Summary: This is a season of giving and receiving. We share gifts amongst ourselves but what do we share with the Lord? This sermon tells us what the Lord God want from you and me as his gift for the season.
This is a season of thanksgiving and appreciation. Individuals and corporate organizations spend a lot of money holding end of the year/Xmas parties, exchanging gifts with one and another and generally appreciating one another for the good things did to each other in the year ending. We buy different kinds of gifts to share with one another but many of us forget to extend the same hand of generosity to our creator, the one who made it possible for us to live and be able to appreciate one another. This morning we shall therefore see what the Lord will appreciate to receive from us as his gift.
What the Lord want to receive from us?
If we are able to give gifts worth hundreds or thousands of dollars to our relations, friends, business associates, obviously our creator deserve more. David knew precisely what the quality of the Lord’s gift supposed to be when he said:
1Ch. 21: 24----------I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing."
If it cost us something to be able to give to our friends and associates then God’s gift should cost us more.
What then do we give him?
The Lord himself gave us an idea of the kind of gift he wants from us when he said:
PS 50:9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
To let us know what he really want, he sent his son Jesus Christ to let us know the kind of things that pleases him:
HEB 10:5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me; 6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, `Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.’ "
8 First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The Lord wants from us “a body he prepared for us” and from this body he wants “a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart” that is willing to do his will as Jesus did.
PS 51:16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
He wants us to rend our broken and contrite heart to him;
JOEL 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
The same thing he asked from the Israelites many years ago he is asking us again this day and this is:
DT 10:12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
The Lord wants us to use our broken and contrite heart to do His will. His will are:
That we fear him – honor, love or respect him
Walk in all his ways
Observe his commands and decrees and to do all these and
Serve him with our heart and with all our soul
This the greatest gift we can ever give back to him,
MAT 22: 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
MT 22:37 Jesus replied: " `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."