Summary: Why do we give gifts? I give them to be a blessing to those I love. I know that I’ve succeeded when they use the gifts I give. Clearly, Jesus is the Gift of God. How and in what ways does God intend for us to "use" (or perhaps it’s better to say apply) Hi

Last week we dealt with the prophetic aspect of Christmas

+ And I hope we have a better appreciation for how amazing that is

+ For God to give so many specific prophecies about His coming Messiah

+ And for every single one which has already been fulfilled to be 100 % accurate

And how wonderful and special it was too

+ Since I truly believe God was just so excited about this plan of salvation which He had devised

+ And He so very much longed to see it come to pass

+ That He wanted to repeatedly emphasize Messiah was coming

+ And finally! Finally when He came

+ God could allow the angels of Heaven to cry out that great Good News

+ Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Well, I don’t suppose it takes anyone by surprise that this week we are looking at another aspect of Christmas = The aspect of "gifts"

+ In our special offering we already re-iterated the very famous point = John 3:16

+ As well as the equally famous Biblical principle

+ 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

+ And so we respond to God’s gift by receiving Him

+ And hopefully giving back with all our heart = Soul = Mind = Strength

+ And responding to God’s gift by giving our selves back to Him

+ That’s what I want to speak about today

What do you expect when you give a gift?

+ You expect that gift to be received = Appreciated = Hope it’s a blessing

+ And you expect the gift to be used in way intended

+ A few years ago I gave my wife a new coat for Christmas

+ She needed one = I wanted her to have a nice coat

+ Look nice = keep her warm and dry

+ I wasn’t 100 % sure if she was going to like it

+ But if she did = I fully expected her to wear it = And she did (Amen!)

What if she hadn’t? = What if she put it in closet and never took it out again?

+ I would wonder what’s the problem

+ Doesn’t fit? = Don’t like color, style? = Defective?

+ Identify the problem = Correct it = Why?

+ Because in giving a gift I really want to be a blessing

+ And I will know I have been if the gift is received with joy = AND USED

Well, now = John 3:16a = Jesus is God’s gift to us

+ And = John 3:16b = Clearly His intention for that gift to be received with joy

+ Clearly God wants to bless humanity

+ But just HOW / WHEN / WHERE is that gift supposed to be used?

At the end of our text for today = Col. 1:15-17

+ One of the classic places in Scripture you would use to show Jesus is the gift God intended = How? = Why?

+ (Hearkening back to last week) = Prophetically = Is. 7.14 = Is. 9:6-7

+ Now consider our text = [15] = "Who" from "In whom" [14]

+ From "his dear Son" [13] = Who’s Son? = [12]

+ Really the God of the OT = And the Lord Jesus Christ? = [1.1-2 / 3-4]

Now notice something with me = [17] ends with period

+ End of a sentence = Notice where that sentence BEGINS = [9]

+ One whole long thought that ends with Jehovah Jesus

+ What I want to suggest is that this passage helps us understand HOW / WHEN / WHERE / ETC the Gift of God is supposed to be used by us

+ Let’s spend a few moments examining the text and see for ourselves

[9] "For the cause we also" = What cause? = Already saw in [1-4]

+ What Paul discusses in his salutation and opening paragraph

+ He rejoices in the salvation the Colossians have found [4]

+ And are enjoying [5-8]

+ And isn’t that where we’ve stated we begin, also?

+ God’s given a Gift = His Son = Receiving Him is Salvation

All right = So what do we do with the Gift of God once we’re saved?

+ I believe God tells us through Paul = [9]

+ Once we’re saved God desires us to "be filled...his will" = Why?

First = So that we will know how to represent Him to the lost = "in all wisdom"

+ And how to interact with other Christians = "and spiritual understanding"

+ Then = "That...pleasing" [10] = So our walk = Conversation = Deportment

+ The way we live for others to see = Will be "worthy of the Lord"

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