Thursday, November 23, 2017

Planning for Christmas



I think I am quite a contented person. My Christmas present list is usually non- existent and when asked I struggle to think of things I really need. Maybe this is because I am so well looked after, that I have very little need of anything.

The whole idea of being content poses questions that we would be wise to ask regularly

Am I satisfied with my life?

Is there meaning in my life that is bigger than merely maintaining my existence?

The Bible suggests that we were not placed on this planet for our own pleasure! We are actually most satisfied when living life in the way God designed. Focusing on self is not the best way although it is our natural bias. 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the best example of the right way to live. In fact, He was the only person ever to live up to the exacting and high standards of God as defined in the Bible. In the biblical book, ‘Hebrews’ Jesus is described as 'holy... and undefiled'. BUT in addition to this He lived for the glory of his Father, read John 17:4, and for the good of the people He came into contact with, see Acts 10:38.



I think that you may agree that none of us can hope to reach the standards of perfection that are required of us in the Bible. None of us lives like Jesus did! That puts us in a difficult situation. The Bible not only states the standard but it spells out the consequences of falling short of it. One of the most searching statements in the Bible is 'for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God' add to this the consequence of sinning (wrongdoing) - 'the wages of sin is death' and the situation becomes impossible.

This is when the offer of forgiveness comes to the surface. God in the Bible describes His intention to provide a solution, He calls it ‘salvation'. It is for this reason that 'Christ died for our sins’ and ‘once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God'. In other words, the death and resurrection (coming to life again) of Jesus satisfies the legal case against us for all our shortcomings.

How then do we benefit from such a provision? Is it automatic? Do I have to do something to enjoy it? The answer to both questions is no! All of us know how to receive a gift! It is a simple act of appreciation and gratitude when we say ‘thank you for what you have given me’. So it is just the same when we receive God’s gift, Jesus. The only difference is that this is a gift which we need. Without it, we will lose everything. ‘The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ 


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