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Friday, December 25, 2015


When Santa Claus gets your letter, You know what he will say:
"Have you been good the way you should On ev'ry single day?"

When Santa gets your letter To ask for Christmas toys,
He'll take a look in his good book He keeps for girls and boys.

He'll stroke his beard, his eyes will glow, And at your name he'll peer;
It takes a little time, you know, To check back one whole year!

When Santa Claus gets your letter, I really do believe,
You'll head his list, you won't be missed, By Santa on Christmas Eve.

-"When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter" by Johnny Marks (recorded by Gene Autry)
I think it's interesting that every story we tell kids about Santa Claus says that Santa gives "bad kids" lumps of coal (or will bring them nothing at all!)... but no kid thinks that they've been bad enough for that. Every kid thinks that Santa loves them enough to overlook the bad things they have done. Nobody is bad enough to tick off Santa! Write him a letter! Tell him what you want - he'll get it right to you!
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. -Romans 3:23 NLT
In contrast, the letter God wrote to us (the Bible) tells us that nobody is good enough to meet God's standard. We're all "bad kids". We all deserve lumps of coal from God. Even worse, we all deserve to spend eternity in Hell!
Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. -Romans 3:24 NLT
The good news is that God sent Jesus into the world to satisfy God's justice - to pay the penalty for what we had done. To bail us out of Hell - better yet, to serve our sentence for us! That's the story of Christmas. It's the first part of God's plan to buy our pardon. To eliminate the eternal consequences of all our sins! What a great Christmas story!
Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so!
So why do we find it so easy to believe that Santa loves us enough to do something amazing for us, even though every one of us did something bad this past year... but no matter what we do, God can't possibly love us enough to forgive us for our sins? Why is Santa's love so easy to swallow, but God's is too hard to grasp?

I hope Santa left something cool for you this morning - I'm sure he did. And I also know that God gave us the most amazing, incredible, life-altering gift of all. Santa says: "You've done something bad, but you're still pretty good. I'll just ignore those bad things you did. Here's a gift!" God says: "There is no way you can be good enough to be able to receive what I have, but I love you so much that I'm going to wipe that slate clean and make it possible for you to receive from Me what you need!" Sure, Santa will overlook your flaws. God doesn't overlook your flaws. God has eradicated your sins through Jesus! Think about that today!

Merry Christmas!

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