Summary: A simple sermon that can be used anytime before Christmas with the question of what are you giving God this Christmas.
Is His Name on Your List 12/15/03
The time is almost upon us. We’ve made our list and have checked it twice; and the truth be known, we give whether they are naughty or nice. If you have kids like mine, you’ve had the countdown for many weeks. Everyday it’s the announcement; only ___ many days till Christmas.
I don’t fault the kids; Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. I don’t care for the stress and the rush but I love this holiday. I love the songs. I love the skits and plays. And we always justify it by saying remember the reason for the season? But do we really do that?
This morning I want to give you some thoughts to think about different types of gifts.
God gave the First and Greatest Gift
2 Corinthians 9:15, Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.
The greatest gift ever made was by God himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. We read of it in the Bible in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".
He didn’t have to come and we certainly didn’t deserve it. But He willing left Heaven and all His glory. He gave up a life where He was praised and honored to come to an earth where He was probed and prosecuted.
Not only did God give His Son but the Son gave His life, and we are reminded in our Lord’s own words in John 15:13:"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends".
Quite obviously, God is a giving God, a loving God, and a God of mercy and grace. How marvelous indeed is His gift to each of us!
The Gift of the Magi
Now contrary to most nativity scenes, the Wise men were not there the night of the birth. Luke gives the description of the shepherds finding a “Babe” in a manger. The recording of Matthew 2:11 tells us the Wise men came into the house and saw the young Child. They presented 3 gifts. Each with it’s own meaning.
Gold symbolized royalty. Remember these guys had just left the palace of Herod who had the name of “the king of the Jews”, and we don’t read anywhere where they left Herod anything. They were wise because they recognized the true “King of the Jews”.
Frankincense was a fragrance indicating the fragrance of His life. We talked last week in Ephesians 5:2, And walk in Love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Myrrh was an ointment used in the embalming of the dead. A rather strange gift to give a child. Probably would not make the top ten on a child’s Christmas list. But these wise men knew that He was born to die.
Three unique gifts from three wise men. And wise men (women and children still seek Him today.
Gifts from Us
Normally, when we give a little gift to some friend or loved one at Christmas, we like to show our appreciation. Now before you go looking under yours pews for a gift, I do appreciate all of you. Your Love and prayers overwhelms me. But as much as I’d like to, I didn’t get you all a gift. Remember it is the thought that counts.
But when you consider everything that God has give us. Love, joy, Hope, peace, the list goes on and on. But remember the list we talked about in the beginning of our sermon? Is His name on it? Are you giving Him any thing this Christmas? Isn’t He the reason for the season?
So my question to you is the question the psalmist asks in our text, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?"
What we can give to God is small when compared to what He has given us; but we must not fail in presenting our gifts to Christ. We must put His name on our list. What are some of the things we can give Him?
Love is the greatest of all gifts. It’s what I plan on getting my wife this year for Christmas. Reality shows like “The bachelor”, “Average Joe”, thrive on it. Most songs are written about it. It is the most desired emotion in the world. Everybody needs love.
How can we give God our love? Two ways, first toward God and then toward our neighbors. When asked of a lawyer, "Which is the great commandment?" Jesus answered in Matthew 22:36-39, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind". This is the first and great commandment, And the second like it; "You shall love your neighbor as yourself".