Christmas is around the corner. Soon our “Elf on the Shelf” will be returning to keep watch over the kids. He reports back to Santa every night with the details of who have been naughty and nice. I don’t have a ton of trouble with my kids, but there is something about that “Elf on the Shelf”. He is a huge motivator around the holidays. My children remind each other daily: be careful what you say, you better not hit, you better say please. All because the elf on the shelf is watching. All because they are trying to earn the delivery of toys that may be coming on Jesus’ birthday.
What if we lived our lives like this? If we would realize and understand that God is always with us, knows all we do, all we think and all we plan before we even do it. Can you imagine how we would change the way we do things?
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23
We don’t need to be good and obey God’s commandments because we want the BIG prize – salvation, love, grace. He has already given us that. We aren’t worthy, but He has given it to us anyway. It is ours if we just accept it – if we just accept Him. “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins”. Colossians 2:13
God doesn’t force us to live according to His word. We live according to His Word and commandments because we choose to. We choose to honor Him, we choose to show others His kindness and grace, we choose to forgive the unforgivable. No, it is not easy and we are not capable if we try to do it alone, but with Christ we CAN! “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
If we clothe ourselves in Christ (Galations 3:26-28), soak in His Word, listen for His whisper and trust Him for all our provisions our actions will come naturally. His kindness, love, compassion, forgiveness, grace will flow out of us and spill out onto everyone we come in contact with.
We don’t have a God on the shelf who is watching to see if we deserve His love! We have an active, living God who loves us, who wants to know us intimately, help us navigate our lives in the best way possible and use us as instruments of His peace and love.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11