Summary: Christmas Day sermon that examines some gifts we should give to our risen King of Kings.
“What Should I Give the King?”
Text: Matthew 2:1-11
I am – and I hope you are too – doubly blessed this morning. Not only is this my favorite day of the entire year – Christmas Day – a day of Santa Claus’ presents, stockings, other gifts and time with family, it is also my favorite day of the week – the Lord’s Day. Most importantly, it is the first day of the week when we assemble to worship our Creator and the giver of every good and perfect gift – especially to honor Him for the gift of His Son. And this is our primary purpose for being here this morning. But, I’m also a child when it comes to Christmas and I love giving and opening gifts. So, like so many of you, I’m a little anxious to get back to a scene such as this – a Christmas tree and presents. Since I knew our minds would be on gifts this morning, I chose for our text the account of the wise men bringing gifts to the baby born King of the Jews. While there are many unknowns about these men from the East – their exact identity and number, Jesus is estimated to be between six months and two years of age when they visited Him. They came to worship the Child and to bring gifts suitable for royalty. We come this morning to worship not the baby Jesus but the risen King of Kings. But what gifts should we bring this King? That is the question I’d like for us to examine for the next few minutes – “What should I give the King?” Isn’t this the same dilemma we often face in gift giving: What to get the person who seems to have everything? I hope you’ll open your Bibles as we study together and then I plead with you to keep on searching your Bibles this week to make sure I’ve told you the truth.
We must first understand that God doesn’t need anything from us. Notice Psalm 50:12 – “If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” The apostle Paul made it even clearer as he preached to the men of Athens in Acts 17:24-25: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” Yet God desires certain things from His creation and these are the gifts we want to talk about this morning. First of all, God desires us to be holy. Sin destroyed the intimacy between God and man in the Garden of Eden but God continued to call men to righteousness as He did Noah and Abraham. As we begin reading the book of Exodus, we are introduced to the concept of holiness and then Leviticus prescribes practical ways to live in holiness. Notice the words of Leviticus 20:26 – And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine. To be holy is to be separated and dedicated for service to God. While holiness was expected of the Israelites, it is also desired in us. The apostle Paul quoted from Isaiah to the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 6:17 – “Come out from among them and be separate,” says the Lord. Church, that’s the clarion call we need to hear today! As Peter wrote fellow Christians, he penned these words in 1 Peter 1:13-16 – Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” We are to be different from the world about us! Peter goes on in the next chapter to describe the church as a holy priesthood and a holy nation. Are you and I holy? Not perfect in the sense of sinless but set apart for God’s service. That’s what God desires from us – for us to be holy! We wrap this gift with a warning from Hebrews 12:14 – Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Secondly, God desires us to be penitent. When we sin, we damage our holiness and need to be reconciled back to God. But that requires a penitent attitude. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10) And since we are prone to sin daily, penitence needs to be part of our Christian attitude. The 51st psalm is a beautiful description of this attitude – especially verse 17: