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Greg Laurie - The Big Picture of Christmas

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Alright, well, boy is Christmas here, huh? So how are ya'll doin' in your Christmas shopping, how many of you have not started Christmas shopping yet, raise your hand yes. You are my people in many ways. How many of you are completely done with your Christmas shopping? Wow, I hate you. No I don't. I love you and I admire you. How many of you are in the middle of Christmas shopping, right, yeah, in the middle, okay, that's kinda more where I'm at. So, you know, game on, it's here, and I wanna talk today about the big picture of Christmas. So I want you to grab your Bibles and turn to an unexpected Christmas passage. Not the gospel of Matthew, not the gospel of Luke that have amazing nativity stories, but the gospel of John. We're gonna look at Christmas from a different perspective. John 1. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, that's where you wanna end up. Again, the title of my message is, The Big Picture of Christmas. Why don't we pray.

Father, now as we revisit this story of all stories, the greatest story ever told, we pray that we will see it perhaps with new eyes, hear it with new ears, and for those that have never heard it before, that they'll understand what it's all about. We invite you to speak to us as we open your word and we ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Well, in addition to shopping, one of the traits of Christmas that lets you know it's coming are all the Christmas songs. Now this may come as a surprise to you, but I read an article recently that said that listening to Christmas songs can actually be harmful. This is an actual study that was done and a psychologist said, Christmas songs are harmful. Here's why, quote, workers are less productive when stores play Christmas music non-stop because employees spend all of their energy trying not to hear what you're hearing, end quote. You understand that you get sort of a Christmas fatigue. It's fun at first, and all these songs, haven't heard them for so long, and after awhile they actually start wearing on you. Maybe it's because there's actually a lot of really bad Christmas songs, right? I did a little Google search, worst Christmas songs of all time, and here's a couple that popped up, I'd never even heard of them before, but they're actual songs.

Worst Christmas songs ever recorded. One was by John Denver, the title was, Please Daddy, Don't Get Drunk at Christmas. Yeah, that's pretty bad, I don't even wanna hear that song. That just sounds like my childhood. Joel Gray recorded a song, I'm Gonna Put Some Glue Around the Christmas Tree So Santa Will Stick Around All Year. Yeah, that made the list of the worst songs. Here's some others, you may or may not agree with these songs as the worst Christmas songs ever. Eartha Kitt's song, Santa Baby made the list. How many of you like that song? It's almost like, what, are you seducing Santa, what's happening here? This is inappropriate. How about this one, I never heard it but it exists. Twisted Sister, Heavy Metal Christmas. That made the worst list. Band Aid, remember them, Do They Know It's Christmas? Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmas Time made the list, sorry if you're a fan. Also Wham, remember Wham? Last Christmas, I agree that should be on the worst list myself. But I love Christmas songs, and I tend to sort of gravitate toward the really old ones. Like from the '40s and '50s, like you know, Bing Cosby, Crosby, Crosby right? Bing Cosby, Cosby, which one is it? That's right, okay, Bing Crosby, White Christmas. Gotta love that. Nat King Cole, The Christmas Song. Any Christmas song by Nat King Cole I like for sure.

Then there's a lot of great ones out there. But the best, the best of the lot, hands down, are all the Christian Christmas songs. Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, there are no songs like these songs, and when we think of Christmas our mind races to the manger, and so it should, we see Mary and Joseph and the animals and the shepherds who'd been keeping watch over their flock by night, and that is the Christmas story as given to us in the gospels of Luke and Matthew. But John comes at it from a different perspective altogether, in fact in John's version of the Christmas story there's no nativity, there's no manger, there's no wise men, or shepherds, there are just space. He takes us back before everything, he takes us back before the little town of Bethlehem. In fact, John takes us back before planet Earth, and he gives it to us from an eternal perspective, before any of those things, there was Jesus.

