Richard Mark Lee

The Spirit of Forgiveness

What is Christmas really about?

Christmas is about a birthday. Jesus’ Birthday. Instead of singing we wish you a Merry Christmas it would probably be more appropriate to sing Happy Birthday Jesus. Yes, it’s Jesus birthday but He didn’t come to receive gifts, He came to give a gift.

The party gift from Jesus is a priceless gift. You can’t earn it, You can’t buy it, You can’t trade it.

You only have two options: Receive it or Reject it.

At our home, we put our presents under the tree. God the Father put his present on a tree. And Jesus said on that tree – Calvary’s cross - Father forgive them…. That’s why Jesus came… to forgive us and give you and me a 2nd chance. The best thing about Christmas is that it points us to the fact that Easter is on the way! Jesus came to be our Savior.

A Savior? A savior implies I need saving… saving from what? From myself.

In our culture today, sin has been re-defined and excused. At best, it’s been justified… at worst, it’s been celebrated. It’s human nature to think in terms of a less harmful version of sin, as if you could grade sin on its caloric count. Tastes great! Less Filling!

We tend to think… There’s really bad sin (everyone else’s) and then there’s my sin (not so bad).

But if I think this way, it means the rest of my experience with Jesus and the gospel will be "lite" as well. Sin lite means grace lite, forgiveness lite, love lite — how about overall Christianity lite? Less filling; less faith.

When we exchange gifts at Christmas (which is Jesus’ birthday party) it is to be a reminder of the gift of Forgiveness that Jesus gave.

The Greatest gift you can receive is the gift of forgiveness. And the greatest gift you can give is the gift of forgiveness. We choose to forgive those that have wronged us not because they deserve it – they don’t. But we forgive because we’ve been forgiven.

Forgiveness may be the single most difficult act of love.

Forgiveness is a deliberate choice we make to send away the punishment of the one who deserves it.

Receive the gift of Forgiveness this Christmas… Give the gift of Forgiveness this Christmas.

What is the secret to real forgiveness? Remember how much we’ve been forgiven by God. Remember the pain and suffering that Jesus went through to forgive us. Forgiveness has great power to heal and restore relationships.

Most importantly, this begins in our vertical relationship with God. Then, it forms and shapes our horizontal relationships with others. This Christmas, embrace the forgiveness we find in Jesus. Extend this grace to others.

 

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