For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
~Romans 3:23, NLT~
As we enter in to the holiday season and Advent approaches, how very essential to our spiritual well-being to recall why the remarkable birth of Jesus was so necessary. Let's ponder our awesome, glorious God together. He has created us as the objects of His infinite love. With just a word, He spoke the Universe into existence. From the vast galaxies of stars to the tiniest microscopic details of organisms, He wonderfully and intricately designed life as we know it. He created each of us as the objects of His infinite and intimate love, numbering every hair on our heads. He willed to love and know us each individually, not just collectively. If we actually sat to take more time, we would find ourselves breathless from the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, the quiet, gentle lapping of waves on a body of water, the majesty of a mountain or the soft skin of a small child. Our minds are barely capable of grasping the vastness of this glorious God of ours. His goodness, power and generosity are beyond what we could ever fathom. And His holiness so great, so pure that it cannot be anywhere close to the filth of sin.
This begs the question, How can a sinner like me ever get close to a God this beautiful and this holy? It seems rather hopeless. After all, today's verse couldn't be more accurate. Find someone who doesn't sin. It's impossible. Everyone is prone to some sort of shortcoming. It may be gossiping with others that trips us up. Perhaps we have sticky fingers and take office supplies home from work for personal use. Maybe we cheat on our taxes. There are plenty of us who struggle with alcohol, drug or other addictions.
I'm no angel. I sin every day. Not a day goes by where I don't have to apologize to my spouse or children for losing my temper. I struggle with "unwholesome language," which is never a good example for my kids. I get a chip on my shoulder, feeling entitled to better than what I have because our family has been through so much. These are only a few of the daily sins that tempt me. I am a highly average person. If I wrestle with these things, I know others do too. I am a sinner, just like every other human, who falls short of God's glorious standard.
Because God is all-loving as well as all-just, He had to make a special way for us, the objects of his love to be with Him while having that sin crime paid for. This is where He carried out one of His most remarkable acts, controlling that infinite power of His and confining Himself to human existence for 33 years. Jesus came to Earth on a rescue mission, to draw all of us into the permanent eternal hope of being with God. He paid our sin debt for us, taking on our punishment. This is the only thing that allows us to enter into the presence of a holy, holy God. He served the sentence. The debt for our crime is paid.
This is what makes Christmas so incredible! God, the Son, left the bliss of heaven, dwelling with us hopeless sinners so that we could dwell with Him forever. It is a gift for everyone. Not one of us is better than or more deserving than another. No one is holy enough to warrant heaven on our own. Even the pain we suffer here ourselves purifies us enough to bring us up to God's standards. Only Jesus does.
Spend these days leading up to Christmas pondering this profound thought. Thank Him for saving you from yourself! Because I'm no angel, and neither are you.
PRAY: Lord, I know I get this attitude that I somehow deserve heaven, especially with all the trials I face. But I know Your truth tells me that I still fall short of Your glory and holiness. Thank You for what You have done for me that I could not have done for myself. This Christmas Season, may I treasure this in my heart as I move from demands to celebrations.