There are countless stories and examples in this world of believers and non-believers alike who depart from this earth never understanding the true gift from our Father.
Believers can be quick to recite the Christian manifesto: “I get it. Jesus was born of a virgin, died for our sins, rose on the third day and ascended. I’m saved. I got it”.
We pray, we go to church. We lead small groups and volunteer. We lead worthy organizations that support orphans and widows. We read devotionals. We get it.
Or so we believe.
But oftentimes we forget, just how on the verge of despair and destruction we really are. We're plugging away at life, serving the Lord, and so dressed in His blessings that we forget we come from a place of sin. That a single moment in time could change the direction of our lives.
Maybe we're reminded of how easy it would be to go back to a life of sin. An old lover reaches out. The temptation of riches and glory has you making crazy decisions. The weight of life draws you into self-righteousness.
We all have the potential to live in a world where every desire is met and every sinful thought is fulfilled.
Though He may test us with reminders, He is quick to show us the Gift he gave us in His son. Like so many Christmas gifts, He was wrapped, loved, then discarded by so many.
He gave us his mercy, through his love, while we were still sinners.
He didn't wait for us to clean up our act and he still pursues those who brush off the gift with a "been there, done that" faith.
It is through the grace of our Lord, that this gift of Jesus Christ, that we are saved.
If you're waiting until you are just right before you come to Him, you'll wait forever. He's waiting and ready for you. He's already showered His grace on you - you need do nothing more than release the control and accept the gift that has been given to you.
To the cheater who thinks they are in too deep and will never get out, you are loved by Jesus and there is a way out.
To the drunk who thinks they are unique and no one would ever understand their situation, you are loved by Jesus and there is a way out.
To the liar who thinks they have created such a web of destruction and ruined so many relationships that there is no way to ever come clean, you are loved by Jesus and there is a way out.
To the thief who has stolen hearts, products, services and trust and believes that they will never earn a living any other way, you are loved by Jesus and there is a way out.
To the person who has fought demons by their own creation or fights them due to the creation of others and thinks there's no one who believes them, you are loved by Jesus.
To the person who believes they are beyond forgiveness because their sins and failures run too deeply, you are loved by Jesus and there is a way out.
And especially to the believer whose stagnant faith cripples them from being more because they've already 'got it', you are loved by Jesus and there is a way out of the walls you've built.
Your way out is Jesus, the gift your Father gave you in order to save you, and whether you deserve it or not rests in the Fathers eyes, not yours. And your Father has ruled on this already and deemed you worthy. Accept this gift from him and be saved from deep sadness, despair and intense self-hate.
If you have made a decision to accept the gift our Father in Heaven has given to you, please pray this prayer with me:
Father, I fully accept the gift of your son, Jesus. I believe that he was born of the most Holy Mother, Mary, that he was tortured and died on a cross for our sins, that he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Father, I release control of my life to you and I ask for forgiveness for my sins and ask you to show me the way out. Thank you, Father, for showing me what true love is. Amen.