Merry Christmas eve!
What a wonderful journey this has been. Thank you, dear friend, for joining me for the Joy Bringer’s Advent.
Today is the last candle…. The candle of forgiveness.
As we light it together, let’s just stop for a minute and take it in – the forgiveness of Jesus.
There is nothing greater.
There is nothing more powerful.
There is nothing more passionate.
It’s for you and for me. I am blown away by his love.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
There have been times in my life when I was very aware of my crimson red sin. I felt its weight, I lived in the shadow of shame, Sometimes I repented, and other times I buried my head in the sand of excuses and pride. Then there are times when I live oblivious to my sin because it’s not so high on the sin-o-meter according to the list created by us.
Here’s a recent experience…
I was sitting with a group of pastors and one of them shared a story about a friend who was visiting from out of town. They were in two cars and the visiting friend wasn’t keeping up as he was following behind in a car. My friend had to keep pulling over and waiting for the guy to catch up. When they got to their destination, my friend, the driver in the leading car asked, “Are you ok? Was I driving too fast?” The guy, with total sincerity said, “Oh, you’re fine. I just don’t do anything to grieve the Spirit so I follow all the traffic laws.” We all laughed at this guy’s “extreme conviction” and joked, “that’s crazy! Then we’re all going to hell!” (of course we don’t really believe that).
Later, while I was in bed, I asked the Lord,
“God, do you actually care about traffic laws?!”
To which I heard him kind of laugh and say, “well…. it’s not about that. It’s the spirit behind it.”
Ugh…immediately I was deeply convicted.
The spirit behind my blatant disregard for some traffic laws is PRIDE. It’s my pride that says, “I don’t have to follow that rule, that law doesn’t apply to me.”
I repented for the pride in my heart that has lived there without any acknowledgement for so long. Who do I think I am?! Forgive me, Lord Jesus!
Often, we get caught thinking that our sin isn’t red. It may be a little pink, but not RED. But from God’s perspective it’s all deep crimson. When we do this, we cheapen the price Jesus paid by shedding his sinless, crimson blood for us to live in freedom and loving relationship with the Father.
We don’t like to think we need a savior. We don’t like to think about our shortcomings and our sin. We don’t like to focus on that part. But the good news of the gospel is that that is exactly who Jesus is! We can’t celebrate Christmas without that part!
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” Luke 2:11
He is our savior. And through the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, our sins have been forgiven. We are washed white as snow.
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and savior, Jesus, it’s important that we see the whole picture. You may not want to look at it, but the invitation in this moment is to ask the Lord to show you your red….but not so he can condemn you – he doesn’t do that. No, he wants to take that red, and turn it white. Will you let him?
See the whole picture and receive the fullness of his love.