Summary: The first part of a Christmas series looking at how best to use God’s Christmas gift to us -- IE: Jesus Christ. This message explores two "uses" -- telling someone about the gift, and personally using the gift.
Please note: I am tremendously thankful for Woodrow Krolls book -- "The Home Front Handbook" for the inspiration it gave me for this series!
THE BEST WAYS TO USE GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT
2 Cor. 9:15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Introduction: As I was preparing this message, I took a moment to reminisce over some of my more “memorable” gifts. First to come to mind was a kitchen gadget that turned potatoes into either ribbon fries or curly fries. Second on my list was 200 pairs of chopsticks. Third was 6 pair of odor absorbing socks, and fourth was a complete 24 piece setting of Christmas dishes!
I am sure that you often get gifts you do not know what to do with. You understand the thought behind the giving was sincere. You appreciate the love behind the gift – but you are still not quite sure how best to use the gift, or EVEN if you can use it. In fact now there seems to be a big push to give “gift certificates” so the person receiving the gift can get what they really want! What is Christmas coming too? Can we be too far away from simply electronically transferring our “gifts” into each others account?
Perhaps we are having similar feelings about God’s gift to us. What is the best way to use God’s Christmas gift to us?
In the next few messages, I would like to suggest some ways to use what God has so richly given us in Christ!
The First Way We Should Use God’s Gift To Us Is To …..
I TELL SOMEBODY ABOUT THE GIFT
Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
A Grateful People Are Not Quiet People
1 God wants us to tell others about His gift to us. Evangelism is just – “One beggar telling another beggar where to get bread”
2 God has the same gift for them
a Same Provision – A Savior
b Same Need – All Have Sinned
c Same Result – For By Grace Are We Saved Through Faith
SOMETIMES WE ARE GIVEN GIFTS WE WANT, AND OTHER TIMES WE ARE GIVEN GIFTS WE NEED!
3 We Are God’s Best Wrapping Paper
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
The Second Way We Should Use God’s Gift To Us Is To ……
II PERSONALLY USE THE GIFT
Have you ever known someone who when they received a gift, said something like this, “Oh, this is too nice to use.” and then wrap it up and store it away, never using it because it was “too nice”?
A God Wants Us To Use The Gift He Has Given Us!
B Use Equals Growth!
1 We Grow When We Learn
a If God’s gift to us is a new life, then growth is a natural part of living.
b The early church grew in the Lord
1) It grew numerically
2) It grew spiritually
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
a) The key to rapid growth was CONSISTENT study in God’s Word
b) The early church made it to their Bibles
c) The early church made it to church
d) The early church made it to each other
2 We Grow When We Teach
a Teaching is the most powerful of learning tools
b Teaching forces us to interact with what we are teaching – if we do not understand it, how in the world can somebody else understand it?
c Everybody can find somebody to teach
3 We Grow When We Serve
a no better teacher than experience
b No faster way to grow than to serve
C Service Is The Ultimate Measure Of Growth
1 God Has Called Us To Serve
a When Moses appeared before Pharaoh, he declared God’s purpose in saving Israel.
Exodus 7:16 And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear.
2 The Cost Of Service Is High
Numbers 18:21 "I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.
a Levites gave up land and identity to serve
b Levites did many of the jobs that today are done by church custodians
Numbers 8:19 Of all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the Tent of Meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary."