Naughty or Nice…

A few days ago a post on Facebook got me thinking. Basically, the post was admonishing parents to take credit for the gifts the expensive gifts they buy for their kids instead of giving the credit to Santa (great advice by the way!). The reason this resonated with me is that this year, my kids are old enough to understand decorating a Christmas tree and putting gifts underneath it so we decided to get one and embrace the Christmas traditions. Day after day, gifts are placed under the tree and being true to tradition, there have been lots of talks of Santa and Christmas carols in our home.

This morning, I decided to pay attention to the lyrics of one of the popular songs: Santa Claus is coming to town. So here goes:

He’s making a list,
And checking it twice,
Gonna find out
Who’s naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town

As I reflected on the lyrics, I realized that I never thought about a merit system when I got gifts for my kids.  I never checked any naughty or nice list. That was so far from my mind as I ordered items off Amazon. As I pondered this, I made a mindblowing discovery: my kids are getting gifts this Christmas not because they deserve them or have earned them through good behaviour. They are getting gifts for three simple reasons: they are my kids, I love them, and this is the season for giving.

Then I realized something even more amazing: that is exactly what God did for me (and you). Over 2000 years ago, without merit and without earning it God gave me the gift of His Son. I was earmarked for the naughty list; in fact, my name was marked with indelible ink on the naughty list; I certainly deserved a lump of coal or in my case, a perpetual furnace of brimstone. I was undeserving of any good gift but even before I was a thought, I was loved deeply by the Father. He lavished me with his love and called me his own.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 NIV

God gave me the wonderful gift of Jesus with 3 great benefits amongst others:

  • The blood of Jesus wiped my name clean off the naughty list and gave me permanent status as a daughter of the Most High God.
  • The love and mercy of the Father are renewed daily over my life to ensure I continue to enjoy the gift of Jesus without merit on a daily basis.
  • And finally, He brought me into his Kingdom and gave me a reason for the season.

Today I’d like to affirm to you that you have a Heavenly Father, you are loved beyond measure and He has a gift for you. Will you claim your free gift of love this season?

Lord You found me, You healed me, You called me from the grave
You gave me your real love, I thank You Jesus, You washed my sins away
Oh now I’m living, like I’m forgiven, You came and set me free
That’s what Your mercy did for me

What mercy did for me by
Crystal Yates/Joshua Sherman/The Emerging Sound/Drew Ley/Albert E. Brumley