“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it; the world and all who live in it,” (Psalm 24:1 NIV).
Everything belongs to the Lord because He made. Everyone belongs to the Lord because He made them. It is so simple, yet profound. It means our lives have purpose. We live for the Lord, to bring God glory.
Glorious God, Reflecting Man
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them,” (Genesis 1:26-17 NIV).
We are made in the image of God. Somehow all of humankind is like God and reflects God! WOW! We are capable of doing great, noble, and wise things because we are made in His image.
Unfortunately, there is a problem that started in the Garden of Eden. Our forefather, Adam, sinned against God and was banished from the garden.
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God,” (Romans 8:19-21 NIV).
Creation longs for freedom and those who do not know Jesus have a longing in their heart to be free from the prison of sin. They long to be free from anger, lust, pride, insecurity, greed, and foolishness.
A greater problem than bondage, though, plagued mankind. His sin nature and his sin actions made human beings enemies of God. God could not look upon man in his fallen state, so man must be eternally separated from the Lord. Also, the sin must be punished. Yet, God still love His fallen creation so much that He made a plan.
God’s plan was to become a man, to live a perfect life in spite of being tempted in every way that we are. Then, Jesus would go to the cross and bear the punishment of God’s wrath against all the sin of all time.
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus,” (Romans 3:21-26 NIV).
Jesus laid aside His glory and put on human flesh. He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem about two thousand years ago. He lived a perfect life, even as a child. He died for our sins. But death couldn’t hold Him down! He rose victorious over death and hell. He rose from the dead! Jesus ascended into Heaven a few weeks later and sits at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus offers us eternal life. We have a choice. We can spent eternity in hell, paying the price that we deserve to pay for our sins or we can spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” (Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV).
If I give you a present and you leave it under your tree and never open it, it will do you no good. Jesus offers you forgiveness and eternal life, but you must unwrap your Christmas present.
The way to unwrap the gift God gives to us this Christmas is to repent and believe. Apologize to God for the wicked things you have done. Apologize for your pride, for living your life for yourself instead of for Him. Then surrender everything you have and everything you are to His Lordship. Accept his substitute death on the cross so that you can experience His pardon! WOW! Here is a chance for a new beginning, to live the life you were created to live: a life for Jesus.
If you open the gift, it is no longer you that live but Christ living in you. I hope this Christmas you will unwrap this gift. I have unwrapped the gift of eternal life and I belong to Christ.
Merry Christmas dear ones,
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)