Christmas is officially here! I’m not sure where you exactly stand when it comes to this time of year, but I can assure you, this girl is all in. Give me all the food and goodies and traditions!
It’s been a while since my last post and I’d like to make a quick disclaimer concerning that. When the Lord laid this blog upon my heart, He was super specific about it. I don’t post weekly, or biweekly, or even monthly for that matter. I post when the Lord lays something so ginormous and obvious on my heart that I can’t wait to grab my laptop and get to typing. Now, let me please say, for any of my ministry friends who also share some sort of blogging (or vlogging for that matter) in any sort of scheduled manner, this is not to take away from you. The Lord speaks specifically to us all if we are willing to listen.
Christmas is just one day away. All the lights! All the decorations! The music! The traditions! Goodness, I’m a sucker for traditions. I love more than anything now implementing new traditions with my three girls, which include baking and decorating sugar cookies which make an absolute mess in the kitchen, decorating our Christmas tree while drinking hot chocolate and playing Christmas music in the background, which my husband is just so growing to love (HAHAHAHA-insert a lot of sarcasm). I love how they each have their own Christmas tree in their room that they eagerly look forward to decorating and plugging in at night. I love driving around looking at other’s Christmas lights. I love thinking back to my Christmas experiences as a little girl, spending it with my grandparents, remembering the smell of their house and how it was decorated, how on Christmas Eve we would watch the local news station at their house after opening presents and see where Santa was currently and how we would need to hurry home super fast and jump in bed because, according to that news report, Santa was coming!!!! Oh goodness, to be a kid at Christmas!
As I attended church this weekend, our worship team led us into a few of the most precious, traditional Christmas songs and as I was singing along and worshiping the Lord, my mind quickly wandered to that moment in a stable where Mary gave birth to Jesus. For a moment, I saw it completely different than I had ever seen it before. You see, I’m a labor and delivery nurse. My nursing career began in 1999, but in 2002 I began working as a labor nurse, so for years now, I have helped tons of mamas get through a most trying and difficult time while giving birth to their babies and I can’t help but think about Mary and her birthing story. I began to wonder when her contractions started, how did she labor in that stable where she gave birth, was Joseph supportive and a good coach? Did she have a quick delivery, or did she push a long time? It was her first baby after all. Did she yell crazy things to Joseph while he stood way over on the other side of the manger scared to death, (haha), or was he right in her ear holding her hand whispering “You’ve got this, Baby”, during the most challenging time of her entire life. Then I think about that moment of birth as He was being delivered and how she may have reached down to pull Him up onto her chest. She was probably the very first person to lock eyes with Jesus as He was born as she brought Him close to her to snuggle and gaze into His eyes. Such a precious moment for any mama and her baby. But regardless of the details, one thing Mary knew for certain as revealed to her by the Angel Gabriel, is that she was to bear the Messiah. Her baby boy would one day become the Savior of the world.
The Savior of the world named Jesus. Christmas is truly a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and just what He did for us all. I know most of you have heard the term “He’s the reason for the season”, but He truly is.
This precious baby boy had to be born. He had to be born because of the sin committed at the beginning of creation by Adam and Eve. It was that sin that separated mankind from God. A mankind that was made in His image, but separated from Him due to their wrong choices and decisions.
But Jesus! When Jesus came, He became the sacrifice for our sins. John 3:16 (ESV) tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus was born so that we may have eternal life! In 1 John 2:2 it says, “He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” I love the next verse after John 3:16. Verse 17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
He wasn’t born to condemn you or me. He doesn’t look down on us or judge us. He was born to give us life, to give us freedom, to be our Savior. Freedom and Savior from what you may be asking? Freedom from depression, anxiety, strained family relationships, finances, worry, fear, doubt, wrong decisions, tumultuous pasts, loss, stress, shame, guilt to name a few. How you may be asking? How does Jesus being born and then dying for our sins as a sacrifice give me freedom and save me from all of those things listed above?
Let’s look at 1 Peter 2:24, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.” When Jesus died on the cross, He essentially in physical form was taking all of our sins upon Himself, so that we might be healed and set free from them.
By simply believing in Jesus and believing that He came to rescue you from all your troubles, past regrets, and sins, you can begin to live that life of freedom. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That includes me. We’ve all sinned, but there’s hope and there’s a promise. Romans 8:38–39 goes on to say, “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present of the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Friend, listen to what that scripture is saying to you. There’s absolutely nothing that could separate you from the love of Jesus. Nothing whatsoever that you have done or are doing or are thinking about doing, can separate you from Jesus. His love is for you, wherever you are at. His gift of freedom is for you, wherever you may be. Maybe you feel you are way too far gone. Maybe you’ve done things that you say to yourself, “There’s no way Jesus would or could love me.” Maybe you don’t even know Jesus at all simply because you have never been exposed to Him. Well, this message is for you and His Word makes it so super easy and clear to understand how to come to Him and make Him Lord over your life. Romans 10:9–10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” It’s that simple. It’s that free of a gift. That you would just believe that He is indeed who He says He is, that He indeed is Lord, that He indeed did come to this earth to pay the punishment for your sins by dying on a cross and enduring so much pain and suffering, so that you might live and have eternal true life.
Think about that this Christmas as you are spending quality time with family, opening gifts, and eating all the yummy foods. Think about Jesus. Think about how He came to this world to set you completely free from it all. Recognize that something is indeed missing from your life. Recognize that you are tired of suffering, you are tired of feeling anxious, you are tired or worrying, you are tired of being defeated, and you are tired of feeling depressed. You long for freedom from it all and that is only and will always only be found in Jesus. Hebrews 7:25 (AMP) says, “Therefore He is able to also save FOREVER (completely, perfectly, for eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede and intervene on their behalf with God.” Confess your sins to Him and lay it all out to Him. If it’s bothering you, tell Him. If it’s worrying you, tell Him. If it’s weighing you down, tell Him! His word says in 1 John 1:9 that when you do that, “He is faithful to forgive you of those sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” Confess with your mouth that you believe in Him and you are ready to make Him Lord over all of your life. You will never regret this moment. You will walk in freedom from here on out. You will have a peace about you that cannot be explained and you will begin to walk in the life that God so desires for you to walk in.
Thank you Mary. Thank you for being one strong mama. Thank you for being willing and obedient to the supernatural plans of the Lord. Thank you for giving birth to Jesus, our Savior. Thank you for caring for Him as a small child and allowing Him to grow, increasing in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and men. Thank you for giving birth to the Ultimate Gift. I personally am eternally grateful.
Lord, I recognize that I am a sinner. I recognize that I am walking around with too heavy of a load of shame, guilt, responsibility, depression, anxiety, generational curses, and I refuse to walk around like this anymore. I choose this day to believe in You. I believe You came and died for me so that I may walk in freedom from everything that weighs me down. I confess my sins to You and I invite You to be Lord and Savior over every area of my life. Thank you, Lord. Thank You for loving me through it all. Thank You for this free gift of salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.