Summary: God gave His best: shouldn’t we give our best this Christmas.
Christmas: It=s All About Giving
WHAT CAN I GIVE TO JESUS?
Over the past couple of Sundays as we approach Christmas, we have considered the thought: Christmas: It’s All about giving. We examined how much God the Father gave when He gave His Only Son on that first Christmas morn. He gave the best that He had and He gave without condition. Wow. Then we examined When Jesus Gave Himself to us on that first Christmas. We looked how He laid all His privileges aside for the sake of offering Himself as the Redeemer of mankind. Today, as we celebrate Christmas in four short days, I want us to think about, What Can I Give to Jesus? This is quite a thought considering what the Heavenly Father and also Jesus Himself gave to us. What in the world can we possibly give in return?
I think it would be best just to examine what those around Jesus on that first Christmas gave to Jesus. Let us begin first with the Magi.
THE MAGI GAVE JESUS THEIR...
Before we examine what these men brought to Jesus let first think about who they were. Matthew reminds us clearly that these magi were not from Israel at all, but from the East. The Magi were a group of people well known through out all the East. They rose to power during the Babylonian and Persian empires. They were a noble class of intellects and astrologers and men sought them for their wisdom. They would so revered they were called at times, "the King Makers" because no one could be named king apart from their approval.
1) Unhindered Audience
Nothing was going to keep these noble men from standing in the presence of Jesus. Nothing.
Not Distance of Travel:
(Illustration) Missionary on a Pacific Island was celebrating a birthday. Many of the islanders were bringing her gifts, but one in particular touched her. One young man brought her a beautiful seashell. But the thing that made it so spectacular was the shells could only be found on one beach of the island very far away. When the missionary made mention of it, the young man said, Athe distance is part of the gift.@ It was not the gift as much as what it took to get it.@
(Illustration) David desiring the water from the well in Bethlehem and his three men went through enemy lines to get it for him.
(Illustration) Old men and women who had walked three hours to come to our preaching service on the mountain in Honduras.
Not other Obligations
2)Unashamed Worship (2:11a)
proskuneo: (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright 8 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
3) Unselfish Giving (2:11b)
THE SHEPHERDS GAVE JESUS THEIR...
1) Unworthy/Inferiority Complex
- Considered themselves Unworthy Due to their Position in Life
- Considered themselves Unworthy Due to their Lifestyle
2) Powerful Testimony
MARY AND JOSEPH GAVE JESUS THEIR....
1) Personal Dreams and Plans
The question should not be, Can I fit Jesus into my plans? Instead, we should ask, Does my plans fit into Jesus? It should not be, AWhat do I want?, but instead, Lord, what do you want out of my life?
(Illustration) Dale Johnson giving up his dream of professional baseball for Jesus.
2) Public Reputations
In their own special way each of these gave themselves to Jesus Christ. Yet, there was another name mentioned in this Christmas story and his name was King Herod. And what did he give Jesus ? Rejection and jealousy. He rejected Jesus as the King of Kings and feared that Jesus may take away his own kingdom. Therefore, he rejected the Christ-child and attempted to have Him destroyed.