It’s the time of the year when Ralphie, George Bailey, and Buddy the Elf are welcomed into our homes. What better way to spend time with our families than curling up in front of a classic Christmas movie? On Christmas Day, however, something interesting happens. Apparently the cable companies get together and decide it would be a good idea to play the same movie for an entire day. The first showing is wonderful. We laugh remembering our favorite scenes. Then after about the second showing, we’ve moved on. Of course, we still feel the need to keep the TV turned on, but no one really pays attention anymore. While we eat together, play games, and exchange gifts, the same movie provides a little Christmas ambience as it plays in the background of our day.
Often the story of Christ’s birth is treated like this. We’ve heard about Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus so many times that it becomes background noise to our busy season. Maybe we’ve never actually let the truth of Christ or the gospel penetrate our lives. This season can be different.
for the Manger
Although the scene of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus is a sweet image on our mantels, the meaning behind it impacts us daily. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of our sin, we had no hope of ever knowing God. Romans 6:23a explains, “For the wages of sin is death.” That’s why Christ came. Romans 5:8 declares, “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” The manger scene is so beautiful because it foretells of Christ’s death and resurrection. While we were far from God, He didn’t abandon us. He sent His own Son to take the punishment for our sin. John 3:16 confirms, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
Maybe you’ve tried to get right with God through your own strength, through your own works, but have always ended up discouraged. Ephesians 2:8-9 confirms, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.” No matter how hard you try, you can’t earn salvation. The gift of eternal life isn’t found through hard work or luck. It’s only through Christ’s sacrifice that you are able to have a new life. This season choose to allow the gospel to move from the background of your life into center stage. If you are ready to have a new life in Christ, pray this prayer:
You loved the world so much You gave Your only begotten Son to die for our sins so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Your Word says we are saved by grace through faith as a gift from You. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. I believe and confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Your Son, the Savior of the world. I believe He died on the cross for me and bore all of my sins, paying the price for them. I believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead and that He is alive today. I am a sinner; I am sorry for my sins; and I ask You to forgive me. By faith I receive Jesus Christ now as my Lord and Savior. I believe that I am saved and will spend eternity with You! Thank You, Father, I am so grateful! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thankfully, we were never meant to follow Christ in isolation. Part of His plan for us includes uniting us with other believers to grow and serve together. The Scriptures speak of new Christians as “babies in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2) in need of tremendous spiritual nourishment. New believers are to be transformed into the image of Christ, and that happens with the help of Christian community. To learn more about salvation, baptism, and growing in the Lord, visit your local church and join a company of believers. Make this the Merriest Christmas ever; by faith accept Jesus into your heart. God wants your life to be a gift to those people around you. Our greatest gift to Jesus is to give Him ourselves, and to worship and serve Him. Father you are worthy of all my worship. Merry Christmas!
By faith I keep pressing on.
If you’d like to speak with someone about how to have new life in Christ, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.