Summary: Christmas Message
What Are You Willing To Give?
Scripture: John 3:16
Tomorrow is Christmas day and many kids will awaken to the presents that they have been longing to receive for the last few months. But this morning I want to ask you a question. What are you willing to give? Now before you answer this question, let me elaborate on this just a little.
During this time of year many people donate money and other new items for those in need. When we start buying Christmas presents for our own family and friends, we often buy something that they want, not something that means anything to us. For example, if I purchased clothes for my daughters, the only value that the clothes have for me is that they would make it very hard for boys to be looking at their bodies. If it were up to me my daughters would only wear the robes of monks, but let me stay on track here. Since I am unable to wear these clothes, they carry no real value to me, except that maybe they would make my daughters happy. This type of giving is not what I want you to consider. I want you to think about what you are willing to give that have some extreme importance to you.
So let me ask the question with you thinking along these lines. Think about the special gift that you have been waiting to receive tomorrow. Maybe it is a new car; an Ipod; maybe an X-box 360. Whatever it is that you have been wanting for a long time, imagine tomorrow morning that you wake up and you have it. Now consider on Tuesday morning, the day after Christmas, of giving that same present that you just received and has not had time to fully appreciate to someone else. I am not talking about giving it to a family member or a close friend who does not have anything, but I am talking about giving it to a total stranger who may or may not take care of it. Would you be willing to give that precious gift that you just received to someone you did not know and who would probably not take care of it?
This is what the meaning of Christmas is. It is not about the things we buy and give to others that have no real value for us as individuals. It is not about the clothes and other items that we donate to the poor and needy from our vast storage of supplies. It is not about how much we give to the Salvation Army workers when we are shopping. It is also not about the large Christmas dinner that we have when we eat so much that we can longer breathe. Christmas is about giving something that means so much to you that it represents a huge sacrifice for you to depart with it. It is about not just giving on one day, but giving everyday, something that will last, something that will be of a benefit to others, not just for that day, but for the rest of their lives. What are you willing to give? What are you willing to part with that has a lot of value to you?
We are celebrating Christmas tomorrow and this celebration comes about because of a gift that god gave to us that changed our lives for eternity. John 3:16 says that this gift was giving out of love, not obligation to make Himself feel better, but out of a genuine love. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." This is the gift that God gave us. He did not search through his closet for things He could no longer use (although that is good for us to do, but we could do much more.) God did not look into His billfold and pull out a few dollars to donate. What He did was give a gift that meant the world to Him, He gave His only Son. His gift opened the door for us to live with Him for eternity. He gave His Son because He loved us.
Remember earlier I asked you what you were willing to give and if you could give that special thing that you cherished to someone who was a stranger and would possibly not take care of it or treasure it the way you do? That is what God did when He gave His Son to the world. The world did not readily receive His Son. The world abused His Son and finally killed Him. This could be compared (only on the loosest of terms) to someone taking your gift and abusing it, breaking it and finally just throwing it in the trash. That gift that was so special to you, the one that you would have taken very good care of would end up in some stranger’s trashcan. Would you be willing to give that gift up KNOWING that is where it would end up?