A young woman is visited by an angel and told she is going to give birth to a King with an unending Kingdom… and things would never be the same again.
Jesus stepped down from Heaven and into the world.Â But, it was really more than that.Â The Message paraphrases Philippians 2:6-7 as saying “Christ had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient deathâ€”and the worst kind of death at thatâ€”a crucifixion.”
Talk about a change.Â God, the one who created the universe and is all powerful, stepped into flesh as a baby, knowing all the while He was arriving for a death sentence.
There is a reason, and I want to help you discover that reason so that you can do whatever it takes to make Christ’s death – and resurrection – count.
Jesus died so that you can have a Fresh Start – both here on earth and with God in eternity.Â Jesus said in John 10:10 “I came to give lifeâ€”life in all its fullness.” NCVÂ What would your life look like if you lived your life to the full in Christ?
- love passionately?
- live with purpose, on purpose?
- go the second mile?
Let me throw an idea out there. Living life in all its fullness is not about getting everything you want. For many people, that turns the idea of Christmas upside down.Â A “self help” book may tell you to set your mind on what you want and do everything you can to get it, regardless of the cost to yourself or others. I have some advice for you from the scripture: “Donâ€™t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 GOD’s WORD Translation
ButÂ you may ask, why would I even want to live that way, and what does this have to do with eternity with God?
God has a plan for you. This plan lives lives to the full, and ultimately joy.Â If everybody followed the plan here on earth perfectly, we would have peace and joy like the world hasn’t seen from the very beginning.Â But there is a problem.
Jeremiah 7:9 says “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.” MSG
Two questions for you:
- How can we live this full life of selflessness with this deceitful heart? and
- How does this dark heart affect our relationship with God and eternity?
Jeremiah goes on in verse 10: “But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”
When God gets to the root of our problem, our heart, what is the verdict?
“For the wages of sin is deathâ€ (Romans 6:23). We get what we deserve: the death sentence and eternal separation from the love and joy of God. That is Hell.
But there is good news.Â Remember the beginning of the Christmas story.Â Jesus came for a reason.Â The Bible says, â€œBut God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for usâ€ (Romans 5:8)
When Jesus died on the Cross, he was our substitute.Â The payment for us not living the lives God had planned for us was paid it full.Â The question is, has this payment been applied to your account?Â There is only one way.
If you were driving down the road and someone asked you to turn, what would he or she be asking you to do? Theyâ€™d be asking you to change directions, right? In the Bible, to turnÂ means to repent. We must all turn from something â€“ sin and self. Jesus warned his listeners in Luke 13:3, “â€¦unless you repent (turn) you will all likewise perish”. But we not only turn from something (sin and self) we must also turn to Someone, Jesus Christ. We must trust Christ only! I Corinthians 15:3 says, “Christ died for our sins” and Romans 10:9 tells us that “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesusâ€¦you will be saved”.
Jesus has always been giving Fresh Starts. From Mary 2,000 years ago, to myself 9 years ago, to countless others.Â It is time for yours.