Christmas is a time to celebrate the entrance of God’s son into this world. The Bible contains the original Christmas Story (Luke 2:8-14), in which the angel revealed to the shepherds Christmas’ threefold purpose as a time of celebration, a time for reconciliation, and a time for salvation. Today we are going to focus on this first purpose: Christmas is a time for celebration! Christmas is an affirmation that (1) God loves you, (2) God is with you, and (3) God is for you!
God Loves You In sending his Son on that first Christmas, God said in the most powerful way he could, “I love you” (John 3:16). God loves you so much, he came to earth as a human being so that you could know him, come to trust him, and learn to love him back. Jesus is God with skin on. But until Jesus came, our understanding of His love was limited. If you really want someone to know that you love him, you don’t send a representative. You say it personally. That is what God did at Christmas. The Bible says that God is love. It doesn’t say that he has love, it says that he is love. God is the embodiment of love, and in sending Jesus, God came to live among us. In fact, there is nothing you could ever do that would cause God to stop loving you, because God’s love for you is based on his character, not your conduct! God’s love for you is based on who He is, not on what you have done.
God is with You Jesus came to earth on that first Christmas to show us in a very real and practical way that God is with us (Isaiah 7:14). Despite what you may feel, God is not distant. You are never alone. God in Christ is with you (Psalm 139:7-10). If you have placed your trust in Jesus as your Savior, you can be assured of his love, his presence, and his help. Now, you may need to learn to tune into his presence. But he is there, and he will never abandon you. God will never betray you. He will never leave you, no matter what you do, or how badly you mess up. When you are tired of running, tired of doing life your own way and ready to do it God’s way, He says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
God is for You! Many people don’t believe that. They think that God is out to get them. But the Bible clearly tells us that God is for us (Romans 8:31-32, Jeremiah 29:11). Some people may fear that God is “out to get them” due to having a guilty conscience, or ignorance of what God is like. All of us struggle with sin on some level. And the more sensitive your conscience, the guiltier you are likely to feel. Many folks are afraid of God. They don’t understand that Jesus came to forgive them, not condemn them. We are all familiar with John 3:16, which assures us of God’s love: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” But we are not as aware of John 3:17, which assures us that God is for us! “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” Jesus came to save us, not to judge us. He came to offer us forgiveness of sin and eternal life. When we sin, Jesus doesn’t rub it in, he rubs it out! He forgives us and sovereignly works in our lives to change us from the inside out. He works to make us more like himself. Because of what Jesus has done for you on the cross, God is not mad at you anymore. His righteous anger against sin was satisfied through Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 5:8-9).
This Christmas, let’s not forget the reason for the season. Let’s put Jesus front and center. And let’s celebrate God’s love, presence, and enduring commitment to us.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- Put Jesus at the center. Celebrate God’s love, presence, and enduring commitment to us.
- Do you need to know God personally? Get in touch with us here and we’ll help you with your decision.