[This article is a re-post from November 2011]
by Gloria Furman
My mother-in-law sent me this photo of a Christmas tree in her neighborhood in California. Christmas is seven weeks away!
Thinking about Christmas was a good reminder to me to preach the gospel to myself, instead of preaching Santa to myself, which I sometimes do.
Preaching Santa to yourself sounds like this, “Oh look, I’ve blown it again and sinned. God has no mercy for me now. Coals for me.”
Really? That sounds more like Santa with his notorious list that he’s checking twice to find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa is keeping records of your transgressions, and he’s going to give you what you deserve. That’s not the gospel– the gospel says we don’t get what we deserve (punishment for our sins), but because of God’s grace in the cross Jesus is the one who got what we deserved– God’s wrath. And futhermore, instead of getting the punishment we deserve… we get what the perfect Son of God deserved (eternal fellowship with God).
Read about what God does to the notorious record against you when you are in Christ…
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14
The record of debt against you (ie. your sin) is nailed to the cross. Our justification before God is based on Christ’s merits. Furthermore, God blesses His children before they even know to ask for His blessings.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6
So don’t preach Santa to yourself.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have four fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. Gloria really misses pumpkin lattes (especially this time of year) and she is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013) and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full (Crossway 2014).