Summary: We decorate Christmas trees for Christmas, but God decorated a tree over 2000 years ago for us.

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A) Every year at Christmas time, we always decorate a tree!

* We put on it all kinds of decorations! * One special ball we put up together!

* When we get through decorating the tree, we plug in the lights and behold, a decorated tree!

B) There was another tree that was decorated over 2000 years ago!

* This tree was decorated by God Himself! * He’s the One Who put the ornaments on!

* How was it decorated? * Let me give you 3 things .......

(1) IT WAS DECORATED WITH LOVE! * John 3:16 “For God so loved the world .......”

A) God’s love for mankind is just unexplainable!

* There is no more wonderful announcement in all of the Word of God than what we read in this

verse! * Think of it ... God is love and pure righteousness!

* Yet, He could love a world that hated Him!

* He loved a world that hated His Son, a world that demanded the death of His Son!

* They nailed Him to a cross and mocked Him while He died!

B) The fact that God truly loves is shocking to many!

* Some wonder and even question how God could possibly love the murderer ... Wife beater ...

* Child abuser ... Prostitute ... Thief ... Even the most vilest person on earth, but He does!

* 1 Tim.1:15 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came ...”

* God loves every man, not just the ones who love Him! * Rom.5:8 “But God commendeth ...”

C) The word “commendeth” means, to show, to prove, to demonstrate!

* God wants man to know His love ... He wants to reach everyone in the world with His love!

* So God decorated the tree with love ... A sacrificial love ... We didn’t deserve His love!

(2) IT WAS DECORATED WITH MERCY! * I praise the Lord for His mercy today!

* Eph.2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,”

A) The Greek word means, “feelings of pity, compassion, affection, and kindness.”

* World-book dictionary says, “more kindness than justice requires, kindness beyond what can

be claimed or expected.”

* Webster says, “Compassion shown to an offender, a blessing resulting from divine favor or

compassion.” * Notice Paul says that God is rich in mercy!

B) The best demonstration of God’s mercy is found in Luke 23:39-43, the thief on the cross!

* Titus 3:5 “ ... but according to his mercy he saved us.”

* James 5:11 “ ... the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

* In Psalm 136, there are 26 verses that end with, “For his mercy endureth forever.”

* The word “endureth” means to last ... So God will always be merciful to me!

* Thank God, the tree was decorated with mercy!

(3) IT WAS DECORATED WITH GRACE! * The word grace is found 170 times in the Bible!

* Webster’s dictionary says, “Unmerited help given to people by God.”

A) Eph.2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of .......”

* Not a one of us in this building today deserved God’s grace!

* God gives us grace because He loves us and He chooses to give us grace!

* We need His grace everyday ... We can’t live without it!

B) One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods.

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