“Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable. Grace says that though I am flawed, I am cherished.”
Here we are, December 26th. The day after the big day. The shopping is done for another year. The leftovers are being finished up. The New Years Resolutions are being written…. I was watching my eleven year old son as he put his latest Star Wars Legos set together while the gifts he had opened the previous morning littered the living room floor around him….and it got me to thinking….
Yesterday was a birthday party. What usually happens during a birthday party? The birthday boy or girl gets presents from family and friends celebrating the fact that they were born and now those invited to the party have meaningful relationship with them. A great idea! What made yesterday different though?
Yesterday was Christmas day. The day we remember the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Yet isn’t it interesting how we’re the ones receiving the gifts…. As I watched my son, I thought to myself, “What a great example of the love God has for humanity and the grace He makes available to us through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, the “Lamb of God”. Here we are as flawed human beings, yet we’re surrounded by “gifts” from the Father that we get to “open” with every new dawn. The gifts of life, purpose, love, compassion, kindness, provision, sustenance and the chance to be a blessing to others (just to name a few).
I love it when God opens my eyes to the depth of His love for us through such familiar human traditions. They’re so familiar in fact, that they’re sometimes easy to overlook and miss completely.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
This is such a familiar verse, yet like the familiar tradition of opening gifts on Christmas morning, do we really take the time to reflect on the depth and truth revealed in these moments? Do you ever ponder, “Why am I getting a gift on Jesus’ birthday?” And if we really think about it, all of the trinkets we can get excited about pale in comparison to the real gift being offered to us.
God would never force Himself on us. That’s not what love does. He offers it as a gift to be willingly received. The gift is this…. an unending, soul saving relationship with Him. If you’ve never invited Jesus into your heart and life, I would encourage you to do it right now. You can use your own words or pray something like the following….
“Dear God, thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. I believe that He was born, crucified, died and resurrected as an atonement offering on my behalf. I know that I am a sinner and I need and accept Your gift of salvation made possible only by Jesus. I turn from my sins and towards You. Please save me right now from my sins and free me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, help me to live the life that you’ve planned for me to live and help me grow to be more like Jesus every day. Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in a sincere manner, welcome to the family! You have just been “born again” as the Bible says and right now, today is your spiritual birthday!
“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
If you have any questions as you begin this journey, please know that the door is always open. You can contact me through this blog and I would be happy to walk alongside you as you traverse the path.
May God bless and equip you as you set out. There are battles ahead but know this, you are now never alone. God bless!
“….in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)