16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him…So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.” - 2 Corinthians 5:16-20, NLT

You deserve separation from God. We all do.

Yet--

Upon Christ’s birth, the world’s standards were turned upside down.

The weak became strong. The poor became rich. The wise became foolish. All because Jesus—the perfection of God--surrendered to His Father’s will, becoming totally human and serving mankind by His humble death on the cross.

Reality would never be the same.

While once we deserved death and separation from God, forevermore Jesus bridged the gap. We were eternally bestowed what we absolutely never deserved. And guess what? We will never be deserving of Christ.

I love Christmas—everything about it. We celebrate the humble birth of a once tiny Savior, who would grow up to receive every part of His Father’s plan—including death. We celebrate the incarnate Christ this season, especially from a human point of view. Christ’s birth, His divine entrance into this world, seems a bit easier to wrap our minds around than what He chose to finish on the cross.

But do we see the implications? Do we truly receive, through spiritual eyes and through the mind of Christ, what we never deserved? That Jesus has made us brand, spanking new creations, simply because He loves us that much?

Understanding this changes everything.

When we realize that this is all a gift from God—something we never deserved—we rejoice! We receive a new life. A new identity. A new mission. We outpour love. “And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him…So we are Christ’s ambassadors” (v. 18).

When we receive what we never once deserved, in light of our inadequacy to live up to Jesus’ perfection, our hearts change as well as our heart-cry.

We grow softened to other people, despite their faults.

We see the need all around us, and we step out in faith to give.

We take time to thank Jesus simply for Who He is.

What is your heart-cry this holiday season, and every day? Is Christ making His appeal through you?

Receive what you never deserved, and may the eternal beauty of Jesus’ gift transform your mind and heart this season.



by Kristen Leigh Evensen