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The God of the Universe loves you. We have all heard this, right? But did you know that He created you for a deep and abiding relationship with Him? Yes, He did. He longs for a relationship with you.

The God of the Universe is holy. Our sin has kept us from having a deep and abiding relationship with the God of the Universe. Because of our sin, we were destined for hell. But God loved us so much that He sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, down to earth, to die for our sin on the cross of Calvary, so that you and I can have eternal life, and a deep and abiding relationship with God. Jesus, who was without sin, died on the cross of Calvary for you and me. Jesus was buried and rose from the grave on the third day and ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of his father, God. Jesus Christ paid the price so we can have the gift of eternal life through him. So we can have the precious gift of salvation. What a tremendous and life-giving Christmas promise!

A relationship with God is not automatic. We are not puppets. We have a free will and can choose to accept or reject this precious gift God has given to everyone of us. We must come willingly to Him. He earnestly seeks us and a relationship with us, but He will not force this relationship on us.

When you follow scripture and:

1) Accept Jesus Christ, as God's Son who died on the cross of Calvary for you; and

2) You confess your sin; and

3) Ask Jesus Christ into your heart and life,

4) You will become a member of God's family, through his Son, Jesus Christ. You will be a precious daughter or son of the God of the Universe.

5) You will receive eternal life through Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.

The decision to believe on, and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior of your life, and receive eternal life has to be made with a genuine heart commitment to Him.

The gift of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ, God's One and Only Son is laid out in the following scriptures.

Jesus Christ said in John 3:16-21

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through GOD."

In Romans 3:23 it states, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".

Romans 10: 9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"

and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Romans 10:11-12 "As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. For there is no difference between Jew or Gentile -- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.

Romans 10:13 "For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

This is God's true "gift-promise" to us who come to believe upon and surrender our lives to His Son, Jesus Christ.

This is, indeed, the greatest gift to all mankind...the gift of salvation!

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Rafael Bastien-Herrera is a Selma resident and Pastor/Director of The Word Walk Ministries, as well as Teaching Pastor at The Armory Church in Fresno. He has a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry, and a M.DIV. in Theology. He is a Radio Bible Teacher on KGED 1680 AM "The Answer" Radio in Fresno.

Please send questions to rbherrera@thewordwalk.org.

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