In Less Than A Week...

...we will celebrate the birth of Christ.

I have pondered that A LOT today. I think a 5 hour car ride (approximately) can do that to a person. I spent the car ride listening to the Chris Tomlin Christmas CD that I discovered the other night. (How I missed the release of the CD, I'll never know!) I love the CD! It has brought me closer to God throughout today.

I pondered what Christmas used to mean to me, and what it means to me today. It seems as if every year I do the debate in my head. Yes, we are celebrating the birth of a Savior, but I'm giving gifts to people, not to a Savior that came and died for my sins. It seems backward to me.

I will never forget Christmas 1997, the first Christmas after I accepted Jesus into my heart, and I felt like it was the first Christmas that I understood the Holiday in a meaningful way. Which seemed strange to me, even then. I was 23, had been in so many Christmas programs you'd think I'd understood it, but I didn't.

All of the sudden, that year when I sang Christmas carols, I fell in love with a savior. I understood that we weren't just singing cheery songs, as I previously thought, but they were love songs to a Savior. And, it changed my perspective on Christmas.

Today as I sang Christmas songs, I felt that again. I felt as if I was drawing nearer to Jesus. Nearer to a Savior that came and died for me, He died for me before I was even born. He died for me, knowing that I would make mistakes this side of Heaven, and love me UNCONDITIONALLY, and WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

Within that, I had several deep encounters with God today. Which I seriously needed. I've been weary. I have been trying to be strong in the Lord, and have fallen short in several ways lately that I'm not proud of.

The amazing thing is that He is faithful. Even in my weakness, He loves me in a way I could never earn.

There's a chorus that we sometimes sing at IHOP-KC that often pierces my heart:

You owe me nothing
And I deserve Hell
You owe me nothing
Yet You've given me mercy...

That is the depth of our Saviour.

A Savior that wasn't necessarily born on December 25th, but definitely a birth worth celebrating.

Every year since I've been saved, I have taken time on December 25 to Thank God for all He's done, and I have actually said Happy Birthday to Jesus. *grin*

And, I will do that every year until I am in Heaven where I can tell him in face-to-face.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
AMAZING with a Savior who loves us all!