Summary: Preached at Academy Christmas Concert.
A Wondrous Gift: The Treasure of Jesus
Pastor Todd BBC Christmas Concert, Sun. PM 12/18/2005
* All wrapped? Looking forward to gifts? What is the greatest gift you have ever received?
* What is a gift?
Something freely given, w/out any strings, expectations, etc.
* Why give gifts?
Love; joy; makes us feel good; deserved?; acknowledgement
James 1:17-18: Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation, or shadow cast by turning. By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth, so that we would be the first fruits of His creatures.”
Often, when we hear or talk about the Christmas story and we think about gifts, what is the first thing that comes to mind? More often than not, it is the gifts of the “wise men” or more accurately magi, isn’t it?
Reading: Mt. 1:22-25. This is “the set-up.” Note sign of 1:25, a quote of Isa. 7:14 and direct ref. also to Isa. 43:5; Ezek. 34:30; 37:27-28; & Zech. 8:3. All refer to time when God has again turned His face to His people, dealt with their sins, and dwells with them again. This is achieved through Jesus!
We continue: Mt. 2:1-12.
As our wonderful choir and performers have been expressing to us already, Jesus is the Most Wondrous Gift and the One we should focus on.
Even the Magi recognized this, as symbolized by their gifts and actions.
1. They sought Him out.
2. They rejoinced exceedingly with great joy (v.10).
3. They fell to their knees. Surrender to one greater, submission to a worthy King.
4. They worshipped Him, recognizing His divinity.
5. Gold: a symbol of tremendous worth and value. Would remind the Jews of the lavishly overlaid tabernacle, Temple and Ark of the Covenant.
6. Frankincense: a white-colored fragrant gum from a tree. It was an ingredient in the holy anointing oil with which priests were consecrated to their sacred function (Ex. 30:34). It was also added with oil to the meal offerings.
7. Myrhh: Another fragrant substance, and an ingredient in the oil with which Aaron and his successors were anointed. At the crucifixion it was again offered to Jesus in wine, probably to deaden the pain, and it was an ingredient in the spices designed for anointing his body by the prostitute. Finally, it was used for embalming the dead.
A. How & why is it the Greatest Gift?
1.) The gift of JESUS is (a) God with us; (b) Salvation.
2.) It is freely given.
3.) It is eternal.
4.) It is up to you to accept it or reject it.
John 4:10: Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”
Ro. 5:15-17: But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. Since by one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves;, it is God’s gift - not from works, so that no one can boast.
The question for each of us tonight is simply: “What is your chosen response to this offering of the Most Wondrous Gift?
Ro. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
* 3 choices: 1. Reject or ignore = death
2. Accept in principle, but live indifferently
3. Accept absolutely & worship = Life
* I implore to ponder this question and do not delay. To delay is at the least to be indifferent and leave the gift unopened. If you don’t open it, you can’t receive it.