What is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it limited to a baby in a manger? Shepherds and wise men?
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21
Christmas is really all about sin—the nature within all mankind that is hopelessly in need of a Savior. The need within us that would rather just overlook the “little” sins, that they are “no big deal.”
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;…” Luke 2:11
Not just a sweet little baby. A Savior. A Savior from a lifelong addiction to sin. Whether small sins or large, action or just thinking, the need for God to send a Savior remained the same.
This need is taken to heart by those who have put their trust in Jesus for their salvation from sin. But sin doesn’t just vanish in a puff of smoke on the day you place your faith in Jesus. It lingers along at your every step. The temptations can be overwhelming—seemingly impossible to overcome.
A Bible verse that is working its way into my daily thinking is really the foundation for living life in the spirit of Christmas—life with a need for the Savior. Without it as a daily mindset, even a “strong” believer can just tend to ignore the “little” sins thinking, “Nobody’s perfect.”
that leads to salvation…”
2 Corinthians 7:10
So, let’s say that you let words out that you would rather not have spoken—words that lack the love of the Savior. Or it could be a cruel thought that you almost don’t notice. The sin nature says, “No biggie.” That “nobody’s perfect” thought passes through your mind so quickly that the whole routine seems just part of life.
The real Christian life—the spirit of Christmas—says, “That’s sin, and I know what I must do.”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Confessing all sin, big or small, noticeable or not, is God’s prerequisite for experiencing the Life He sent down to earth on that first Christmas day.
Yes, it is humbling (and maybe even time consuming at first) to confess to God in the silence of your thoughts that you have just sinned, and that you are sorry before Him. But the promised reward makes it all worthwhile. Being purified from all unrighteousness maintains that close relationship with the Savior that He came to earth for us to experience.
A right heart before God—a desire to please Him and to know “real” life—makes confessing sin worth the effort. Even confessing the passed up opportunities to obey God are a part of what brings about the life He wants for you.
It can seem overwhelming at first these moments to stop and pray—to acknowledge sin for what it is. But with earnest efforts, the confessions will become less, and the “Christmas life” will be what shows to the world around you.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34,35
Being a witness for Jesus need not be a chore limited to the few. With a right heart maintained before God—Godly sorrow over all your sin, day-by-day living will be a witness that real life has begun in you. Godly sorrow over each and every sin leads to right thinking about sin and God. That, and only that, will bring the full life that Jesus came into this world for you to have.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
May the Christmas Life be yours throughout the new year.