A CHRISTmas Message

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..." (Isaiah 9:6)

"So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others-- one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS." (John 19:17-19)

"...when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them...the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:3-6)

No word can describe God's love. It is beyond our understanding. But the greatest expression is in the image of the invisible God-- Jesus Christ.

We know for a fact that He came here on earth more than 2000 years ago to be a man. He was born in a manger, in the lowliest state possible in Bethlehem. In humility, Jesus entered our history to fulfill God's grand plan of salvation for humanity.

The Jews awaited a conquering king to save Israel from the yoke of slavery. God had other things in mind and sent a suffering servant to free humanity from the yoke of sin.

Jesus is the culmination of this plan. In Him was fulfilled both love and justice, life and death, judgment and salvation. We think of Christmas as the birth of a Savior, but we forget that comes with it is the Savior's death on the cross. His ultimate sacrifice is not the physical pain or torture; it was the spiritual suffering. 

He who knew not sin became sin. At no other time was the fellowship of the Godhead disrupted than at the cross. The Father turned His face from the Son because of our sins. In pain and heartbreak Jesus cried out, "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?"

What love is this? A Great and Awesome God chooses to be like us to die for us! The very reason He was born was for Him to die, to make a way for us to be reunited back to God.

But the story is incomplete when we end with Jesus' death, for on the third day He is risen! The empty tomb is our assurance that death no longer has a grip on Him. The empty tomb is our proof that sin's penalty-- eternal spiritual death-- has been paid for in full by JESUS! The empty tomb is a promise that just like the Savior, believers too will have life everlasting.

We are sinners destined to suffer eternal torment in hell. Christ is God Most High, in no way indebted to us, but chose to take upon Himself the punishment of sin. It is not because of us, not because of the things we do, not because of religion or good works; it is all because of grace.

He calls us to accept this gift of salvation through faith in Him and in what He has done. Faith is not simply intellectual assent, faith that saves believes and trusts in Jesus. Repentance comes with it. The man who puts his faith in Christ inevitably turns his back on sin.

We speak of these truths but unless God touches and convicts the heart and mind there will be no regeneration. But the moment we feel the desire to seek God, to know Him more and to follow Him, praise the Lord for He is working in your life!

God may be calling you right now. You may want to have a relationship with Him but don't know how. I tell you, the desire in your heart is the start. I urge you to call upon God, to speak with Him in prayer. Know that He will listen to you. 

What if you don't know what to say? Be sincere to Him. Tell Him what is in your heart. If you are sorry for your sins, tell Him. If you want Him in your life, tell Him. If you want to know Him more, tell Him. And know that the God of the universe will answer you. God bless you!

Merry CHRISTmas to all!  
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