (among other things). Fortunately, with God’s help, this happens less often and for shorter periods of time. However, I am quite a ways off from having arrived at being the kind of person that I desire to be and that is very frustrating at times.
The Best Gift
How many of you can remember a specific gift or “the gift” above all gifts that your heart had longed for? Then you finally received it!
How did it make you feel? Do you remember? Do you remember the events surrounding that time leading up to your receiving that gift? Was it a parent or a grandparent that gave it to you? Was it another family member? How did it make you feel about that person that gave it to you? Do you remember how much you enjoyed that gift?
Did you know that there are certain kinds of gifts that are intangible but yet the effect they can have on you has much greater impact on you emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and other ways than something that you can physically touch?
A Gift Undeserved
As I mentioned in the third paragraph above, I was so aware this morning of how undeserving I am of God’s goodness toward me. But, I do want to make something very clear. I did not feel less than or insignificant because of my awareness of this totally undeserved gift. It was actually quite the opposite, I felt very loved and totally accepted.
This undeserved gift is called grace and it came wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger in Jerusalem centuries ago. This precious gift was then and still is Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Many know and some may not, but after Jesus was born, He grew in wisdom as a man and eventually went to a cruel Roman cross to be willingly sacrificed for our sins so we could live with Him forever in heaven. But we don’t have to wait till we get to heaven to live with Him.
We can do it right now through the person and power of His Holy Spirit. John 14:16-17 says that God’s plans were to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our human spirit when we accept Jesus as Lord and that’s what happens when you make that choice. It’s wonderful because the Holy Spirit can be any place with anyone at the same time and He does for us and speaks to us just like Jesus would if He were here physically in bodily form.
Actually, eternal life is not about only living in heaven forever. Eternal life literally means to “know God” through Jesus. John 17:3 NLT says, “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”
This gift of eternal life through Jesus is the single most undeserved gift you can ever receive as long as you live. Nothing has ever compared to Him and nothing will ever compare to Him.
John 3:16-17 says that God loved the world so much that He sent His son so that whoever believes on Him (as the only way to God) will never die (eternally) but have eternal life. Verse 17 says God never intended to judge the world. But people make that necessary but not choosing His son. God is not an egotist, a dictator, or someone who needs His personality pumped up by having people worship Him.
It’s just that He deserves it because He is holy. However, He is so interested in having a relationship with you and loving you intimately beyond anything that you’ve yet to imagine. You see, God is not about taking anything away from us. He wants to bless us in many ways. But what He is against is “anything” that interferes with His love coming toward us. And virtually everything in this corrupt world’s system is diametrically opposed to the things of God.
What Christmas Really Means
This year when you get together with your family for Christmas, by all means, enjoy the gifts, the music, the food, and all the wonderful things this season has to offer. But whatever you do, please don’t forget that precious baby who was born so long ago and who is alive and well today. He reigns as King and the Lamb of God in absolute victory and authority over every enemy that can ever come against you. This is the underserved gift that Christmas is all about, has always been about, and will always be about.
As the world grows darker, men will continue trying to eliminate the obvious reminders of what Christmas is about and probably will even continue trying to pass laws to erase His memory from our culture.
But remember this!
God has the last word on the matter and what has “already been written” has “already become reality” in the spiritual realm in eternity outside of time.
That being said, it is literally just a matter of time before His word and His kingdom manifests visibly in this realm. As a matter of fact, it’s already begun in many places.