Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus is the one Christmas gift we all need. And the gift we receive from Him, continues to benefit us forever.

What’s the best Christmas gift you have received?

Have you ever received a gift that has changed your life?

Or a gift that has inspired you and affected your future?

When the actor Nicolas Cage, was a young boy his father gave him a little Pinocchio for Christmas.

Being a boy, he was a little rough with it, and broke its head off.

His father suggested they bury Pinocchio.

The next morning on the very place where they had buried Pinocchio was a large wooden sculpture of Pinocchio.

The next day he then went about burying his match box cars, toy planes, a castle, even his GI Jo doll hoping they too would transform into something larger.

Although they didn’t to this day Nicolas Cage says that his little Pinocchio gift was one of the best gifts he had received because it gave him the gifts of imagination, hope and inspiration.

And these continue to help him through life and in his career as an actor.

So what about you?

Are there gifts that have had an influence on your life?

Are there gifts that have changed your life?

I love it when people take time to buy a gift,

to give a gift that they have put some thought behind

that will be useful and helpful.

Because such gifts remind me of the Christmas gift of Jesus.

It is easy to hear the Christmas story and think what a wonderful story.

However the Christmas story is far more than just a lovely story that happened in the past.

The Christmas story is a turning point in your life and my life.

When we see it like that we begin to understand that at Christmas God is announcing to the world

that here is a gift that will change your life.

The gift of Jesus changes our future,

and as a result it impacts our lives now.

Listen again to Titus 3, verse 4 and 5

But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us,

not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

Jesus didn’t come into the world for us because we deserved Him

or because we were friends with him or part of his family.

Many of the gifts we give at Christmas are to repay people,

or because we feel they deserve something

or it is expected because they are family or friends.

But this is not why God gives us the gift of Jesus.

It was because we need Jesus.

Each of us has a major problem.

Without Jesus, we would have no hope of a future.

Some of you may know of the criminal character, Chopper Read.

He is dieing, and the only thing that will give him some extra years on this earth is a liver transplant.

Without that gift he will be dead within a few years.

However he refuses to take a transplant because he says he does not deserve it.

Likewise none of us deserve the gift of Jesus.

As God tells us through Romans 3, we all fail to meet God’s expectations.

Yet we need Jesus and Jesus encourages us to grab hold and use him and the gifts that come along with him.,

God is so generous He is still willing to give us Jesus the gift.

And Jesus the gift from God,

actually fixes up the problems that hinder us

having a relationship with God and with others.

Without the gift of Jesus, we would have no hope of a future with God.

A future that the bible says is a place where nothing will perish, spoil or fade.

A future that the bible says is place where there will be no tears and no pain.

There is no way of obtaining such a future without Jesus.

And God’s generous approach means that he freely gives us this precious gift of Jesus, without us needing to earn it.

And the gift of Jesus is not just limited to Jesus himself.

When we trust Jesus, the gifts for life now and in the future continue to come our way.

When judgement day comes,

Jesus will be standing by each person who says I trust Jesus to get me into heaven,

And he will be saying no matter what you have done,

or when you have let me down,

I came to earth for you to pay for your sins

As John 3:16-17 says

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

And so with the gift of Jesus there comes ongoing benefits.

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