Celebrating Christ at Christmas - James C. Bell

At Christmas, we should all be sure to remember Jesus Christ is the Reason for the Season! We should honor Him during this great time of the year, after all, it is His birthday.

We have such a tradition of decorating a tree and the house, and with some, the yard and anything else that will support a light. We think the world would end if we didn't give our families presents and take trips and have parties. We think of all of these things and hardly give the Savior a thought.

Don't get me wrong, I like all these things, too, but I also enjoy the true reason for the season -- celebrating Jesus. This year, please don't miss the most important part of Christmas -- that of remembering Christ and celebrating His birth and His life. We need to set aside a greater portion of our time to thank God for His Son and for the sacrifice He made for us, His very own life, so that we could live eternally.

By faith, we know that Christ made this sacrifice to provide a way for us to find forgiveness for our sins. He paid this great and awesome price in obedience to His Father and our God. This act ranks as the greatest single act of love of all time. Jesus says, "Greater love hath no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

But He didn't stop there, for there is the rest of the story. In John 10:10, He says, "I am come that they may have life and have it more abundantly." This means that, after we become Christians, our life really starts. He says we must be born again. Even the great teacher of Israel, Nicodemus, marveled at what Jesus said and didn't understand it.

I believe He meant, now you start life anew; your sins are forgiven and forgotten, now you receive the Holy Spirit and His gift of Eternal Life, but this is not all. Now, as Christians, we receive the fruits of the Spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (See Galatians 5:22, 23).

It is His intention that we give ourselves to Him completely, so that He may mold us and make us like Himself. We are to grow into mature Christians, who love and serve others as Christ did, and love the Lord our God with all our being.

Being saved (salvation), causes God to forgive and forget our past with all it's sin and ugliness, to plan and execute the course of our life in service to Him and ensure a secure future for us in heaven, with Him.

This is His gift of eternal life, which He has provided for all mankind, but a gift unopened is worthless! Every person must first receive this gift, become a Christian -- and then God begins His work in us, to mold us and make us obedient servants, like His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

We are not saved to sit, but to serve. Christ has a job for all in His Church. He commands us to serve and to love others. To the extent that we submit to Him and allow Him to mold us, to teach us how to serve according to our talents and to expand our capabilities, we become more mature as Christians.

We get more and more enjoyment out of life, and God is more pleased with our lives. The Bible says we will be rewarded for our good deeds -- our love and service done in His Name. Every Christian will go to heaven, but our rewards will be different, according to our obedient service to God.

If you really want to celebrate Christ at Christmas, you must first accept His gift, and begin to build a relationship with Him. He will lead you to a level of service that will have you rejoicing and praising God!

Do this today and watch as your life begins to change and increase with His Blessings. Celebrate Christ by knowing Him and making Him known! Remember, Jesus came to earth to pay a debt He didn't owe, because we owed a debt we couldn't pay. "For the Mighty One has done great things for me -- holy is His name." Luke 1:49. May His love make your Christmas wonderful!