Tom Scott - 22/12/2013
Date: December 23, 2013
Christmas is just a couple of days away now and the last minute hunt is on for the perfect gift that says, “I love you.” God has already given us the perfect gift in the form of a bundle of love. That was the main point of the message yesterday. Jesus was the perfect gift to communicate to us just how much God loves us. He was a bundle of love wrapped up in swaddling clothes. As you reflect upon the message here are five questions that can help stimulate your thinking.
1. When we read the accounts of Jesus’ birth, we find that he was wrapped in clothes and laid in a manger. Most of us have a nativity set that reflects that moment when Jesus came into the world with the shepherds and wise men gathered around. If you had the opportunity to go back in time and present Jesus with a gift, what would you have brought to the baby Jesus?
2. During the first half of the message I talked about the reaction that we see in those who came to visit Jesus or who heard of his birth. The shepherds would proclaim that Jesus had been born, the magi would worship the newborn king of the Jews, Herod would pursue the baby Jesus, and Mary would treasure him. As you read the story of Jesus’ birth, what are some details about that night that you wish Luke and Matthew would have recorded for us?
3. Jesus is God’s gift to us. I shared in the message that Jesus is the incarnation of God’s love. First John 4:9 tells us that God showed us his love by sending his one and only son into this world so that we might have life through him. The name Immanuel means “God with us” and was one of the names given to Jesus at his birth. When you hear the term incarnation, what thoughts come to mind for you?
4. The apostle Paul says that the greatest of these three is love in First Corinthians 13:13 when speaking about faith, hope, and love. The greatest gift that we can give to God is our love. Jesus would tell the crowds that the first commandment was to love God with all our being. Loving God completely is what he desires most from us. Is there something in your life right now that is keeping you from loving God completely?
5. When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, he said that it was to love God completely and that the second was to love others as yourself. Peter says that we are to love others deeply. As we enter the final days of the Christmas season, the best gift that we can give people is the gift of love. What people really, truly need this Christmas is the gift of our love. What are some ways that we can share the gift of God’s love with others this Christmas?
********** Remember that our Christmas Eve service starts at 7:00pm tomorrow night. We have a wonderful, meaningful service planned. Bring the whole family, even the guests that have come over to visit, as we reflect upon the greatest gift of love which we could ever receive. You will be glad you came.
December 22, 2013
Introduction: If you are a procrastinator, then you may be running around looking for some last minute gift ideas. You want to find the perfect gift that says, “I love you” to your spouse or significant other. God gave us the perfect gift to do just that when he sent Jesus into the world. Jesus was a bundle of love gift wrapped in swaddling clothes. This morning we will look at some ways that we can share this gift of love with others.
I. Jesus was a bundle of love.
A. Shepherds would proclaim him. Luke 2:17-18
B. Magi would worship him. Matthew 2:11
C. Herod would pursue him. Matthew 2:16
D. Mary would treasure him. Luke 2:19
II. Jesus is a gift of love.
A. God’s gift to us.
1. He is the incarnation of God’s love. 1 John 4:9
2. He is a demonstration of God’s love. Romans 5:8
B. Our gift to God.
1. Loving Him completely. Deuteronomy 10:12
2. Loving others compassionately. 1 Peter 4:8
Conclusion: Christmas will soon be here and you may be in a mad scramble to find the right gifts for people this year. The best gifts are not the ones we find at the store, but the ones that come from our hearts. Let’s find ways to offer people our faith, hope and love this Christmas.
Key Thought: We have the greatest gift in the world to share with those around us this Christmas.