Summary: Never again will we forget Jesus' birthday. You can give and not love. But you can never love without giving!
NEVER AGAIN! YOU CAN GIVE AND NOT LOVE, BUT YOU CAN NEVER LOVE WITHOUT GIVING!
By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com
Text: Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
This sermon was given to me many years before I was a preacher or pastor. I was raised in a parsonage and my Dad has over 60 years in the pastoral ministry. As was the tradition, we gathered at Mom and Dad’s for Christmas. On Christmas Day we were all sitting in our traditional places as Mom and Linda handed out the gifts. Each person present had a pile of gifts in their laps to unwrap. As we began unwrapping the presents I MADE A VERY SAD OBSERVATION… IT WAS JESUS’ BIRTHDAY, NOT OURS? THERE WAS NOT ONE PRESENT UNDER THE TREE FOR JESUS? NO, NOT ONE. Later, that day I went into a room and cried and said: JESUS, IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY AND WE ALL RECEIVED THE GIFTS.
I promised myself that day: NEVER AGAIN. That there would always be a BIRTHDAY PRESENT UNDER THE TREE FOR JESUS. I was still teaching school at the time. I worked with my class at school to do something for Jesus, that my students would MAKE AN EFFORT and GIVE A LOVE GIFT.I promised if I ever pastored or had the chance to teach a lesson the last Sunday of November that I would remind everyone to GIVE A LOVE TOKEN TO JESUS. I have kept that promise and this lesson goes back to the day JESUS HAD NOTHING, HE GAVE HIS ALL AND IS OFTEN FORGOTTEN. My family and I have worked each year, a special offering? One year I read the whole Bible in the month of December. I have visited the jail often? I have visited the elderly? Cooked special meals? Practiced a special song? The Christmas tree should have a precious gift that cost money, effort or a plan!
THERE IS A LAW OF LOVE…LOVE COST, LOVE GIVES… SELFISHNESS TAKES…
YOU CAN LOVE AND NOT GIVE, BUT YOU CAN NEVER LOVE WITHOUT GIVING.
I was in the third grade in northern Indiana. There was a senior in high school that always saved me a seat on the bus. She would treat me so nice and she would put her arm around me. She often told me she loved me. I fell in love with her. Someone gave me a dollar. I got 20 nickels and prayed over the bubble gum machine, I started my journey by putting in a nickel and turning the wheel, nothing but bubble gum. I put the gum ball in my mouth and payed again, another gum ball? Another and another? On about the 15th nickel the Lord heard my prayer and a ring came down. I could not wait until Monday to climb on the bus and slide the ring on my girlfriend’s finger. Wow, she was so impressed! She even gave me a kiss. My love for her made me want to GIVE HER A TOKEN OF MY LOVE.
In 1969, I walked into Kay Jewelers in Springfield, Illinois with my girlfriend, Linda. I loved her. We were seniors in Springfield Southeast. I saw this huge diamond ring and she put it on. We saw the price and said no to that one. Finally the man pulled out a ring that had glue and diamond dust and we saw the price. Yes! That is it. I loved Linda and desired to GIVE HER something as a token of my love. We went in debt that day and I have been paying bills ever since.
I guess we have COME TO THIS UNDERSTANDING LOVE COST!
Many here call me “PREACHER.” A little girl that loved me called me CREATURE. She would tell me: “CREATURE, I LOVE YOU!” One day she had found a little rock in the church parking lot. She ran into the church and looked for me until she found me back in my office. She came running in my office smiling ear to ear. She was so proud of herself, she had a GIFT to GIVE to the CREATURE. She ran and jumped up in my lap and GAVE ME THE ROCK and her little eyes twinkled as she GAVE me the rock and said: CREATURE, I LOVE YOU!
Her dad was looking for her and he came in the office where several were gathered and her dad said: I TOLD YOU NOT TO BOTHER THE CREATURE. He swatted her and dragged her out of my office. She looked back and was yelling: creature, I love you. That rock COST THE LITTLE GIRL A SPANKING. 25 years later that LOVE GIFT IS STILL ON MY DESK.