Summary: God’s gift alone is stronger than the hate and despair that mockingly stands in opposition against “peace on earth good will to men.” Whatever the difficulty we may face in these days approaching Christmas 2005 God’s gift, the gift of His one and only So
GOD’S INDESCRIBABLE GIFT – A Gift Worth Receiving
Video Clip: I Heard the Bells (1:47)
I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good will to men . . .
And in despair I bowed my head: “There is no peace on earth” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.
Then peeled the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth good will to men” . . .
In 2 Corinthians 9:15 Paul says, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” This Christmas we have been looking at God’s indescribable gift that He gave that first Christmas, the gift of His Son Jesus. God’s gift is A GIFT WORTH GIVING, and it is A GIFT WORTH WAITING FOR. This morning we want to consider God’s indescribable gift; A GIFT WORTH RECEIVING.
God’s gift alone is stronger than the hate and despair that mockingly stands in opposition against “peace on earth good will to men.” Whatever the difficulty we may face in these days approaching Christmas 2005 God’s gift, the gift of His one and only Son born to the Virgin Mary, will prevail and triumph over evil. God’s gift is a gift worth receiving.
However if we are going to receive God’s gift, then we need to take some lessons from Simeon. The Bible says that Mary and Joseph were amazed by the things Simeon said about their baby; they were speechless as they listened to words inspired by the Holy Spirit.
It had been nearly a year since the angel had come to Mary with the news that she would give birth to the Messiah and since Joseph’s angelic dream assuring him that Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and the child born would be the promised Messiah. It had now been a month since the baby’s birth and the surprise visit from shepherds who spoke of angels; life had started to get back to normal for these new parents displaced from their home because of the Roman Census (well as normal as life can be for a family with a newborn).
Mary and Joseph brought their child to the temple according to the Jewish custom of the Law; little did they know the surprise God had in store for them when they arrived! You see Mary and Joseph knew Jesus was a special baby, but now someone else would see and confirm what they knew to be true. Theirs was no ordinary child; this was the promised Messiah, God’s gift, a gift worth receiving!
1. Those who look for God’s gift will find it!
• Luke 2:25 (NIV)
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Simeon was “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” The NLT says, “he eagerly expected Messiah to come.” The Message says he “lived in prayerful expectancy of help for Israel.” The American Standard and Revised Standard say he was “looking for the consolation of Israel.”
Simeon was not just waiting around hoping to see the Messiah; SIMEON WAS LOOKING FOR THE MESSIAH. Simeon had an expectancy; there was something burning within his heart that told him Messiahs coming was soon, so he had his eyes open expecting to see the fulfillment of God’s promise.
• Luke 11:9 (NIV)
Seek and you will find.
Those looking for Jesus will find Him; if you are looking for God’s gift you will find it. God is not trying to hide it from you; God wants you to receive it and has made the gift of His Son easy to find for us all.
Yet how many of you know it’s possible to see something, but to not really see it? We can look right at someone and not know they are there; we can look at something and look right through it and miss it all together.
ILLUSTRATION: Have you ever walked right past someone you know, a friend or even a family member, and not even recognized them because you are not expecting to see them. Or have you ever bought a new car that you really liked, and you thought it was a one of a kind car just for you, only to realize after you bought it that you see “your car” everywhere you go? It’s not that other people didn’t have that car before it’s just now you are looking for it so you notice it driving by when you see it.
It is possible for you to miss God’s gift this Christmas; you can go through the holiday season and not even see Jesus in anything simply because you are not looking for Him