Summary: These gifts Jesus gave us we can never be duplicated; yet we can, in one form or another, give a toned down version of them back to God and even to our loved ones.
Jesus, The Ultimate Gift Giver
1. WHAT CHILDREN HEAR
I was reading the story of Jesus’ birth to my day-care children one morning. As usual, I stopped to see if they understood.
"What do we call the three wise men?" I asked.
"The three maggots," replied a bright 5-year-old.
"What gift did the MAGI bring baby Jesus?" I corrected.
"Gold, Frankensteins and smurfs!" the same 5-year-old replied.
(source: Sermon Central)
2. It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child Himself.
— Charles Dickens
3. Our children appreciate the sounds and smells of Christmas, but it is human nature to get extra-excited about the gifts. It is the way we are. I don’t know that that is bad. Because gift-giving is so exciting, it is great to do so at those monumental times.
4. Who gives the best gifts in your family?
5. Some people buy just about anything…others ask for ideas….some are creative, some practical, and some fill up our garages, basements, and attics with remote oddities…hang on to them for a year so you don’t feel guilty trying to sell them in a garage sale or sending them to a the mission…or trying to pawn them off to someone else!
6. Take a pancake maker…okay maybe for a single person, but could you imagine a family of seven waiting for one pancake at a time?
7. When Jesus came to earth, He gave us gifts we have yet to discover. There were so very many. But today, I’d like to focus in upon some big gifts the Savior gave us.
They are practical gifts, and I want this to be a practical sermon. But there is so much here I want you to look for one thing…one area for you to focus upon. If last week’s message had us all over the universe looking at constellations, this one is as close as your heart.
PROP: These gifts Jesus gave us we can never be duplicated; yet we can, in one form or another, give a toned down version of them back to God and even to our loved ones.
TS…..The Christmas story paints us several pictures that remind us of these gifts…
I. The Stable and the Shepherds: Jesus Gave Us the Gift of Humility (Philippians 2:5-11)
1. We all know the Christmas story: “she wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger…” Jesus was born in a stable…a picture of His Humility, His status
-----Shepherds were His first admirers…common, nameless poor people…
2. He “let go” (Phil.2:5-6)
(1) of what did He let go?
3. He emptied Himself, became a man (7)
One of the ancient kings of Persia loved to mingle with his people in disguise. Once, dressed as a poor man, he descended the long flight of stairs, dark and damp to the tiny cellar where the fireman, seated on ashes, was tending the furnace.. The king sat down beside him and began to talk. At meal time the fireman produced some coarse black bread and a jug of water and they ate and drank. The king went away but returned again and again for his heart was filled with sympathy for the lonely man. They became very good friends as time passed. At last the king thought, “I’ll tell him who I am, and see what gift he will ask.” So he did, but the fireman didn’t ask for a thing. The king was astonished and said, “Don’t you realize that I can give you anything—a city, a throne?” The man gently replied, “I understand your Majesty. You have already given the greatest gift a man could receive. You left your palace to sit with me here in this dark and lonely place. You could give nothing more precious. You have given yourself and that is far more than I could ever deserve.”
(source: Sermon Central)
4. But not only did He became a man, He became the ultimate: a humble man, to the point of willingly becoming a sheep led to the slaughter (8)
5. He waited for the Father to exalt Him, taking the long route (9-11)
6. What a great gift to give to the Lord or even your spouse or children, the gift of humility; not having to control everything, taking the brunt of the sacrifices; instead of demanding your rights, loving others and sometimes surrendering your rights.
7. God doesn’t need anyone or anything: but He takes pleasure in the humble.
Psalm 147:6 “ The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.”
James 4:6, ”But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
8. To be humble means to align yourself with God’s perspective, to let Him make the decisions, to seek to do His will for His glory….to have a truly realistic perspective