Bible Reading: John 1:1-13

To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

Steffi practically pressed her nose against the TV the first time she saw a women’s downhill ski race. As she watched women barely older than her big sister bust speeds of sixty miles an hour as they carved the hill, Steffi dreamed of learning to ski like that.

Her parents found it was tough to disguise Steffi’s gifts under the Christmas tree that year. Steffi had them all scoped out. There was a long package—must be skis. And another long package—poles for sure. Steffi hefted a big, square, weighty box-had to be boots. She figured out that one box was a helmet—good for keeping her head in one piece. In other packages she picked out goggles, a ski jacket, and snow pants—a mind-boggling assortment of everything she needed to launch her downhill career.

On Christmas morning Steffi looked at the wrapped gifts. “Dad . . . Mom … I can’t believe everything you’ve given me. Thank you.”

Her parents looked at her like she was nuts. “Steffi,” they said in unison, “don’t you think you should unwrap your presents?”

None of us are as goofy as Steffi when it’s time to rip the wrapping paper off of Christmas presents or birthday gifts. But when it comes to knowing God, lots of people leave unopened the valuable gift that God has provided for us.

God has given the whole human race a gift greater than any other we could ever receive. Our sin has separated us from God and left us with no way to pay the penalty. The price of sin, after all, is eternal death! Yet Jesus Christ was God’s gift to us. He paid the penalty for our sin. The death of Jesus for our sake guaranteed us life with him now and forever.

As fantastic as that gift is, it doesn’t help us until we open it.

Think about this: The good news isn’t really good news until we respond to it.

Trusting in Jesus is how we open God’s gift and enjoy all its benefits. We have opened God’s gift only when we admit that we need Christ and the forgiveness he provides. John 1:12 puts it like this: “To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

God has sent you an incredible gift. Don’t forget to open it!

TALK: How have you responded to God’s gift?

PRAY: God, thank you for sending the most wonderful gift of all—your Son, the one who makes it possible for us to know you and someday to live with you forever.

ACT: How would you explain the need to trust Christ to a non-Christian friend? Practice. Then share it!