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Naughty or Nice?

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Dr. Suess first released the original The Grinch Who Stole Christmas in 1957. The man behind Dr. Suess is actually Theodor Seuss Geisel. The concept of a Christmas Naughty and Nice list was implied by Dr. Suess with the Grinch as the poster child for the naughty. Seven years later Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer introduced Santa’s Naughty and Nice List. Meanwhile, the 1973 Christmas classic The Year Without a Santa Claus reenergized Santa’s calling to travel the world on Christmas Eve to reward good children.

But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every [s]idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced, Matthew 12:36-37.

As I’m about the finish my study of the Book of Revelation, I was reminded of the Bible’s own Naughty and Nice List. In the first century, Jesus pointed to the Book of Life while teaching about Judgment Day. Anyone who has made their reservations in advance, Romans 10:9-11 and 1 John 5:12-13, will be acquitted on Judgment Day. The apostle Paul explains this in Galatians 2:20 and 1 Corinthians 15:53-58. Subsequently, anyone who has entered into a personal relationship with Jesus makes the Nice List.

And the sea delivered up the dead who were in it, death and Hades ([c]the state of death or disembodied existence) surrendered the dead in them, and all were tried and their cases determined by what they had done [according to their motives, aims, and works], Revelation 20:13.

The apostle Paul writes about those individuals who pass away without ever being introduced to Jesus in Romans 1:18-20. According to the disciple whom Jesus loved, these people will be judged based upon their aims, motives and works. The great commission is currently in its third and final stage, Acts 1:8, taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. God’s Naughty and Nice List is finalized based upon these three categories. If you’re unsure if your name is in The Book of Life, there’s still time to join the nice list, Hebrews 10:26-27.

by Jay Mankus

A Misfit Living in a Cruel World

Fifty two years ago this coming December, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer debuted.  In the years that have followed, children and parents have made this animation a Christmas classic.   Something about an elf who wants to be a dentist and a reindeer whose nose glows appeals to anyone who feels like a social outcast.  Essentially, this story serves as a reminder to those who are currently a misfit living in a cruel world.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples, Matthew 9:10.

After experiencing public scrutiny and humiliation, Hermey and Rudolph run away from their problems, coming to shore on the Island of Misfit Toys.  Upon interacting with a Charlie in the Box and a train with square wheels, Hermey and Rudolph come to the realization that their lives aren’t as bad as they initially thought.  Sometimes all you need to do is meet someone less fortunate and your perspective changes immediately.

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him, Matthew 20:34.

There is a perception in the world from those who do not believe in God that Jesus is too good, holy and righteous for sinners.  On the contrary, Jesus spent most of his time on earth conversing, eating and sitting with the lower and middle class.   Jesus’ ministry was centered around reaching out to misfits, needy individuals and the poor.  Therefore, don’t think you have to have everything together to serve the Lord.  Rather, find meaning and purpose in this cruel world by touching the lives of people in need with an encouraging word, hug or smile.

by Jay Mankus

 

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