Thursday, December 22, 2011
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We took one of our granddaughters to the Christmas Festival at a theme park when she was two. And she loved it! There were lights everywhere, exciting music performances and a great Christmas parade. But there was one thing that impressed her so much, and she talked about it all year long - the Living Nativity. We got to see a portrayal of the angels' appearance to the shepherds, the visit of the Wise Men, and best of all, Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus in the Manger. From that night on through the year, when we would mention that theme park, the first thing she associated with it was "Jesus" no matter what time of year it was.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Not Just At Christmas."
Our granddaughter thought that Jesus should be all year round. She's right. Some of us think about Jesus mostly on His holidays, like Christmas and Easter. A lot of us think of Him mainly on Sunday at church. But He didn't come to be our holiday Jesus or our church Jesus. He came here to make possible a personal love relationship with Him that gives meaning to every day of our lives; not just to be a belief or a religious compartment in our lives.
The event Jesus, the holiday Jesus, the religious Jesus; they're just not enough to forgive your sin, to answer your questions about the meaning of your life, or to get you to heaven someday. You've got to belong to Him every day, not just visit Him occasionally. He told those who belong to Him: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). And a "never leave you" relationship is the kind of anchor that our soul is looking for. Every other relationship in our life is "loseable."
People turn on us, they dump us, they disappoint us, they divorce us, or no matter how deep the relationship, they ultimately die on us. That's why we can never really feel safe in this world, until we anchor ourselves to the Savior who said, "He who comes to me I will never cast out" (John 6:37). In Matthew 28:20, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus made the ironclad promise that He alone has the power to keep, "Surely I am with you always."
Now, in a world of things and experiences that are never-lasting, Jesus offers the only thing that is ever-lasting. John 3:36 tells us that "whoever believes in the Son (that's Jesus, the Son of God) has eternal life." See, you don't have to die to see if you have eternal life. You have it as soon as you put your trust in Jesus. The verse then gives the alternative: "Whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on Him."
We had no chance with God until Jesus came that first Christmas. Until He gave His life on the cross to take the rap for every wrong thing we have ever done. We can't get anywhere near a holy God with our sin. But Jesus allowed God to dump all our sin on Him that day on the cross, so you could be clean, so you could be forgiven, so you could be with Him forever.
This Christmas season provides a wonderful time to make the Savior your Savior. He's not just for Christmas, but this Christmas season is a tremendous time to finally experience His love for yourself.
Look, if you're ready to make that move, you've already done life without Him and you don't want to do it any more, then I invite you to visit our website; it's YoursForLife.net. We've got nothing for you to join, nothing for you to sign up for there. Just a brief explanation of how to be sure you have begun your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You can read it, you can listen to it, you can watch it, but go check it out at our website - YoursForLife.net.
And today move beyond a religion about Jesus - to this love relationship with Jesus. Move from just believing things about Jesus - to really belonging to Jesus.