December 20, 2013
Stopping the Grinch
By Skip Heitzig
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss, is a great story. You probably remember that the Grinch tried to stop Christmas from coming by stealing all the presents and decorations, the trees, and even the food for the Christmas meal. He expected the people to weep as they realized their Christmas had been stolen, but instead he heard a song of joy. And he discovered that Christmas is something that happens in the heart and you can’t take that away.
In the Bible there is one who tried to steal Christmas: I’m talking about Satan, the ultimate Grinch, the director and producer of all other Grinches.
In Genesis 3, God prophesied the coming of Christ, telling Satan, “He will crush your head and you will strike his heel” (v. 15). Satan knew that this Child would be his undoing. And so, using the language from Dr. Seuss, you could say, “The more Satan thought of what Christmas would bring, the more Satan thought, ‘I must stop this whole thing.’” Because the devil hates God, he also hates all that God loves and he certainly hates Christmas.
So Satan did everything he could to put an end to God’s plan. Throughout biblical history, Satan tried to destroy Israel before the Child could be born. When that failed and the first Christmas happened, he tried to kill Jesus. Satan thought he had won at the cross. But Jesus rose from the dead, and He offers everlasting life to those who would believe in Him.
Satan couldn’t stop the plan of God. So that Grinch poured his wrath on people, to keep them from coming into a right relationship with God. Satan knows that his time is short (see Revelation 12:12), so he wants to take down as many people as he can, or in this analogy, to steal Christmas from as many people’s hearts as he possibly can, to keep them from God forever.
In the Dr. Seuss story, the real problem was that the Grinch’s heart was too small, and in the end his heart grew—and that’s where my analogy of the devil to the Grinch breaks down. But it’s always an issue of the heart. The Bible says, “If you…believe in your heart that God raised Him [Jesus] from the dead”—that is, if you trust Him and believe from the heart, from the core of your being—”you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
God wants to give you the gift of everlasting life, so that Christmas is something you celebrate every day. But it begins in the heart. And you need a heart transplant. You need God to take out the old “heart of stone,” as the Bible calls it, and put within you a soft heart, a heart touched by Him (see Ezekiel 36:26).
I can’t think of a better time than now to receive the Savior, the One who came into this world as a tiny baby, who died on a cross for you, and who will come back as the King of kings and Lord of lords to rule the world. Will you let Him rule your heart today, and every day afterwards?
No matter how you’ve lived your life, God will forgive you of it all. He will wash away all your sins and welcome you into His family with open arms. But you have to receive it.
The songs, the worship, the exuberance, the praise, the excitement that Christians feel at this time of year…all of it all comes from hearts that have been changed, just like the Grinch in the story.
For a long time, maybe years, God has been dealing with your heart, trying to get hold of your life. Let Him win the battle for your soul. Don’t let the Grinch—the devil, who hates everything God loves—steal Christ’s Christmas from your heart. God desires to give you eternal life. Invite Him in!
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