delivered on Dec. 25, 2016
21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
A ten year old girl named Jenny went with her family and friends to see the Christmas light displays around the city. At one church they stopped and got out to look more closely at a beautiful nativity scene. Her grandma said to her, “Isn’t that beautiful! Look, Jenny, at all the animals, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus!” Jenny responded, saying, “Yes, grandma, it’s really nice, but there is one thing that bothers me: isn’t baby Jesus ever going to grow up? He’s the same size He was last year!”
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, As the song goes. Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day, is something we always look forward to. Again…celebrating Christmas means a lot of things to different people. Its a time to be with the family, singing our favorite carols, and of course the giving and receiving of gifts.
I don’t know about you, but my son’s and I were trying to convince my wife to open our presents last week. When we take the pictures, we’ll just write Dec 24.
Did you get what you wanted, were you surprised with the gifts that you received? I’m sure many here tonight, may not remember the gift they received from last Christmas.
I would like to remind all of you tonight of the gift that we not only enjoy one’s a year. Its a gift that we get to unwrap everyday, and that is our relationship with our FATHER, for the love that He has given us, He gave us the perfect gift of His Son.
The virgin birth… till this day has many puzzled of its existence. Did it really happen? How is that humanly possible? Or is it just a sweet story that we tell our children around this time of the year? ( Christmas )
The virgin birth is something you, and I cannot explain. Simply because it is supernatural power… a miracle that comes from above. Just like receiving a “new life”, being born again. We cannot explain it, but we know that it is a gift from Above. A miracle that we receive one time in this life, but a gift that we get to unwrap for all eternity. We are being made new everyday. Because of the the Baby born in a manger, born of the Spirit.
It is “A Gift Of A Lifetime”, I would like for us to look at the true meaning of this gift.
2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Because of the birth of this baby…because of the life that now existed in Him…we all instantly received the gift of life…to never have to die again. It is an instant gift that God promises to all who would be drawn to His Son…
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
When Jesus was born that day in Bethlehem, it was just the beginning of the gift unwrapping. See…Jesus came wrapped in swaddling clothes…a gift for us all to unwrap,
And not just once, but everyday of our lives on this earth. Everyday that we wake up, We get to unwrap another part of the gift of eternal life that God has prepared for you and me.
1 Corinthians 2:9
9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Just when we think that we have unwrapped all we can, about Jesus…like the last present on Christmas…God continues to blow our minds away with something new everyday.
The gifts like peace, joy, love, faith, kindness, gentleness, meekness, understanding, application, revelation, tribulation, and on and on…you name it. There is always more to our God. Something more to unwrap! “A Gift Of A Lifetime”
Jesus is the most valuable gift the world has, and will ever receive.
2 Corinthians 9:15
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” Did it happen? Is the virgin birth for real? How is it possible? Nothing is impossible with our God!!!
Who can begin to put a price on the gift that God has given us through His Son Jesus?
No One! It’s “A Gift Of A Lifetime”.
The Shepherds realized what an enormous gift they had been given…
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
The wise men understood as they tried to bring gifts to present to a King, but they knew that His life was worth much more than gold, frankincense, and myrrh but this is all they could come up with.
What gift can compare to never dying, never suffering, crying, feeling pain, but to live eternally in a place called paradise? It is indescribable at best. Are you still…like the shepherds, “glorifying and praising God”, Daily? Are you still presenting that gift daily, glorifying, and praising God, since He did give you and I the best gift ever? Or is it something you only do around the most wonderful time of the year? Its a daily gift to be able to praise God. Its an eternal gift!
Many times when we get things that are precious to us…that are of enormous value, we want to keep it for ourselves.But that’s not what Jesus wants us to do…He doesn’t want us to keep it but He wants us to tell everyone of this “Gift Of A Lifetime”.
35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
This very special gift…this valuable gift from above, was not meant for us to keep to ourselves, we need to tell everyone of this gift.
Sure…we can never give the gift of eternal life to anyone, only God can do that, and that is through His Son. But, because we do have His Son, we can give the gift of…being at peace with everyone, give joy, give love, kindness, gentleness, and so on. Not only will we be giving these gifts, we also receive them. And that is a gift that will last a lifetime.
This gift that we have been given that takes a lifetime to unwrap was meant for us to give to others. It is not just our gift but a gift for all to receive. The Shepherds in the field realized that, here again on…
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
This is the gift no money can buy. You don’t need to go to school, or get a masters degree. God gave you and I the gift to believe. How will the world believe if they don’t know about the Baby born of a virgin, born in a manger…a gift wrapped in swaddling cloth, if there is no one to His name known?
Everyone who has ever received this precious gift, has their lives enriched by His Grace.
I have not found one…who calls by the name “Christian”, ever say… “since I received this gift, my life was worse than it was before”.
Because God’s gift of salvation is meant to enrich the lives of everyone who will receive it. It enriched the lives of the Shepherds that day..here!
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
They realized there life would never be the same again from that day forward. Such is the same response to all who embrace the gift of the virgin Birth. My life was never the same. And I am sure that your lives were never the same, since you have received the “Gift Of A Lifetime”.
Before we received this Gift…we walked this earth alone…forsaken…without hope, chained to a life of sin, doomed to eternal life in hell.
But after receiving this Precious Gift, we are never alone…
8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
What??? who can make this promise? Who can explain this? Is it even possible? Nothing is impossible with our God. And He is not a God who breaks His promises. The gift of life is only through His Son. And it is “A Gift Of A Lifetime”
I know that…we all have opened our gifts for Christmas. But I want to remind us all that the unwrapping of the most precious gift of all is not just to be unwrapped once on Christmas day. But it is a gift that is meant to be unwrapped everyday…for the rest of our lives.
The child that was born in the manger that day…was a gift that was wrapped in swaddling clothes, but as we unwrap that gift we all can see that it is…
A Gift that is instantly ours when we receive Him.
A Gift that takes a lifetime of unwrapping.
A Gift that was of Enormous value.
A Gift that we can also share with others.
A Gift that enriches every life that receives Him.
Glorify and give praise to our God daily even when things are not going our way. That sweet innocent Baby in that manger is a precious gift, born only to take our place on the cross. A Precious gift, to be the Perfect sacrifice, just so, that we can be saved.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Pastor Richard Santos
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