Summary: The most precious gift ever given is Jesus. And, It's a life changing experience.
A Christmas Gift
A little girl is sitting on her grandpa’s lap rattling off her long Christmas list. The grandfather recognized that this was “a teachable moment,” and so he said, “Honey, it’s more blessed to give than it is to receive.” To which the granddaughter replied, “I know that, Grandpa, but receiving is good enough for me.”
I’d like to suggest tonight that the all-time best gift that has ever been given is Jesus Christ. And, once you open this gift, you will never want to return it, and you will never be the same! The Apostle Paul, when gazing at the gift that was given to him, said in 2 Corinthians 9:15: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” Paul, who was never at a loss for words as one of the best communicators of all time, when pondering the present he had received, could only say, “I can’t describe Him. All I can do is fall on my knees and thank God for His inexpressible gift.”
Some of you have received this gift and like Paul, you can’t even put into words how much He means to you. Some of you have come close to opening the gift of Christ. Maybe you’ve accepted Him but have been trying to hide Him somewhere.
God came near to us in the person of His Son. The baby in Mary’s womb is Immanuel, God incarnate, born to be with us. He revealed His plan to Mary and she responded with, “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Joseph struggled to figure out his part in God’s drama, but eventually “…did what the Lord had commanded Him and took Mary home as his wife” (Matthew 1:24). Christmas always comes with a choice. Mary and Joseph chose to respond and receive the greatest gift of all time.
Let’s go back right now and see how this gift of grace was both given and received as I read Luke 2:1-20.
1. Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of ball 1the inhabited earth.
2. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
4. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5. in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
6. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a 1manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;