You see, Jesus did not come into being on Christmas morn. Jesus is pre-existent, Jesus is eternal, Jesus is God, as we'll see, look at John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. We'll stop there. How's that for a Christmas passage? Now there's not a definite article before the word beginning in verse 1, meaning that you cannot pinpoint the moment in time where there was a beginning, because Christ goes back before that, he has always been there, bringing me to point number one if you're taking notes, Jesus is God. Before there was a world, before there were planets, before there was light or darkness, before there was matter, before there was anything, there was Jesus. Jesus Christ, co-equal, co-eternal, co-existent with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He was with God, He was God. Dropping down a few verses, it says in verse 14 and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

The word become can be translated tabernacled, or tented if you will. Jesus set his tent up on planet Earth. Jesus walked among us as a human being. So when Christ was born in the manger in Bethlehem, he literally was deity in diapers. God now had a face. He walked among us as a living human being. He was larger than life, became an embryo, and he literally went from the glory of heaven to a feeding trough. He went from the presence of angels to a cave filled with animals. God walked among us. And I mean, just imagine what it would've been like to be a disciple. I mean, if I could go back in time in a time machine, hopefully a Delorean, and see Jesus as a human being, that would've been the time I would've lived in. I would miss certain luxuries of this life like In-N-Out Burger and such, but you know, hey, there's Jesus, imagine what it would've been like.

I wonder if he ever took a nap and woke up and all the disciples are just standing around staring at him. Like, what are you guys doin'? I don't know, we're just staring at you. 'Cause he was God walking among them, how amazing must that have been? In fact, John writes later in 1 John 1:3, we proclaimed you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, that you may have fellowship with us and our fellowship is with the Father and with the Son, Jesus Christ. The phrase that John uses there when he says we have heard, means it's still ringing in your ears. You know, it's interesting when you look back over your life there are certain memories that stay with you. Sometimes they're childhood memories, sometimes they're bad memories, sometimes they're very wonderful memories, but there's something about certain experiences in life that are permanently etched in your mind and you can call back just like that. You remember the feeling, you remember the sound, you remember the smell, you remember details.

So basically John is saying look, we walked with him, we talked with him, we remember the timbre of his voice, we remember the color of his eyes, though they never told us what color his eyes were, or color of his hair, or color of his skin for that matter, but that doesn't matter because Christ came for all people, not just white people, or black people, or Hispanic people, or Asian people, he came for all people, and to be technical, his skin was probably darker actually. I don't think he was a surfer dude, okay, sorry. Or the original hippy, with blond streaks in his hair, you know, like a lot of religious art portrays him but that's really a secondary issue. Jesus walked this earth. But some would say no, it's not true, it's all fiction, it's just something that you Christians made up.

In fact, I read about a billboard that some atheists put up and it has this statement on it, just skip church, it's all fake news. Really. Now look, you can say you don't like what Jesus said, but you cannot say Jesus never said it. An undisputable fact is that a man named Jesus Christ walked this earth 2000 years ago. We divide human time by his life and his death, and the gospels, of course, have so much about him and you can't dismiss them because of the element of faith we find in them, they are also historical documents. In fact Luke, the third gospel, wrote as someone who was interviewing the people involved in the story. Luke was not one of the original apostles. He came back and revisited it a number of years later and he said, I did this report, I investigated these facts. Luke probably sat down and interviewed Mary, the mother of Jesus. He interviewed perhaps the shepherds, maybe the wise men. He interviewed the apostles, he got all the details, and he wrote them down.

Listen, if this is a fake story, why is it also verified in extra-biblical sources like Josephus, who wrote about the life and death of Jesus? Also Roman historians like Flavius and also Pliny and Tacitus wrote about the life of Christ. And if these are lies, these are the stupidest lies ever concocted. Let me tell you why. These accounts were written down in the lifetime of the people who were there. If these are legends, if you made this story up you would never write it while people who were still living could contradict it. 'Cause they could say, you made that up, and you know you made it up, but he wrote it in the lifetime of the people. If you're gonna make up a myth, wait 'til they're all dead and write it later so that no one can refute it. But the fact is they were alive, and they verified this story because the story is true and that is why the Christmas story does not begin with these words, once upon a time. But it says, when Quirinius was ruling a decree was sent out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. That pinpoints it in time.

