Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Thoughts

These are my notes from our devotion at the Coffee Addict.

At Christmas time, the humility of Christ seems to be ever in the front of my mind. What do I mean by the humility of Christ?
  • attributes of God- holiness, goodness, all-knowing, omnipresent...
  • Remember, Jesus IS God... Bible says that He is ONE with the Father
  • If Christ is one with the Father, he laid aside the glories of heaven in order to come to earth
Not only did he lay aside His glory to come to earth, but let's look at the manner in which the King of Heaven chose to dwell among sinners:
  • In Matthew, Jesus' family tree is given. It IS in the kingly line of David, but there are a bunch of names of folks with questionable backgrounds... They are all wonderful examples of sinners saved by grace (and could be their own talk), but the family line Jesus came through was not without baggage...
  • We can see the humility of God in the way he providentially allowed people like Jacob, Rahab, Ruth, and all the kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord to be in His family line.
  • He came to earth, and allowed Himself to be born in a stable and visited only by local shepherds... A far cry from what you would expect for the birth of the Savior of the world!
  • His mother was a young, unmarried woman, and his earthly father was just a carpenter.
I know these are things most of us have heard before, but they are such good reminders to think on... Christ is the King of Kings, and yet he chose to humble himself in this way.

WHY? What is the purpose of His birth and coming to earth to live as a man?

Matthew 1:21: And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

  • Perhaps the most amazing, wonderful, and CRUCIAL aspect of Christ's humility... He came to earth to become a curse for us so that we might be made right with God.
  • He chose to live a humble life and die a painful and shameful death on a cross in order that sinners can come to be righteous.
  • The phrase, "He will save His people from their sins" has leaped off the page at me several times this year.
Why did Christ choose to humble Himself so completely? To save His people from their sins.

I think this has been so important to me, because this little phrase has made the difference between life and death for me.

For a long, long time I lived a moral life. I made good decisions, and I did things that a Christian would do. I prayed, I read my bible every day, I took meals to people...

Here was the problem. Jesus came to save people from their sins. I knew enough to say that I was a sinner. There was no denying that I had done things wrong.

I even knew enough to say that the problem was not the things I did... the problem was with my sinful heart... BUT, I did not see REALLY that I needed to be saved. I really thought (not that I ever would have said this out loud) that I was doing pretty well, and just needed Christ's blood for the times I messed things up.

When I was pregnant with Joshua, the Lord began to show me more and more... until I just couldn't deny it... that I was not as good as I thought I was. I was still doing all of those "good things," but God was showing me my heart... how much selfishness was wrapped up in all of it, and how much I did just to please other people.

Our pastor was preaching through the Beatitudes... Blessed are the poor in Spirit, blessed are the meek, blessed are the merciful... Each Sunday I would come home and think, "boy, I want to be those things, and I am trying to be those things, but I just am not."

I went to talk to our pastor, and he told me to look to Christ, and Scott would tell me the same thing... Look to Christ... I did not know what they were talking about !!!

Finally, it came to the point where I knew that I did not love Christ more than anything... I did not have whatever it was that Scott and some of my friends had... I knew that I did not understand things, and I knew deep down that I had a lot of head knowledge, but I wasn't a Christian.

As I sought the Lord, I realized a few things. Jesus came to save people from their sin. He did not come to save people who did not see their need to be saved... look at the pharisees! He came to save those who knew that they needed someone else's righteousness, b/c theirs was not enough.

This is one of my favorite passages: Luke 7:37-47

For the longest time, I thought that this woman loved Jesus so much because she had REALLY been a sinner and done a LOT of stuff and needed a lot of forgiveness... maybe I didn't love as much as others b/c I had not done so much bad stuff... you know, if I had been really bad, I would probably love Him like that, too...

When I became a Christian, I saw that wasn't it at ALL

She loved so much, and now I do too, because she saw HOW MUCH SHE HAD BEEN FORGIVEN!!!!!

In other words, she KNEW that Jesus had come to save people from their sin... she KNEW that she had sin... and she knew that she NEEDED a SAVIOR.

You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save His people from their sin

God had shown me my sin, and shown me how much I needed a savior. Because of Christ's humility and
  • willingness to come to this earth
  • and live a perfect life
  • and die an undeserved death,
  • and suffer all of the wrath of God due to sinners
we can be saved... When we see our sin and place our faith in HIS righteousness alone, THEN are we made right with God and able to call Christ savior.

I want to finish with one last passage from Zecharaiah 3- this is one of the most clear pictures of running to Christ for salvation, and Him removing our sinfulness and giving us His:

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." And I said, "let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the angel of the Lord stood by.

Here is my question for you: Have you seen your sin? Do you think you are doing pretty well, or is Christ EVERYTHING to you? If you aren't sure of the answer, do not pray the sinners' prayer one more time... instead, Seek the Lord- Run to him, cry out to him, read the Scripture...

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