WHAT TO DO WITH OUR GIFT??

word became fleshREAD JOHN 1:1-5 –The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.  Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;  the darkness couldn’t put it out.

PRESENTS—WHAT IS IT?  NOT THE NICEST WAY TO ASK ABOUT A GIFT.  MORE POLITE NOW, ESPECIALLY WITH KIDS TO SAY—TELL ME ABOUT YOUR GIFT!

WEDDING PRESENTS—THANKS FOR THE PLATES—(JOHN, THEY JUST SPENT $100S OF DOLLARS ON US!)—WOW!!!

PRAYER

Today we are going to describe our gift of Christmas.  Isaiah says that unto us a child us born.  Unto us a Son is given.  Called him Immanuel—God is with us.  Luke speaks of a savior that is born FOR YOU.  John says that He came to us.  Jesus is a gift to us.  This morning I want to briefly describe our gift.

1)      In our gift, humanity meets our Creator and find out what He is thinking. V1-3

COLOSSIAN 1:15-17

The Father created but did it through the Word.  The Word is God not God is the Word because God is also the Holy Spirit.  Three in one.

Col. 1:16-17—God’s creation takes place “in Christ” and not apart from Him.

For our Redeemer is also creator, ruler, and goal of all.

Col. 1—“were created”—in v16 is aorist, referring to the act of creation as such; the tense of “having been created” at the end of the verse is perfect, referring to the enduring result of the creative act.

John 1—“Were made” (aorist) pictures creation in its totality, as one act, but “has been made” is perfect, which conveys the thought of the continuing existence of created things.

God is not some cosmic watch maker that created the world, set it in motion and walked away.

I took art appreciation in college and it was fascinating to learn the story behind the artists.  To hear about their life and how their life affected their paintings.  It was fascinating to learn what their painting or sculpture was trying to express. The hidden meaning in each painting.

Thomas Kincade’s paintings are beautiful and I visited one of his galleries and learned that he is the painter of light because before he came to Christ, his paintings were gloomy and depressing.  Includes his wife’s initials in each painting and includes the date of their wedding day in many of his paintings.

CHRIST GIVES US MEANING AND EXPLAINS OUR WORTH

I was a youth intern in college and talked with one man who built his dream house in the woods near Birmingham.  He built each part of his house with particular detail.  Place each of the rooms according to his liking and painted the house the color that brought back memories.

What I have learned about art and construction, the voice and opinion that means the most is not the critic or the casual observer or even the contractor, but the owner of the home or the creator of the painting.  Their opinion means the most.  The opinion that means the most about is us our creator.  The opinion of others does not truly matter, compared with what Jesus thinks.  In Christ, we find out what our creator was thinking about us when He made us.

In Jesus, we meet the creator of the universe.  It gives our life meaning and purpose.  We are not just some cosmic accident.  We are not just some cookie cutter home but one that is fearfully and wonderfully made.  That our creator has GREAT plans for us.  In Jesus, we meet our creator and we learn why He created us. 

2)      In our gift, we are shown how to live and why obey.

IN JESUS, WE SEE WHY THE LAWS WERE WRITTEN.

MOSES SAID THIS, BUT I SAY . . .

JESUS EXPLAINED THE WHY THE LAWS WERE WRITTEN—HE SHOWED WHAT GOD WAS THINKING

HE SHOWED WHAT IS KEY—MAN’S  HEART—THE MOTIVATION FOR HIS OBEDIENCE

LOVE OF GOD—LOVE GOD BY LOVING MAN—OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS

COMMUNICATED SO PEOPLE COULD UNDERSTAND

HENRY FORD—He created this car.

In Christ, we find out those things that hurt us and convicted to stay away from them.

We find out which steps to take and which steps will lead us to destruction.  God is not a God of confusion.  But one of clarity and one who wants to led you.  Life does not have to be confusing and chaotic if we are in Christ.

Candles in their sandals.  Light enough for one foot in front of the other.

3)      In our gift, we find out how to get to heaven.

FROM THE TOWER OF BABEL ON, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET TO GOD.

RICH YOUNG RULER—WHAT MUST I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?

JESUS WAS NOT ARROGANT BUT CLEARLY STATED—JOHN 14:6—“I AM THE TRUTH, THE WAY, AND THE LIFE—NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME.”

WAY—speaks of a connection between two persons or things, and here the link between God and sinners.

TRUTH—reminds us of the complete reliability of Jesus in all that He does and is.

LIFE—stresses the fact that mere physical existence matters little.  The only life worth the name is that which Jesus brings, for He is life itself.

THE WORST IS WHEN SOMEONE GIVES YOU BAD DIRECTIONS AND YOU ARE WRAMBLING THROUGH THE WOODS AND HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU ARE AND HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN.  BEST NEWS TO HEAR IS WHEN SOMEONE SAYS—STAY PUT—I WILL COME TO YOU. 

GOD CAME TO US AND SHOWED US HOW TO GET TO HIM.  VERY SPECIFIC.

DAD AND FLYING—took flying lessons but never could learn how to land the plane.

Our gift clears up the confusion.  I am the truth, the way and the life NO MAN comes to the Father but through me.

4)      V14 Finally, in our gift, we meet God. 

The very nature and character of God have been perfectly revealed in Christ; in Him the invisible has become visible.

The Word and God are not identical.  They are ONE.  The Word is God in the flesh.

John is not saying that Jesus is just divine.  He is saying that He is God.

JESUS IS FULLY MAN, FULLY GOD.  THE GOD-MAN.

Both the OT & NT make it plain that “no one has ever seen God.”  However Jesus has made Him known.

To say that Christ is the image of God is to say that in Him the nature and being of God have been perfectly revealed—that in Him the invisible has become visible.  John 14:9—“He who has seen me has seen the Father.”

Little girl painting in class—what are you painting—I am painting God—no man has seen God—you will in just a second.

No man has seen God but Jesus is the exact representation of Him. Colossians 1:15–He is the image of the invisible God.

Heb. 1:3–“Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and the very impress of His being.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that history became the womb of God.

GOD CAME NEAR

So this Christmas, as you are celebrating with your family and friends and gifts are exchanged and you feel obligated to go on and on what your gift.  Stop for a moment and realize the ultimate gift that was given TO YOU.  What is means to you, what it means to all of us, and please, don’t hesitate to describe your gift to someone.  Don’t hide it.  Don’t keep it to yourself.  Realize what an incredible GIFT you have been given.

 

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