Summary: Suggestions about a Christmas gift for God.
What to Give the God who has everything!
Ps. 116:12 "What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?"
Reflection: Christmas is a time for giving. It’s a time when God’s gift to us motivates us to give to others. It is God’s nature to give, and since we are made in His image, part of that drive is in each of us. How strange it is that we “Celebrate the birthday of Jesus” and give gifts to everyone but Him!
Let’s look at that familiar Christmas story and recognize some of those early “Christmas gifts”.
1. ZACHARIAS: (Luke 1:5-25, 57-80)
A. GOD HAD SPECIAL PLANS FOR JOHN. Lk 1:15-17
B. JOHN WAS ALSO A GIFT FROM GOD! (Lk 1:13,14) “thou shalt have joy and gladness”
Zacharias’ gift was to raise and return his son John for God’s purposes.
2. THE MAGI:
A. THEY LOOKED BEYOND THE STAR TO THE SAVIOR.
B. THEY LOOKED BEYOND THE JOURNEY TO THE JOY.
C. THEY LOOKED BEYOND SELF INTEREST TO SACRIFICIAL INVOLVEMENT.
God gave to the Magi insight and they returned that gift by acting on God’s revelations.
3. THE SHEPHERDS: Luke 2:8-20
A. THEY LEFT THEIR SHEEP TO INVESTIGATE THE ANGEL’S MESSAGE.
B. THEY SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH EVERYONE THEY MET. Vs 17
The shepherd’s gift was the gift of sharing what God had revealed to them with others!
4. MARY AND JOSEPH:
A. NOTICE GOD’S PREPARATION FROM ETERNITY PAST.
(Gal 4:4,5) "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
1) God orchestrated the events to correspond to prophecy. (His character was at stake!)
> Born a Jew: (Gen. 26:4)
> Born from the tribe of Judah: (Gen 49:10) "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
> Of the Line of David. (Isa. 9: 6,7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.
NOTE: God preserved the line of David from annihilation several times. (2 Kings 11:1,2)
> Born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
NOTE: God moved the heart of a heathen emperor to proclaim a census to accomplish this!
> Born of a virgin. (Isa 7:14) "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
B. NOTICE THE PARTNERSHIP
1) God Had To Find A Willing Woman To Fulfil The Prophecies.
> Bear the shame and false accusations. (John 8:41) "We be not born of fornication;"
> Risk losing her fiancé. (Matthew 1:19)
> Risk losing her family. (Where was Mary’s mother at the birth?)