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Faithlife

The Presents and Presence of God

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The Presents and Presence of God

Secular:

  • Whether it was for St Nick or for mom and dad… my brother and I could come up with some very detailed and lengthy requests at Christmas
  • We organized our list from biggest to smallest gift hoping the gift giver would take the cue early in their reading but failing that we wanted some solid back-up farther down the list.
  • Even Calvin hard Christmas figured out…
  • Read Cartoon Captions…
  • I have never met someone who doesn’t appreciate gifts… especially those given in love…

Biblical:

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Matthew 7:11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Personal:

  • Even better than Christmas morning…
  • I have appreciated those little things people have given…
  • A coffee
  • Bethany or Rebekah… rubbing my neck
  • Love not duty…
  • No expectation…
  • No sense of deserving…

Bridge:

  • God gives perfect gifts…
  • No Chia pets… pet rocks… or red polka dot polo shirts
  • Never too small… never too big… not always what we asked for… but always what we need.
  • God’s gifts… God’s Presents… are exactly what we require

Body:

Gift of Eternal Life

One of the most attractive gifts God gives us is Eternal life. Considering the alternative it is the one gift that everyone should appreciate.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • You know how normally we wonder sometimes about different gifts we have been given…
  • Have you ever thought… I will never wear that…
    • Too cheesy, to small, not my style…
    • Take it back and make a better choice for ourselves
  • With this gift it is not one that we would have chosen ourselves…
  • We were born to sin. We chose the wrong thing…
  • Romans 7:5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
  • God in his glorious mercy doesn’t leave us with our bad choice…
  • Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law…
  • God has got timing… and he gives a gift that we need…
  • If we really like to celebrate gifts at Christmas…
  • This is a great one to celebrate
  • God’s gifts… God’s Presents… are exactly what we require

Gift of the Spirit

  • You’ve accepted the first gift… (sort of like the twelve days of Christmas)
  • But you are not done…
  • To those who accept the first there is more…

John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

  • God recognizes that this first gift of eternal life in Christ… needs an owner’s manual…
  • How many of us read the owner’s manual?
  • Well God in his mercy provides all we need to know through the Holy Spirit.
  • The gift that keeps on giving…
  • John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
  • The Spirit works on our hearts that we might know the Will of God.
  • But there is more to this gift… God doesn’t leave us sorting out the voice of God through this very mortal melon… he gives us the Word… our Bible… it is God-breathed… or inspired by the Spirit of God
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
  • So we have this gift of Eternal life and know we have the give of the Spirit to understand our relationship to that gift… but wait there is more…
  • This Gift of the Spirit is our strength… 1 John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
  • We can be victorious over the things of this world that would tarnish our gift… mar our relationship with God… we do not do this alone… actually the more we let God do… the better…
  • Now being as appreciative of this fine gift… (no refunds or exchanges please…) and because the outworking of this gift is unique to each of us…
  • Romans 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly:
  • Put them to good use…
  • Honour God with your life… nice way to say thanks…
  • If we have life in Christ, and have been given the Spirit of God…
  • James 2:26 - For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
  • This one too is a great gift to celebrate
  • God’s gifts… God’s Presents… are exactly what we require

Gift of Provision

  • So as you tally up your take… what God, though Jesus, has given us… you see we have eternal life and the indwelling – transformational Spirit of God… what more could there be you ask…
  • Let me tell you…
  • The Gift of Provision or Providence…

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

  • Sounds a bit like a genie… get in His Good Book… and rake in the goods…
  • The question is what does the first part mean… if we don’t get that part the second part sounds like heading to the mall with someone else’s credit card…
  • Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.
    • Justice
  • Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.
    • Integrity… honesty
  • 2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver
    • Generosity
  • I see a pattern… those who delight in God… delight in who He is…
  • Psalm 27:8 When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, O LORD, I shall seek."
  • The desires of the heart of a Child of God… are God’s desires…
  • Thos who in Christ have the gift of eternal life and have the gift of the Spirit… are those who seek to serve God’s purpose… and it delights God to give them the desire’s of His heart and theirs…
  • It is great to celebrate God’s provision…
  • God’s gifts… God’s Presents… are exactly what we require

- A fruit basket from the distant head office of a supplier… tastes good.

- The little pen and day planner with their name emblazoned upon it… very nice…

- but the simplest… gift from heart by someone we love… no matter if it less practical… or has less fruit… warms our hearts the most.

- the best part of giving and receiving gifts… is the relationship… the best gifts God gives are those he only gives to his children…

- just like daddy come home from a business trip… run to the door take the lot and split… our are the gifts sweeter… do they have real value because daddy’s home?

Gift of Presence

Are the presents God gives us the greatest of gifts… or is it the Presence of God.

Do we live like satellite dishes gather the all the privileges of a child of God, is that best. Or is it calling out Abba and finding comforts in his presence…

It’s ok… God delights in giving us good gifts… but not like a cosmic Santa Claus… but as a God desiring US… body, mind and soul!

  • It’s okay to be like a kid at Christmas when we read through Scripture… and hear of God’s promises… the tree is piled high!
  • But we can never forget the love of God… the catalyst for it all…
  • It drives our desire to be Holy
  • It provides comfort to the weary who journey
  • It is our strength when we are weak
  • It is our healing when we are broken
  • It is our longing to reach others
  • It is the very beat of the heart of a child of God
  • It is our desire for the Presence of God…
  • God is worthy of our praise regardless of his gifts…
  • Because of those gifts we can come into his Presence!

  • We can celebrate the birth of Christ in the Presence of a Holy and Awesome God…
  • I can think of no better gift to savour and to share,,,
  • God’s Presents… and the Presence of God… are exactly what we require
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