THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT
2 Cor. 9:15
1. Ruby Popp told about a friend of hers who took her son Danny on trip to see Santa Claus.
2. Then he climbed up onto St. Nick’s lap and shared his wish list. Later that day, in another store, there was Santa again.
3. Santa asked, "And what would you like for Christmas?" He asked Danny.
4. Shaking his head, Danny sighed. "You really need to write these things down." [Reader’s Digest, Dec. 2012, p.20]
B. TEXT & THESIS
1. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Cor. 9:15.
2. In 2 Cor. 9, Paul at first is writing about human gifts. The church in Corinth was taking up offerings to give to the poor Christians in Jerusalem. He commended them.
3. Then Paul shifted his attention from human gifts to God's gift of sending Jesus to earth for us. And he couldn't find words to describe that. He simply had to say, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
4. Why does Paul call Jesus "indescribable?" I think there are at least three reasons:
I. BECAUSE OF THE COSTLINESS OF THE GIFT
A.GOD HAS GIVEN US MANY GIFTS
1. SALVATION -- is called a gift (Eph. 2:8-9),
2. HOLY SPIRIT -- is called a gift (Acts 2:38),
3. SPIRITUAL GIFTS -- are called ‘gifts’(1 Tim. 4:14).
4. But the BEST GIFT is God's own Son!
5. If God had sent an Angel -- it would've been a great gift. If God had sent one son out of many, it would've been an incredible gift. But for God to send His only Son –
that was an indescribable gift!
6. One man's daughter got caught up in the excitement of gifts and giving. She picked up a discarded bow, placed it on her head and said, "Look at me, daddy! I'm a present!" Her dad solemnly considered it -- how true!
B. WHAT CHILD IS THIS? Architect of the universe.
1. “The One in the beginning (John 1:2-3), who fashioned the Sun and heated it to 35,000,000°F to govern the day. The One who molded a cold, shining ball 2160 miles in diameter to govern the night.
2. The One who also made the stars -- 100 billion of them in the Milky Way and hundreds of billions more in 100 million other galaxies.
3. JESUS. He spoke six sextillion, 588 quintillion short-tons of elements into existence and called it ‘Earth.’ Then He set its footing and "laid its cornerstone -- while the morning stars sang together and all the Angels shouted for joy" (Job 38:6-7).
4. He shut up 132 million square miles of seas behind their doors. He entered the storehouses of the snow and hail and went to the places where lightning is dispersed and the east winds are scattered over the Earth.
5. Then one day this Almighty God compressed himself down to a divine cell and fused with the ovum of a Jewish teenager.” [Dan Betzer]. In Jesus – is Undiminished Deity; perfect humanity. Immanuel -- God with us.
6. Bishop Cyril, "For although visible and a child in swaddling clothes, and even in the bosom of His Virgin Mother, He filled all Creation as God and was a fellow ruler with Him who begat Him for the Godhead is without quantity and dimension and cannot have limits."
7. God gave His best! There's no greater gift to us? God emptied the treasuries of heaven. There's no more costly/precious gift than God's own Son. It was God's loss, "He who did not withhold his own Son." Romans 8:32. God "gave him up."
II. BECAUSE OF THE RECIPIENTS OF THE GIFT
A. WE GIVE GIFTS BC THE RECIPIENTS HAVE A CLAIM ON US
1. I'll buy a gift for my wife because she is my wife. I'll buy gifts for my children because they're my children. You'll do the same.
2. Now if I buy a gift for you and you’re not in my family, it's probably because you bought a gift for me last year or I feel owe you one this year.
3. If I give a gift to feed the hungry, or clothe the naked or to take care of the homeless, I do it because deep down inside I recognize that I have a debt to humanity, a feeling of obligation to them.
B. JOKE: MOST PRACTICE SELF-INTEREST
1. A man was having trouble getting his neighbor to keep his chickens fenced in. The neighbor kept talking about chickens being great creatures, and as such they had the right to go where they wanted.
2. The man was having no luck keeping the chickens out of his flower beds, and he had tried everything.
3. Two weeks later, a visiting friend noticed his flower beds were doing great. The flowers were beginning to bloom.
4. So, the friend asked, "How did you make your neighbor keep his hens in his own yard?"
5. "One night I hid half a dozen eggs under a bush by my flower bed, and the next day I let my neighbor see me gather them. He kept them out of my yard after that!"
C. GOD’S GRACE TOWARD US!
1. That's what makes God's gift so special. He doesn't owe us anything and what He does isn’t for self-interest. 2. With that in mind, Paul says, "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Rom. 5:7-8.
3. When God gives a gift, He doesn’t do it because he feels obligated to, but because His love is so overwhelming. It's a gift of grace.
4. And when you stop at the manger at Bethlehem and look at the Christ child, you must realize that He’s a gift of grace.
