Summary: 2nd sermon in a series that explores 4 main points in John 3:16, inspired by Max Lucado’s book
Intro: Anyone like to get gifts?
Tomorrow is my birthday…and I’m personally envisioning coming home to a brand new 42 inch LCD HiDef TV hooked up with a replay of the LSU National Championship game showing on it.
Yep…if I was truly loved, that is what I would get.
Now wouldn’t it be crazy if I did get that TV from my wonderful wife, tear off the paper, see what it is and then never take it out of the box?
Yep, show it off to everyone as they come in, because it is sitting in the box in the corner of the living room for everyone to see.
Who would accept a gift but never open it?
You would think only an insane person would do such a thing, but the sad thing is…it is happening even now; perhaps even in here.
You see, God has given us each a gift (get box).
John 3:16, the verse that we are looking at during these next few weeks and studying it part by part says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
God loves you and He loves me so much that He chose to give us a gift…one that is beyond any other.
Better than a new car.
Better than a new TV.
Better than any amount of money or anything money can buy...because He gave of Himself.
He gave His only Begotten Son.
Ask: Have you ever known anyone who is like the ultimate gift giver?
He or she is the person who knows you so well and can evaluate your needs and your wants to the point that when you get a gift from them you say, “This is perfect!”…and you mean it.
It is exactly what you needed or wanted, and it is coming to you at just the right time.
That is what Jesus is for us.
He is the perfect gift, given to us at just the right time when we needed Him the most.
Romans 5:8 tells us…
God loved and God gave…
Greek word for “showed” is susistao or susistano, which means to introduce or give…but has a continuous meaning to it.
In fact if you listen to it closely to the greek susistanto, it is similar to the root for our English word “sustain”.
It is literally the gift that keeps on giving.
God loves and God gave and He gives.
This morning in want us to take some time to think that beautiful truth of “God Gave”.
Let’s read together this morning from the book of Ephesians concerning what God has given us.
Read Ephesians 1:3-14 and pray.
Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesian church around 64 AD and is considered to be the first of His prison epistles…that group of letters written during his time of being held captive by the Roman government.
In this opening chapter of the letter to the Ephesian church he describes to us what we have as a result of Christ.
It answers the question, “What did God give us”?
This morning I want us to consider that very question together.
We are going to open up the gift and see what is in side this morning together.
Open box and show what gifts are in box:
The first gift God has given us is…
***Take out adoption certificate
v. 5 He has ADOPTED us.
ILLUS: I had a friend in college named Kevin, his dad was a worship leader in Brandon, MS and he too was a musician.
Kevin was adopted as an infant…and he usually found a way to make light of this.
We were in band together, were suite mates in the dorm and worked at the RA camp in Kosciusko together one summer too.
During that summer we worked at camp on one particular day he was sitting in the camp center, picked up the phone and started dialing…stopped and said, “Give me 2 numbers.”
One of the guys asked “Why” and Kevin replied, “I’m calling my dad.”
The response of course was, “You don’t know your dad’s phone number?” and Kevin said, “I’m adopted, this may be him.”
He didn’t always joke about this though, because it was during that same summer that Kevin, while fighting back tears one night said, “I’m adopted, that means my birth parents gave me up…but my mom and dad chose me because they wanted me.”
He found a great peace because he knew that he was wanted and chosen.
Think about it, God has chosen you.
Because he wanted you as His child.
In our world today we have a false assumption being promoted by too many people…especially within the church; that we are all “God’s children”.
I scream every time I’m watching something on TV and someone who means well will say, “Well, we are all God’s children.”