It’s Christmas Day and Steve and I opened our presents with family and with each other. It caused us to be reminded of something Janice Maeditere wrote. She said: “Christmas isn’t so much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” It caused me to wonder if we have open hearts.
This is something that’s important to keep in mind today, as well as throughout the year. We have a lot to be thankful for as you consider what Jesus Christ gave in coming to this earth to be born as a baby. He grew in “wisdom and stature,” (Luke 2:52). He lived, died and rose from the dead for us as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. For that reason we have much to be thankful for —much that will bless our hearts and our lives.
Open Hearts To God’s Sacrifice
We’re told in Hebrews 10:10 “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” In John 1:12, we’re told “as many receive Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God.”
We’re also told in Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess 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 are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
But in all of the gospel message, we cannot overlook the fact that we aren’t to keep Jesus in our hearts. Let me clarify. Don’t keep Him in your heart as a baby. Instead, allow Him to grow in you, to be not only Savior, but Lord of your life.
In James 1:21 God tells us, to “get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent. And humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” Jesus IS the Word (as you can see in John 1).
Grow in Jesus
If you take that thought further, you realize that you don’t plant something (or Someone) unless you want it (Him) to grow. We’re told by God in James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
The message Steve and I want to convey is to encourage you not to merely accept the fact that Jesus Christ was born as a baby to stay that way. He came to grow in our lives to become our Savior and our Lord. Jesus literally, was born as a baby, to grow as a man. He came to grow to be accepted as our Savior. Jesus earned that right through His life, sacrificial death on the cross in payment for our sins, and resurrection. He did this so we could accept Him to become Lord of our lives.
Please do not “merely listen” to His words and “merely listen” to the Word. But do as it (He) says. It is the prayer of our hearts, that you will open this gift Jesus gives us so you live what He says. It is our prayer that you live Christ.
In doing so, you will open your heart to live as God would have you. You will not merely SAY you love Christ, but your life will reflect it by how you live. That will be true as it applies to how you live in private (where only you and God can see what is going on). It also applies with your spouse, and your family (The Greatest Gift You Can Give). This is where you, God and your family knows what is going on. Plus, it applies to how you live in this very public world.
May you live and breathe Christ in all you are and in all you do. And may you experience a blessed, Christ-filled Christmas. May you experience a blessed, Christ-filled marriage. And may you have a blessed and Christ-filled New Year.
Love to you, from the depths of our hearts…
Cindy and Steve Wright of Marriage Missions International
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