Summary: In a season where giving requres so much time and energy, what time and energy has been laid aside to prepare the gifts we will bring to Jesus this Christmas?
A. The Perfect Gift
People all around the world at this time of the year go to all extremes to give the perfect Christmas Gift. Some even plan for the full year.
Not only do we want the perfect gift but the perfect type of gift. You look at another’s personality, style of living, their hobbies or interests¡ every part of their makeup - just to make sure it is something they want! Those words, "oh it’s just what I’ve always wanted!" (of course it doesn’t matter how much of that statement is true!)
So where are you? Have you got it all figured out? Have you bought all your gifts? You know just what you want to give to each person of the family, to your friends, your teacher, your boss, your pastor! (I have a list in my office)
B. A Time of Generosity!
Giving brings a time of generosity, a time that we show others how much we love and care for another. A custom that began with the Wise Men giving gifts to Jesus has now become our giving gifts to each other!
APPL.: I wonder this morning what it would like if, for just one Christmas, we would make a covenant to spend just as much time & energy, be willing to endure any sacrifice, spend just as much money, and bring a gift to the Lord?
C. Micah 6:1-8
- A people who have forgotten their Lord.
- Have rebelled and now live under the pressures of the world with all types of idolatry
- Micah the prophet during the time of Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea comes to represent the Lord and call the people back.
- The Lord instructs Micah to setup a proceedings similar to a court of Law.
- The Lord is the Plaintiff; People - Defendant; Micah - Mediator
The Lord is the plaintiff and pleads His case. He can’t understand why they have abandoned Him. Why, after all He’s done for them, they have turned away from Him.
After presenting His case, The People - the Defendants respond knowing their guilt and because they have been reminded and are remembering all God has done for them, now turn and ask the question, With What Shall I Bring to the Lord?
What Shall I Give to God?
While the story is not a Christmas Story, the Biblical Principles within the story are so powerful as we are in a season of giving and thanking others for what they mean to each other and have done in their lives.
And if that is what our Giving of Gifts is about, my question becomes:
WHAT SHALL I GIVE TO JESUS?
I. THE LORD¡¦S CASE (Verses 1-5)
READ VERSES 1-2
1. "Listen" ¨ (1)
- Do we really listen to God? We have so many opportunities!
2. "Stand up and plead your case" (1)
The question is: What do we do with what we hear?
3. "The Lord Has a Case" (2)
In Israel’s case - He’s lodging a charge against¡
Gosh - What would He say about you? Would He have a case against you?
READ VERSE 3
4. "What Have I Done To You" (3) "How have I burdened you?"
- Their actions would make one think they had a bone to pick!
- "what have I done to deserve such treatment"
- What would He say to you and I about our lifestyle? Our family affairs, work etc.?
"Answer Me" "Be honest with me"
what have I done? Well?
Now the Lord begins to state His case against them. He’s going to recall the blessings He has given them.
a. Pause for a moment and reflect on how He has treated you during 2006?
b. What would these next few verses be regarding your life?
A. ISRAEL’S RANSOM (Vs. 4)
READ VERSE 4
1. "Redeemed" (several different definitions in Bible)
a. "to buy out of debt"
b. "to pay the price" - as in our redemption
c. "to ransom"
- a release from a certain condition
- in this case from slavery.
2. "I sent Moses, Aaron, Miriam" - brothers and sister
3 prophets to help, guide, strengthen, and prepare them for the Promised Land.
MOSES represented the Chosen Leader from God to bring leadership and instruction.
AARON representing spiritual matters. Helped in offerings, sacrifices, and in matters of atonement.
MIRIAM, the sister of Moses and Aaron, with a spirit of prophecy & a leader to the women.
First in the Lord’s Case, we see where the Israelites were released from slavery. We see where they were not only ransomed but given leaders and teachers to help prepare and quip them for acts of service so that they are without excuse.
SUM.: Could He not say the same of us?