Summary: At this time of the year we start thinking about buying Christmas gifts for our love ones. What gifts has God given to the ones that He loves?
At this time of the year we start thinking about buying Christmas gifts for our love ones. Have you ever been given a gift that you didn’t expect? Have you ever been given a gift that you thought you could never use? Have you ever been given the surprise of your life? Today we are going to look at some of the gifts that God as given.
First let’s look at Sarah and Abraham. The lord appeared to Abraham while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. Let’s read what was said to Abraham and Sarah’s reaction.
9 "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he said.
10 Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.
12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, ’Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’
14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, "I did not laugh." But he said, "Yes, you did laugh."
Sarah was barren and could not give Abraham any children, so she gave to her Husband her maidservant, Hagar, so that she could bear Abraham children. From the scriptures we know that Hagar gave Abraham a son named Ishmael. Sarah had given up all hope of having any children. When she overheard the Lord telling Abraham that Sarah would bear him a son, she laughed because she knew her time had passed and it was medically impossible for her to have children at her age. Plus she was old and tired and didn’t really look forward to raising a rambunctious boy. Aren’t you glad that nothing is impossible with God? He gave Sarah a child and even gave her the strength to raise him.
Have you ever laughed at things that God wanted you to do? I have. I would never have dreamed that I would be going into the ministry at the age of 55. When God called me for the ministry at the age of 15, I ran. God is a patient God. He waited until I was old and tired and could run no longer. God then said it is time. I laughed just as Sarah did until I realized that God was serious. Sarah soon realized that God was serious too, when she became pregnant with Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham and Sarah had prayed for many years, to be blessed with a son. God not only answered their prayers, but God told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars and that through his offspring all nations on earth will be blessed. This is a covenant that has been fulfilled by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. So the gift was not just to Abraham and Sarah, but to all the people of the world that accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Now let’s look at another unexpected gift.
10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
13 But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.
14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.
17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous-- to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
18 Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."