THREE CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO GOD
Sermon shared by Melvin Newland
Summary: I wonder what it would be like if, for just one Christmas, we would make a covenant to spend just as much time & energy, be willing to endure any sacrifice, spend just as much money - to make a gift to Jesus? (*PowerPoint Available -#263)
Denomination: Christian/Church of Christ
Audience: General adults
About Sermon Contributor
MELVIN NEWLAND, Minister
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Changed e-mail address: Powerpoint slides for this sermon are available at no charge. Just email me at email@example.com with your request - #263.)
A. This morning we are going to be looking at a very interesting passage of scripture found in the Old Testament. In it, the prophet Micah is asking a question, "Just what is it that God really wants from us? What should we be offering to God?"
ILL. There is an old story of a young boy who saw the 3 wise men coming to worship the baby Jesus. He watched in wide eyed wonder as they presented their gifts of gold, frankincense & myrrh.
Oh, how much he wanted to worship the baby, too. But he had nothing to give, no gift worthy of the little king. His eyes filled with tears as he turned & began to walk away.
But just then an angel appeared to him, saying, "Give what is dearest to your heart." The boy thought for a moment, & then following the angelís advice, laid a faded blue bag alongside the gifts of the wise men.
Inside his bag was a butterfly preserved in candle wax, a forked stick used for a slingshot, a ragged rope to help climb high trees, & a seashell that, when held to the ear, echoed the roar of the sea. He gave what was dearest to his heart, & thus was privileged to stand in the presence of the king.
ILL. There is an old proverb which says, "The only gift worth giving is yourself." Maybe Paul said it best when he said in Romans 12:1, "I urge you, brothers, in view of Godís mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy & pleasing to God..."
B. This is the season to give, isnít it? A time of generosity, a time when we often spend more than we can really afford.
But it seems that the custom of giving gifts to Jesus, established by the wise men, has changed. Now we donít bring gifts so much to Jesus as we do to one another. We think about it. We agonize over it. We spend. We sacrifice. We endure almost any inconvenience in order to buy gifts for others.
APPL. I wonder this morning what it would be like if, for just one Christmas, we would make a covenant to spend just as much time & energy, be willing to endure any sacrifice, spend just as much money to make a gift to Jesus?
C. Micah must have been going through that same kind of dilemma in the scripture that is before us. Listen to his words recorded in Micah 6:6-8.
ďWith what shall I come before the Lord & bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
ďHe has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly & to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.Ē
"What shall I bring to the Lord?" Micah asks. It is sort of like a Christmas list. "calves a year old," "thousands of rams," "rivers of oil?"
But then the answer comes back, "No, God doesnít want any of these things. The gifts God wants are 3 in number. He wants you to act justly. He wants you to love mercy. He wants you to walk humbly with your God."
PROP. I wonder what Christmas would be like if all of us would wrap up those 3 gifts,
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