Summary: Christmas is a time of giving. Ever since the wise men from the east showed up at the stable bearing gold, frankincense, and myrrh, people have been exchanging gifts at Christmas.

The Gift Of God; 2 Corinthians 9:15

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates. “In honor of this holy season,” Saint Peter said, “You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.” The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. “It represents a candle,” he said. “You may pass through the pearly gates,” Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, “They’re bells.” Saint Peter said, “You may pass through the pearly gates.” The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women’s glasses. St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, “And just what do those symbolize?” The man replied, “They’re Carol’s.”

As a little girl climbed onto Santa’s lap, Santa asked the usual, “And what would you like for Christmas?” The child stared at him open mouthed and horrified for a minute, then gasped: “Didn’t you get my E-mail?”

Christmas is a time of giving. Ever since the wise men from the east showed up at the stable bearing gold, frankincense, and myrrh, people have been exchanging gifts at Christmas. Of course, it’s much more complicated today than it was for the wise men.

For one thing, they didn’t have to contend with shopping malls packed full of parents going from store to store to store desperately searching for the toy their kids want more than anything else, even though it’s going to be destroyed or forgotten about in a couple of weeks.

The wise men didn’t have to worry about sizes, or colors, or return policies. They didn’t have to worry about rude customers or inconsiderate clerks or whether they are going to over-charge their account. But they did walk far and long to find the child of promise, so they could give Him gifts.

Well, this year, just like every year, millions of people, both children and adults, will open gifts. Some won’t fit. Some will be the wrong color. Some just won’t make any sense at all. Many will be returned or exchanged. But there’s one gift that meets everyone’s need, one gift that will never wear out, never break or need repairing. A gift that is appropriate for a small child, or a teenager, or an adult. A gift that’s appropriate for boys and girls, men and women, it makes no difference.

The gift we all need, the most valuable gift of all, is the gift of God… 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” VIDEO… This morning, I’d like to make three points about this gift.

1. The Gift is Jesus Christ Himself

Little Russian girl… John 3:16... God gave us the gift of His own Son, Jesus Christ, so that through Him we could be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life.

I believe many miss the mark at Christmas. In our schools and public arenas we can celebrate Christmas as long as it includes Santa Claus and excludes Jesus. At the school Christmas program this week they sang about Santa, reindeer, cookies, and about dogs and cows, but not a word was spoken about Christ.

So they are telling us that it’s OK to sing about something we know without question is a lie, but we can’t sing about the Savior of the world. People worship a fairy tale story about Santa Claus, who comes to bring toys to all the children and that makes them happy – at least until the toys break or the children find something else that interests them more

But God gave His Son and all who accept Christ as Savior and Lord have eternal life. It doesn’t break, or fad, or rust, and it cannot be stolen, and it cannot be misplaced. God gives us life… John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Santa brings toys that bring temporary pleasure. (((Christmas at Grandmas – Atari))). Have you ever noticed that Santa is just Satan with the N moved over??? In the fairy tale story of Santa, he brings toys that will eventually break…

That’s what Satan does, he makes promises of happiness and fulfillment and pleasure – but they never last… they’re only temporary. Satan is a liar. John 8:44, “…There is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

But the gift that God gave is eternal. The everlasting God gave Himself. That’s something many parents could learn from… they gives things, but not themselves… There’s nothing wrong with giving things, but those things should never be a substitute for your relationship with your family.

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