(Image courtesy of https://upload.wikimedia.org.)

A Thought
This Christmas season, let us be careful to think on the Gospel of God, brought to us in the form of Christ Jesus the baby.  Do you ever wonder why Jesus came as a baby?
It is because the life of Jesus matters.  If Jesus was sent by God to only die for our sins, then Jesus could have come as a thirty-three year-old man.  Forgiveness of sins, atoned for by Christ's death, would have put us in a neutral position: no sin against us, no goodness added to us.  This would have been more than we deserved; but Christ, in accordance with the Father's will, did more than that.  Christ entered the world as a little baby to live as one of us.  Throughout His life, He lived the life we would not and could not live - a life of perfection.  This righteousness of Christ's life - this fulfillment of the whole law of God - is what is imputed to us at salvation.  Not only are our sins forgiven, but we also have a deposit of righteousness placed in our account.  This is a scandal!  God has done for us a great thing, and this is what we remember at Christmas.  Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, oh sinner, and you, too, will be saved.

A Song
"How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life, I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom" (Stuart Townend, "How Deep the Father's Love For Us").

A Poem
Once I was a man given over to the lusts of sin.
All things evil I did, whether purposeful or accidental,
Caused me self-abuse and self-hatred, and I was unable to rescind.
Why did I do the things I knew I should not do?
How could God love me even though I let Him down?
The truth is I was under His wrath; His love was yet unknown to me.
And this is where the problem lied: in my heart, beneath my outer gown.

The Lord sought me when I was still estranged to Him.
While I fought to gain a clear conscience in my own power,
I only dug myself deeper and lower, and my joy grew dim:
“This is why I’m worthy of Your love, God!" I called.
"I’m proving by my self-determination that I am Yours this very hour.”
Yet all the while I was a stranger to God’s house;
I was playing the fool outside the temple courts.
I was hopeless in my efforts, which led to great remorse.

But God -
The greatest prepositional phrase of all time.
In spite of me and my self-righteousness and self-determination,
The Lord showed me who I was and who He is: my salvation!
His Son born to us; in a manger He lay.
Christ, begotten of God, sent on my behalf.
Once I was a sinner, doing my best to acquit myself of my shame,
Yet never actually able to remove the guilt from my name.
Lo! He is a gracious King, who, through Christ, forgave me of my wrong.
Christ my Mediator, the One who brought me peace with God,
Who forever mediates on my behalf; by His love was I brought from dark to day.
And through the great gift of His Spirit, I now grieve and groan over my sin,
Longing hopefully for the glory that soon to us revealed will be -
The Spirit of God who wills and works for my good, in order that I may
Be presented before God, holy and blameless,
Without fault and with great joy, to the glory of God the Father!

Who can know the love of God? Who can write about it? Who can sing about it?
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Let us bear witness to it!
Oh God, You are high and lifted up! Your Name is great and greatly to be praised!
Your grace has sought me and Your grace has kept me and Your grace will bring me home!
Praise the Lamb of God who makes peace! Praise the Lamb who was slain on our behalf!
Praise Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Holy One of God! Praise Him for His great love!
Praise the Spirit, three-in-one! Praise Him for His intercession! Praise Him for His faithfulness!
Oh, how great is our God - specially revealed in the Babe on Christmas morn!