Matthew 1:18-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ Born of Mary
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
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.”
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
Most of us receive appreciated gifts at Christmas.
--But none can compare with God's gift of a Savior.
--"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift" (2 Cor 9).
--Jesus, the most perfect gift of all - He is God.
--Jesus had a perfect birth - "born of a virgin."
--Also "born of God" - not of any man. He is God.
--He lived a perfect life - only good; had no sin.
--He demonstrated a perfect love - for all people.
--He came for a perfect purpose - to save sinners.
--To make life easier, by His miracles and message.
--To fit us for heaven - by His cross and resurrection "because I live, you shall live also.
--Jesus came, perfectly, to perfect imperfect ones.
My Christmases have been blessed by perfect gifts.
--In my memory treasures are one when I was in the Boy Scouts - ideal for kids - and I longed for a Scout knife, for it could do about anything.
--It was tough times, but I got it, and other things.
--More valuable than things - they gave us Jesus.
--My parents, wife, children - and others - seem to know the perfect gifts to please - with love.
Amid life's ups and downs are the joys Jesus brings in this happiest Season of the year.
--Times to savor the message and meaning of it all.
--Times to draw near to the Lord to praise, worship.
--Time to remember one another, in love and prayer.
--To bring some cheer to those hurting or lonely.
--Like the angel of the Lord did for Joseph, engaged to the virgin Mary. For she was with child!
Let's open our heart and Bibles to Matthew 1:18, as it explains, ".. before they came together Mary was found with child of the Holy Spirit."
--How would Joseph feel? These are godly people.
--He was concerned - knowing what could happen under Mosaic Law - for Joseph was a holy man and not one to harm Mary. He longed for her to be his wife.
--He thought on these things, "an angel appeared .. she will bring forth a Son .. Jesus .. for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21).
It was good the angel of the Lord came to Joseph, to clarify what God was doing, for an ill-tempered man could have had Mary stoned, and thus lose the Savior.
--Matthew says, verse 22f "all this was done that it might be fulfilled .. the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son .." from Isaiah 7:14.
--All so perfectly given as God promised; may we all "Thank God for His Son - His gift too wonderful for words" (II Cor. 9:15 LB), a "good and perfect gift."
--What makes Jesus God's "perfect gift" to us?
I. GOD'S PERFECT GIFT IS GIVEN IN LOVE.
--"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
--God's perfect love, in Jesus, makes a Perfect Gift.
--In love for us Jesus left heaven from eternity, coming to earth for a time to get men into heaven.
--Also, important, to get heaven into men .. in us.
God's love came and brought with it angels .. singing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace .. goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:14). Hear them again!
--A love that brought shepherds to leave the flocks.
--To "come with haste to find Mary and Joseph and the Babe lying in a manger". (Luke 2:14). O seek Him!
--A love with "no room in the inn," humbly accepting.
--God's Son, born n a manger. O make Him room.
A love that stretches to patriarchs and prophets.
--Awaiting the "fullness of time," for God's Messiah.
--Jesus fulfills 300 prophecies - most in Matthew.
Friend, before we were conceived, born, took our first breath, fed from our mother's breast, God loves us!
--He keeps on loving us, even when we neglect Him.
--He wants us to have what God's love seeks to give.
--The fullness of His Holy Spirit. Everlasting life.
God wants the best for His children, as we for ours.
--God says, "Delight yourself in the Lord. He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
--God is the "Giver of every good and perfect gift."
--Show the Lord that you love Him in return, daily.
--Why do many not follow Him? Slow to receive Him?
II. GOD'S PERFECT GIFT IS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.
--That is what makes it so great - it is for us all.
--Everyone doesn't have the best of health, or wealth, or good looks, or youth, do we?
--But everyone can have the blessings of the Lord!
--Jesus is available to the poor, ill, homeless, or the sorrowful and lonely - longs to bless us all.
Jesus had to come, the Law and sacrifices were tried and had failed - compared to the "blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
--If these were sufficient, why would Jesus come?
When Jesus is followed fully He "works for good."
--Christian living remedies suffering, hunger, poverty - and reduces evil of all kinds. It works!
--It empties jails and prisons, as people are saved.
--I recall several families, without Christ, going through some trials; when Jesus came, all changed!
--They got in Sunday School, Church, Bible and Prayer Meetings - and began to grow spiritually.
--Children were a lot better - better grades, too.
--"God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).
--Being saved doesn't solve everything but it helps!
--"God's grace" like salvation is for everyone.
III. ANY GIFT COSTS - GOD'S GIFT COST JESUS HIS ALL.
--For everything there is a price - a cost in money, time, effort - to someone. Salvation also costs.
--Not for us. But for our Lord Jesus. - His cross!
--To leave the Father's side, and heaven's bliss.
--Jesus came to earth, to suffer, serve, and die.
--Literally, for the sins of the world; to save us!
--He paid a debt He didn't owe - a debt we couldn't pay - and Jesus "paid it all," so we go free.
--God's gift cost Jesus everything, but is free for all who will come, "without money and price" as we read in Isaiah 55:1. Have you come to Christ?
God provided for the Holy Family as "Wise men came, with gold, frankincense, and myrrh," gifts needed to flee Egypt for the safety of the Savior.
--God met their needs. He will meet ours, friend.
--God's gifts are greater than any we may bring Him.
IV. GOD'S PERFECT GIFT WORKS .. AND LASTS.
--We never know about gifts we buy, or receive.
--The perfect Gift of God - Jesus - works and lasts.
--His forgiveness, salvation, works. Doesnot fail.
--The Lord will meet our needs, as we follow Him.
--Adam and Eve enjoyed Eden's paradise - until Satan allured them with doubts and disbelief.
--Sin cast them out of paradise, into a cruel world.
--Then, God began His rescue mission, a promised Savior-Messiah - that Jesus fulfilled as no other.
--To restore paradise they had lost .. we can enjoy.
Salvation is forever. It is "eternal life" (Jno 10)
--Life is fragile, can change blessing to heartache.
--In 1963 our Michigan church was growing greatly in a new building, on 20 acres - parking, playground.
--Our denomination honored the church and myself.
--The Annual Convention came to Detroit; I Co-Chaired a Worship and Communion Service to over 6,000 delegates in huge Cobo Hall. God's Spirit was there.
--On the last of the 5-day sessions I was called out.
--My dear Mother had died in a car accident in Texas.
--My Dad and Sister were injured. Needed me to come.
--That's when one needs God's Gift .. that works.
--To help us pick up the pieces, and give us peace.
God's gift of life is joyous; losing a love, is sad.
--Mother was with the Lord. Her family hurting with her loss, without her powerful prayers, and cheer.
--But God was with us. "My grace is sufficient..."
--Awaiting the day when every tear wiped away, "and, there shall be no more death nor sorrow" (Rev 21).
V. ONE MORE THOUGHT .. RECEIVE EACH GIFT IN LOVE
--Whatever it is, whoever it is from, every gift may we accept, acknowledge, and appreciate. In love.
--Whatever God or others give .. accept, gratefully.
Jesus Who loves us most, from His Cross, invites us, "My dear one, receive My gift, of eternal life now."
--Make sure of forgiveness and heaven. Live godly.
--How do we receive Him? Like any gift. Thank Him!
--Believe His Good News, repent and follow the Lord.
--He is God's Perfect Gift, that keeps on giving!
--Share His peace.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. DD. 901