The Greatest Christmas Present

John 3:16

When it comes to this time of year it seems we most often overshoot the objective.

Many of us will spend more money than we have attempting to fill the void we leave in others’ lives. We have taught our children this is the time of year we break the bank. We make sure people know what we have bought our kids, spouse, whoever, because it is important that they/ we have the best.

THE BEST.

One of my favorite Christmas stories comes from the secular world. As with anything Holy. The world makes an effort to insert its thoughts on how it could be, should be.

The Little Drummer boy has always been dear to my heart. Though it is wrapped up in imagination the climax of the story is a poor little drummer boy gives the best of what he has, to offer to the child king. Who is none other than JESUS.

Like so much that has been passed down through the ages, we have gotten so far from the true meaning of best.

God in His tender loving grace and mercy has taught us what it is to give the best. Here in this well-known scripture we see what it looks like.

  • For God.
    • (Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God… (Hebrews 1:1)  God, who at sundry…
      • Nothing to support His existence, nothing afterward to explain where, how or what God is, just God!
    • The only explanation God gives for Himself is in His conversation with Moses.
      • Ex 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM:
    • Here Jesus is making a definitive statement. God!
      • Why? Because it is settled. Jesus knows God. He is God, He came from God and is going back to God.
    • The one thing we must have settled in our heart of hearts is that there is a God who created us for His design and interacts with His creation.
      • He has purposely brought you into this world. He has specific plans for you. He actively engages you through various means.
      • He loves you and wants you to love Him back. Not just like, not just honor but genuinely love Him which will be evident in how you live.
      • Listen to the words of our Lord Jesus:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:15
  • Anything less is a lie.
  • So loved.
    • If God just loved the world it would be enough, but this little word so is not put there as a filler. It carries significant meaning.
      • It is like saying God loved to such an amazing, over the top, indescribably, intense, degree.
    • Jesus came to this sin sick world so God’s creation would know how much He loved them.
      • He sent His best.
    • Paul a sold out servant of the Most High desired for believers to understand the love of God
      • So it would compel them to know and experience Him.

Paul prayed for the Ephesians

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;(19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:16-19
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  • What is the breadth (width), length, depth, height of this SO!
      • Understand it is foolishness to even say we can measure the unfathomable love of God.
      • Here is an attempt to try and comprehend the very least of its magnitude by one who has experienced it.
  • The width. How wide is God’s love?
    • We used to sing a little song, He’s got the whole world in his hands…
      • God’s arms encompasses the whole world that all are included. There are none beyond His grasp. There are not any that escapes His eye.
      • Though its broad in reaching it is fine in application. It is personal. When it says He loved the world it means He loves each one in it.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 33:11
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2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 peter 3:9

  • You’re here today, you have been selfish, mean spirited, proud, hateful, deceiving, consumed with your life and no time for others. God loves you. Waiting for you to repent to turn away from what is killing, destroying you and come to Him to receive life, fulfillment.
  • Length. How long is the love of God?
    • He gave.
      • Length by demonstration.
    •  True test of love. To what length will it go?
      • What length did God go? How much does he love you personally?
      • (Romans 5:6-8)  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
      • While we were yet sinners. While we were still enemies with God. He initiated. He pursued. He demonstrated His eternal love towards us.
    • For God SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
      • The begotten one, which is His title. The only one.
      • The best He had. Something so precious, so endearing He gave for you.
      • He allowed Him to taste the pains of death to suffer at the hands of His own creation.
      • To feel the debt of sin. And He did it for you.
    • God gave. Something He had something of His own.
      •  Man had no claim on it. It was a free and unmerited gift.
  • Depth. What is the depth that God’s love will go?
    •  To the depths of hell.
      • We are hell doomed, hell deserving sinners.
      • We are not on trial waiting our sentence.
      • Judgement has already been passed.

(Joh 3:17-18) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:17-18

  • Those that refuse to believe on the name of the only begotten Son of God, are guilty of the grossest insult to the Divine majesty.
      • In neglecting, slighting, and despising the salvation which the infinite mercy of God had provided for them.
    • Therefore will receive just compensation for their choice.
      •  An eternity absent from anything, lovely, peaceful, beautiful, Godly. Suffering torments of fire, thirst, darkness that you can feel.
    • (Joh 3:17-18) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned:
      • God’s love is saying He already suffered this hell for you. Trust Him.
  • Height. Everlasting life.
    • The height in infinite. I’m going to heaven. A place we can only imagine. There is nothing we have seen are heard can compare to the glory we get to share.
      • The biblical writers did their best to describe what was revealed but our words fall so short.
    • You know why I am going to heaven? Because I preach? Because I said a prayer? I was baptized? I was good part of the time?
      •  None of this would matter. I have gained entrance to heaven because God saved me. God pursued, God called, God saved.
    • God gave His best.
      • I gave nothing. I have nothing to offer. He gave everything.
    • Heaven is icing on the cake.
      • Everlasting life. Jesus is my life.
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  • Imagine.
    • Giving you children, grandchildren, your loved ones a special gift.
      • And like a child they would rather play with the box.
    • In this scripture Jesus reveals the gift He has for us.
      • The very best.
      • It doesn’t take batteries, it never wears out.
      • Its value only increases.
      • It cannot be lost, stolen, or threw away.
      • And it comes with a guarantee!
    • Sadly, many would rather play with the box
  • imagine
    • I reckon the most heart breaking thing for God is to have to watch as day in day out His creation rejects his Best.
      • This supreme, sacrificial love.
      • And chose to play with the box.
      • Squander their life here and spend eternity apart from Him.
    • I suppose the second most heartbreaking thing is to watch His people those who call Him Lord and have surrendered their life to him.
      • Fail to experience all He has instore for them. To live life.
      • And chose to play with the box, simply because not willing to invest and grow in their relationship with Him.
    • God loves you and wants you to love Him back. Not just like, not just honor but genuinely love Him which will be evident in how you live.
      • The world needs to see His best. He has chosen you to reveal it in.
      • To your children, grandchildren, friends, loved ones. This crazy, confused, lost world.

