Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: THis is a Christmas Day Message encouraging us to make the gift of Jesus Christ count in our lives.

Make It Count

GNLCC 12/25/2005 Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 John 3:16-21

How many of us today received gifts from other people. Our gifts are an indication that somebody loves us and somebody wants to invest our lives.. Many parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins and friends, have made a sacrifice today, so that our hearts and our lives might be encouraged. They gave us a gift in order to help us find joy in our lives our lives. Did anyone have someone come up and say, “I’m giving you this gift that cost me a lot in order to make your life miserable.” Know we give generously because we love.

What do we do we do when receive a gift? Some of us said before Christmas, “ Mommie, if I get so and so for Christmas, you’ll never have to ask me to do my chores again.” Some of us made up our minds when we opened our gifts, that from now on we are going to change our behavior. Well now that we have received our gifts, how are we going to make that gift count. Is it really going to change our way of living.

Although the giver of the count wants to make sure the gift counts, it is actually up to the person receiving the gift that has the ability to make it count. You see a person who is grateful can make a $5 gift count, and a person who is ungrateful can make a $50,000 gift go to waste. It’s not the value of the gift, as much as it is the response of the receiver. For instance you can receive the gift of a $100,000 four year scholarship to college, but only you can make it count.

We celebrate Christmas because God wanted to give the world a gift. There is this strange notion about God, that somehow God wants to rob us of having a good time in life. We think that if we get close to God, life will become boring. But did you know that God created you to have a good time. Who do you think put the desire within you to dance, to listen to music, to eat, to play sports, to attend plays and concerts? God has never been opposed to His people having a great time.

In our Old Testament reading, God said, “Young people enjoy your life while you have it, you’re only going to live once. Just remember though you are going to have to give an account to God for the decisions you make in terms of what you choose to enjoy.”

How many of you know there are some things that can be fun, but they can also be very destructive to your life. I want you to know that God did not sit in heaven and say, “what kind of gift can I give to people that would make their lives miserable and boring.”

No God had something completely opposite in mind. God looked at each one of us and said, “I love you all so very much. Let me give you a gift that can change your life and give you something that really counts in the end. Something that can challenge you to live for something far greater than yourself.

The gift that God chose to give us was Jesus Christ. Jesus is the reason for Christmas. Jesus is the gift God gave to us. Now to understand the gift, you need to know that Jesus means to save us. God sent Jesus to save us. But what did Jesus need to save us from.

First of all we needed to be saved from ourselves. How many of you, have ever gotten you in trouble? You did it all by yourself, without having any help from anybody. You just did something dumb or stupid or selfish and brought trouble into your life that you didn’t need to bring.

Well brace yourself, because you’re going to do a lot more dumb and stupid and selfish things as you continue to live. It’s not because you’re going to want to do them, it’s because it is in our nature to do what we want to do. We were born with it. A two year old is dependent on everybody to take care of him or her, and yet the first word most of them learn is “no. I’m not going to do it.”

That same spirit grows up within us and it destroys all kinds of relationships. How many of you like to be around selfish people who got to have it their way. Some of us are already upset this Christmas because something didn’t go our way. Jesus is the Savior who sets us free from having to have things our own way.

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