Summary: Jesus is God's indescribable gift and we must learn to appreciate that gift and receive it for ourselves.
A. For many of us, Christmas time is a time of giving and receiving gifts.
B. I like the story told of the uncle who gave his nephew, Chris, an electric guitar for Christmas.
1. The first time Chris saw his uncle after Christmas he said, “Thanks for the electric guitar you gave me for Christmas, it’s the best present I ever got.”
2. “That's great,” said his uncle. “Have you learned how to play it?”
3. “Oh, I don't play it,” the young fellow said. “My mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night.”
C. All of us have probably received, or maybe even given a gift that was not highly appreciated.
1. So, what is it that makes a gift a good gift?
2. For some people it has to do with the quality or the cost of the gift.
3. Others judge it a good gift if it meets the particular need of the recipient.
4. Still others measure the gift by the motive in the heart of the giver.
D. What do people do with gifts that they don’t like or appreciate?
1. Some put in it a closet and later sell it at a garage sale.
2. Some return it to the store and exchange it for something else.
3. Others wrap it up and gift it to someone else – I think that’s what happens with fruitcakes.
E. Today I want to talk with you about the all-time best gift that has ever been given.
1. It is a gift that each of us must receive. If we don’t receive this gift, then we will be missing the most important gift ever given.
2. In 2 Cor. 9:15, the apostle Paul makes a statement that is so powerful, even though it is only 8 words long.
3. Paul says, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”
4. Have you ever received an indescribable gift?
5. What kind of gift would it have to be to be called “indescribable?”
F. Several years ago on “Good Morning America,” Joan Lunden featured some gift ideas that might be considered indescribable – they are extraordinary gifts that are not likely to find their way on to your Christmas list.
1. One of them was the Jaguar 220.
a. It goes 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
b. It retailed for a cool $587,000.
c. The Jaguar 220 is a limited addition model, and was only built from 1991 to 1996 only 280 were built.
d. It sounds like a nice appreciation gift for a preacher, don’t you think?
2. If you were to purchase one of those cars, you might want to get the specialized car wax. It retails for $3,400 for an 8 ounce can.
3. A third item, Joan Lunden mentioned was a $300,000 gold and silver toilet seat inlaid with precious stones. How’s that for pampering oneself?
4. If those gifts are a little too pricey for you, you might consider the $18,000 frisbee, the $12,000 mousetrap, or the $57,000 pair of sunglasses.
5. And for the proud grandparents, how about a $28,000 pacifier for the new grandbaby?
6. Such gifts stagger our imagination, don’t they? Nevertheless, such gifts are not indescribable.
7. Even though we may not be able to find words to describe them, I assure you that the manufacturers can, and they spend lots of money describing them in TV and newspaper ads.
G. Now, let’s get back to the Scripture I mentioned from 2 Corinthians 9.
1. In that chapter, Paul had first been discussing human gift giving.
2. The church in Corinth was taking up offerings to send to the poor Christians in Jerusalem.
3. Paul commended them for their eagerness to help, and reminded them that those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly.
4. But then Paul shifted his attention from human gift giving to God’s gift of Jesus that he sent to earth for us.
5. But Paul could not find words to describe that gift, so he simply said, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”
H. At this time of year we often give our attention to the wonder of God’s gift of Jesus.
1. Most of us realize that Christmas is not a Biblically commanded holiday, and that no one knows the exact day that Jesus was born.
2. Although the Bible records the birth narratives of Jesus, the Bible does not command that we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, nor does it tell us that the early church did anything to celebrate the birth of Christ.
3. The Bible does show the early church remembering the death of Jesus on the cross in the weekly communion, and showed that they acknowledged the resurrection of Jesus from the dead by worshipping on the 1st day of the week, the day of the resurrection.