Titus 3:5-6 “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
Christmas! It’s the time of year when kids try to be extra good. They know that Santa Claus is making a list and checking it twice to find out who has been naughty and nice. The nice children will receive good gifts on Christmas morning, but the naughty ones will be disappointed with only coal in their stockings. So during the month of December the disobedient try to make up for lost time with the hopes of getting back into Santa’s graces.
Many people believe that God is just like Santa. They think He is up in heaven checking and rechecking His list to find out which individuals deserve His blessings. Those who recognize they have done wrong things may try to make up for lost time by giving money to the poor, volunteering for charities, or attending church more frequently than they have in the past. They hope these acts of kindness and faithfulness will put them in good standing with God.
But God is nothing like Santa. He knows that all of us are sinners and undeserving of His gifts. There is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10). So instead of checking His list to measure our good deeds, He instead chose to save us according to His mercy. Through the blood of Jesus He washes our sins away and renews us by His Holy Spirit. This is the gift God provided for all the nice and the naughty who choose to believe.
God does have a list of all the people in the world, but sadly even the nicest of us is still marked as naughty in His sight. But our sin does not exclude us from receiving God’s greatest blessing. Unlike Santa, God’s gift of salvation is given not on the basis of what we do, but on the basis of what Christ did when He came to earth and was crucified, buried, and raised again on the third day. Now because of God’s great mercy, salvation and forgiveness of sin is available to all who believe.
You may be on Santa’s naughty list this Christmas, but what you have done up to this point in your life makes no difference with God. His greatest gift is ready and available for all … not on the basis of deeds done in righteousness but because of His great mercy.
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.