Receive forgiveness at Christmas
By Rick Warren
— December 18, 2009
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIV)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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