The Gift that Keeps on Giving (Christmas Eve Sermon)

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“The Gift that Keeps on Giving”

(Selected Passages) [on screen]

Christmas Eve Sermon

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

December 24, 2017

Introductory Comments:

Does anyone remember a really wonderful Christmas gift that you received?

Are there any kids that would like to tell me what their greatest Christmas gift was?

(allow kids to share for a minute)

Illustration: Have you ever heard a gift described as the gift that keeps on giving? There’s a popular Christmas movie where a man expects to get a big Christmas bonus only to find out that he got a subscription to the Jelly of the Month club.  His cousin-in-law, “whose heart is bigger than his brain,” in an attempt to cheer him up, tells him that the Jelly of the Month club is the gift that keeps on giving.  We’ve all heard of the gift that keeps on giving.

(pause)

Well, this morning, we’re going to learn that the gift of Jesus truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

We’ve probably all heard that Jesus is the greatest gift that has ever been given, and that’s certainly true.

However, the gift of Jesus is not a one time gift.

I want to share with you three ways that the gift of Jesus keeps on giving.

First, through Jesus . . .

I. God keeps on giving new life. [on screen]

God is in the business of giving new life. Many of you have received Jesus as your Lord and have received new life.

You’ve been cleansed from your sins and set free from bondage to a sinful way of life.

The Bible says this in John 3:16,

Read John 3:16

16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [on screen]

This is a familiar passage to most of us.

May we never lose sight of this!  God still offers new life!

He’s still in the business of saving souls.

The birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus is just as powerful today as it was 2,000 years ago!

Jesus is still giving new life.

Listen to what the apostle John says in 1 John 5:11.

Read 1 John 5:11

11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. [on screen]

God gave us the gift of Jesus, and through Him, new life. He is still doing this today.

(Gospel presentation)

Created by God.

Separated by sin.

Jesus paid our penalty.

God gives us new life and new holiness.

Everyone say, “new life!”

That’s not all!

Second, through Jesus . . .

II. God keeps on giving in our lives. [on screen]

Not only does God give us new life. He keeps giving in our lives.

He doesn’t leave us after we receive new life. He keeps on blessing!

Read Lamentations 3:22-24

22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! 24 I say, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.” [on screen]

God’s blessings are new every morning!

His grace provides abundant life for us!

Listen to what Jesus said to His followers.

Read John 10:10b

I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. [on screen]

With Jesus, we have a better life than without Jesus.  We can have an abundant life!

How cool is that?

Sometimes we forget that God is at work in our lives. Sometimes we forget that He is blessing us.

We get lost in the momentary suffering that we’re going through.

We lose sign because of the distractions of this world.

We forget that the blessings of Jesus go beyond the month of December.

Listen to what the apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28

28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. [on screen]

He will work all things out!

God keeps on giving in our lives!

Everyone say, “in our lives!”

Finally, through Jesus . . .

III. God keeps on giving through our lives.  [on screen]

Did you know God actually changed us in part to do good works for the glory of His name?

Listen to this verse:

Read Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. [on screen]

God prepared for us to do good works for Him before we even realized it.

Pretty cool, huh?

Jesus Himself said of His followers . . .

Read Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. [on screen]

Jesus is showing Himself to the world through us!

Did you know that we are also ambassadors for God?

What does an ambassador do?  He represents the one that sent Him!

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:20 . . .

Read 2 Corinthians 5:20

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” [on screen]

God is giving His grace to others through the lives of His followers.

God is blessing the world through the gift of Jesus by blessing others through your lives.

You can be a blessing to your neighbors, your coworkers, your family, and others.

Kids, if you’re following Jesus, God can bless your friends through you.

Concluding Thoughts:

Two-thousand years ago when the precious baby Jesus was born, God was, indeed, giving the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

And, He’s not done!

God is still giving!

He is still giving new life.

He is still giving in our lives.

He is still giving through our lives.

Bottom Line: The gift of Jesus is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. [on screen]

(repeat)

Think on this today and this week!

Closing:

Christmas time is a monumental occasion for those who follow Jesus.  Kids, what that means is Christmas is a really big time for those who love Jesus!

We’re so thankful for the birth of God’s Son in the world.

This Christmas, may God bless you greatly as you reflect upon the gift of Jesus, the gift that keeps on giving.

If you’ve not received that gift, you can do so this morning.

I’d love to talk to you about how you can know Jesus today.

Come see me or talk to a friend that you know is a follower of Jesus.

I’d like to pray a prayer of blessing over all of us now.

(prayer of blessing)

Benediction:

We will not gather here tonight as many of us will be gathering with our families.

I pray that God blesses you greatly and you have a tremendous Christmas.

Lets’s sing one more song together before we dismiss.

Sing Go Tell it on the Mountain.

(Kim dismisses everyone)

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