We know who Caesar Augustus was, we know when he lived so these are specific details given to us in scripture. This story, of course, is true. We saw these things, John is saying, we heard these things, and here's why we wrote it all down, so you could have the same relationship with God. These things we we write to you that you may know God just as we have known God, and that is really the message of Christmas is that God is with us, and that God can be known. Jesus Christ was God, Jesus Christ was man. It's hard for us to wrap our brains around that. How could he be fully God and fully man? Well, he just was, that's all. He wasn't a man who become God, that's impossible. He was God who became a man. Here's a good example. What could be more human than Jesus falling asleep on the boat as they crossed the Sea of Galilee? And then what could be more divine then the disciples waking up Jesus who came on board, and rebuked the storm. Lord, they said, we're gonna die, get up here and do something. And he faces the storm and says peace, be still. Or a better translation would be, peace, be muzzled, like he was talking to a wild dog. And the storm stops, sound effect there. And he goes back to sleep.

You know, it's just like, what could be more divine than stopping this storm, what could be more human than being woken up from a nap and probably not being that happy about it either? Here's another example of the deity and the humanity of Christ on display at the cross. What could be more human than being beaten and having the beard plucked from your face, and having nails driven through your hands and feeling excruciating pain? But what could be more divine than the sky going dark, probably a global event by the way. What could be more divine than the veil in the temple inches of interwoven material separating the Holy of Holies from the rest being ripped, not from bottom to top as though man was doing it, but from top to bottom? What could be more divine than the earthquakes that hit when Christ was dying for the sin of the world? Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man. He was God with skin on. Jesus became one of us, without ceasing to be himself. He became human without ceasing to be God, and so this is the amazing thing. But now, here's somethin' we might miss. How close the Father and the Son actually were in heaven.

I want you to look over at verse 1. The Word was with God. Now that phrase with could be translated, the Word was continually toward God. So we have a picture here of the Father and Son face to face. It's hard for us to understand how close the Father and the Son were. The preposition with, the Word was with God, bears the idea of nearness. There was a sense of movement toward God. You know when you're close to someone, you lean on them. You don't just walk up to a stranger and lean on them. You might get slapped or punched if you do. But you might do it to your husband, or your wife, or your children, or your mom, or your dad, there's a sense of intimacy and access there, and so the idea's being communicated how close they were. Jesus said, the Father and I are one. Jesus said, I always do the things that please the Father. That is why it was so horrific for Christ to be separated from fellowship with his Father.

In John 17, the only real Lord's prayer if you wanna get technical, are the words of Jesus as he prays to his Father and he says this, he says Father, glorify me now with your own self, with the glory which I had with you before the world began. So when Jesus hung on the cross and all the sin of the world was placed upon him, and he cried out those words, Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? Or to be translated, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? He was temporarily separated from the Father, so this is the great sacrifice that he made. Not just that he had to live in the limitations of a human body, not just that he felt physical pain, especially at the crucifixion. No, it was that he had to leave heaven to come to earth, and then for a time be separated from the Father as the sin of the world was placed upon himself. Philippians 2:6 says, he humbled himself and become obedient to death.

Author Mark Batterson wrote these words and I quote, God entered spacetime 2000 years ago, in a tiny village outside Jerusalem called Bethlehem. The omnipresent one downsized to the confines of a human womb. The omnipotent one become a helpless baby that needed to be fed, nursed, and burped. The omniscient one had to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic. He become nothing. Why? He says he become nothing so we could become something. Isn't that good? He become nothing so we could become something. He came for all of us. One person put it this way, quote, he came to our place, he took our place, and then he invites us back to his place. I wanna say that again. He came to our place, he took our place, meaning on the cross, and then he invites us back to his place. So know this, the almighty God, the creator or heaven and earth, left the glories of heaven because he wants a relationship and a friendship with you, and this God who has walked among us in our shoes and experienced the challenges and difficulties and problems of life, knows what it's like. The Bible says he was in all points tested as you are, yet without sin.

I read a story about Henry Ford. 'Course, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and really effectively created the car. And so he had a friend named Charles Steinmetz, and Steinmetz was a mechanical genius. It was said of him that old Charlie could tear down and rebuild a car engine in his mind. So one day over at the Ford plant they had a problem. The assembly line broke down. None of Ford's men could fix it, so they called old Charlie over. Charlie tinkered for a few minutes, threw a switch, and it started running again. Then he sent Henry Ford a bill for his services for $10,000. Now, that would be a lot more today, but back then that was a lot, $10,000. So Ford wrote back, Charlie, don't you think your bill is a little high for a little tinkering? So Charlie revised his bill and sent a new one, and this time it said, tinkering, $10. Knowing where to tinker, $9,990.

