Christmas is rapidly approaching! Now, I’ll be honest, I’m one of those scrooges that prefers people would save all of their jolly music for AFTER Thanksgiving and the other fall holidays have been granted their adequate time of appreciation and festivity, however Christmas is certainly my favorite time of year! There is so much…joy. What a beautiful thing joy is. First off, we get to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth! The Savior has come! Then, we return from our family church-services and witness the bright-eyed delight that is associated with children (and young adults of course, if you count me) ripping open the gifts their parents give them…I mean…Santa (whoops!). What is it that makes gifts so special? Well, for one, we’re unwrapping something that we’ve wanted! Perhaps the latest gadget from Apple, or if you’re me, then you’ll likely be receiving Starbucks gift-cards and book gift-cards, because I’m a nerd and love reading, and because coffee goes great with reading, right? (Yeah, yeah, okay, I’m addicted…haha) Secondly, the reason that we’re so excited is that we literally had to do NOTHING in order to receive the gift. It was simply GIVEN to us.
Christmas gifts are certainly undeserved blessings. However, today I find myself reflective of a far more gracious gift. The “real deal” of grace, so to speak. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was willing to bleed upon a splintery, wooden, cross so that we may be washed clean by His blood and clothed in HIS righteousness. We, undeserving sinners, the ones that had Him nailed to the cross in the first place, are given HIS righteousness.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel…” (Colossians 1:21-23)
Do you realize the gravity of this passage? The grace that Christ offered us at Calvary is the greatest, most loving, most powerful, thing that has ever been done! God, coming down and taking the form of man, walking the earth, living without sin, suffering a brutal and sacrificial death, then, by His own raw power, rising from the grave three days later! All of this done to simply redeem His children. And yet, we like to think that we’re not loved…Well, we need to take those thoughts captive and send them straight back to hell where they came from, because you, [insert your name here], are ridiculously loved!
In conclusion, God’s unadulterated grace is the real deal. You and I have literally done and will never do ANYTHING that warrants such a gift! The sooner we come to this humbling realization, the sooner God will be able to work in our lives. Want to see the LORD truly work? Get on your knees, humble yourselves, confess your lack of faith, and admit your desperate need for His saving grace! You’ll be absolutely awestruck at what God is capable of doing with a humbled heart that is ready to LISTEN. Then, led by the Spirit and the clothed in the Son’s righteousness, we can carry out, with confidence, the work that the Father has set before us. Then, and only then, will we begin to see what God is truly capable of within His Church.
Here’s what I sent out as a text to the house-church that I’m a part of:
“Here’s what [God says] to us: Confess. Repent. Live Renewed. His Words bring LIFE. If life is found in His Word, then living obediently, under His Lordship, should and will bring about life to the fullest, where we can bear much fruit! Rejoice, for God knows the plans that He has for us!”
Confess. Repent. Live Renewed.
I share this with you, because I believe this same message is to be spoken over each of you that read this. Quite simply, if we will humble ourselves before the LORD, ask for His redeeming love, and admit that we cannot go on without Him; all of this stemming from an authentic heart, of course; God will surely begin to work wonders before us. I’ll let 1 Peter 2:23-25 do the rest of the talking…be blessed, dear reader. I’m praying for you.
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”