Thank you for kicking off Christmas week with us at Camp Manna! We are so glad that you joined us to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas… the birth of Jesus! Immanuel! God who came to be WITH us!
The greatest gift is Jesus but why did He come and what does that mean for us? How does a baby in a manger 2,000+ years ago impact life for us?
We were born as these perfect creations of God. It only takes a moment to look into the face of an innocent baby to see how masterfully created we are. Read Psalm 139:13-17 to see just how “fearfully and wonderfully” we were created. Babies grow up and with that growth comes human-will to do what we want to do… whether it is good for us or not. That will we have to do life our way stays with us and that causes us to sin – do things that are against God’s perfect plan for us.
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:10 – “As it is written: There is none righteous, no not one.”
That desire to sin – do life our way – began with the very first humans on earth.
Romans 5:12 – “Therefore, just as through one man, sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
Sin ALWAYS has a price. Decisions carry rewards or repercussions and sometimes the lessons we learn are hard lessons. The decision to sin carries the repercussions of regret, separation from God, and death. Dying in that sin place forever would separate us from God… but Jesus!
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God wanted to make a way to reconcile us to Him and so He sent His own Son – God in human form – Immanuel – God WITH us – to set the example for how we are to live but also to die for us and thus, forever cancel that sin-debt that each of us have.
Isaiah 53:5-6 – “But He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus took on the punishment for OUR sin! Can you imagine anyone being willing to do that for you?
John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
So what do we do with Jesus? How do we accept that gift He offers to pay our sin-debt?
Romans 10:9-10 – “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confessions is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:13 – “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
That’s it! We admit that we have lived life our way and we acknowledge that God’s plan is a much better plan than the one we have. We confess that wrong and ask God to be the Lord of our life, we ask God to forgive us of our sin, and we commit to walk with God and to do life His way. And He does! Not because we’ve earned it or even because we deserve His forgiveness but because God loves us!
If that were not enough, God also gives us the gifts of peace with God, no condemnation for our past sins, and eternal life with Him that no one can take away from us.
Romans 5:1 – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Romans 8:38-39 – “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What are you waiting for? The baby in the stable came for YOU! The best of heaven came to earth so that we could be saved and have an eternity with God. He wants us to accept that free gift but the choice is up to us… we can continue to live life our way OR we can trust that God has a much better plan! That gift and that plan? Those are the BEST gifts offered this season!!!