One of the things I love about this time of year is that Christmas songs are playing everywhere. I enjoy hearing the name of Jesus being sung right along with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”
And one of the things I love about Christmas carols is that many of their lyrics include the gospel. We have “Joy to the World,” for example, which says, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come / Let earth receive her King / Let every heart prepare Him room.”
At Christmas we talk a lot about the where of Jesus’s coming to earth in Bethlehem. But we also need to talk about the why. Why did Jesus come to Earth?
He came to save us from our sins. Speaking of Himself He said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10 NLT).
Jesus spoke these words after spending time in the home of a tax collector named Zacchaeus. Now, if you collected taxes for Rome as a Jewish man, which Zacchaeus was, that effectively meant that you were a traitor, a turncoat. Your fellow Jews would have perceived that you were a backslider.
After all, it was bad enough to collect taxes for the occupying power of Rome. But to make matters worse, tax collectors often collected a little more for their own pockets. So imagine Zacchaeus’ shock when Jesus showed up in town, looked up at the tree where Zacchaeus was sitting, and said, “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today” (verse 5 NLT).
Zacchaeus had climbed the tree so he could see Jesus more clearly. Everywhere Jesus went, people were pushing, pulling, grabbing, and asking Him for something. So no doubt Zacchaeus would have been surprised that Jesus wanted to hang out with him.
Didn’t Jesus know that he was a sinful man? Yes, Jesus knew it well. And after they emerged from the house that day, Zacchaeus had put his faith in Christ. Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this home today” (verse 9 NLT).
Everything changes when you invite Jesus in. I wonder if He’s welcome in your home right now. One of the easiest times to forget Jesus is during the Christmas season, with all the activities and rushing around. We can forget all about why Jesus came to earth in the first place.
If you want to have a happy Christmas this year, then make it more about giving than receiving. In fact, researchers have found that people who give are happier than people who don’t give. So engage in an act of generosity for someone in need. Help someone who’s hurting.
Make your Christmas more about giving than receiving, and make it more about God’s presence in your life than the presents under the tree.
Another reason Jesus came to this Earth was so that we could become the friends of God. The Bible tells us, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. . . . So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God” (Romans 5:9, 11 NLT).
Talk about friends in high places. You may revere God, and you should. Everyone should have reverence and respect for God. But God actually wants to enter into a friendship with you. A friend is someone you can be truthful with, someone you can open your heart to. True friends are always there for you.
We can have friendship with God, and we can have the peace of God as well. Remember the message the angels delivered to the shepherds? They said, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased” (Luke 2:14 NLT).
Of course, when you look at everything happening in our world today, you’re probably thinking, “Where’s the peace? What happened here?”
But notice that “peace on earth” is followed by “to those with whom God is pleased.” When your life is well-pleasing to God, then you’ll have peace. But before you can have the peace of God, you must have peace with God.
I’m speaking of a relationship with God. The Son of God was born so that we might be born again. The birth of Jesus was so there would be the death of Jesus. He was born to die so that we might live. The Son of God left His home in Heaven so that we could have a home in Heaven.
Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness. He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV). He has the meaning of life.
Medical science seeks to add years to our lives, but only Christ can add life to your years and give you a life that is worth living. You can live life to its fullest in a relationship with the Lord.
So don’t miss the real reason of Christmas.
Jesus wasn’t born so that we could go shopping and overextend ourselves financially. He was born so that we could have a relationship with Him. You don’t have to be alone in this Christmas season. You can have Jesus Christ living in your heart as your Savior and Lord.
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Learn more about Pastor Greg Laurie.
This article was originally published at WND.com.
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