Summary: A message about the greatest Gift ever given.
Pastor Don Jones
Prop needed: Small gift box with bow on top
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. John 3:16
My family has always had interesting Holidays, especially when my sister was alive. She was a little weird and so was her husband. I am being rather kind using the word weird but we loved her dearly.
For example, when I was around 12 my sister came to visit from back east. My mom was fixing a ham in the kitchen and had just set it out on the counter for serving later. My weird sister came over to see what was going on. She lived about 2 blocks away.
My nephew and I were sitting on the couch playing. My sister wanted a slice of ham and my mother said "no, wait and come over for dinner and everybody can eat and visit". My sister got mad, picked up the hot ham, and threw it against the wall. Needless to say we were all wide eyed and petrified sitting on the couch.
My mother in law, Beezer is kind of the same, weird, but in a different way. She would always wrap the gifts in different paper and that was the way she would remember who the gifts went to. The trouble was, she shopped and wrapped in the summer months. By Christmas she had forgotten what went to whom.
There we would be on Christmas morn opening our gifts. Since we didn’t know who it went to, Beezer would hand out hers all at once. There I would be opening the flowered dress meant for my wife, my wife would open the jeans meant for her brother and the grand kids would all be upset because none of their gifts were right.
Year after year we would go through the same hit and miss time of giving. Finally she learned that she needed that one essential item on every gift, the tag. The tag has two words on it: to and from.
Most of us know what kind of gift we are getting once we know who it is from. Certain people in your life know you so well they always give something that you need or will need and use in the future.
As I look at this tag it says the present is from God. "For God gave, for God sent", our great gift we celebrate this morning is from God. He is the ultimate Gift giver. Scripture tells me that God knows everything about me, past, present, and future. I can be assured that what’s in the box will definitely be what I need. It will be the "perfect" Gift.
Before I open this gift I had better make sure who it is to. I know who it is from, God, but why would he give me a gift? Most people who give me gifts love me to some degree or another. It seems that the more they love me, the more valuable the gift. I still have gifts from my children from years ago. Almost all of them said "I love you dad" and they are more valuable to me than gold or silver.
For God loved me. The God of heaven, the creator loves me. Wow, that is awesome. He has the resources of heaven so it should be the most valuable gift I will ever receive.
One other Christmas my sister did something rather strange. Thankfully we didn’t have ham or sharp knives anymore. We had all finished opening presents, everybody had loaded them in their cars and we were all visiting in the living room with coffee or punch.
The Fryrear family got up to leave, yes, that was their name. Everybody hugged, kissed, and they headed out the door for home. To this day we don’t know what was said or by whom, but 30 minutes later a car door opened, closed, and tires pealed out.
We went out front and on the lawn were all the presents that we had given them. A note was attached that said they didn’t want anything from us, ever again. They had returned our gifts and refused to accept them.
I realize this sounds simple but in order for some one to give a gift it must be accepted. If you don’t accept it you will never know what it is and you will never be able to use it. God is giving us a gift. A gift is free, we don’t have to earn or work for it.
I love to watch kids open presents. They begin ripping and tearing at the paper. They are so eager to find out what’s inside. They don’t care about the bows, paper, or box. Nothing seems to matter except to get the gift and start using it. God desires that same excitement and intensity with His gift.