by Joel Lawler
Before the first act of creation, God had us in mind. He looked forward to the day that we would be adopted into his family. We are the focus of his love. He welcomes us into the celebration of his generous grace provided for us through his beloved son Jesus Christ.
No greater love has ever existed than the love we celebrate this season of Christ Mass or Christmas as we have grown to call it. No gift has ever been given that compares to the salvation that we have been given by our Father in heaven.
Because his son came and was born as a man, lived, died and rose again we are free. We have been set free from the penalties and punishment of our many misdeeds. What we so rightfully deserved was poured out on his innocent son. We are absolutely and totally free. His grace covers us all. This was his plan from the beginning. Everything would be brought together and redeemed by and through him.
It is through Jesus Christ we find who we are. The baby we celebrate at Christmas is our redeemer. We were designed to be in a relationship with our creator. We walked out on that relationship. We were unfaithful to our God. We chose to turn away from our very source of life. We chose death. We chose lies over the truth. We chose to go our own way and turn from the life we were created to live. Broken, condemned and without hope, God stepped into his creation as one of us. He came so that we would have a way back to the God designed life that is buried deeply in every cell of our being.
Empty are the tokens we are told bring meaning to life. Money, Power, Sex, Success are never enough. They are salt water to the dehydrated. There is no life found outside of a relationship with God. Everything dies, rots and becomes poison apart from God. There is no life, hope, light or meaning apart from the divine because that is how God planned it.
Through him, past, present and future, there is redemption.
With our eyes focused on him and our hearts set on him we can get a glimpse of the life that he has called us to, crafted us for and redeemed us to. His work in our lives is endless. He never stops. He never rests. He continues to author our story.
Jesus Christ has the final word on everything. There is no power greater than his. No country. No king. No kingdom, past, present or future is beyond his control. He has chosen us to act for him and to bring about his kingdom. We are living messages of hope to a dying world.
We were walking dead in our stagnant life of sin. We believed the lies of the world we live in. We swallowed the cancerous dirt and tried to pass it off as good. We raged at God because our way did not work.
In his mercy and through his incredible love, he came to us to bring us home. Now, we are his adopted sons and daughters.
There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We tried everything and only stumbled deeper into hopelessness and shame. Our only hope was a gift that we could never begin to afford. We have done nothing to earn our salvation. There is nothing we could ever do to earn God's love. There is nothing we can do to lose God's love. He freely chooses to love us. We have absolutely no influence in the matter. It is God's desire to love us.
From death to life, from hopelessness to a future that is brilliant and beyond our comprehension, this is who we are.
This is the gift of Christmas.