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By Ron Hutchcraft

I gave my daughter a doll for Christmas when she was four. Fast-forward 40 years. I'm still giving my princess a doll every Christmas.

She takes that gift, opens it - and knows her Daddy loves her. What she's never done is try to pay me for it. That would be a bad idea.

Because you don't pay someone for a gift they have for you! Including the most valuable gift in the world. Heaven. Eternal life. In the Bible's words, "The gift of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:23).

The problem is that most of us have been trying to earn heaven by being religious, being baptized, confirmed - being good. But the God who has eternal life says it's a gift! In fact, the Bible says the only thing we can earn is the death penalty for running our own lives.

A gift means someone else paid for it. And someone else did. Jesus, God's own Son. He took my hell when He died on the cross so I could have heaven. And all you can do is reach out and take the gift He bought with His life.

If you've never done that, contact us at 888-NEED-HIM or The gift isn't yours - until you make it your own.