And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” -Luke 2:9-11,13-14 NKJV
This is the CHRISTMAS STORY. We must ask ourselves, WHY? WHY was this the greatest GIFT EVER given? Why was this such a BIG DEAL? Why do we take this so lightly? Why do we not LISTEN to what is being said as we HEAR and READ the words on the page? “Do NOT be afraid, I bring you GOOD TIDINGS of GREAT JOY!” Today you have BEEN RESCUED! Today your SAVIOR, your REDEEMER, your LORD is EMANUEL; GOD WITH US! Then there was a PARTY in heaven, with all praises for God for the gift that He had given to mankind- REDEMPTION, RECONCILIATION with GOD! This is the ultimate GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN! God gave FREEDOM and eternity as a CO-HEIR to the KINGDOM OF GOD. Now that is a gift!
Leader, Christ is the PURPOSE of the LAW. The old testament explained that FALLEN MAN NEEDS A SAVIOR- can’t get there on HIS OWN! The old testament tells us how DIRTY we are, how UN-RIGHTEOUS I am! The OLD AGREEMENT tells me how bad I am and how I need help getting better! God requires righteousness, He requires perfection and His requirement can only be met by PERFECTION, by CHRIST HIMSELF. And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. (Phil 3:9) We are to PUT ON Christ, see Romans 13:14. Galatians 2:16 reminds us: Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. When God looks at a TRUE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST, HE SEES CHRIST!
Conduit, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (1 Peter 2:24, Ephesians 2:8-9) But the clincher, the reason for the JOY and the appreciation of the GIFT is because GOD DID IT ALL: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. – (Romans 8:29-30) This is the reason for the season. For God so loved the world, HE DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Go out and BE LIKE-CHRIST and do something about the GREAT GIFT, the GOOD NEWS that GOD chose you, loved you first, died for you so that HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS is IMPUTED to you- IF, you will BELIEVE by FAITH! That is a gift worth celebrating this CHRISTMAS!