For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
—Romans 3:23–24

Have you allowed Jesus Christ to rescue you from sin and the consequence of sin—eternal death Remember what the angel said to Joseph about the coming of Christ: “And you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The name Jesus—which, in Hebrew, is Yeshua—means, “God saves.”

Jesus will reach down and save you from a meaningless life and an uncertain eternity if you will ask Him. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

During this Christmas season, when we are so focused on receiving and giving gifts, the eternal tragedy would be to let the season pass without receiving the most important gift of all—the gift of forgiveness that God offers you through Jesus Christ. The Bible says that all of us need God’s gift, not just some of us. We all need it. We have all sinned. We have all fallen short of God’s plan. Jesus said that those who die without God’s forgiveness will be eternally separated from Him. But God loved you so much that He made the first move: He sent Christ to die in your place to take the punishment that you and I deserve. And when we trust in Him and what He did on the cross—not in our own good works—we receive that gift of eternal life.

I don’t believe it’s an accident that you are reading this devotion. God is using these words to reach out to you right now to offer you the free gift of eternal life. To receive God’s gift of salvation, you have to admit that you need God’s gift. You have to empty your hands of any attempt to save yourself or to earn God’s forgiveness by joining the church or getting baptized or trying to be better than other people. Instead, you say, “God, I believe that Christ died for me. I’m trusting in Him and Him alone to save me.” It’s only when we grab hold of the Lord Jesus Christ and cling to Him that we know we have eternal life. 

Today if you would like to receive God’s gift of salvation, I want you to pray this prayer: “Dear God, I have failed You. And I am truly sorry for the
sins in my life. I know I deserve Your punishment, but I believe that You loved me so much You sent Jesus to die in my place on the cross, to take the punishment I deserve. And, God, right now I am trusting in what Jesus did for me to save me, to cleanse me from all of my sins. Thank You for forgiving me, and help me to start living the rest of my life for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Today’s devotion is an excerpt from “Have a Happy Holy-Day” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.