Thursday, December 25, 2008
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Who needs Santa Claus? Our family sure doesn't. Not with our little grandson around. With the family all gathered in our living room for opening our gifts, we've got the best gift-deliverer around. Our grandson gets so excited about each gift, no matter who it's for. He identifies what name is on the tag on each present and then he runs to deliver it to them. Of course, there are certain gifts he's more excited about than others - the ones that have his name on them.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and on this Christmas Day, I want to have A Word With You about "The Name on the Gift."
I can't think of anything more exciting for you this Christmas than to look at the gift and realize that it's got your name on it. The gift God sent Jesus to give you, that is. It could be that He's been standing there in front of you, offering you this greatest gift of all for a long time. But you've never really realized that it had your name on it. You've never reached out and received it. It's time.
In Luke 2:11, our word for today from the Word of God, the Lord presents His gift and who it's for. The angel who announced Jesus' birth said, "Today a Savior has been born to you." I want to ask you to take that "you" very, very personally. Jesus was born for you, to die for you, for every wrong thing you have ever done. That's why He can rescue you from the eternal death penalty you deserve - that we all deserve - for hijacking our life from God. Behind His Christmas cradle stands the shadow of that Good Friday cross where He loved you enough to die for you. For you!
One of the writers of the New Testament realized how intensely personal that cross really is when he said, "I live my life by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). A friend of mine met a man on an airplane who was talking about his lifelong search for spiritual answers and spiritual peace, and he hadn't found it. Then one day he said he paid a visit to the church that he had grown up in years ago. And standing there alone, he saw the cross up front. He said, "I had seen that cross many times. I'd known about that cross my whole life. But I suddenly realized what I had missed all these years. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the realization that was for me." And that day his search ended.
That's the day yours will too. When, in your heart, you walk up to the cross where Jesus gave His life, and you say those two words that change everything, "For me Jesus. What You did there was for me." If you've never done that, wouldn't this be a great day - a memorable day - to give Him the life that He paid for on that cross? To finally start to belong to the One who loves you the most. The gift God gave that first Christmas wasn't a religion or some rituals or some beliefs. He gave His one and only Son. And His Son is waiting to give you the gift of His forgiveness, His peace, and His heaven. If you want to begin your personal relationship with Jesus Christ this Christmas Day, just tell Him, "Jesus, I'm done running my life. You died for me, and I am yours from this day on!"
If that's what you want, then I would love to be an encouragement to you. And actually, our website will help you be sure that you've begun your personal relationship with Him. It's helped a lot of folks at a time like this. Let me invite you to go there as soon as you can today. The website is YoursForLife.net. Or I could send you the booklet Yours For Life that I wrote. There's no obligation. Just call for it toll free at 877-741-1200 because your name is on the greatest gift that God ever gave. This Christmas, take His gift for yourself. It cost Him everything.