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Summary: The second part of a Christmas series looking at how best to use God’s Christmas gift to us -- IE: Jesus Christ. This message explores two more "uses" -- liberally applying the gift, and regularly updating the gift

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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 Part 2

Acts 5:29

Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!

INTRODUCTION: Last week we began a series on the best ways to use God’s Christmas gift to us. At the onset, lets remember what this gift actually was ….. It was Jesus Christ, His only son!

With that though firmly planted in our minds, let us review. Last week we said that one of the best ways to use this gift was to tell someone about it – because telling someone is an expression of gratitude. Secondly, we learned that using the gift personally, not storing it away is also a great way to use God’s gift to us.

This morning we continue with two others ways to best use God’s Christmas gift, namely to “Apply it Liberally”, and the “Update it Regularly”.

I ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO USE GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO US IS TO APPLY IT LIBERALLY

A A “Society Pop-up”

1 We have a gold mine in the death of the unborn

2 We have a rampant prejudice against the Bible

3 Violence in our schools – metal detectors have gotten commonplace

4 Drive byes, assaults, and rapes

WE HAVE AN INCREASINGLY DISINTEGRATING SOCIETY, THAT IN SPITE OF ALL OF OUR ADVANCES TECHNOLOGICALLY, INTELLECTUALLY, AND EDUCATIONALLY, ALL WE HAVE SUCCEEDED IN PRODUCING IS A HIGHER TECH THUG!

B Peter Had It Right

Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!

PastorsLine.com records this letter in its pastoral resource section:

Letter Two: Politically Correct or Faithful?

In Christian circles I’ve noticed some very interesting things that have developed in recent years. Pastors and other church leaders go out of their way to poke some good natured fun at political correctness, but there are areas in which pastors seem to place high value in political correctness themselves.

For example, it’s politically incorrect to say that Christianity is the only way to God. Even though nearly all pastors will acknowledge the Lord to be the way, the truth, and the life, they find it hard to be as strong about the inverse side of it. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and everything else are not the way, the truth, or the life, and they will not lead you to God. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for many to say that we do not all pray to the same God.

While being outwardly against political correctness, an increasing number of pastors are actually practicing de facto political correctness themselves. Perhaps this is one of the underlying reasons why so many survey polls reveal that there is no statistical difference between how Christians and non-Christians behave. By not wanting to be different than the world, we should not be surprised that we aren’t much different after all.

What makes this so difficult is that political correctness is so subtle, but that’s what faithfulness is all about, being strong when public opinion is dead set against you.

1 We are called to be salt

Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

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

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