Unto Us

   Written by on December 23, 2015 at 11:29 am

We cannot save ourselves, or participate in our salvation in any way. In our own strength we are not able to convert ourselves or even prepare to convert ourselves. Not only can we not rescue ourselves, we can’t even get warmed up for it.

logo-macdonald-jamesAnd it gets worse: God cannot have any depravity in His presence. Not even a little. We might put on our best Christmas sweater, but inside we are still that dark, sinful-natured, totally depraved person. We can’t dress that up.

The story could have ended here, and what a tragic story it would have been. But God, in His great mercy, didn’t want to leave us there—separated from Him, dead in our trespasses and sin. God wants us to be His sons and daughters, so He did something completely unexpected. God sent His Son so we don’t have to stay in this sinful condition but can actually be redeemed.

And that’s the good news of Christmas: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

With the birth of Jesus, God broke the downward spiral. We said, “I don’t need You. I don’t want You. I’ll do what I want.” So His perfect Son stepped into the vortex of our sinful condition and offered not retaliation, but reconciliation.

Christmas is God’s move. It’s the message the angels sang about in the sky over Bethlehem two thousand years ago, and it’s the message of the Gospel: “For God so loved the world, that he gave” (John 3:16a).

What we offer unto God? Stubborn, sinful, rebellious rejection.

But unto us? A Child is born. A Son is given.

Reprinted with permission from Our Journey, copyright 2015 by James MacDonald. All rights reserved. Further distribution is prohibited without written permission from Walk in the Word.

About James McDonald

James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, and both are from Ontario, Canada. He is the father of three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and grandfather to five amazing grandsons. James has committed his life and ministry to the unapologetic proclamation of God’s Word. In 1988, along with a small group of ministry partners, James and Kathy planted Harvest Bible Chapel (HarvestBibleChapel.org) which now has 13,000 people meeting at seven locations across Chicagoland each weekend. Walk in the Word, a Bible-teaching television and radio broadcast ministry (WalkintheWord.org), was established in 1997. The radio program reaches more than three million people daily, and the television audience extends around the world. In 2002, through James’s leadership and by God’s grace, the church-planting ministry Harvest Bible Fellowship (HarvestBibleFellowship.org) was founded and has established more than 100 churches across North America and around the world. James’ vision is for God to use Harvest Bible Fellowship to plant 1,000 churches by 2020. James’ extensive ministry also includes a training center for pastors, a year-round camp, a center for biblical counseling, a disaster-recovery organization, and a Christian school—all used to reach more people with the life-changing message of the Gospel. James is the author of several books including Vertical Church, Authentic, Lord Change My Attitude, When Life is Hard, Always True, and most recently, Come Home.

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