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The Season for Giving
Season for Giving
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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 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. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
I. God’s Love. God gave His love to us. This is the example that we should follow. After all, God is Love. But what is real love anyway? We call so many things love that are not love at all. We call feelings love. We love hamburgers. These things are not love. If love is a feeling, what are you going to do when the feeling is gone? If love is a feeling, what will do when your wife wakes up with morning hair, and your husband’s breath is less than fresh, and there is a little more weight in the middle of the bed than when you started your marriage? Will you fall out of love when your feelings change? Well, if you think that that is love, yes. That is why too many people are heading toward divorce. Love is not a feeling. It sometimes causes feelings, but it is not a feeling.
A. Genuine Love James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: God’s love is expressed in its genuine care for us. God does not do what He does for us because of wicked motives. He does not do wickedness, so He will not tempt us to do wickedness. But we push people to do wrong all the time because of our selfish lusts. This is not true love. True love waits. True love protects your fiancé from the greatest danger, your own lustful weakness.
B. Greatest Love John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Great love is defined by the amount of sacrifice given. God’s love for us is the greatest love possible, because He sacrificed more than any other could. He gave Himself for our need.
C. Given Love (it was communicated) God showed His love for us. He did not just sit around saying, “I love the world.” That would have done us no good if He did not show the love to us. We, in this season of giving, need to show those we say we love that we really love them. It is not enough for us to know that we love them. They need to see that we love them.
II. God’s Lamb Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
A. Servant Son. Jesus became a servant. He was co-equal, co-eternal, co-divine with God the Father. Yet Jesus humbled Himself to become the servant Son of the Father. Not only that, He became servant to each of us fallen, flawed, and faltering sinners.
B. Savage Sacrifice. We sanitize the savagery of the cross. We shun seeing how horrible it truly was. We turn our imaginations and attentions from it because it was more terrible than we feel comfortable with. But we should not become flippant with it. We should never gloss over how savage it was. We need to remember that it was that horrible so that we will see the consequence of our sins. Some churches do not teach the blood anymore. We cannot forget, and we cannot gloss over it. We need to remember what Jesus endured for His love toward us.
C. Supreme Sovereign. But Jesus is not on the Cross any longer. He rose again. He is not in the grave. He is ruling in Heaven and one day, He will rule here on Earth as well. He humbled Himself more than any other, so God will exalt Jesus above any other. God will even exalt Jesus over His own name. Do you want God to exalt you? Then humble yourself before God, and He shall lift you up. James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
III. God’s Light II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
A. Darkness If we stay in Darkness, we mock salvation. God calls us the light of the world, yet we walk in the shadows.
B. Deeds. If we do not have different deeds since salvation, our faith is death. James told us to show our faith by our works. But if we still have the sinful works like those before salvation, you have no evidence that you are saved. You say that you do not need to prove anything to me. You are right, but you do need to prove your salvation to yourself. Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
C. Displayed. If we recognize His gift, we should give back to Him. As He has given to us, we should give to others.
D. Dedication. We demonstrate Christ in what we do for Him. What we do should bring Him honor and glory. Our “good” deeds are nothing unless done for God’s glory.
Since this is the Season for giving, why do we not give back to the One that died to give us everything? Since Jesus gave everything He could to bring us forgiveness, should we not forgive our families? Maybe you do not yet know the forgiveness of God. It is time to receive His greatest gift. He offers you salvation. Take His gift. Pray and tell God that you know He died for your sin. Ask Him to forgive you. Ask Him to give you His salvation.
December 12, 2009sm
Pastor Andrew Grosjean