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The Greatest Gift!
O. Henry wrote a classic short story which was called, The Gift of the Magi.Some give some gifts to impress.
Some give gifts because they expect something in return.
Some give gifts because they want to help those who are needy.
Some give gifts to express appreciation.
Some give gifts to express their love.
It is a story about a young couple who are very poor.
They lived in New York City about 100 years ago.
They loved each other so very much, and wished to give the other a wonderful Christmas present.
They barely have enough money to survive, so they couldn't afford to buy a Christmas present.
The young husband hocks his only valuable possession, his father's gold watch, in order to
buy his wife a set of expensive combs for her long beautiful hair.
Meanwhile, the loving young wife cuts her hair, and sells it to a wig maker in order to
buy her husband a gold chain to replace the string on his prized watch.
The story teaches us that what is given is not nearly so important as to why it was given.
The motivation for giving a gift is vastly more important than the gift we give.
At Christmas we remember gifts of "gold, frankincense, and myrrh"
given to Jesus by the Magi in Matthew 2:11.
The story of Santa Claus comes from the tradition of Saint Nicholas, an anonymous benefactor
who gave presents to children each Christmas.
In various cultures founded upon Christianity, there are traditions of giving gifts on
different days of the season.
Most of us spend too much on gifts.
You probably buy presents for a long list of people.
Larry Wilde said it this way, "Christmas has turned into the season when
people run out of money before they run out of friends."
Why do you give gifts?
Some give gifts out of obligation.
Some give just because it is expected.
How many buy gifts for co-workers, relatives or other acquaintances -- and you don't even like them!
Read with me God's motivation for giving us Jesus, the Greatest Gift:
God's gift of His great love is Jesus!
- John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."
How can you measure God's great love?
The little word, "so," attempts the impossible.
God "so" loved the world.
- Rom.5:8: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us."
God's love is eternal.
- Ephesians.2:4-5: "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love
with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together
with Christ (by grace you have been saved)."
- 1 John 3:1 says, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us,
that we should be called children of God!"
- 1 John 4:9 says, "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God
has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
A pastor felt led to preach a sermon on the love of God, he was frustrated because the subject was so broad.
- Jeremiah wrote, "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: 'Yes, I have loved
you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you' " (Jeremiah.31:3).
How could he ever describe such incredible love.
He prayed all week about how to make the message simple and effective.
Finally on Sunday, when the congregation gathered, he had all the lights extinguished.
He lit a candle and placed it before a small manger.
He lit another candle and placed it before a crudely woven crown of thorns.
He lit another candle and placed it before a rough wooden cross.
He turned to the people and said, "This is the love of God."
We are not always happy with the gifts we get for Christmas.
Every year most of us end up exchanging some items, either because they didn't fit
or we didn't need them.
Sometimes, we return items because they just don't work.
No one ever regrets receiving the Greatest Gift.
John 3:16 also tells us that the greatest gift is a gift we will treasure for eternity.
The gift is God's precious Son!
There is no more precious gift!
That gift is eternal!
He is Immanuel.
He is always with us!
Jesus is God's Son and He is with us!
John.3:16 says God gave His Son "that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life."
He came to give us "everlasting life."
The greatest gift you can ever receive is salvation through Jesus.
He will change your life forever!
You will always love the gift of Jesus.
Roy Lessin has said:
"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior."
-- By Roy Lessin, copyright DaySpring Cards. All Rights reserved
You can have this greatest gift today!
Sermon By Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org