“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).”
Christmas is preparation. For weeks, I’d pore over a Sears catalog, preparing my Santa list to be perfect. It’s a wondrous memory, recalling the gut-twisting joy that these toys might be under my tree! “Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow” was totally me as a child.
And how about you? If you could have anything now, what tops your list and makes it “hard to sleep tonight?” A billion dollars; wisdom; an island in the Bahamas; President of the United States; a loved one resurrected? What would be your all-time top gift? For me, it’s easy…really knowing God, personally, as my best friend (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Imagine knowing the Creator of the universe–who made you, knows everything, can do anything, even give you those five things above–as your best friend. He’s the absolute greatest gift. If you agree, then I’ve got some real “glad tidings,” because it’s possible (1 John 5:11-13). The carols we sing now, like “God and sinners reconciled,” reveal it all.
“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail incarnate Deity.” God became a man, but why? “To ransom captive Israel” and give us “peace on Earth” with complete forgiveness, through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. But sin blocked this union, “long lay the world, in sin and error pining,” so He became sin and took our punishment (2 Corinthians 5:21). His love and justice merged on the cross, and our Judge became our Father. God’s friendship is under your tree right now (Romans 6:23)! So how do you get it?
You’ve practiced it every Christmas…just grab the gift…in simple faith, admit your sin, ask forgiveness, and change your attitude (God calls that repentance, changing your mind). Our attitude is conceit; we don’t think we’re that bad, or we’re good enough as is, but then why did Jesus have to die? In short, we don’t get holiness. God requires perfection, and clearly, nobody’s perfect. Even one sin stops this relationship (James 2:10), and just “believing” mentally is not a saving repentance…even demons believe and they’re not going to Heaven (James 2:19). So what do we do?
Real faith is action, but a meek action (grabbing this gift means genuine surrender). “Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” Repent, believe, and ask Jesus to “enter in” your body. God made a way, but His love isn’t forced. He wants you to love Him, in humility to choose Christ, and put God back on top of your life.
Speaking of on top, did you know you top His list? That’s why He came…He loves you to death, literally. Even though you broke His heart, your repentance can be a thank you gift. “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Christmas still means preparation, but in your heart, so please take His gift and make Him a very Merry Christ!