The Story of Christmas Took On New Meaning!

What would it take to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe, and how can one begin to understand the vastness of His love? 

I didn’t always know the depth of God’s love, or understand that he has created all of us to live in deep relationship with him. I didn’t yet realize I could rely on him in all circumstances as my loving Father, knowing he would be with me every step of the way. Instead, I knew and appreciated his creations on a surface level, rather than understanding the profundity of his love for all of creation, including me. 

I remember how far I was from grasping the importance of the “truth” back then, I just couldn’t see it. I knew that I had no righteousness of my own to approach God’s throne, but didn’t yet understand that he had, in his infinite love, already prepared a way to communicate with me.

Mercifully, the truth was revealed to me through a long journey of faith. I started living in the light and found a way to draw closer to God’s presence. I began seeing glimpses of his power and his love for me by reading his Word. The stories of Christmas and Easter came alive and took on new meaning for me. A Savior was sent to fill the gap between God and us [his children]—an advocate to plead for our case. 

God, our Heavenly Father sent His Word in flesh—Christ Jesus, so through him we can personally get to know him. The verse, [John 3:16], “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” is a pivotal verse in the Bible. It unlocks the hidden depth of God’s love for humanity, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Knowing that God loves us no matter what we have done, encourages us to put our trust in him. In the the next passage, Jesus tells Thomas, one of his disciples, exactly what it takes to approach God’s throne. [John 14: 5-7] Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

The Lord’s words confirm the path of salvation, which leads to the forgiveness of our sins, a peaceful life on earth, and the assurance of eternal life.

I don’t know what road you’re on, but I can tell you this: the path that I’m on highlights all my needs, and makes it clear that no one can fulfill them but God. My weaknesses are evidence of my need for a Savior. The choice is ours, to spend eternity with God or apart from him. I chose Jesus as my Savior and he is the reason I celebrate Christmas—it’s His birthday. The world must know this: Christmas without Christ is a fake celebration, an illusion. 



Guard Your Heart!

How do we manage “guarding our heart” without “pushing people away”?

I always struggle with it; I try to be kind to everyone around me, but some people mistake my kindness for weakness, or a willingness to accept whatever behavior they might choose to display….

We all crave love and respect. I am speaking of love in general, not necessarily romantic love. I think there is much love that people want to give but it’s harder and harder these days to show love, to celebrate pure and genuine love.  Some people mistake kindness for flirtation, or some may hold back, thinking that others must want something from them. How sad! But the point is: how do we walk the fine line between loving unconditionally and guarding our own personhood? 

Fortunately, God has given us the answer in the Bible. [Proverbs 4:23-27] clearly warns us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”

To be kind to everyone, you must realize that everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. The Bible tells us over and over to be kind to one another and help each other, and repeatedly emphasizes that there shouldn’t be any limits to our compassion. Sometimes people are so beaten down by life’s trials and failures that they need someone who is willing to be a long-term friend to help them. It can be challenging to help someone who at first seems unwilling to take any steps towards a solution. He or she may seem like a hopeless case. But a long, patient friendship with such a person can also be very rewarding.  It pleases God to see this wonderful characteristic of perseverance in our lives. 

However, in this area of giving and helping, the Bible also teaches that we must have wise discernment. We must “guard our hearts” by not saying or doing things that we may regret. God gives us certain standards and we must draw a line when it comes to giving our time to others or, even more than that, our hearts. 

Our emotions and feelings can overwhelm us at times. But wisdom evaluates our “Why, How, and Where”. The book of Proverbs and Psalms of David in the Bible are filled with knowledge of good judgment, insight, and common sense.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. 

Proverbs 1:7

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 

The Word of God not only tell us to follow the precepts of the Lord, but also tells us to make this a matter of prayer, asking the Lord to show us what He wants us to do. He will give us wisdom to recognize genuine needs and discern between protecting our hearts and giving into distraction. 

Regardless of how others view our kindness — Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D says, “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”