Sermon Illustrations

Selecting a Christmas Gift

It is that time of the year when people really start to get serious about selecting Christmas gifts.

When purchasing Christmas gifts one must first remember what is being celebrated. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

The key thrust surrounding the first Christmas was proclamation. The angels proclaimed, "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ, the Lord" (Luke 2:11). After the shepherds heard the good news they went into Bethlehem and found Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child; all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them (Luke 2: 16-18).

It has been over two thousand years since this historical event and there is just as much need today as there was then to proclaim the birth of Christ. The Christmas celebration is the perfect time to remind or tell people about God's plan of redemption. After all, it is the time of year we have chosen to celebrate the birth of the Savior who came into the world to save people from their sins.

Before you can select the perfect Christmas gift, one that will proclaim the message of the birth of Christ, you must first understand who Jesus is and the purpose of His coming to earth. Jesus is God's perfect gift to the world. He is fully God and fully man. "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9). He is God in the flesh. The beloved John tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning" (John 1: 1,2). "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1: 14). Mark Lowry wrote about the incarnation wonderfully when he wrote these words, "Mary, did you know, that when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God? Mary, did you know?"

Jesus' key purpose for coming into this world is for the redemption of fallen man. The price He paid on the cross meets the need of all mankind, "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3: 23, 24).

The perfect Christmas gift that will proclaim the gospel message meets two qualifications: 1.) It must represent the personality of the giver, and 2.) It meets the need of the recipient.

Even people of this world know the value of a thoughtful gift. When Pastor John Bisagno was working as chaplain to the Houston Oilers, the players gave him an autographed football which every player had signed inscribed with a Scripture from the Bible. Whenever he looks at the football, it reminds him of every player to whom he ministered the Word of God as chaplain.

Christians, among the gifts you give this year, give some that reflect the Christ who lives in you and expresses the need of the recipients to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

Have a Joyous Christmas celebrating the Greatest Gift!

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