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Summary: On Christmas Eve, our family has a tradition of opening 1 gift. God also has some gifts for us to "open". 1. The gift of His Son 2. The Gift of God’s Care. 3. The gift of God’s Grace. 4. The Gift of Eternal Life

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December 24, 2003

Title: God’s Gift

Text: Matthew 1:18-25

Introduction

1. Many families have Christmas Traditions...

drinking egg nog around the fire place,

singing Christmas Carols around the piano,

Doing an act of kindness for a needy family,

and many others...

2. One of the traditions in my family growing up...

we would usually open up a small Christmas Gift on Christmas Eve...

Maybe a puzzle, or a game, or a new pair of slippers...

something we could wear or play that night...

Me and my brother really got into Christmas when we were younger...

and I must say, we weren’t all that altruistic...

we were excited to see what presents we would get!

We would be so excited, we would start getting up at 3:30 AM!

We would pester mom and dad every 5 minutes until about 5 AM...

and then they would finally give in...

we’d all get up and open presents.

One night, I snuck down in the middle of the night...

before anyone else had gotten up...

I noticed a blanket covering a gift and so I peaked under it.

There was a brand new bike!

I was so excited!

I went back to bed...I couldn’t get back to sleep...

when it was finally time to get up...

and open our presents...

I remember that the bike was for my brother Jeff!!

I was so disappointed!

I don’t even remember what I got that year...

I’m sure it was nice, whatever it was...

but I always remember that feeling of disappointment!

I tried to hide it well...

and I don’t know if mom and dad even knew what happened...

2. Tonight, we will probably allow our kids to open 1 gift...

and I know that they will be so excited that they won’t want to go to bed...

and I am sure they will want to get up before the crack of dawn...

and we will tell them to go back to bed...

until we are ready to get up...

I hope they will enjoy their gifts...

I hope that they won’t be disappointed...

3. You are familiar with the Christmas story...

the part where the wisemen bring gifts of gold and frankincense, and myrhh.

and it is exciting to think about giving gifts to Jesus...

I mentioned Sunday Evening about giving Him our praise...

but we can also give Him our time...

our money...

our talents

our very lives...

4. But tonight, Being that tonight is Christmas Eve...

I would like for us to look at some of the gifts that God gives us.

I feel that Christ would like us to open some of His presents for us tonight...

and THESE gifts are much better than a pair of socks...

or slippers...

these are some wonderful gifts...

and I am sure that you won’t be disappointed!!!

Body

1. The First gift that I would like for us to open tonight is the gift of God’s Son

A. Read Matthew 1:18-25.

the Gift of God’s Son is the greatest gift of all!

That Baby...lying in a manger...

in the humblest of surroundings...

from all outward appearances...

you might like at this gift and be disappointed...

but when you realize the enormity and the sacrifice involved in giving that gift to us...

well, it becomes the most precious gift!

B. John 3:16 says that "God so loved the world, that He GAVE His only begotten Son"....

And Jesus is the perfect gift for a hurting world!

And this is the gift that keeps on giving!

He was the perfect gift 2,000 years ago...

and He is the perfect gift today...

So tonight...as we open this very wonderful gift...

and see Jesus Christ, born as a baby in the manger...

let us be grateful for this extravagent gift!

2. The Gift of God’s Care

A. We are in for a real treat!

God is going to let us open another gift tonight!

Not only has He given us the gift of His Son...

a gift given to mankind over 2,000 years ago...

but He gives us the gift of His watchful care!

Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

B. Psalm 23 says that "the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want"

One song says, "He walks with me and He talks with me...

and He tells me I am His own...

and the joy we share as we tarry there...

none other has ever known"

C. Verse 23 of our text says "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

Emmanuel...God with us...

This not only refers to the incarnation when Christ became a Baby....

and was born in the manger...

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