Summary: Receive the Christmas gift from God. Appreciate the heart of the Giver. Understand that the love of God is all we need. Cultivate a grateful heart. Be thankful to God for His blessings.
All of us receive gifts – at birthdays, Christmas or even lucky draws.
• We have the experience of receiving a gift and knowing the joy of receiving a gift.
• I believe we remember some, but not all the gifts we’ve received.
• Can you remember all the gifts you’ve received last Christmas? Maybe not.
For some, we may have already forgotten who the giver was.
• Yet there are gifts that we remember. And we remember the givers.
• They are special – not just the gifts, but the giver.
• They have a special place in your heart – a gift from your parents, your loved ones.
When we receive a gift, it tells us many things.
• It means that someone thought of you; someone wants to bless you, encourage you.
• You’re important to them, and they value a relationship with you.
In the same way, at Christmas when God gave us His Son, it tells us that He thought of you, He wants to bless you, you are important to Him and He treasure a relationship with you.
• We are able to see the heart of the Giver. The Bible says, “For God so loved that world that He gave…”
• This is one truth that cannot be changed – you are loved. God loves you. We are important to Him. He treasures us.
• Moses wrote a song and puts it this way - Deut 32:10 “He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye…”
No matter how you feel about yourself today; no matter how others think about you, the fact remains – you deeply loved and highly favoured.
• So much so that God is willing to come and meet you.
• And took on Himself a human form to communicate with you.
(1) Appreciate the Heart of the Giver
A True Story: Mellissa. Texas 1991
Two students were hostel roommates for the first year at college.
When they returned from their winter break, Andrew was asked what presents he had received for Christmas. He began to tell his friend about the new clothes, the nice books, and all the other items on the list of precious gifts given me by family and friends. The friend seemed somewhat impressed, pleased at my apparent holiday windfall.
"So, what did you get for Christmas?" Andrew asked. Expecting to hear his wonderful list of presents, my roommate instead replied silently, holding up but one small item, an alarm clock that probably cost less than $5 at the thrift shop.
"That’s nice," Andrew answered, thinking that he was sure glad he hadn’t received such a present, seemingly so small and insignificant.
Later, Andrew would tease his friend by pretending to throw that clock into the air and then catch it right before it hit the ground, feigning an attempt to damage his precious clock. His friend never thought this game was funny, however, because his clock meant much more to him than Andrew ever understood.
As the years passed and our four years together at college came to a close, Andrew noticed that while he moved from room to room and roommate to roommate, his friend always had that same inexpensive alarm clock stored closely beside his bed.
You see, Andrew friend’s family back in West Virginia was far from wealthy and the only present his parents could afford to give him for Christmas was that simple, unimpressive clock. What seemed like cheap sale material for some was a family treasure for Andrew’s friend.
You know what? 13 years later, Andrew cannot remember a single present – the clothes, the books - he received for Christmas that year. You know what else? Andrew never forgets his friend’s gift. He may have gotten many presents, but his friend got only one single present from his parents – that which was definitely more precious.
The clock represented the love of his parents for him.
I believe we can identify with this person. We really treasure some gifts we received.
A BOX OF KISSES
Some time ago, a father punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight, and he became angry when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy."
He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?"
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into the box. They are all for you."