The tradition of gift exchange--not giving--began in an unknown time.
December 17th, 2000, Sunday Morning
The Gift GOD Gave
The best Christmas present you'll ever get
OPENING: Isaiah 9:6, KJV
Today, Christmas is seen by individuals as an expectation of getting something
(i.e., "What did you get me for Christmas? huh huh huh?").
- People want things such as cameras, a dog, skates, etc.; As if they're actually
- But it was GOD who truly gave (not exchanged) a gift.
- When you receive something for giving to someone, that's compensation. What
you gave no longer is defined a "gift."
- Christmas is a reminder of the gift GOD gave. Why exchange gifts if
we're to follow GOD's example? In other words, it's good for everyone to get a gift, but
the intention should be to give without expecting something in return.
Your birthday is not about the exchange of gifts. Everyone
gifts you a gift. And just like Christmas, which is about Jesus' birthday, we should look
to give Him a gift without expecting a return (i.e., reading your bible from cover to cover).
#1/4: Let's examine the background of Isaiah 9:6...
- Daniel 2:44: Cross-reference this scripture... it is a vision
of the world powers to unfold. It implies this kingdom that "shall stand for ever"
will knock down the currently reviving Roman Empire (European Union or EU).
- Luke 1:31: And this final kingdom will be ruled by Jesus Christ
in Jerusalem. All nations of the world will come to Him annually for council (after the
- Isaiah 9:6: Notice the scripture says "unto us
a son is given" meaning He is the gift GOD gave.
- John 3:16: GOD GAVE His only Son.
- The giver = GOD; the creator of all you see and don't see (i.e., wind, gravity, etc).
He gave as a demonstration/declaration of His love.
#2/4: Note what is GIVEN
- Luke 2:11: GOD's Son. Born in swaddling cloth which is symbolic
that He was born to die.
- John 1:4: And Jesus is the light that shines from us as His
- John 10:10: Note the word in this passage--"abundantly".
Jesus wants us to not only have life but to have it better than we could want it for ourselves.
- Today, so many Christians are depressed. They're turning to psychiatrists and
counselors for answers (that's how these people make their money). However, they should
be turning to Christ who is the true "Counseller" (Isaiah 9:6).
- If you're missing out on life and need counseling, get into the Word of GOD
- Shame on any Christian who purposely stays depressed and leads a dark life
and seeks council from men. It is written that we should be "of good cheer":
- Matthew 9:2
- Matthew 14:27
- Mark 6:50
- John 16:33
- Acts 23:11
- Acts 27:22
- Acts 27:25
- Acts 27:36
- See message: "How to Have a Merry Heart" from November 30, 2000
by Revival Week pastor Jim Payne.
- Eternal Life
- Romans 6:23: Why was man the recipient of eternal life? Because
eternal death is upon us all. Jesus Christ voluntary came down from the highest seat in
heaven to become as one of us--to pay for our sins and to suffer and feel all pain
and temptation that we do--without expecting anything in return.
#3/4: WHY did man receive this Gift from GOD?
- John 3:16: Because He loves us (and loved us before we were born).
And he didn't just say it with His lips in the Bible but he clearly demonstrated it by
giving His Son as a gift to us so we may have eternal life through Him.
- If you desperately need something (i.e., shoes, medicine, etc.), you are very
much appreciative of that need (gift) when it's met (given to you). What more could we
need in life than the guarantee of eternal salvation after life?
- We received Jesus as a gift because the demanded price of GOD was
beyond our purchase capability. We couldn't buy it so GOD gave Him.
- There's no equivalent in earth, heaven, or the universe that could pay for this
- Today, the world is trying to acquire a more abundant, high quality of life.
- TESTIMONY: Howard Hughes; one of the richest men the world ever knew
and he was so paranoid about getting sick he permanently rented out an entire section of
a hotel to stay isolated from other people. He led a miserable life and spent all his money
on, presumably, "good health."
- Men and women spend their entire life and life savings on physicians who can't
heal them! (And if a physician could heal you, he or she would be out of a job!)
#4/4: WHO are the gift's RECIPIENTS?
- John 3:16: TO ANY (more specifically "whosoever believeth
- Matthew 20:28: TO "MANY..."
- Hebrews 2:9: TO EVERY (one).
- Two things you can do with this gift: accept or reject it ... and if you're in
the middle or unsure, you've already rejected it. (John 3:18)
- John 3:36: This passage means that big black clouds will hang
(not literally) over your head 24-7 ... whether you eat, sleep, wherever you go, when
you're under the covers ... GOD's wrath is with you.
- Luke 16:20-31: Read this passage about
Lazarus the poor beggar and the rich man and how they both turned out after they died.
- John 19:15: The chief priests and Pharisees already made their
decision that Jesus would not be their ruler.
- The explanation for people not wanting Christ to rule over them is then those
people will no longer be able to rule over themselves and do they things they want--whether
it be right or wrong.
- Even more sad than rejection is the professing to be
saved but don't believe in an organized church or
religion. This can be found in people who claim "to be spiritual but not religious."
- Some claim to have received the gift ... but HAVE NOT OPENED THE GIFT.
- John 1:12: In order to receive, you must believe.
Nobody can make you believe--you have to want it ... and when you really want something, you'll
fight to get it.
- John 3:17: Through the gift--Christ--can you be
- 1 John 5:12: Therefore, you must have (accept) the Son--the gift.
- Ephesians 1:4,7,11,13 and Ephesians 2:6: Christ chose us
to His "before the foundation of the world..."
Most people are fascinated only with the gift-wrapping of the present--hearing about
the Gift GOD hath given us ... but they never invest the time to open and explore the Gift.
So open the Gift and what do you see? The Bible.
- This Gift is often unappreciated because the recipient never fully realized
the purchase price of the gift.
- Take a moment of time today to appreciate the gift--not just the gift wrapping.
- This gift can't be stolen or tarnished ... for it is the gift of eternal,
abundant life and more! Fellowship with Abba (The Father), forgiveness of sins, and more...
- This gift is a friend--Jesus Christ--who will always be your best friend.