Christmas is an exciting time of year, and in America, we love to sing carols. One of my favorites is “Joy to the World.”
“Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing”
Did you know that “Joy to the World” was written in the 1600s? This time of year, we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ because we know, as it says in the book of John, chapter 3 and verse 16; God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
I am here to proclaim that Christmas is a big deal! Christmas is a bigger deal than anything else that happened here on earth. God loved us so much He sent us His Son as a baby! God’s Son Jesus was not an ordinary baby, and if Jesus stayed a baby in the crib, we would not be here today. Thank God, Jesus grew into a man and taught us many things about God’s will and plan for our lives. God could do this because Jesus was God and died on the cross for our sins. So in essence, Jesus went from the crib all the way to the cross for us. The Bible teaches, “…unto you is born a Savior.” This means Jesus became our Savior! You may think, even if Jesus were God, what difference does that make to me? Well, I will tell you that it makes a BIG difference for us here in this world!
I want to be as simple, straightforward, and brief as possible. The Bible teaches us that because Jesus Christ came at Christmas time, three things can be true in our lives today. Remember because Jesus came at Christmas:
- Your past can be forgiven
- Your present can be managed
- Your future can be guaranteed
Young person, this covers your entire life, past, present, and future. First, let’s address our past.
“23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
It is a fact that each one has sinned, I have sinned, but the message doesn’t stop at verse 23:
“24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”
So we learn it is true that all have sinned, but God came to take our sin away. We all have regrets and guilts for things that we did in our past. Even at a young age, you might have done something that you regret now, something that you didn’t want to do. Regret and guilt can rob us of happiness and cause depression. There is one solution, and that is why Jesus was born — to forgive you of your past.
There are a few things for you to know about God’s forgiveness. First, God’s forgiveness is instant, and He doesn’t make us wait for it. Next, the forgiveness from God is undeserved and cannot be earned, but lastly, the most beautiful thing is this forgiveness is complete! The Bible teaches us that God does not remember our sins anymore when we confess and give them all to God!
Psalms 103: 12
“12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
“17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
Thank God! Because Jesus came, our past can be forgiven! Now, let’s address our second thought. Your present can be managed.
Today, we see many people under much stress, young people included. Maybe as a young person, you are thinking, the New Year is here, school is going to be different, it might be harder, I am going to a new grade. Perhaps you worry about what is going to happen in your life. When we trust God, He can help us with this anxiety. Let’s read the following verse, which is a promise God gives to us who serve Him.
“13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Young person, you have the strength to meet all situations in your life today through the power God gives to you. You may not know what tomorrow holds, but God promises you the strength to meet all your daily challenges.
“32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
God also promised to supply all our needs, and if He provides all our needs, what else is left – nothing! So God takes care of our past, He can take care of our present, and He can take care of our future!
It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, which country we live in, or our ethnic origin. All of us one day will face death. Death is a universal problem, and I want you to think about it this way; the mortality rate in the world is 100%. So since we are all going to die, it seems foolish to go through life unprepared for something we know is inevitable. Today I am here to tell you that your future can be guaranteed if you give your heart to God.
Romans 6: 22-23
“22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So we covered three more gifts that God gives to us. The gift of forgiveness to take away the sins of our past. The gift of strength that takes care of our present. Jesus said He would be with us and He will help us to handle our problems. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but Jesus promised He would be there with us. And the third gift Jesus brought to us– eternal life. The gift of living together in heaven with Jesus came to us by His birth.
Have you received God’s gift of Jesus Christ? This Christmas gift does not break in a few days. As we dig deeper into God, we understand that the gift of Christ is the gift that gives and gives and gives again. But to receive His gift, Jesus, in return, wants the gift of our heart. Make a commitment to Jesus today.
“Dear Lord, I receive your gift of forgiveness, of power for today, and of your guarantee for a future with you in heaven. In exchange, I want to trust you, Lord Jesus, with my life.”
Don’t waste another Christmas by refusing the gift of Jesus in your heart.