To Impact Our World

Romans 2:10-11

God has created us all different. We do not have the same talents, abilities, skills or even motivations. When we are convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent of our sins and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, these traits that God has placed innate within us begin to be applied the way they were created to be used.

Though God has created His crowning achievement with diverse talents and such, when He places us into His body we all become one. We are in the same family.  When C. Herbert Woolston penned the words to Jesus loves the little children He got it right. Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in His sight. All followers of The Way and The Truth and The Life are important.

Though we are blessed with more than anyone can imagine. Here in this verse Paul brings out three things that every believer has been granted by The One True God.

These three gifts are in stark contrast to what those who rebel against God’ gracious offer of salvation earns.

Indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish will be their wage. Understand, it’s their choice! But to those who are saved by yielding our wills and ways to His, Glory, Honor, and Peace.

  • Glory.
    • This deals with dignity.
      • You want to see a picture of mankind without dignity. Turn on your TV. 
      • When you don’t have self-respect, you will never respect others.
    • We are not talking about pride.
      • Pride is based on an imaginative overestimation of one’s self.
      • You place your value on a family name. A financial holding. A culture and even education or lack of it.
      • Your respect is bound in your skin color, place of birth, or having it better than others in your family.
    • Dignity comes from simply knowing that God doesn’t create trash.
      • Because God created you just like He intended, you have admiration for your body, mind, and spirit.
      • You are grateful for who you are and others cannot belittle your existence.
    • God gives us Glory. We are created in His image.
      • It is not based on a hairstyle or color, a body image or stature. And it never oozes out in the form of arrogance or superiority but shines like the sun.
      • It radiates. People take notice. Like they said of the disciples. They could tell they have been with Jesus.
      • An old saying “if you could buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth you’d be rich.” 
  • Honor.
    • This deals with value or worth.
      • Just like I said about dignity, you want to know what mankind looks like when they don’t value themselves or each other. Turn on the TV.
    • Why would abortion, legalization of illicit drugs, abuse of alcohol, homosexuality in all its forms, sex trafficking and the like, be so alluring to the human race?
      • If you don’t have any value, or think you’re of exceptional value, you see nothing wrong that devalues yourself and others.
    • History reveals man apart from God has no honor.
      • As you look at the acts of mankind it is evident we have placed an over exaggerated value on self and an under estimation of value on self- worth.
      • I.e. it’s all about me. It’s all about me. But I’m not sure I like myself.
    • God places honor upon His creation by purchasing them off the slave market with the very blood of His Son.
      • You are worth the pain and agony, the humiliation and defamation that was placed upon the King of Kings.
      • He took all that and more because He loves you.
    • Self-worth, honor creates within you the knowledge that your value is not based on what others think or feel about you.
      • It doesn’t create an over exaggerated view but allows you to see the truth. That you have a creator that loves you and cares for you and has prepared for you a life that nothing you can imagine can rival. 
  • Peace.
    • I have spoken a lot about peace lately. The main reason is it is very evident among this body of believers as well as most others you meet, a restless, nervous, intimidated persona.   
      • Many are like Joshua hanging on to a false peace, hoping to get by till something changes.
    • God grants His chosen a real peace.
      • It’s not shaken by circumstances. It’s not held together by cliché’s.
      • It’s not overcome by fear. It’s not depleted by use.
    • Because of the glory God grants to His children. Because of the honor He instills within us, we find a peace that conquers death, fear, anxiety, anger, 
      • This peace is not naive.
      •  It is not ignorant of the surrounding circumstances.
      •  It doesn’t ignore the issues but faces them head on and conquers through the power of that name that is above all names. JESUS! 
    • The reason for this is not that we can flaunt it as we are supreme.
      • But we can live it before the lost and fallen world so they can see a difference in us.
  • God so desires His creation to experience these three qualities.
    • Both here and in heaven.
      • The glorious, honorable, peaceful life doesn’t start once we die and are received in heaven.
      •  God intends for it to start here and now!
    • Christian! Are we helping or hindering the call of Christ?