Throwback to the old days—your grandma was still a little girl, and all she had for Christmas was an orange in a sock... Everyone wants something from Christmas. Some people want a particular gift, some people want their whole family to be together, some people just want somebody else besides the TV and an empty room. Some people wish Christmas would go away, because it reminds them of something sad. Some will drink too much, some will eat too much, others will spend too much, still others will say too much and wreck what family they thought they had.

So what are we supposed to get from Christmas?

Christmas began as a celebration of the birth of Jesus—he’s the little guy in the manger in the Nativity play at school. It turns out that he is the gift! The grown-up Jesus said that he came from God as a living, breathing description of what God is really like. He went around doing the very things that God cared about—teaching about God’s love, feeding hungry people and healing broken bodies and broken hearts. He lived an outstandingly bright shining life. He said some amazing things that people still quote today. Then he was murdered by a Roman execution squad. This was all part of the plan. His death was a gift. It was a payment for what you and I, and everyone else owed God. Deep...!

How does this gift affects you?

To keep it super-simple, it means that God doesn’t have to be some vague idea—maybe nice, maybe scary—but he becomes really close-up and personal. Jesus came to introduce God as a loving father—he had to clear our debts first,

but that’s what Christmas is really about.

Jesus came to change everything for everyone. When the angels famously announced the news of his birth, they said that it was good news for all people. Christmas is about God gathering his family together. Jesus introduced God as a loving Father who is intimately concerned for every individual person on the earth. Although the good news for everyone it requires an individual response. It's like someone has put a gift under the tree with your name on it, but you have to get down on your knees to take it and open it.

This Christmas, there is a life-changing gift with your name on it. Millions around the world have received their gift and are discovering the adventure of living as sons and daughters of God with an eternal certainty burning in their hearts—they know that when this mortal life is done there is so much more to come!

Today, will you get down on your knees and receive the gift of Jesus?

Here is a good prayer to get you started—say it out loud:

Jesus, I want to receive the gift you came to earth to give to all mankind. Please accept me into your family. Forgive me for ignoring you and going my own way my whole life so far. Please heal my heart of all of the damage that has been caused as a result of my poor choices, but also through loss, betrayal, disappointment, sickness and shame. Fill me with your supernatural power to be the person you designed me to be. Help me find some others who have received you who can help me on my journey.