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Message

The Gift: God, The Giver
Miles McPherson - December 23, 2012

Message Recap

Christmas is the heavyweight champion of holidays because it is about the birth of Jesus, which leads to his death, which leads to His resurrection as an opportunity for us to have eternal life with God.

When you’re a child, Christmas is all about what you want and what you receive.   When you are older, your focus begins to shift as you consider what I’m going to give and what would bless the people that you love. Today’s message is about God as the ultimate Christmas Giver.

When we think of Christmas, we imagine trees, lights, mistletoe, snow, and gifts, but it’s very different for God.  To Him, Christmas is not a one-day thing, but a 365-day thing.  It is about His giving of the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ to us.

To God, Christmas is:

1. An opportunity for a second chance.

Christmas is an opportunity for us to be reconciled to God and to have a relationship with Him.

After the first sin in Genesis, the rest of the Bible is the story of God reconciling us to Himself.  God created us to be relational beings, but when we sinned, our perfect relationship with God was broken, as were our relationships with other people.

God sent His Son Jesus to restore this brokenness.  His death pays for our sin and reestablishes a holy relationship with God.  Then can we reestablish our relationships with people.  Even if there are relationships you have not been able to fix, God can come in supernaturally and fix them.

2. An example of self-sacrifice.

When God gave His only Son to us, he was modeling to us how to give.

Jesus was all alone on the cross, with the sin of the whole world laid upon Him.  He was crucified as a criminal and buried in the tomb without honor.

Jesus didn’t come as a king to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom.  So let’s receive our gifts the way God intended.

Salvation is always relevant.  Not only did this gift cost Him everything, it never wears out – it’s eternal!  The more you use it, the better it is.  Just as working out your muscles will make them stronger and more useful, working out your salvation takes time and spiritual exercise, and it gets richer and better over time.

Christmas is God’s sacrifice to you.  How will you use it?

3. A symbol of the value He has placed on our lives.

We are not worthy to have relationship with Him, and yet God blesses us beyond what we deserve.  Even when you accept Him as Savior, you are still not worthy and you can never pay Him back for this incredible gift.  But you can live your life in a way to show Him your gratefulness.  The longer you walk with Him, the more you realize how unworthy you really are.

Your value is not based on what you have accomplished, but on God’s love for you.  As a mother loves her tiny baby, who has done nothing and can do nothing, God loves us.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13

On Christmas, God gives you the greatest gift He can imagine, His own Son.  Jesus’ birth, life, and death are a symbol of His love for you.  He wants you to give your life to Him, just as He gave His Son for you.  That’s what Christmas is to God.

Pastor Miles left us with a challenge as we give gifts and have parties this year: to let Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection be the foundation of our celebrations and our happiness, regardless of circumstances.   His gifts are eternally valuable and can never be taken away.

This Message

In this special message, Pastor Miles reflects on the Christmas story and illustrates how God is the ultimate Christmas Giver.

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