Summary: So, when you think about it, Christmas is about giving and about presents. This brings us to the crux of our message this morning, how do we make a present of ourselves this Christmas? In order to answer this question, we need to take a good look at Sam
THE PRESENTS OF CHRISTMAS
The Present Of Ourselves
INTRODUCTION: How does the song go, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” ? And Christmas really is, or really should be the most wonderful time of the years, eclipsed ONLY by Easter. Christmas celebrates a birth, and Easter a “rebirth”.
The first Christmas was marked by a gift – God’s Only Son! Easter was also marked by a gift – God’s Only Son as our payment for sin.
So, when you think about it, Christmas is about giving and about presents. This brings us to the crux of our message this morning, how do we make a present of ourselves this Christmas? In order to answer this question, we need to take a good look at Samuel. Samuel’s life reveals the steps to making a present of ourselves to God.
I GET SOMEONE PRAYING FOR YOU – 1 Samuel 1:11
A Here the issue is the fact that Hannah is barren – unable to have children
B She is taunted by others
C She is unconsoled by her husband
D Hannah prays for Samuel EVEN before his birth
1 Hannah’s prayers would be the beginning of Samuel’s presentation of himself to God.
2 God keeps his promises
3 We need to get people praying for us that God would make Himself known to us, and that we might be in a position to give ourselves fully to Him!
II UNDERSTAND THE TIMES – 1 Samuel 3:1
A At the time of Samuel’s call, God did not speak much
1 Israel was in a period of decline
a The system of judges was not working
b The Levitical system was corrupt
c Everybody was doing what was right in their own eyes
2 The priesthood was in decline
a The sons of Eli were treating the offerings with contempt
b The sons of Eli were committing fornication with temple workers
c The sons of Eli would not listen to their father
B God is going to teach us that true power is not found in a man’s position in society, but by a mans posture before God.
1 Samuel 2:30b (NIV) …Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.
1 Samuel 2:30b (MSG) … I honor those who honor me; those who scorn me I demean.
1 God interacts with us when we are right before Him
2 Eli had not heard God speak to him
3 The sons of Eli had not heard God speak to them
4 Samuel was about to hear God, …
III LOCATE YOURSELF WHERE GOD CAN SPEAK – 1 Samuel 3:3-4
A Samuel positioned himself in the Temple
B Today, God dwells within every believer
1 We still need to be “in position”
2 We need to be in physical position
a Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
1 Not giving up, not forsaking, literally means to not leave in a lurch or helpless
2 leave in an uncomfortable or desperate situation.
b Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
1 Believers devoted themselves
2 They gave themselves continually
3 They were strong towards
c Acts 12:11-17 Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating." 12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the door!" 15 "You’re out of your mind," they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, "It must be his angel." 16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. "Tell James and the brothers about this," he said, and then he left for another place.
1 Notice that while some were in the right place, God was speaking to others
2 IE: People praying together – The early church was not located in one place
3 God is acting with Peter
4 Sometimes, my being in the right place assists others in hearing God and presenting themselves to Him!