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Summary: This is a sermon about God’s gift to us. How it is 1. Usefull 2. Costly 3. Effective

Christmas Love: The Story of God’s Gift to Us

Christmas was an exciting time and Joie was excited too. He was only 10 years old and he was as excited as any ten year old boy could be. For him Christmas was still a time of wonder. He did the things most 10 year olds do. He played ball, rode his bike, climbed trees, went fishing with his dad. He was a happy kid. He just enjoyed life – every part of life. To him life was full of wonder and amazement. And Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year.

It was Christmas Eve and the ground was white with snow. It was cold and it was clear. The stars bright that night and seemed so close that you would have thought you could reach out and touch them with your hands. The family was on their way to the grandparent’s house – that was the family tradition. Joie could hardly wait. He was excited and his mind just raced with ideas about what he might receive this year. What present would be under the tree for him tonight?

Every year the family would gather in grandpa and grandma’s house. There was always a huge tree and there was always a present under the tree for each person there. The kids would seek peeks at the presents and find out where theirs was located. Joie was usually one of the first to find out where his present was placed – but this year it was different. He didn’t find his right away – even though he searched all over.

He began to worry because he couldn’t find it. Then his eyes caught a big box in the corner. It was a huge box – the biggest present he had ever seen. He slowly walked over to it and sure enough written on the tag were the letters – J – O – I – E. He was grinning from ear to ear. His eyes were wide with excitement.

Grandpa always handed out the presents. Grandpa was not very fast but this year he seemed especially slow and wouldn’t you know it – Joie’s name was the last one called. As soon as his name was called Joie bolted up to Grandpa – “Is this really mine, is that big present really mine?” Grandpa reassured him it was. As soon as he knew it was his – he tore into the package and what do you think he found? What do you think was inside that large box? It was the best Christmas present Joie had ever received.

What do you think it was…? (Let the congregation respond. Give no definite answer.) We all have ideas of the best present is – don’t we. We can all picture in our mind what the best present is.

How do you measure the value of a present? How do you judge its worth? By its size? By its weight? Do you judge it by its cost or perhaps by its usefulness?

What I would like to do this morning is examine God’s present to us. It is wrapped up – it has bows on it – it is standing in the corner and it is large. Follow along with me as I read from God’s Word.

"This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other."

1 John 4:9-11 (MSG)

How do you measure the value of God’s gift to you? I would suggest three ways:

I. God’s gift to you is measured by its USEFULNESS.

What is the usefulness of gift to us? Notice in verse nine the usefulness of the gift. “…so we might live.”

Jesus said it this way:

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10 (NKJV)

What a promise that is! Not just life – not just existence – but life which means something – life that has worth – abundant life. Life with a purpose. A life which has value. Life with meaning. A life that will have eternal consequences and benefits.


“He chose us – actually picked us out for Himself as His own – in Christ before the foundation of the world; that we should be set apart for Him. . .” Ephesians 1:4 (AV)

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Talk about it...

Steven Osborne

commented on Nov 27, 2007

Great, practical and Biblical ... but what was in Joie's box?

Roger Daniel

commented on Dec 15, 2007

Great thoughts, but disappointed at the conclusion ... what was in the box?

Douglas Barnes

commented on Dec 15, 2007

Agree, good message, good use of scripture, but watch spelling, i.e., "cheep". Also need to add what was in the box either an item or a thought provoker.

Tom Shepard

commented on Dec 29, 2007

"What is in the box?" The answer is: "the greatest gift a ten year old boy could want". If you don't know what that is, ask your congregation. If you are still not sure ask a ten year old boy.

Delbert Stoll

commented on Nov 29, 2011

A "cheep" shot taken by Barnes and the whole point is to let them wondering what the greatest gift is. Delbert Stoll

Wendall Buck

commented on Dec 15, 2014

I know we would all like to know what was in the box. Maybe the gift in it wasn't important maybe it was the giver of the gift. God doesn't tell us what is the box of life for us he just asks us to love Him enough to trust Him with what is in the box of life...a gift given to each of us

Tom Shepard

commented on Jan 10, 2015

God always gives us His best - and just what we need.....

Steve Birch

commented on Dec 14, 2016

What was in the box isn't important to the message . . . whatever it was could not compare to the greatest gift God gave us in His Son Jesus! That's the point! You could fill that box with whatever you want but it doesn't compare to Jesus. The point of the story is to catch attention and get people thinking, not give a nice, neat conclusion. My suggestion would be to maybe include a comment to that effect at the end of the message just for those who are waiting to find out "what was in the box?" Great Job brother.

Tom Shepard

commented on Dec 14, 2016

Thanks for the comment Steve - it seems you clearly got the point. Jesus is always the greatest gift.

David Wetben

commented on Dec 24, 2016

So wonderful exposition of the scripture in a morevsimple and practical way. I need more of your messages

Tom Shepard

commented on Dec 25, 2016

Thank you for the comments. There are many more of my sermons here. Enjoy.

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