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The Love of God - The Most Perfect Gift

(2)

Sermon shared by Joseph Mcgaha

December 2008
Summary: The Most Perfect Gift that was ever given was the gift that God gave at the first Christmas - His Son.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
The Love of God - The Most Perfect Gift - Luke 2:1-7

Shopping for a Christmas gift for my wife is always an experience that fills me with a tremendous amount of anxiety because I want to find a gift that says “I love you” as meaningfully as possible. Coupled with the fact that our anniversary is just two days before Christmas and you can easily see that I have my work cut out for me. Often what I pick out is the wrong style or wrong color or some other problem. And heaven help me if it is the wrong size. But one year I found the perfect gift on my very first day of shopping. It was a pair of ear-rings that are still her favorites to this day. I am told that a guy will never go wrong buying diamonds. It was a great gift, and they even look real! Yes, it was a great gift - but it was not the perfect gift.

The Most Perfect Gift that was ever given was the gift that God gave at the first Christmas - His Son. To help us appreciate that gift, I want you to think for a moment of the nativity scenes you have probably already seen this year. Most, if not all of them, usually feature shepherds and Wise Men and perhaps a few barnyard animals. But at the center of the scene we always see Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus lying in a manger. I want you to get this image in your mind this morning and as you do I want to tell you about the love that motivated the giving of The Most Perfect Gift.
I. The Stable in Bethlehem Tells of The Love of God.

The first item that I want you to see today is the fact that The Stable in Bethlehem Tells of the Love of God. One of the central features to the Christmas story is that Jesus was born to a young couple in a stable in a town called Bethlehem. This was a scene that was most certainly loaded with tension and anxiety.

We all know that Mary and Joseph were engaged and that before they were married it was found that she was pregnant. The Gospel According to Luke gives us the account of Gabriel visiting Mary and explaining to her that the child was The Son of God.

But this Baby that would be born would be the most unique child in all of history - He would be God and man at the same time. To many, this was an unbelievable, impossible thing. But Mary, and Joseph, soon learned that with God nothing shall be impossible!

But the next thing that that strikes us as strange is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was little more than a suburb of Jerusalem. In fact, it was so small it did not even have enough inns to accommodate the visitors. Since the child was born to become king of the Jews, it seems He should have been born in Jerusalem, the capital of the nation.

But most shocking of all deals with where the Baby was born. Why was He born in a stable? God could have arranged for Him to be born anywhere - a palace, a nice clean home, anywhere but a dirty, smelly stable. In fact, God could have snapped His fingers and produced a modern hospital with a delivery room and a staff of doctors and nurses.

What an unlikely place for a King to be born! After a difficult journey for a woman in the last month of pregnancy, a stable is the last place that a caring husband would want her to be. The Nativity scenes that we see during the Christmas season are not quite accurate. None of them look or smell quite right.

We do not fully understand the unsanitary conditions of having to walk around the animals
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