Summary: Why do we give gifts? I give them to be a blessing to those I love. I know that I’ve succeeded when they use the gifts I give. Clearly, Jesus is the Gift of God. How and in what ways does God intend for us to "use" (or perhaps it’s better to say apply) Hi

Last week we dealt with the prophetic aspect of Christmas

+ And I hope we have a better appreciation for how amazing that is

+ For God to give so many specific prophecies about His coming Messiah

+ And for every single one which has already been fulfilled to be 100 % accurate

And how wonderful and special it was too

+ Since I truly believe God was just so excited about this plan of salvation which He had devised

+ And He so very much longed to see it come to pass

+ That He wanted to repeatedly emphasize Messiah was coming

+ And finally! Finally when He came

+ God could allow the angels of Heaven to cry out that great Good News

+ Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Well, I don’t suppose it takes anyone by surprise that this week we are looking at another aspect of Christmas = The aspect of "gifts"

+ In our special offering we already re-iterated the very famous point = John 3:16

+ As well as the equally famous Biblical principle

+ 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

+ And so we respond to God’s gift by receiving Him

+ And hopefully giving back with all our heart = Soul = Mind = Strength

+ And responding to God’s gift by giving our selves back to Him

+ That’s what I want to speak about today

What do you expect when you give a gift?

+ You expect that gift to be received = Appreciated = Hope it’s a blessing

+ And you expect the gift to be used in way intended

+ A few years ago I gave my wife a new coat for Christmas

+ She needed one = I wanted her to have a nice coat

+ Look nice = keep her warm and dry

+ I wasn’t 100 % sure if she was going to like it

+ But if she did = I fully expected her to wear it = And she did (Amen!)

What if she hadn’t? = What if she put it in closet and never took it out again?

+ I would wonder what’s the problem

+ Doesn’t fit? = Don’t like color, style? = Defective?

+ Identify the problem = Correct it = Why?

+ Because in giving a gift I really want to be a blessing

+ And I will know I have been if the gift is received with joy = AND USED

Well, now = John 3:16a = Jesus is God’s gift to us

+ And = John 3:16b = Clearly His intention for that gift to be received with joy

+ Clearly God wants to bless humanity

+ But just HOW / WHEN / WHERE is that gift supposed to be used?

At the end of our text for today = Col. 1:15-17

+ One of the classic places in Scripture you would use to show Jesus is the gift God intended = How? = Why?

+ (Hearkening back to last week) = Prophetically = Is. 7.14 = Is. 9:6-7

+ Now consider our text = [15] = "Who" from "In whom" [14]

+ From "his dear Son" [13] = Who’s Son? = [12]

+ Really the God of the OT = And the Lord Jesus Christ? = [1.1-2 / 3-4]

Now notice something with me = [17] ends with period

+ End of a sentence = Notice where that sentence BEGINS = [9]

+ One whole long thought that ends with Jehovah Jesus

+ What I want to suggest is that this passage helps us understand HOW / WHEN / WHERE / ETC the Gift of God is supposed to be used by us

+ Let’s spend a few moments examining the text and see for ourselves

[9] "For the cause we also" = What cause? = Already saw in [1-4]

+ What Paul discusses in his salutation and opening paragraph

+ He rejoices in the salvation the Colossians have found [4]

+ And are enjoying [5-8]

+ And isn’t that where we’ve stated we begin, also?

+ God’s given a Gift = His Son = Receiving Him is Salvation

All right = So what do we do with the Gift of God once we’re saved?

+ I believe God tells us through Paul = [9]

+ Once we’re saved God desires us to "be filled...his will" = Why?

First = So that we will know how to represent Him to the lost = "in all wisdom"

+ And how to interact with other Christians = "and spiritual understanding"

+ Then = "That...pleasing" [10] = So our walk = Conversation = Deportment

+ The way we live for others to see = Will be "worthy of the Lord"

+ Something that is suitable to Him = That which is appropriate for Him

+ That which He would do = So we should do

+ And = "being fruitful in every good work"

+ Not just letting others see the Lord reflected in our life

+ But bringing the Lord into their life by doing good things for / to them

"and increasing...God" = Not just knowing His Will = Knowing Him

+ And getting to know Him more and more each day

+ Really only 1 way I know of to accomplish both of these goals = 2 Tim. 3:10-17

And what will be the practical benefit / Blessing / Application of all this?

+ [11] = Inner strength = For? = "unto all patience and longsuffering"

+ Isn’t that the same thing? = Yes and no

+ "Patience" is needed when situations and circumstances threaten to weaken us

+ That’s why = Rom. 5:3-5

+ EG: Your job ends but the bills continue

+ EG: When the furnace and the car and the dog all die on the same day

+ EG: Or worse = Facing the death of a loved one

+ "Longsuffering" is needed when people threaten to weaken us

+ That’s why = "longsuffering with joyfulness"

+ When people threaten to weaken us we still have to maintain our testimony and reflection of Christ to them = Eph. 4:1-3

+ EG: When the World rejects your efforts to witness

+ EG: Or worse = The boss or co-workers ride you BECAUSE you are a Christian

+ EG: Or worse = When a loved one rejects us because we’ve been born again

Which is why = [9] "filled" = [10] "increasing" = SO [11] "strengthened...power"

+ Now when we do all that we’ll be demonstrating to God = Applied Christianity!

+ Yes = Received your Gift = Blessed by it = Using it the way intended

+ But the impact on us won’t stop there = We will [12a]

+ Why? = [12b] = Why? = [13a] = Why? = [13b] = Why? = [14]

+ Which will only improve and increase our influence for Him

+ In this life = And the life to come


+ Have you received the Gift of God?

+ No? = Would you like to? = (Here’s how = NOW!)

+ Yes? = Have you discovered these wonderful blessings? (SAY AMEN!)

+ Have you demonstrated to God that you have?

+ [9] Filled? = Wisdom to lost? = Spir. understanding to saved?

+ Or "Pray for me for that, Pastor"

+ [10] Walking worthy? = Reflecting Christ in you, hope of glory?

+ Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven?

+ Studying to show yourself approved to God?

+ A workman that needeth not to be ashamed?

+ Rightly dividing the Word of Truth?

+ Or "Pray for me for that, Pastor"

+ Drawing upon that knowledge so that when circumstances / situations of life

+ Or people in your life threaten to weaken you

+ You are strengthened with all might?

+ Or "Pray for me for that, Pastor"

+ Giving thanks o God? = [12] Inheritance!

+ [13] Deliverance! = [14] Redemption! = Forgiveness of sins!

+ Or "Pray for me for that, Pastor"