Christmas is quickly bearing down on us again this year! Soon it will be over and many will miss out again on the Promises that Christmas brings and offers.
Christmas is the celebration of God coming into our world.
The very first Christmas was the fulfillment of a promise made for thousands of years before Christ’s birth. Throughout the Old Testament, God promised to send a Saviour to the world that would allow people a way to rebuild their relationship with Him; to be rid of the sin that seperates us from God. Jesus’ first coming and His death on the cross is the fulfillment of that promise.
Jesus Himself in the New Testament also promised that He will come again: John 14:2-3 “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” This promise will be fulfilled as surely as the first promise was. Many believe the time is soon, although the Bible says we can’t know when it will happen for sure. All I can say is that it is closer today than it was yesterday! THAT will be one glorious final Christmas day.
The most important promise though for us here and now, is the promise that God can come and be with us today, every day. Our own personal, individual Christmas day. Jesus promised that if we asked Him to, He would come and live right inside each of us in the person of the Holy Spirit. John 14:16 … “and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you … On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you … the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Jesus has promised that He is preparing a place in heaven just for you (no not you “plural” or “generally”, but YOU personally who are reading this). Until He comes to get you, He also promised that He will come and live within you until that time. How do we take advantage of that promise? How do we make that personal Christmas happen for ourselves? John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” All we need to do is love God, and obey Him and He will live within us.
God very simply just wants us to love Him. He is as real as any spouse, or child, or family member, or friend that you love. Love Him the same way as you love them … spend time with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, do things together. He will take it from there.
As you begin, you will most likely become keenly aware of those things that make you feel unworthy to love Him, or to be loved by Him. This is “sin” and what initally seperates each one of us from Him; but these feelings are OK. It is the Holy Spirit, God Himself trying to help you address what is keeping you from that relationship with Him. Remember that the first Christmas fullfilled the promise to provide a way to “save” you from that separation: while there is nothing we can do to make up for our sin, God Himself came here to be the sacrifice for our sin. All we need do is believe that when Jesus died on the cross, that He paid the price for our sins, and then receive that forgiveness as a free gift from God.
This is a very mindset altering, life changing belief; but it is very simple, very real and very true. God Himself will reveal this to you as “truth” by the power of His Holy Spirit. It may be like a light bulb suddenly coming on; a new understanding or revelation. It may be very emotional and moving, or it may not; but you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is true. That sense of knowing the truth and believing it, is God’s acknowledgement that you have been forgiven, and then the separation is gone. At that time the Holy Spirit can actually come and live within you as Jesus promised; just ask Him to. That is your own personal Christmas.
Upon reflection this has been a very, very difficult year: economic downturn, company layoffs, terrorist attacks, a war unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime, loss of a friend to cancer, struggles in my family life. I know people who’s marriages have broken down, who have lost family members, the list goes on and on. Each of us have our own “list”. I thank God that He has fulfilled His promise for me, and now lives within me for the past 15 years, and especially this past year; for nowhere else can I find the peace and comfort that He brings in these difficult years. There is nowhere else where any of us can find that peace we are seeking as each of us deals with our own list.
I had my own promise fulfilling “Christmas” 15 years ago when God came into MY personal world spritually, the same way He came into the world physically 2001 years ago at the first Christmas.
Christmas can come for you this year, or here and now, or anytime you are ready. God will fulfill His promise and come into your world. This is your personal Christmas.
Again here’s how:
* Acknowledge that you have sinned
* Recognize that there is nothing you can do to make up for that sin
* Believe that Jesus died to pay the price for that sin
* Receive the forgiveness for your sins as a free gift from God
* Invite Him to live within you from this day forward
* Love Him daily
Have a great Christmas!