It’s that time again–a new devotion by Alexis A. Goring. I so appreciate Alexis’s contribution this year with her monthly devotions. I’m sure you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have. Thanks, Alexis.
Stronger Than Santa
A devotional by Alexis A. Goring
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
I need Jesus Christ more than I need Santa Claus.
Because I need the hope that only Jesus Christ can give and it has a stronger, more lasting effect than all of the gifts that a fictional Santa can offer. Santa’s not real. But Jesus is and that’s very good news!
There’s a song by Casting Crowns called “Healer”. Listen to it here. The lyrics talk about how headlines can leave us without hope. We trust in our fellow broken humans to help make us whole. As the world gets worse, we’re desperate to be rescued. Yet, there’s only one Man who can get us out of this mess and he’s not Superman nor is he Santa Claus. His name is Jesus (Christ)!
While Santa is a much loved and celebrated character, his strength ends in the fact that he’s not real. Fictional characters cannot save us from our real-world problems, no matter how creative or well-written they are and no matter how much we may wish they could. We need to be careful not to make idols of fictional people or real ones. Read about the folly of idolatry in Isaiah 44:9-18 and for a condensed version, read Psalms 115:5-8 (ESV), which says this about idols:
“They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.”
But there is hope! We have a REAL Hero who we can count on forever! His name is Jesus Christ and He’s more than a hero, He is a Healer.
The Bible is filled with stories of how Jesus healed people when He was here on Earth. He made blind eyes see. He cured people with leprosy, he drove out demons, and perhaps one of the most memorable stories in the Bible was when He healed the woman who had suffered for 12 years with the issue of blood. Doctors had failed her but she had faith that if she could just touch the hem of His garment, she would be healed. And she was! Jesus told her that her faith has made her whole. Imagine that, a Healer and Hero so powerful that just one touch from Him even if it’s just on the hem of his clothing, can heal all of your ailments and make you whole! Best thing? He still heals today!
The lyrics in “Healer” remind us that we need the Healer more than the actual healing. Pause. Did you get that? We need the Healer more than we need the healing.
Sometimes, God chooses not to heal us here on Earth. Sometimes He waits until He takes us to Heaven to give us perfect health and restore us completely to wholeness. And sometimes, the purpose of waiting to be healed is to help others while we’re here on Earth. Our pain often has a purpose that God wants to use. Regarding this, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV):
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”
Is anything too hard for God? The Bible says “No!” Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV) says: “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
God is mighty! He is powerful. He is the most creative, kind, strong and compassionate force in the universe! And He cares about you and everything that matters to you.
So don’t give up. Look up to the One who created the Heavens and Earth who is also the Maker of your heart. God sent His Son (Jesus Christ) on a mission to save our souls and reconcile is to Him (John 3:16-17). It was a mission that Santa Claus would never have been able to deliver but Jesus (Christ) made it possible!
Christ’s love for us drove Him to the Cross and God’s power within raised Him from the dead! That’s right, He still lives! The Bible says that Jesus intercedes before our Heavenly Father on our behalf. He is our High Priest, our Advocate. Thanks to His sacrifice for our sins, when God sees a sinner (all of us humans), He doesn’t turn us away because He sees His Son and remembers the price He paid to reconcile humankind with the Divine. And He has mercy on us!
God loves us with ALL of His Heart. He’s already made a way for us to be saved (read John 3:16-17 again). All we have to do is accept Our Hero (Jesus Christ) who is REAL and wants to save our life! He’s stronger than Santa and He wants to give you the Greatest Gift: Eternal life, which is a reality that will be free from sin, sickness, suffering and pain. That’s better than fiction because it’s a reality that awaits all who follow Jesus.
As we close out this year and as this is my last devotional for Lillian’s blog, I’d like to leave you with a song to end this final message from me. It’s a song that’s similar to a benediction you’d most likely hear in church. The pastors would read this Bible verse (Ephesians 3:20-21) and the musicians may sing this song. My favorite version of this blessing is performed by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy. You can listen to “The Benediction” here.
Merry Christmas! May God bless you today, tomorrow and forevermore!
Merry Christmas to all!