See, Charlie knew where to tinker. So when your life is broken, God knows where to tinker. He knows where the issue is, he knows where the problem is, because he's walked among us.

Point number three, God who become a man shined his light on humanity. God who become a man shined his light on humanity. Verse 4 of John 1, in Him was life, the life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. I know it's hard for us sometimes to believe that our world is as dark as it really is, and that we're as sinful was we really are. But we just show it day after day, night after night, year after year, our own sinful inclinations, despite our advances in technology and our other achievements, we really have not changed at all. And the Bible says we're living in darkness, and so we now as followers of Jesus are light in a dark world.

In the scripture here it says the darkness did not comprehend the light. Or another way to put that is, the darkness couldn't understand the light, or darkness doesn't get the light. It's really hard to explain conversion to people who haven't been converted. You know, because one day you show up at the family reunion for Christmas and you become a Christmas since the last time they saw you, and in their mind you just turned into Bobby Buzzkill. Or Debbie Downer. You are, they do not want you there 'cause in the old days you'd all have a few drinks, tell a few off-color jokes, have a fun old time, or so you thought, and now here you come as a follower of Jesus Christ and they just know you're gonna wanna pray over the meal. And by the way, take advantage of that opportunity.

And so there you are, and so you wanna try to get along with people, you don't wanna come off as some holier than thou, self righteous kinda person, but at the same time don't ever hide your light. And at the same time don't try to compromise, to build a bridge. Don't lower your standards in order to extend your reach, you see. That light that you are is something that is wonderful, and it causes a tension, but it's a good tension because it can be that very light shining in a dark place that can help others see their need for Jesus Christ. And you know what, if people really wanna know God they'll find him, because look, here's another verse that's very interesting, and by the way, it's an often misunderstood verse. Verse 9, this is the true light that gives light to every man coming into the world.

Now this is not implying that there is light in man. Sometimes people will say, you know we all have the light in us and we're all children of God, and we have the Christ-consciousness. No, we're not all children of God. We're all created by God, but we're not children of God. There's only one way to become a child of God, and I'll tell you how in a moment. And we don't have an inner light, and if anything we have an inner darkness. So this verse is not saying the light is in you, man. But I have to say it that way too, the light is in you, man. Just 'cause that's how someone would say it, probably. But it's saying no, the light is shining on you. And if you want to, the light will come in you, but you have to see your need for it. You see, what could be a better example of this than the wise men? The wise men.

Now we think of them as three guys, and they have different colored outfits, of course, they have their own song. They ride camels and they come and bring their gifts. Well the Bible never says there were three wise men. You say, Greg you're wrong. They brought three gifts, gold, frankincense, and fur. Not fur, myrrh. There's no fur. Wouldn't give fur to him, though it might have been more practical than myrrh, come to think of it. Now there were three gifts, it doesn't say that there are three wise men. There may have been 20 wise men and they went in on these gifts, I don't know. But they came, and these men were actually wizards. The word magi is a root word of magician. These wizards, these magi, were astronomers and astrologers, occultists if you will, who looked to the stars for direction. If they were with us today they'd read their astrology column every day in the newspaper. No, the thing is is that these pagan men who looked to the stars for direction had a star appear to them, and some think it maybe wasn't a star at all, but it was the Shekinah glory of God, but whatever it was the star sent by God did what? It brought them to where Jesus was.

So the point is, God will come to you where you're at in a way that you can understand to bring you to himself, and that's what happened to them and that's what can happen to us. And now we find three ways how you cannot become a child of God, and one way how you can become a child of God. Look at verse 12. For as many as received him he gave them the right to become children of God to those who believe in his name, who are born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. So John is effectively telling you how not to be born again. How can you not be born again? Number one, who are born not of blood. What does this mean? It means just because you're in a Christian family it doesn't mean you're born again.

I've had people I'm talking to about Christ, they'll say, well my grandfather was a preacher. Great, I mean, that's nice, but that doesn't mean that oh there's, you know, righteousness flowing in your family. There still has to be a moment when you become a Christian, so it's not of blood, even if you had the most godly parents that will not give to you eternal life. It's only God who can do that. You can't be born a Christian, according to Christ you must be born again. Point number two, nor is it of the will of the flesh, we read there in verse 12. Meaning that I can't make myself a Christian, only God can convert me. So I can't say, on the count of three I'm a Christian. No, God must change me so I come to him and say Lord, I'm sorry for my sin.

