PUCKETT: Why not believe in Santa Claus?

Within all of us, there is a deep yearning for something beyond what we see — a power or force that transcends what we see as reality. Santa Claus is a mythical being — one who has been around for a long time (ageless), seems to know a lot and is a rewarder to those who believe in him and ask for things. We might allow our children to believe in Santa Claus for a while, but the pretend usually breaks down quickly.

There is a basis for Santa. He is not just a wild imagination. He is a “knock-off,” a cheap imitation of a divine being who goes much further, and does so much more than Santa. The divine being is Almighty God. God knows everything all the time. He not only knows whether you have been naughty or nice, but He cares. God is everywhere all at the same time. Santa can supposedly visit every house in the world in a single night, but Almighty God will not only visit, He will dwell right there with you.

Naughtiness is a common thread between the two. Naughtiness will not only get you ignored by Santa, but he might also give you a lump of coal. God does not give lumps of coal or empty stockings. We are all naughty. If we got what we deserved, we would have eternity away from the presence of Almighty God, but God comes alongside our naughtiness and offers us the best gift ever. Our hearts may be as black as a lump of coal, but God offers to wash us in the shed blood of His son Jesus Christ who died for our naughty nature. The gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is available to all who believe.

There is a common thread in almost every Christmas story. In the stories, it is the almost magical quality of belief. Once belief comes, the goodness pours through. Those Christmas stories are not far off. Belief is key. Acknowledging God, believing in His love and care, and receiving the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ opens the windows of heaven for joy, peace, and love.

Santa is mythical. God is not. If your quest for “more” begins with a desire in your heart for someone who will love you and give you what you need (not want, but need), and that quest begins with something as simple as a guy in a red suit with a sled and reindeer, then go on, but do not stop with Santa. Find the real thing this Christmas. Jesus Christ is real, and Almighty God is good all the time.

Dan Puckett works with road team operations at Life Action Ministries in Buchanan, Michigan.

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