Friday, December 18, 2015
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Right after Thanksgiving I'm in my annual pilgrimage to the Christmas corner of our garage. I did it last year, and I brought out Christmas. Now, we've been accumulating ornaments and decorations for a lot of years now, and it's always a big deal for the family when they make their annual re-entry; all those decorations come back into our life again and all the memories. The house is actually alive with Christmas. Well, I mean for a while. But before very long, I'll reverse the exercise, repack everything in their aging boxes, and put them back in storage for another year.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Packing up Christmas."
Now, we unpack Christmas when we want it and we put Christmas away when we don't want it. You can do that with Christmas. You can't do that with Christ, although a lot of people try to. See, we haul out Jesus when we'd like to have Him be a part of things: on Sundays, certainly for Christmas, when we're in a jam, when we want to be religious. But, to be honest, we keep Him largely at the edges of our life, mostly in our head, not really in our heart.
Well, you just can't do it that way. That's clear even from the angels' birth announcement that first Christmas. It's recorded in Luke 2:10-11, our word for today from the Word of God. "The angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.'"
See, you and I don't get to decide how we relate to the Son of God. He has announced the terms of having Him in your life. First, He's the Savior. Today, we would call that a rescuer, like those brave police and firefighters who went right into the holocaust at Ground Zero to try to bring people out. When the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center collapsed, the only hope for people trapped in the rubble was a rescuer. Often we don't realize that our spiritual situation is just that deadly.
The Bible says we're trapped in the rubble of our choice to run our life our way instead of God's way. This rebellion against our Creator...well, it can't be redeemed by any religion in the world; only by Jesus, only by the Rescuer God sent to pay for our sin with His life. He's the only Rescuer there is. Sin's death penalty can only be paid by someone dying, and Jesus did that so you don't have to. But you have to grab Him with all the faith you've got like a dying person would grab a rescuer.
Now, the angels also announced that Jesus was "Christ the Lord." Now, that means He's the One who controls everything. Maybe you've been trying to have Jesus be a passenger in your life; a life that actually you're driving but He can ride along. No deal. He's Christ the Lord. He doesn't ride, He drives. And maybe today is your day to finally move out of that driver's seat and turn it over to the One it was made for in the first place.
I'm praying this Christmas might be for someone who's listening right now, your first real Christmas – the first Christmas with Christ in your heart. Not just in your head, in your heart. Not just on the edges, but in the center of your life. Don't you want to belong to this Jesus? He loves you so much! Then tell Him right now, "Jesus, I am Yours from this moment on. You came here to pay for people's sin, and I've got sin that needed to be paid for. Thank You for paying the price so I don't have to. I want to belong to You today, Jesus, and I want to belong to You forever."
See, because He's alive, because He walked out of His grave after He died for you, He can walk right into your life upon your invitation. What a day this would be right here in the season we celebrate His coming to this world He could come into your life. Tell Him that today; pray that to Him today.
And please go to our website. It's there to help you get started this very day. It's called ANewStory.com, and that's the right name for it because this could be the fist page of your new story. You want to talk with someone? Well, then, text us at 442-244-WORD.
Maybe you've known a lot about Jesus. Well, beginning this very day, you can finally know Jesus for real. This could be your personal Jesus-day.