Summary: Everyone is looking for the perfect gift for Christmas. Your search is now over. The gift you are looking for has been found.

The Search is On

For the Perfect Christmas Gift

This is that time of the year when the game begins. By the time we have cleaned up the messy wrapping paper that we tore to shreds to get to the gifts, we are now looking or “searching” for that perfect gift for the people in our lives.

Out of the 45,827 malls and shopping centers nationwide, you would think we would not have a problem finding the perfect Christmas gift.

But there are still people out there, doing nothing more then SEARCHING.

Searching to the point of panicking. Time is running out and I don’t have the Perfect gift as of yet.

· The craze of the 1980’s was the “Cabbage Patch Dolls”. By the end of 1983, there were three million dolls sold.

· Then came the stories of parents fighting over the “Tickle Me – Elmo” doll. These parents attacking store clerks and running down delivery trucks.

· This year you have the Xbox 360.

There was a lady in Indiana, who left her home on a Monday night at 9:15 equipped with a foldable chair, a sleeping bag, gloves, an umbrella, a blanket and a burning desire to be one of the lucky few to snatch an Xbox 360 Live. More than 12 hours later she returned home from Toys ’R’ Us with her face wind burned, her nerves frayed and $536 poorer. Her mission was a success.

But the problem, when this Christmas is over, her search will begin again. Why? What she obtained was not enough.

Many shoppers are spending a lot of money, spending many hours looking and searching for things that they think will make them happy.

But this search started a long time ago. Read

Matthew 2:1-4

The Search for the King:

The Maji (three wise men) knew the prophecy that was foretold about a baby who was born who would one day become the King of the Jews. They went searching for the baby.

The Search for the Competitor:

When the wise men asked Herod about the baby’s whereabouts, this troubled the king. To the point of searching to kill baby Jesus. How? By having all male babies two years old and younger, killed. He thought by doing this cruel act, this would remove this baby Jesus who everyone was talking about.

So you see, the search has been going on ever since the first Christmas.

You are here. At this moment and you are caught up in the game of the search for the perfect Christmas gift. It’s just that things you are searching for are only temporary fixes.

Many of you are searching for:

1. Happiness.

· If I can just make it through Christmas without filing bankruptcy then I’ll be happy.

Until the credit card payments become due and you continue to just make those minimum payments. Come April, you will not be happy anymore when you start getting those statements.

· If I can just get this gift for my child, he/she will be happy and that will make me happy.

Until they decide they are finished playing with that expensive toy.

· If I can just have all of my family here for Christmas then I will be happy.

Until one of your family members doesn’t show up. Or maybe this is the first Christmas without a particular member who you lost this year or in years past.

The problem is you are searching for happiness when you ought to be searching for joy.

What’s the difference?

Happiness is received according to my circumstances:

As long as:

Everything stays in tact – I’m Happy!

Everybody gets along – I’m Happy!

She doesn’t say anything to me – I’m Happy!

He doesn’t make those harsh remarks to me – I’m Happy!

The "happiness that lasts" is never found because it is actually impossible to get happy and stay happy. If life is based on obtaining happiness, then we will always fall short because life is always changing as the wheel turns.

Joy is received in spite of my circumstances:

I lost my job – but I can still rejoice!

I lost my mom/dad – but I can still rejoice!

It’s been a tough year financially – but I can still rejoice!

My family is divided – but I can still rejoice!

Kids are messes up – but I can still rejoice!

How? – Because the joy that I have inside of me is not determined by:

· What people say to or about me

· What people do to me

· The mood I am in when I wake up in the morning

· My job or financial circumstance

· My marriage or the lack of one

But you don’t know what I am going through:

I don’t have to know, God knows and if you have Him on your side fighting for you – then the joy should be overflowing in your life.

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