For all of the talk about "peace on earth" at Christmas, you probably wish you could have more of it. Christmas celebrations, even at their best, only temporarily take our minds off our problems. Wouldn't you like more peace of mind untainted by guilt, bitterness, or conflict? God has a plan for real personal peace that lasts a lifetime, no matter what your past has been or what your present problems are. When Jesus was miraculously born that first Christmas, the plan was set in motion. God's love for you as an individual was revealed through Jesus Christ's coming into the world, living among people like you and me, and his dying on the cross then rising from the dead. Through Christ's death God offers you forgiveness for your sins, and through his resurrection the promise of eternal life. Christ died and rose again for the whole world, but the only way for you to establish a personal relationship with him is to accept God's offer of forgiveness and eternal life. God can give you a new start--the following Bible verses will show you how. Read each verse and believe what it says, for it is the Word of God. God's Love Is Revealed "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." ( John 3:16) God loves you and all of humankind. He wants to bless your life and make it full and complete. He offers you not only an abundant life here and now, but also a life that is eternal. Humans Are Sinful "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) The saying, "We are just human; nobody is perfect," is biblically sound. When we acknowledge this truth, we can see our separation from God, for he is holy. Sin Has a Penalty "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) To continue in sin will result in spiritual death, which is separation from God forever. The alternative is to personally receive God's free gift: Pardon for sin and the provision of eternity with God in the new heavens and new earth. Christ Paid the Penalty "God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) You may think you must lead a "good" life and do charitable acts before God will love you. This is not true. God loves you even in your sin. He sent Christ to die in your place and to pay the penalty for your sin so that you can be reconciled to him. Salvation Is a Free Gift "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) Grace means undeserved favor. God graciously offers you what you could never do for yourself. His gift is free--you do not, and cannot, work for a gift. You may think that you are a Christian because you are a faithful member of a church or have always tried to be a good person. But you could never do enough to deserve God's gift. All you need to do is receive it. Believe with all your heart that Jesus died for you to provide deliverance from your sins. We Must Receive Christ "To all who did receive him [Jesus Christ], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12) When you receive Jesus--when you accept what he has done for you--you become a child of God. Picture Jesus standing at the door of your life. He is waiting for you to let him in. Receive Christ Now You can invite Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying to God a prayer like this: "Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and that I need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died in my place to pay the penalty for my sin and that he rose from the dead. I now invite Jesus to come into my life as my Savior. Thank you for making me your child. Help me learn to please you in every part of my life." Promises From the Word of God "Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13) If you've received Jesus Christ by calling upon his name in prayer, the following took place: - Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14), - You became a child of God (John 1:12), - You were made heir to all of God's blessings(Romans 8:16,17), - You received everlasting life (1 John 5:11-13). You became a Christian the moment that you received Christ. Don't trust your feelings, for they will change. Instead, take God at his Word and believe his promises. Review the Bible verses you've just read whenever doubts arise. You should be able to say with assurance, "I have received Jesus Christ, and on the authority of God's Word, I have eternal life." May God grant you joy and peace in believing.