Yes, Christmas is still several days away (well, 15 Saturdays at least), but I was revising some posts on Christmas and Christmas songs which I had shared in the past, and found this post (borrowed from My Broom). It contains some really encouraging thoughts about how God sees us, in defiance of a popular song about Santa. You know the one, where he makes a list, checks it twice, and will certainly find out who is naughty or nice.
Some of us mistakenly slip into thinking about God this way – that he is keeping a list of whether we are doing good or bad, and is completely discouraged by our lack of faithfulness. But God has moved to us with pure grace in Christ! This post also serves a reminder for me in parenting: at Christmas time we have the opportunity to tell our children that our gifts (to them) are not based on merit (and won’t be taken back if they are naughty!). Rather, they are gifts of GRACE and love – just like the gift of new life in Christ.
“IS GOD MAKING A LIST?
Having entered into the joy of salvation, many Christians spend the rest of their lives in a fearful and frantic state of trying to ensure they don’t lose it. They have tasted the Lord and found that He is indeed good, but their knowledge of the work of Christ is either incomplete or incorrect, and so they focus their efforts on staying in His favour ~ (not losing their salvation).
For those who have been taught that Christ bore your sins up to the moment you repented and then put the load of obligation to live righteously straight back on our shoulders, I would say this ~ ‘you don’t have to live a moment longer worrying if you are living your life well enough to keep God satisfied’.
It doesn’t matter how well you live your life ~ you will never be able to maintain your salvation by your good works, our salvation rests squarely on the work of Christ both for its inception and for its maintenance. We do not drift in and out of salvation according to whether we have keep our list short and repented of every sin we can think of. No, No, No, we have crossed over from death to life… to think otherwise would be to lift from us the curse of sin, only to place back on us the curse of fear.
The writer of Hebrews expands on this in chapter 4 and verse 10; he says; “For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own works, just as God did from His”. Have you ever thought that Christ has also rested from His work on the cross? When Christ said; “it is finished” He meant the entire problem of sin was finished for those who fix their eyes on Christ and Him crucified.
The only thing that remains is for us to live in the assurance of our completed salvation by faith, Hebrews calls this ‘rest’, it is a completely new way of living, one of boldness and confidence, based entirely on Christ. Some will say that I am advocating a license to sin, hardly, I am advocating that we don’t have to sin any longer because Christ has given us righteousness… we are free to live from the sheer joy of knowing that God doesn’t keep a list.
I’ve tried to live the yo-yo life of pleasing God by watching every step I take, it’s exhausting, it’s crushing, it’s dis-empowering. Now I spend my day focused on Christ’s goodness and not my own, and if I trip up I don’t get stressed, I just rest in the fact that all my failings were crucified with Christ.”
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