It's like somebody going out and saying, well, I'm a surfer because I have a surfboard and I have wax and a I have a wet suit and I have stickers on my car, so I am a surfer. Well, to be a surfer you have to surf, even if you have all the equipment, and maybe you collect Smurfs, and so you say I'm a Smurfer. Well, I don't even know what that means, but, or let's say you say I'm a biker. Well, how do I know you're a biker? I'm an Outlaw biker, you say. Okay, how do I know? Because I have a chain on my wallet that goes to my belt. Oh, okay, so yeah. And I have a black leather jacket, it says Harley Davidson on the back. And I have all these other biker things, and I am a biker. Well, do you have a bike? Well yes I do. Well, you have to have a bike to be a biker, the thing you didn't mention is you ride a pink Vespa. So, I guess that's technically a bike of sorts, but. To be a surfer you have to surf, to be a biker you have to have a bike, I suppose, and to be a Christian you must humbly come before God and admit your sinfulness and turn from it, and believe in and receive Jesus Christ.

Nor is it of the will of man, that verse says. Meaning no minister can do this for you, I can't make you a Christian. A priest can't make you a Christian. Receiving the sacrament doesn't make you a Christian. A ceremony doesn't make you a Christian. Being baptized doesn't make you a Christian. Again, it's by receiving Christ. How do you do it? Verse 11, for as many as received him to them he gave the power to become sons of God. Oh man, people wanna complicate this and have all these steps. Listen folks, this is not a 12 step program, this is a one step program. You come to Jesus, turn from your sin, and believe, and you are a Christian. And then he gives to you the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal life. For as many as received him, to them he gave the gift of eternal life. This is really the most valuable of all gifts.

Think about gifts. I don't even remember what was given to me last year. I frankly don't really remember what I gave to people last year, it was probably some electronic gadget. I always fall for electronic gadgets. I just bought for all of my grandchildren, they're gonna find out about this, but I bought them little miniature drones that you can hold in your hand. Is that a practical gift? No, but I thought it was cool, so I bought them little drones, right? So maybe you've received a gift, but you don't remember that gift. Some gifts are immediately forgotten, other gifts grow more valuable with the passing of time, like a drawing from a child or a grandchild. Maybe a card, where you write down what you really think about a person.

By the way, hopefully those are good thoughts, okay, don't write insulting cards and ruin a person's Christmas. But you write down what that person means to you, and they'll save that card. That's a gift that grows more valuable with the passing of time. Maybe it's a family heirloom that is passed down. It doesn't have any great monetary value, but it has great sentimental value. Maybe some of you had grandparents that didn't give you gifts, they put money in an account, and you thought my grandparents are so lame. Now you're in your early 20s and you're going, thank you grandpa and grandma, 'cause it's accrued some interest and you realize this gift is valuable, in fact it's more valuable to you today than it was when you were younger. That's the same with this gift of eternal life, it gets more valuable with the passing of time.

When you're a young person and you accept Christ, and you're told when you die you'll go to heaven, you go great, that's cool. You know, that's a long ways away. But it's good to know. And then you get a little bit older in your 30s and 40s, I was talking to someone the other day, they're in their 30s and they said, I'm so old. I said, oh please. Can I just tell you, if you're in your 30s, you're still young, that's my gift to you today, just that thought, okay? But then, you know, as you do really start to get older. 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, this gift becomes more valuable. It's always been valuable, it hasn't grown in value, but because you understand what it really is it grows in value to you. That's the gift of eternal life that God has given to you, and this is the gift that really keeps on giving.

There's a lady that's been a part of my life for many years, her name is Carol Faulkner. She worked her for well over 30 years as my secretary, and she was a wonderful secretary and a wonderful Christian and a great friend, and she went to be with the Lord this last week. Now, Carol had cancer, and she was able to beat it through chemo and had a could of wonderful, productive, fruitful years, but the cancer came back and this time she couldn't beat it, and so she was in hospice care for the final weeks of her life, and I had a lot over conversations with her and she was immobilized, she couldn't do a lot for herself, but I'll tell you, her faith was intact. She had the joy of the Lord, and she knew she was going to heaven. In fact she said to me, I wish I could just go to heaven now.

