Summary: We decorate Christmas trees for Christmas, but God decorated a tree over 2000 years ago for us.
ACTS 5:29-33 “THE DECORATED TREE”
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.
* As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things were not right.
* He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job.
* His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him.
* He remembered family that had passed on.
* His mind turned to the illness he had that no one could cure.
C) His very soul was filled with anger, resentment and frustration.
* Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him,
he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the One he knew would always be there!
* And with tears in his eyes, he prayed, “Lord, You have done wonderful things for me in this life.
You have told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed.”
* “Today, you have told me to forgive, and I am sad, Lord, because I can’t.”
* “I don’t know how ... It is not fair Lord ... I didn’t deserve these wrongs that were done against
me and I shouldn’t have to forgive.”
* “As perfect as your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don’t know how to forgive.”