In the famous Peanuts comic series, Charles Schultz' Linus van Pelt, is the epitome of fear. You know the guy.
Little Linus totes his security blanket around and holds it like he might implode if it left him.
Linus, the guy who tries to kick the habit by once giving said blanket to Snoopy, but still couldn't handle having a new or different one.
And this. This may just be EVERY believer's favourite moment in Christmas movie history:
Of course, you remember! And I'll bet you watch it every year.
But you know ... I noticed something I had NEVER noticed before in a re-watch of the classic Peanuts holiday special last year. Watch what Linus does while sharing the true meaning of Christmas...(try not to read ahead haha). Linus, the kid one will NEVER see without that baby blue comfort he caresses, does something I don't think he ever does in any other Peanuts special.
He's about to share the most important news that has ever been. He is about to take a stand that most people wouldn't ... on any stage. He is about to share about JESUS. I know you've heard, but let's listen again...
I know, right? Go Linus! BUT ... sharing Jesus isn't even what I'm talking about. It's what he does when he is about to share the best gift the world has ever been given.
Did you see it? You may have noticed before, but maybe you are spiritually savvy-er than I am. A family member once pointed it out to me as a little, "Hey, that's funny..." and didn't think anything of it, but years later it actually hit me pretty deep. It makes me choke up a little to think about it these days because I realized this important message at a time I 'needed my own security blanket,' if ya know what I mean.
As he is gearing up for this moment, good ol' Linus does something we never see him do ... he drops that blanket.
In finishing up writing the second quarter of The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth curriculum my heart has been exhilarated by the promise of MY OWN salvation lately, and I wanted to share this thought with YOU, for YOU ... about YOU.
YOU are his glory. Got it? You are His unique, chosen, excellent instrument which He will make use of to carry on His best and most excellent work against his worst and greatest enemies during in these very trying days.
God seeks to show you convincingly that His confidence for you is unwavering. God's desire is to for you to enjoy the security of His purposes ... which are meant ... for YOU.
So many religions (and even some flavours of Christianity) say, “Sure, right! God saves people! But ... (*sigh*) no, you really can’t be 100% sure if you are saved. You can’t be totally sure if your works are good enough, or your faith is strong enough.”
This is wrong.
And it is deadly.
God has arranged and spoken so much to give His people assurance and security that it is kind of an assault on HIS integrity to say that we ... to say that we can’t have it.
“My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.”
I JOHN 5:13, The Message
“We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts
so that we’ll never settle for less.”
II CORINTHIANS 5:5, The Message
“So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body...so let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.
He always keeps his word.”
HEBREWS 10:24-25, The Message
If we are sure of more critical and these better things, we will have the freedom and SECURITY ... to live radically changed* for Jesus.
One of the most significant benefits in feeling secure is to know God wants us to feel confident of our hope in Him. It is of little comfort to believe some people are saved but not to grasp that we are one of them ... we are completely one of them. So, if you have any doubts about this, my friend, it is time you drop whatever blanket of insecurity that keeps you from embracing His truth, the truth that YOU. ARE. HIS.
Dear Linus put said security around the weak little tree at the end - the ugly tree which suddenly becomes beautiful and FULL of ornaments (which I always thought was silly, but it's kind of incredible). There really is SO much about this holiday special that screams Jesus ...
So I don't just think of Linus when I put up our front door Christmas decoration:
I think of faith. And family. And the true security that comes with knowing Jesus.
And it makes my heart confident ... hopeful ... even courageous.
*nod to my church family!