Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is about CHRIST

Since this is the Christmas season which is the celebration of Jesus' birth, I wanted to share with you what Jesus means to me as a woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister.

Jesus Christ is my dearest, most trusted friend.  He is my spiritual Elder Brother, my confident, someone I can turn to in my darkest hours, when tears sting my eyes, and hurt my head.  He is there for me to talk to. Jesus knows your every pain, and He has suffered beneath each one.  He knows how to cope, and you can find Him just a prayer away.

He is the Christ, my Savior. He is the only way back to Heavenly Father. He is our mediator with the Father, so we can someday return to live with Him and with the Father at the end of this mortal life.

He lives, He really lives.  He was crucified, He died, but he rose again, and He is alive with a glorified and exalted body. Jesus is concerned for each one of us.

Heavenly Father is also very personal and real to me. He is not some immense blob that fills space, yet is small enough to fit in your heart, as I was once taught. He has a glorified, perfected body.   His only begotten son, Jesus Christ works as one with Him and with the Holy Ghost to bring to pass the 'Immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)  We were created in His image.  He has stated that to us in the Old Testament.  We look like Him and He looks like us.
While Jesus walked this beautiful earth, He set the perfect example for us. I believe that he came to earth to teach us a better way to live. He taught us by His actions how to live, how to treat others, and what is really important in this life and in the next. 
He taught us to love one another, be kind and good to others, only speak to others and of others in a kind way, and He showed us how to heal and bless our brothers and sisters.
The Atonement
I know that Jesus Christ paid them price for each of our sins in the garden of Gethsemane. He suffered so much and the burden there was so great, He shed drops of real blood in His agonizing sweat. He even asked that if it were possible that this 'cup' be taken from Him. I love Him because even though he felt as though He could not bear the awful weight that was placed upon His sinless shoulders, He loved us so much, and knew there was no other way but to suffer for us, and he didn't give up. I am always amazed when I think of how incredibly unfair this was, in all its eternal necessity. He NEVER once gave in to the temptations that plagued Him, while we often give in at the drop of a hat. I think of that each time I do something wrong, how I added to that pain. It drives me to my knees to ask for forgiveness. If we strive diligently to do what is right and accept His atonement asking forgiveness each time we sin, we will be forgiven. 
We can only get back to Father through Jesus Christ and we must go to Him to ask. His death on the cross was his final humiliation and blow. He was the only perfect man to ever walk this earth. I know of His divinity, I speak of Him to others, I teach my children of him and try to live as He did in every way I can. I teach them to do the same. They know of His love for them because as babies I whispered into their little ears, "Who loves you?" Then I told them ~ Heavenly Father loves you, Jesus loves you, mommy and daddy love you, brothers and sisters love you. They understood this. I feel combining it with what is 'real' to them right now, the love of family, they will learn how real Heavenly Father and Jesus are too. 
Saved by Works alone? 
I do not believe you will get to heaven through works alone but I do believe that we are here to be tested, to learn to live a Christ-like life in every way we can, to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and to live by faith. In the times when Paul taught that we are saved by grace, he was indeed stating an eternal truth.  Only Christ could have gone through the Atonement.  Only He, being so pure, could have ever paid the great price.  The Pharisees at that time, went really overboard on emphasizing the great works they did. They applauded themselves and built themselves up to make others look bad.  They lived strictly by the letter of the law.  So Paul needed to speak directly to them regarding their works... he had to make certain they understood that no matter what they did, it would not give them Eternal life.  

The Bible teaches the importance of faith combined with works that exemplify Christ and the way He lived. There is much more to this than merely saying 'Jesus is the Savior', even the devils know who He is! And it doesn't do them any good. 

