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.
God has made you a SPECIAL PERSON for a SPECIAL PURPOSE
“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)