BLOG – The Gospel according to the Grinch

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This devotional was written for Oakland's Family Advent Workbook. The hope is that our children couldn't think about the Grinch without thinking about Jesus. We don't want to reject all the secular trappings outright, we want to trace them to Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and reign.

Find time to read or watch How the Grinch Stole Christmasas a family. Then take some time, maybe over cookies and milk or hot cocoa to chat about Jesus.

How did The Grinch remind you of Jesus or a Bible story?

Why did the Grinch hate Christmas?

Why did the Grinch do mean things?

Why do you do mean things sometimes?

What does the Grinch expect to happen when the Whos wake up?

What actually happens?

How does the singing affect the Grinch? Why?

Have you ever seen someone celebrate/sing even when bad things happen?

What does the Grinch do when his heart changes?

What does the Grinch learn about Christmas?

What is Christmas all about to you?

Every good story is good because it echoes the one great story of God’s rescuing love in Jesus that changes our hearts. In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch hates Christmas because his heart is 2 sizes too small. A bad heart leads to bad actions (stealing Christmas) and even delights in the pain caused by bad actions. This gives us a picture of Sin. Sin is a heart problem, a heart that is all about me and what I want. All the bad things we call “sins” are really symptoms of Sin, the heart condition. We all need Jesus to change our hearts.

When the Grinch steal Christmas, he expects the Whos to cry and boo-hoo, but instead they sing. The still celebrate Christmas because, “Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

All who have come to know the true meaning of Christmas can celebrate even when bad things happen. Even when bad things happen, Christians can celebrate because God is good, and at Christmas God sent his son to rescue us. Even if we have no presents under the tree, we can celebrate the present given on a tree – Jesus on a cross.

When people see us celebrate Jesus at Christmas more than the lights, ribbons, bows, and boxes, they will learn the true meaning of Christmas, and their hearts will change like the Grinch’s heart changed. Especially, when we invite them into our celebrations.

SERMON – An Extra Sermon on Changing your Life

I don't change my life SO THAT Jesus will love me. BECAUSE Jesus loves me, my life changes.

We don't grow spiritually by moving past the basic gospel that we're sinners saved by grace into the super spiritual curriculum. Rather, spiritual growth is the right application of the implications of God's Salvation in every area of life. All of our sin is at its core a failure to believe or to apply the truth we learn in Jesus that not because of anything we have done, but because of Jesus, we are infinitely loved, cherished, accepted, and valuable to the God of the universe.

If it is true, and it is, that no area of life is untouched by the infection of sin, then it must also be true that the gospel must be the antidote in every area of life. We must rethink our marriages, jobs, hobbies, relationships, and vacations in light of the gospel. The Gospel changes everything and redeems every area of our lives.

This sermon by Timothy Keller, a Presbyterian pastor in New York City, helps us begin to think out the implications of the gospel for every area of life.

 

Here is a link to the Podcast in iTunes if you want to listen on your phone or iPod: PODCAST

 

 

SERMON – An Extra Sermon on Christ’s Uniqueness – As God’s Final Word

Body builders will tell you, "If you want to get big, you gotta eat big!" The same is true spiritually. If you want your faith to grow, you have to feed it with faith-inspiring, gospel-centered teaching.

On Sunday, April 24, 2016, I preached on the exclusivity and the uniqueness of Jesus, arguing that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation open to human beings. Here is another sermon by one of my favorite preachers, Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, that is connected to our theme. I pray that my preaching inspires and illumines you like his does me. 

If you want to download the podcast episode on your phone or iPod, here is the PODCAST LINK