“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.”
–1 Peter 1:3 (NLT)

In our house, Christmas always includes at least one viewing of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. We love the way Jimmy Stewart is transformed as he takes his retrospective and life-changing journey. You may have gone through your own life without finding any meaning or purpose, but that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

Just as Jimmy Stewart looked back at his life in the movie, I invite you to reflect upon yours. However, instead of asking what would have happened if you had never been born, let’s ask what would have happened if Christ had never come to this earth.

Before you glibly tell me that He died for our sins and leave it at that, let me ask you two questions: Have you ever lost a loved one? And secondly, would you have died for them?

It’s easy for me to say off the top of my head that Christ died for my sin, but I only rarely think about the great cost of that death. I’m afraid that too many of us are like that, but each of us can choose to incorporate His death into our lives.

Jesus’ death was an act of pure and immense love that He had for you personally, and that same love can transform you today. In other words, Christ wants to meet with you right where you are and begin working in your life. Unfortunately, most of us do not understand this, and we run away just like His disciples did. Jesus wants to mold and shape you just as He transformed His disciples, giving you a new and transformed heart.

As amazing as this is, the story doesn’t end there. The Bible says that on the third day, Christ rose from the grave, just as he promised. A few days later, the same disciples who had run away put their lives on the line for Him.

Many people have doubted this through the centuries, and you might be one of them. But let me ask you a question: If He didn’t rise, why were His followers willing to do this? Do you think people would put their lives on the line for a dead man? Furthermore, the Bible says that Christ not only appeared to them, but He validated His resurrection by showing Himself to 500 others. The apostle Paul wrote that without the resurrection, our faith is empty, and I would echo his words by repeating that people don’t die for a meaningless fairy tale.

So, in the spirit of It’s a Wonderful Life, I challenge you to take a few minutes out of your day and reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The scriptures say that if you believe in your heart that Christ died, and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. So this new year, instead of meaninglessness, find peace and joy in your life, in the name of the wonderful Christ.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.