Receive forgiveness at Christmas

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIV)

Knowing that Christmastime is God's chosen time teaches us that Christmas is the time for us to receive forgiveness for the wrong things we've done.

God didn't send us a salesman because we don't need a product. He didn't send us a politician because we don't need diplomacy. He didn't send a scientist because we don't need more information.

God sent us a Savior because we need a Savior. If we didn't need a Savior, God wouldn't have wasted time sending one.  God sent a Savior so we could receive forgiveness.

Why do I need a Savior?  The Bible says that heaven is a perfect place.  There's no sin in heaven; there's no suffering in heaven; there's no pain in heaven; there's no sorrow in heaven.  It is a perfect place.  The Bible says only perfect people get to live there.  Obviously, if imperfect people lived there it wouldn't be perfect.  That means I don't stand a chance of getting to heaven on my own merit. 

You may be a good person, but the Bible doesn't say good people go to heaven.  It says perfect people go to heaven.  Not imperfect ... perfect.  And none of us measure up. 

So we all have a big problem.  Here's this perfect place, but none of us are perfect.  So God came to earth in the form of Jesus, who was perfect. I can't get to heaven on my own, but Jesus says, "I will be your Savior."

How do I let Christ save me?  It's real simple.  You admit you need a Savior.  That's hard for a lot of us because it hurts our pride.  We think we're a good person.  That may even be true but you're not good enough.  You're not perfect.  We must admit, "I need a Savior.  I need help. God, I need Jesus in my life. I need Jesus to be my Savior."

I was a life guard when I was younger.  One thing every lifeguard knows is that you can't save anybody who's trying to save themselves. 

If you've ever watched a lifeguard approach a person who is drowning, you will see the lifeguard swim out to the person and then just tread water. The lifeguard will watch the swimmer flail around until he or she finally gives up and goes limp.  At that point, the lifeguard can simply put an arm around the swimmer's shoulder and swim back to shore.

It's that easy! But as long as the swimmer is trying to save him or herself, then no one can save him or her. If you grab on to swimmers before they give up trying to save themselves, they'll pull you down with them. You've got to wait until they stop trying to save themselves, then you can save them. 

In the same way, God can't save you until you stop trying to save yourself.  You can't have Christ as your Savior until you quit trying to get to heaven on your own effort.  You have to just relax (remember 'stop being afraid') and say, "God, I don't deserve to be forgiven.  I just cast myself on Your mercy." And God says, "That's what I've been waiting for.  You are forgiven."

God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NLT)


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