Summary: This sermon describes Christ Jesus as a gift from God.
God’s Gift – John 3: 1 - 17
Intro: What is the best gift you’ve ever received? --- At Christmas my kids would eagerly await the Christmas boxes from grandma. Every time she went shopping throughout the year she would buy them each a little something, wrap it in bright paper and put it in a box. After Thanksgiving she would seal the boxes and send one to each of my sons. As adults my sons still remember and speak fondly of Grandma’s Christmas boxes.
I. This chapter in John’s gospel tells us about God’s gift.
A. Much is made about Nicodemus coming at night – Verse 2 – recognizes Jesus’ authority.
B. Jesus responds with a gift – Verse 3 – BORN AGAIN – Oh boy, a birthday!!!!!
C. birthday – what would a birthday be without gifts. The gift Jesus gives Nicodemus is new life. Verses 5 – 15 explain the gift.
II. John 3:16 tells us what the gift was
A. Most gifts come with a card or label that tells who it’s for and who it came from.
B. My sons Jon and Rick’s birthdays are just a week apart and we usually had just one party where they both got gifts. Andrew, their baby brother, had his birthday 5 months later. Jon and Rick were upset one year when their brother Andrew got birthday presents on his birthday and they didn’t.
C. Not so with God – everybody gets the gift. AND one size fits all. Romans 8:32 – “God spared not God’s son, but delivered him up for us all.”
III. Verse 17 – Sacrificial gift.
A. When I was in college, I typed term papers and saved money so I could give my mother an expensive rocking chair she had admired for Christmas –– There were many sleepless nights and tons of work to earn the money. But, on Christmas morning the rocking chair was next to the tree. Mom has always cherished that chair because she knew the sacrifices I made to get it for her. I have come to believe that sacrificial gifts are always the best.
B. Hallmark – “God cared enough to give his very best.”
C. Lent is a season of sacrifices – Our denomination’s One Great Hour of Sharing program is based on that idea of sacrificial giving.
Conclu: A gift is only a gift when it is freely given AND freely accepted. – John 3: 16b – “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – NOW THAT’S A GIFT!