We must try to become like Him, to live as He did, to work with Him in helping others, and especially in becoming better people. We must follow His example in all things. We can only do that if we read and learn of Him, and use His blessed gift of the Atonement, to repent and come unto Christ.
You will find teachings on faith and works in the King James Bible where we read: In James 2:14-26
"14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that afaith without work is dead? 
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by aworks was faith made perfect? 
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for brighteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." 
I want you to know that the Jesus Christ I know was/is a spiritual giant.  He loved everyone, even those whom others despised, and those who abused him and spat upon him for no fault of His own. A goal for me to strive for. When He rose from the dead, He appeared first to women. He went to those who were thought of in society as mere chattel. He knew that these women would be spiritually receptive to the truth. 
He worked miracles, he reached out to those in need, he helped others whom mankind thought of as 'the least of these'. My favorite passages of scripture are found in the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi 17 where Christ takes the little children and blesses them and angels minister to them. 
While blessing lives, Jesus never hesitated to reach out and bless His fellow brothers and sisters with His loving touch. He never complained when helping others was not convenient, or when he was exhausted, and he never wearied of well-doing. 

Jesus took care of little details. He forgave people who lied about Him, who wanted to tear Him down, who spit upon Him. 

He showed us a better way and asked us to try to be like Him. He gives me something to reach for, an exalted goal to achieve, a better way ~ the way to true happiness in this life and the next life. 
Because of His perfect example, I try every day to reach out to others, to live so others will want to know why I am different, so that others can see a 'light', and hopefully they will want to have that Light and happiness and strength in their own lives. It is not my light I try to let shine, but the light of Christ given by Heavenly Father. It is what makes me have a desire to help other people and to live a good life, and to become the woman of God I am supposed to be. He taught us to: 
   "let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

I have a painting of Christ reaching down and lifting us each time we fall, of His great strength filling our gaps of strength, of His bearing my burdens if I take the time to ask Him for help. I can feel His love as I hold each of my children and now my grandchildren in my arms. 
I know He is my Savior, He is my friend in this life and in eternity and will always be there for me as I remember Him. 
May this Christmas find us reaching beyond our current knowledge of our Savior to find a more perfect knowledge, and may we try to become just like Him, especially in helping others every day we live.
Merry Christmas!!


kelly said...

Beautiful post and so true! God bless you and have a wonderful Christmas!
Kelly. x

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how to send a message. I'm trying to make your 5 hour baby sweater for a local hospital, but I can't figure out the instruction that says knit the horizontal stitch in between two stitches,or how it makes that cute holey pattern? Are there photos/video anywhere? my e mail is or thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

First, may I say, how wonderful to find content so unabashedly PRO-Chritstmas. Here in Toronto, Canada, we are so busy trying to be politically correct, it is now frowned upon to say "merry Christmas", in case we offend someone of another faith. I refuse to stop saying it!
Second, I love your cozy cap pattern! I knit dozens of them each year to send to teens on the reserves up north. Some of the living conditions up there are downright third world. The caps get sent up there at Christmas, of course!

bevq said...

I think it's very sad that people feel they cannot say MERRY CHRISTMAS if that's what they celebrate. If someone gave me a cheery smile and said 'HAPPY HANNUKAH!" I would be thrilled and I would say it back to them ♥ How wonderful that they want me to be happy along with them...

You have a Merry Christmas-- enjoy family, friends, the lights, the music, giving and getting gifts... and most of all the thought that Christ did come to this earth and He IS our Savior. :)
PS. I was born in London, Ont

bevq said...

5 hour baby sweater... as you are knitting along look in between stitches and you will see a horizontal bar. That's the one you will 'pick up' that bar and knit it. :) I want to post pix of that.

Anonymous said...

Bev as always you exemplify what a Christian sister should be. You are a reflection of Christ in your thoughts and works! Your message was profound and deeply true! Thank you for posting your message and for reminding me of what I should be doing and thinking! Cyn from Florida but now living in Colorado !

Anonymous said...

so great to come across your blog and especially this message.
Quite a while ago,I lost all my computer bookmarks (your site included) when I had several computer crashes in a row and so just recently added you again and today had time to sit to explore the site again. Saw that you had a blog and decided to come here first. Glad I did. :)
I am from Canada (London, ON too) and like the other poster am tired of hearing that we shouldn't offend anyone by saying Merry Christmas! Jesus birth is the reason for Christmas so I say it, but am happy to offer greetings to those who celebrate differently.
Off to explore and reacquaint myself with your site.

Anonymous said...

I Love my LORD thank you for your heartfelt testimony and ideas.