THE GIFTS THAT KEEP GIVING

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INTRODUCTION:
Christmas, what an exciting time! Children and adults around the world are anxiously waiting to see what gifts they might get for Christmas. Mischievous elves are appearing everywhere in people’s houses, and wanna be gourmet chefs are preparing Christmas delicacies left and right. It is the joy of Christmas.
One of the many joys associated with Christmas is the joy of everyone, no matter the age, excitedly opening packages with a sense of wonderment and amazement. I know I still like getting gifts, and I know Brother Billy does too, and I don’t want any part of Dirty Santa either. When I receive a gift, I don’t want to give it up. AMEN!!!
Now, those among us who are getting older try to dismiss the gift-giving of Christmas, and that’s because deep down as we get older, many of us turn into the Grinch, but I want you to know that the tradition of giving gifts was established the very first Christmas.
Did you know that the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus? (Matthew 2:11)
Matthew 2:11 “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
These men are wise because it is a wise man that seeks Jesus.
When they found Jesus, they fell down and worshipped Him, and when they finished worshipping Him, the wise men presented Christmas presents to Jesus, and they were very valuable Christmas presents steeped in symbolism.
Gifts given by the Wise Men:
(1) They gave gold to Jesus. The gold symbolized the royalty of Jesus.
The gold was a testament to what Isaiah had prophesied.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, To order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice From henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
The gold given by the wise men was a gift fit for a King, the King of Kings as a matter of fact.
(2) They gave frankincense to Jesus. Frankincense was an aromatic fragrance used specifically in the Bible in worshipping God.
Exodus 30:34–36 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.”
By using frankincense, Moses was setting the stage to meet God in worship.
The gift of frankincense symbolizes the deity of Christ.
I have told you this before, and I will probably say it again and again. Jesus was mankind in that manger, and Jesus was God in that manger, and by presenting Him with frankincense, the wise men were testifying to the deity of Christ.
(3) They gave myrrh to Jesus. Myrrh was used in the embalming process.
The myrrh given to Jesus symbolizes His humanity. It is foretelling the death of Jesus on Calvary for the sins of man.
Jesus was born into this world to die. He came to this world to die as me and to die as you. He became my substitute, and He became your substitute. It should have been me dying for my sins, but Jesus took my sin and my place.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,”
Though significant, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were not the most significant gifts given that first Christmas. There were three other gifts given to humanity by God the Father on that first Christmas, and like all gifts, for those gifts to benefit you, you must receive them. Let’s look at those three gifts.

(1) God gifted His Son to the World.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God gave Jesus to the world because He so loved the world. You talk about a gift that keeps giving. God gave His Son to the world, and He had perfect timing when He gave Jesus that first Christmas.
Galatians 4:4–5 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
God gave Jesus, so Jesus could redeem everyone that was under the Law, and that means you and me.
All the Law could do was condemn you and me. The Law brings death and condemnation. You and I are law breakers. We break God’s Law, and because we break those laws, we are under the condemnation of the Law. The Law condemns us.
James 2:10–11 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.”
James 2:12–13 “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
If you have ever told one lie, you bear the burden of the entire Law. You are a law breaker, and it is because of that, God gave Jesus to the world. The world needed someone who could redeem it, and the only One who could do it was the One God gave, Jesus Christ, and God gave His Son completely. God did not spare His Son.
Romans 8:32 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
God did not spare His Son. He gave His Son to the world because He wants everyone to be saved.
1 Timothy 2:3–4 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:5–6 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
God gave the world Jesus in due time, at the first Christmas, so that all men could be saved from the Law.

(2) God gifted eternal life to the World.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Eternal life is a gift from God. It became a reality when Christ was given to the world.
In the very beginning, God created Adam in God’s image. Adam was created body, soul, and spirit. Adam was created to live eternally.
Adam sinned, and immediately, he died spiritually, and since we are born in Adam’s likeness, we are born spiritually dead too.
Genesis 5:3 “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:”
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Death entered through Adam, but man was created to be eternal, so to live in eternity, man must be born-again in Jesus Christ.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Since you are created for eternity, you will live either live in eternal life, or you will live in eternal death. Eternal life is a gift given by God to those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Eternal death is reserved for those who trust themselves. Eternal life is a gift, but it is a gift you must receive to claim it.
John 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. 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.”
You see the choice that has to be made. You receive the gift, and you will have eternal life. If you do not receive the gift, you will experience eternal death.

(3) God gifted peace to the World.

Luke 2:13–14 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, Good will toward men.”
Eternal life begins the moment you receive God’s gift of Jesus Christ, and in your life, peace will come.
Peace does not mean freedom from warfare even though there is a time of peace coming to this world when Christ rules and reigns for 1,000 years during the Millennium.
The peace God gives you when you receive Jesus is spiritual peace.
It is peace in your soul because you know that you, because of Jesus, are at peace with God. The Bible describes that peace for us.
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When your soul and spirit are at peace with God, there is an understanding that comes in you that cannot be explained. I cannot explain to you if you are lost the peace I have. It is unexplainable until you receive Jesus and experience it.
It is a peace that will see you through anything you face.
2 Corinthians 1:9–10 “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;”
When all looks lost, you can have peace in the absolute fact that the God who raises the dead will deliver you from any enemy you face even to the point of death.
Acts 7:55–56 “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
God had given Stephen such peace in his life that even as Stephen is about to be executed for Jesus’s sake ge was able to focus on Jesus who would be with him every step of the way until in death Stephen was welcomed into heaven.
Conclusion: Christmas is a time of giving. The wise men brought gifts to Jesus, but more importantly, God gave three gifts that first Christmas that keep giving.
But dear friend, a gift is no good if it is not received. God has given you Jesus, God has offered you eternal life, and God has offered you peace, but you do not have any of the three until you first receive Jesus.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Romans 10:9–10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Eternal life and peace cannot be yours until you receive Jesus into your heart, and as Paul said to Timothy, God wants all men to be saved. As Peter said, God is not willing that any perish, but He has done all He can. He has given you all He can, and this morning, He is telling you this.
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you want to be saved, you can be. You are one of those whosoevers. All you have to do is receive the gift that God has given.
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