The GIFTS of Christmas
Introduction: So, it’s just 3 days before Christmas. You ready?
PP: More than any other time of the year, the idea of gifts is on our minds. We’re thinking about
The whole process of gift giving and receiving can singe that proverbial last thread that’s holding our sanity together.
PP: But listen, it’s not a bad thing to give and receive gifts at Christmas.
PP: If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)
Yes, God wants to give His children gifts…
God, being the good, good Father that He is, wants to give us gifts
It’s a few of those gifts, God’s gifts to His children, that I want to briefly look at this morning.
PP: 1. God’s GIFT of Hope
And we’ll begin with the gift of hope.
Truth is, all of us possess a measure of hope.
But when we suffer setbacks to those desires, hope fades just a bit each time… until hope isreplaced with despair.
Emily Dickerson wrote: Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words… and it never stops. (Poertyfoundation.org)
For too many people, the bird has stopped singing. Too many crises have stolen their song and their hope.
Everyone, to some extent, experiences that.
And when we get to that place, which can be often, we need our hope restored.
Let me show you want the Bible says about God’s gift of hope.
PP: Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. (Jeremiah 17:7, NLT)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope (1 Timothy 1:1, ESV)
Hope does not disappoint, (Romans 5:5a, NASB95)
Do you have that kind of hope? God’s Word tells us where to find it… a hope that will never disappoint us.
Rediscovering the gift of hope this Christmas is possible when we seek the ONE who is our hope… Jesus.
PP: 2. God’s GIFT of Joy
The prophet Isaiah writing about they people of his day said: PP: And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness. (Isaiah 8:22)
Folks, you don’t have to look far to see that people are living like that today… in distress, darkness, anguish.
But it doesn’t have to remain that way, not when you rediscover the Gift of Joy this Christmas.
Listen: PP: And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8–11)
And one of the things that makes the joy so great is that it was not just meant for the shepherds in the field that proverbial night…
That alone is reason to fill your heart with GREAT JOY!
Listen, Joy, like Hope, is not associated with or dependent upon your circumstances.
PP: You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy(Ps 16:11a)
PP: These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
From a Biblical perspective,
Rediscovering the gift of joy this Christmas is possible when we seek the ONE who is our joy… Jesus.
PP: 3. God’s GIFT of Peace
There is an increasing sense of unsettledness in people today, perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself.
Yet, we sing the song ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’ which says ‘Peace on earth and good will towards men.’
Well… yes and no.
The actual Bible verse that phrase comes from is Luke 2:14 PP: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased! (Luke 2:14)
The song is not a very good translation of the original Greek,where there’s a condition placed on God’s peace… among those with whom He (God) is pleased!
Look, the Good News the angels announced to the shepherds was Good News, because there’s also bad news. As hard as this may be to hear,
His children, by faith in Jesus… it’s to those with whom God is pleased.
To others God says in the Bible PP: There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked. (Isaiah 48:22)
So, yes, those who are not yet a Christian by faith in Jesus can know peace, to some degree in life. But it’s not constant, nor is it deep.
But, God made the way to real peace through faith in Jesus.
And we see how in Colossians 1:20 PP: and through Him (Jesus) to reconcile to Himself (God the Father) all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:20)
Peace between God and you and I, becoming a child of God, was made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. BUT, it’s not automatic.
In Johns Gospel we read: PP: But to all who did receive Him (Jesus), who believed in His name, He (God the Father) gave the right to become children of God, (John 1:12)
The result of faith in Jesus’s death on the cross is peace with God. PP: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
The result of faith in Jesus’s death on the cross is a wonderful promise from Jesus Himself: PP: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
The peace that led Jesus confidently and calmly to the cross, is the same peace He gives to lead you through the unsettledness of life.
One last text to show the pervasiveness of God’s peace to those who place their faith in Jesus: PP: Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
God is peace…
He will give you the gift of His peace
Rediscovering the gift of peacethis Christmas is possible when we seek the ONE who is our peace… Jesus.
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4. God’s GIFT of Love
We’re all familiar with the Christmas Carol ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town.’ One of the particularly important lines in the song is this one:
In the song there’s a connection between our behavior and whether Santa gives us gifts at Christmas.
Many times, we give gifts at Christmas to people we love. And we often, give great thought and do a lot of searching to find the perfect gift for them.
The most famous verse in the Bible is not related to Christmas but perhaps should, because it talks about the greatest gift God gave to humanity, because of His love…
PP: For 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) and like it PP: God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
God gave us the gift of Jesus to prove His love for us.
PP: Quickly let me tell you 2wonderful truths about God’s love:
God’s love is unconditional:
God’s love is limitless:
Rediscovering the gift of lovethis Christmas is possible when we seek the ONE who is love… Jesus.
PP: 5. God’s GIFT of Jesus
I know people say ‘It’s not the gift but the thought that counts’ but is that REALLY true?
What would be your perfect gift to get on Christmas, the one that would, without a doubt, top your list forever? The absolutely best gift you could ever get?
Well, did you know God has such a gift… for you? The Apostle Paul recognized the enormity of God’s gift and put it this way: PP: Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Synonyms for inexpressible are:
Words cannot explain just how marvelous, wonderful, significant and perfect this gift of God is.
The inexpressible gift, is Jesus!
PP: 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)
That’s what I’ve been saying all morning. Jesus is the greatest gift, the inexpressible gift that makes Christmas… not just special, but transformational.
Why transformational? PP: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
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Because of our sin against God, we deserve only death, eternal separation from Him… and yes, in the real place called hell.
PP: For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:17)
Into the world, means, God sent Jesus… to you. Not to condemn you, but to save you.
The inexpressible gift, the transformational gift, is Jesus!
At Christmas, God came… for you! The question this Christmas is
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Conclusion: A little girl once misquoted John 3:16 when she said:
Please, don’t forget Jesus this Christmas season.
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