And as a matter of fact she said to me, I can't wait to go to heaven to see Christopher, that's my son who's been in heaven 10 years now. She really loved our son and loved our family, she was like a member of our family, and certainly a member of our church family, and I would go and visit her and she would say I just wanna go now, and you know, so she knew that she was ready to meet the Lord, and finally that moment came, and the Lord called her to glory, and no longer is she immobilized by the limitations of a body that was breaking down. Now she's in the presence of God where there is fullness of joy, and on his right hand pleasures forevermore. That is the hope of Christmas, through Christ. That's the gift that God wants us all to have.

So as we close today, I just wanna make sure you have the gift. I wanna make sure you have the gift. You say, well I don't know if I have it or not, I'm not sure if Christ lives inside of me. I think if Christ came into your life you would know, I mean, if some random person moved into your house do you think you would know? Who's that guy eating our food and wandering around, making a mess? You know, I'm not saying that's like God, but I'm saying you would know if somebody from the outside moved into your house, right? If God almighty, the creator of the heavens and the earth, has taken residence in your heart, you'll know it. And if you don't know it, the question is, does he live inside of you? Are you sure? Have you received him? Your parents can't do that for you, your husband can't do that for you, your wife can't do that for you, your friend can't do that for you. No one can do that for you, except God, and you need to come and say, Lord, I want this gift.

Now if I were to offer you this gift and say here, Merry Christmas. What you need to do is accept the gift, hopefully say thank you, and enjoy it. You know, when I give a gift to someone and I see them enjoying it, it makes me happy. I want them to enjoy the gift, God wants you to enjoy this gift, and appreciate this gift, and be impacted by this gift, but it starts by receiving it. So as we close in prayer, I'm going to extend an invitation to any of you here, or watching on a screen, or listening, if you don't know for sure that Christ lives in you, if you don't know for certain that you have the gift of eternal life, please receive this gift right now. It'll be the greatest gift you've ever received. Let's all pray.

Father, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place, and then to rise again from the dead. And now we know that he stands at the door of each of our lives and he knocks, and he says if we'll hear his voice and open the door he will come in. Lord, I pray for any person here, any person watching or listening that does not know you, help them to see their need for you, and we pray that you're Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of the truth of what has been said, and of their need for Jesus. We ask this in your name.

Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying together, how many of you would say today, Greg, I want this gift of eternal life. I wanna know that when I die I will go to heaven. I want all of my sin forgiven. I want to know God in a personal way. I'm ready to say yes to Jesus, pray for me. If that's your desire, if you would like Jesus Christ to come into your life, if you would like him to forgive you of your sin, if you would like to know for sure that you'll go to heaven when you die, if you want this relationship with God, would you raise your hand up right now wherever you're sitting, and I'll pray for you. Just raise your hand up high where I can see it, saying yes, I want Jesus today. I want the gift of eternal life today, pray for me, God bless you, God bless you. Raise your hand up high where I can see it, please. God bless you. Anybody else? Raise your hand up, God bless you, God bless you, God bless. Hands are going up, I hope yours is one of them.

Maybe you're watching this screen right now and of course I can't see you there, but that doesn't really matter now, does it? The Lord sees you. Would you raise your hand up saying yes, I need Jesus too. Pray for me. Wherever you are, just raise your hand up saying you want Christ to come into your life. I'll wait one more moment, there might be somebody else that wants to do this. Listen, this is what you're longing for. Christmas is not gonna satisfy those deep needs in your heart, you're looking for Christ, not Christmas. It's not presents under a tree, it's his presence in your life. This is what you want, this is what you need, and it's here for you, and all you have to do is receive it. Anybody else, you want to receive this gift, raise your hand up, let me pray for you. God bless you. Everyone that has raised their hand, I want you to pray this prayer after me, in fact you could even pray it out loud if you like. Again, as I pray, pray this out loud after me, this is where you're asking Jesus to come into your life and you're receiving the gift of eternal life, pray this prayer.

Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. But I know you're the Savior who is born in the manger, who died on the cross, who rose from the dead. Jesus, come into my life and be my friend, and be my God, and be my Lord, I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me, in Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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