You Are Blessed

Santa Claus is a thug. I mean, really. He sits on his throne all year, judges kids, then hands out gifts to those who are good and lumps of coal to those who are bad.

I hated that picture growing up, because I was the bad kid. But I’m also an optimist, so I used the coal and had a barbecue.

Santa is also creepy. Did you know he watches you when you sleep? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want an old man watching me when I sleep.

When I was growing up, Santa resembled God to me. I thought God sat on His throne judging whether we were good or bad. And maybe if we were good enough, He would gift us or bless us with something. What I didn’t realize was that Santa operated out of karma. And I thought God did too. That’s why I thought God was always mad at me and ready to hurl coal my way. I don’t know
about you, but I don’t behave perfectly.

But God is not Santa (which is some of the best news I’ve ever heard). If you’re a Christmas fanatic, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but God is way better than Santa. Whereas Santa operates out of karma, God operates out of grace.

Karma means you get what you deserve. But God’s grace means you get what Jesus
deserves. That’s the scandal of Christianity. No one is good, and we all deserve death. But Jesus came and took what we deserved so we could get what He deserved forever.

Religion is a lot like Santa. You work hard for the blessing, and if you’re good enough, you get the gift. But Jesus isn’t like Santa. On day one of our salvation, He blesses us with everything heaven has to offer. The Bible never says, “God will bless you if ...” The Bible says God has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing. That’s why we live from His blessings, not for them.

It’s no longer about being good enough. Instead it’s about trusting in the One who is good. We aren’t motivated by fear of being punished. Instead, we’re motivated by God’s outrageous grace
that He has lavished on us.

While Santa is far off at the North Pole and visits only once a year, Jesus is near, living in your heart, and He promises to never leave you. Santa checks his list in order to bless you. Jesus destroyed the list and has blessed us apart from what we do.

Because Jesus was cursed on the cross, you are always blessed. His attitude toward you will never waver. Next time your circumstances aren’t pleasant, know that they aren’t from God. He’s in you, reminding you that everything you need, you already have in Him.

For many of us, this is difficult to fathom. We’re used to getting what we deserve. We’re used to working really hard or being really good and hopefully being rewarded or catching a break. But Christianity isn’t like that. God isn’t looking for our best effort; He wants our trust. We’re not waiting and hoping for God to give us something; instead we’re living from all that He has already given us.

This concept changed everything for me. I thought that if I could read my Bible a little more, obey a little more, or just be good a little more, then things would start going my way. Maybe my circumstances would get better. Or if I had more faith, then my situation would change. Many of us think we can earn God’s blessings. Or if we’re good enough, He’ll bless us or do something for us. But the good news is that Jesus did everything to earn God’s blessing for us.

When I realized that everything I need I already have, I stopped trying to get God to fix my circumstances through my good behavior. Instead I started enjoying God in the midst of my circumstances. Jesus doesn’t promise us good circumstances. He actually says that we’ll face trouble. But He also promises to be life and peace to us in the midst of everything
this world brings us.

Like the apostle Paul, we can be content in either poverty or plenty, sickness or health, because Christ really is enough for us. Jesus is calling us to live our lives from all that He is within us. God is
for us, and God is good. He doesn’t cause all things, but He does cause all things to work for our good.

The next time a bad circumstance hits, how would it look to realize you are blessed? We don’t need to obey more or serve more or do more for God to bless us. No, He has given us all heaven has to offer in His Son Jesus Christ. And He lives in you every moment.

Because of what Jesus has done on our behalf, we never have to wonder if God is cursing us or hurling disaster our way. God operates out of grace, and He can only be for us and good
to us.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Hearing God’s Opinion
“I took all your sin so you never have to doubt My goodness toward you. I’ll always be gracious to you, no matter what. My grace will keep you firm in the midst of any circumstance you face. I’m faithful, and I promise to comfort you in all your affliction. I’ve established you in My love, and I’ve given you the very best of heaven— My Son, Jesus Christ. Now go, enjoy the riches of the spiritual blessings I’ve already freely given you.”

Ephesians 1:3 NIV

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