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Summary: Message for CAMACOP Church Planting Sunday on December 9, 2012.

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The Time of the Great Giving

Church Planting Sunday

December 9, 2012

Introduction

It is December 9 today and Christmas is just around the corner. We may have heard this familiar chorus by Maranatha telling us what Christmas is all about.

The lyric of the song says: (Note: singing this song by the preacher would draw the attention of the listeners, whether or not he sings it right lol)

Christmas is a time

Christmas is a time

Christmas is a time to love

Christmas is a time

Christmas is a time

Christmas is a time to love

We often start to worry

And people get upset

If things don't go alright on Christmas day.

What we should remember

In all the push and shove

Is Christmas is a time to love.

Maybe things don't sound right

Or look the way they should

And maybe they're not perfectly in tune.

It really doesn't matter

Lets keep our eyes above

Coz' Christmas is a time to love.

To the writer of this song, Christmas is a time to love. How about you? What does Christmas mean to you?

To some, Christmas is a time for parties and reunions.

To others, Christmas is a time for vacation and for visiting their dream places.

Still for others, Christmas is a time for good business.

What do you think Christmas is for God? If we are going to ask God what does Christmas mean to him, what do you think would be God’s answer?

I think God’s answer would be that Christmas, for Him, is THE TIME OF THE GREAT GIVING.

Why? Because it was on that first Christmas that God gave the greatest gift of all.

I remember an award winning animated film in 1995, Land Before Time III.

The story revolves around the life of prehistoric animals that are now extinct. The group of Lightfoot, a group of young animals from five different kinds of prehistoric specie, was constantly being bullied by a group of teenage dinosaurs. They were fighting over food and later, over water, when the river was blocked by fallen rocks and water got very scarce. There was great discord among the ancient animals. However, when the water problem got worse, and a great fire struck the great valley where these animals live, they started to unite to find ways to survive. To make the long story short, the rocks that blocked the great river were removed and once again the life giving river started to water the great valley. While waiting for the grasses to grow again, the animals started to share food with each other in order to survive. The animals that were once fighting over food are now sharing food with each other. LAND BEFORE TIME 3 was aptly titled: THE TIME OF THE GREAT GIVING.

Christmas is the time of the great giving because it was on the first Christmas that God gave the greatest gift of all, His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 3: 16 says: For God so loved the world that HE GAVE his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Christmas is the time of the great giving because the one who gives the gift is the great God.

Could you imagine receiving a gift from a great king or let us say, from the president of a country? Let us suppose that you receive a gift from president Pnoy. What would you do? Ah, you would probably give your best care to preserve the gift. Maybe, with much care, you would enclose the gift in a glass container to preserve it and place a tag right in front of the object to let those who see it know it was from the president himself.

Some gifts are so valuable because of their assessed value or commercial worth. But there are gifts that are so valuable not because of its monetary value but because of the significance of the one who gives it to the receiver. A simple note could be priceless to a person who receives it from the one he greatly admired and loved.

The gift that was given on that first Christmas day was a great gift because it was a given by the great King, the one who created all things, the God of the universe, the one who really loved us and cared for us.

Christmas is the time of the great giving not only because the gift that was given comes from a great King but also because the gift that was given was a great gift.

What was the greatest gift you have ever received?

I remember a story about Arnold Palmer. Have you heard of this man? Arnold Palmer was a great golf player. In 1974, he was inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame, a coveted title given only to a few extremely gifted individuals. In 1998, he won the PGA tour Lifetime Achievement award. It was told that at one time, Arnold was asked by a King from the Middle East to coach him how to play golf. For several days, Arnold and the king had a great time playing golf together. When it was time for Arnold to leave, the King asked what gift he would desire to receive. Arnold loves to collect golf clubs and told the king that he would appreciate receiving one coming from the King himself. In case you are not familiar with a golf club, a golf club is the one golfers used to hit the golf ball. The King said that he would be sending his gift a few days later.

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