Summary: This sermon encourages the listener to value eternal gifts like love more than temporary gifts like material things or bad gifts that like pride and lust that lead us astray.
This is an exciting phase of my life! In about three weeks I will be marrying the woman whom I love – Selena. As you might image our engagement has been both exciting and at times stressful with all of the details that go into wedding preparation. One of the details was selecting gifts for the wedding registry. This is our opportunity to tell all of our friends and family all of the good gifts we would like to receive at Selena’s bridal shower and our wedding.
Selena is a wonderful lady and she has already been showered with many good gifts at a Bridal Shower in Maryland. This weekend we will be traveling to Connecticut where here family will be giving Selena a bridal shower there as well. As I read this morning text, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” I began to thank God for all the gifts He has already sent our way and those gifts to come. As Christians we must be careful that we do not forget to thank God for all the good gifts in our lives. Sometimes we remember to send “Thank You” cards to the earthen vessels He used to deliver the good gifts but we forget to thank our Father in Heaven who is the One true giver of good gifts. The Bible teaches us that the Earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof.
Question! Who is more important the giver or the gift? One of my dear friends missed Selena’s bridal shower in Maryland. As I was speaking with her a couple of weeks later I inquired as to what had happened since she had previously indicated she would be attending. She said she had just started a new job and that she did not have any money and therefore she could not buy a gift. I told her to take to out a piece of paper and write in big letters, “I will be attending Paul and Selena’s wedding with or without a gift”. Wedding gifts are good things but the cost of a gift is not always a reflection as to how much a person loves you. If we receive an extremely expensive gift from someone who is rich that is a good thing. Yet as Christians we are to give sacrificially and admire those amongst us who give sacrificially. In Mark 12 it is revealed to us how Jesus sat over against the treasury, and watched how the people put money into the treasury: a lot of rich people put in a lot of money. Then came this poor widow, and she threw in two mites. And Jesus called His disciples and said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow has cast more in, than anyone else who cast into the treasury: For everyone else cast in of their abundance; but this widow even though she was poor cast in everything that she had.” My beloved brothers and sisters the giver is always more important than the gift.
Today’s text says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above”. Well what is a good gift? What is a perfect gift? What is the difference between a good gift and a perfect gift? According to John Wesley, “A good gift is whatever tends to holiness” and “A perfect gift is whatever tends to glory.” Albert Barnes put it this way, “The difference between good and perfect here, it is not easy to mark accurately. It may be that the former means that which is benevolent in its character and tendency; the latter that which is entire, where there is nothing even apparently wanting to complete it; where it can be regarded as good as a whole and in all its parts.”