5. And there are no words adequate enough to describe God's grace towards us in Jesus. "Unto us a Son is given" Isaiah 9:6.
III. BECAUSE HE’S THE GIFT WE NEEDED MOST
A. OUR GREATEST NEED
1. If you're dying of thirst -- water is your greatest need.
If you're starving to death -- food is your greatest need.
If you're anemic, blood is your greatest need.
2. When God looked at the world, He knew what our greatest need was:
a. NOT to be rid of disease,
b. NOT to stop war,
c. NOT to stop crime,
d. NOT to stop drugs and alcohol;
3. But our Greatest need was a Savior!
a. "If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.
b. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
c. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
d. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
e. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior." [Raymond McHenry, In Other Words, p. 44]
B. THOUGHT THE TREE SHOULD COME DOWN
1. During WW2, a woman named Anne took her two little children to Texas to be with her parents because her husband was a soldier stationed in Europe.
2. And they prepared for Christmas and got the tree up and all the gifts bought and were enjoying the joy of Christmas, almost putting aside the worry of the war.
3. Then, one week before Christmas, they got that dreaded knock on the door and the terrible telegram greeting.
4. The mother had to break it to the children that “daddy wouldn’t be coming for Christmas, ever.” And then Anne went up to her room to weep alone.
5. And grandma and grandpa debated about what to do and finally they decided to take down the Christmas tree and the decorations and put the presents away.
6. When Anne came out of the room and saw the empty spot she said, “Mother what have you done?” Her mother said, “You’re so broken hearted, your father and I talked and decided this is no time for Christmas.”
7. But Anne said, “Oh, no mother, bring the tree back; Christmas was made for times such as these.”
8. Maybe there’s some discouragement in your life right now. Discouragement will go with you to work; will ride with you in the car; will go home with you; and sit at your dinner table.
9. But Jesus Christ is the source of hope, if you cling to Him. He came to this world to be your light in the darkness. Christmas is made for times such as these. (Sandy Willey)
C. THE POWER OF THIS GIFT
When I accept Jesus:
1. I am forgiven for my Sins.
2. I am adopted into His Family!
3. All that belongs to Jesus belongs to Me!
4. I can receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts that accompany that anointing!
5. I'm also given His Peace! Not the world's peace, but His peace -- which helps me cope with everyday situations.
6. My Mansion is paid for, my dwelling place for all eternity.
1. When I started this sermon, I knew I would fail in my attempt to describe Jesus.
2. But Paul failed before me. He said, "I can't describe Him; all I can do is fall on my knees and thank God for His indescribable gift."
B. GOD REALLY DID IT!
1. Robert Morgan tells of an episode of the Lone Ranger he saw as a child. Black-and-white television was just taking off in the Tennessee mountains when Robert was born in the early 1950s.
2. "I cut my teeth on some of the locally produced children's shows that were broadcast live from a nearby station. One show was hosted by a cowboy wearing a mask like the Lone Ranger's.
3. He teased us about his true identity, and you can imagine our excitement when he announced one Monday that on Friday’s program he would remove his mask.
4. Ratings must have soared that week, because all of us tuned in excitedly, waiting for the dramatic moment when our cowboy host would unmask and reveal himself. What did he really look like? Who was he in real life?
5. The day came, then the hour, then the moment. Reaching behind his head he untied his mask.
6. But to our consternation, just as the mask came off he turned his back to the camera, and we were left no wiser than before.
7. That's NOT WHAT GOD DID! On Christmas evening, God took off His mask. He revealed Himself to us and allowed us to see Him as He really is. When we see Jesus Christ, we are seeing the very image of Almighty God.
C. Q – HAVE YOU REC. GOD’S GIFT?
1. Forgiveness? 2. Holy Spirit
3. Spiritual Gifts? 4. Peace?
5. "To them that received Him, He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
6. Raise your hands if there's something you need to receive from Him this morning.
D. WHAT WILL YOU GIVE HIM FOR A PRESENT?
1. Suppose it were your birthday
And all your friends would come
And gather around your fireplace
There in your happy home.
2. They come with smiles and gladness
And bring their presents too
But when they start to share them
There's not one for you.
3. They give them to each other
A grand and costly lot
But for the guest of honor
They somehow just forgot.
4. To give to one another
Indeed is very nice
But best of all, to Jesus
For Him let's sacrifice!
E. THE CALL
1. Yes there are a lot of problems in our world today. But back in the times of the Early Church there were even worse times. Yet they didn’t say, "Look what the world has come to," but with joy, "Look what has come to the world!"
2. What can you give Jesus for Christmas? Vance Havner said, "Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts: God’s gift to us -- His Son; and our gift to God – the gift of ourselves!"
3. Give Him all your problems and He’ll give you all His blessings! Let’s go to Him in prayer.