II Corinthians 9:8-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
9 As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,
13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,
14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Christmas is coming! A most joyous time of giving.
--Many are thinking what to give those we care about.
--Some know how to give the perfect gift that pleases.
--My wife has done that for me, over the years.
--Whatever the gift, if in love, is a perfect gift.
God gave the perfect gift when Jesus came for us all!
--II Corinthians 9 is about giving to the Lord, needy people, and to one another. To show our love.
--A little boy was confused about all the presents being shared, and being taught it was Jesus' birthday, asked, "When are we going to give Jesus His present?"
--What we feel we ought and can is what we should.
Chapter 9 ends with a praise for God's Perfect Gift.
--Listen to verse 15, "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift" (KJV). That "gift" is Jesus!
--The New King James, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." "His inexpressible gift" (RSV).
--Phillips, "Thank God, then, for His indescribable generosity to you."
--NEB, "Thanks be to God for His gift beyond words."
--I like the Living Bible, "Thank God for His Son, His gift too wonderful for words." That says it all!
Why do millions believe that, and we proclaim it?
--Jesus is the Perfect Gift for He was perfect.
--He had a perfect birth. Born "of a virgin."
--Lived a perfect life, without sin; doing only good.
--He came for a perfect purpose, "to seek and save us."
Beyond our money, we need to give ourselves to Christ.
--To surrender fully our bodies, talents and time.
--To be used to become like the Lord and serve Him.
--Offering ourselves to God, is the perfect gift, that most pleases the Lord, Who gave His all for us.
Jesus had no home, no wealth; wrote no book.<
--But He most obeyed God's Holy Book. Made converts.
--Against opposition, these believers changed lives!
--They shared the Gospel; "be born again," with many.
--They knew "every good and perfect gift" is from God!
What about God's Gift, "too wonderful for words"?
--Or as James 1:17, His best "good and perfect gift"?
I. GOD'S PERFECT GIFT IS GIVEN IN LOVE.
--That's what makes any gift "perfect," if in love.
--God's love is perfect, a perfect love to perfect us.
--"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have (now!) everlasting life" (John 3:16).
--You all remember that verse, the gospel in brief.
--In love, Jesus left heaven from all eternity to come to earth for a time .. to get us from earth to heaven.
--And, also important, to get heaven into men.
A love that came, and brought with it angels, singing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, and goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:14).
--A love that brought lowly shepherds to leave flocks, and "came with haste to find Mary and Joseph and the Babe lying in a manger" (Luke 2:16).
--A love expressed in humility, "no room in the inn."
--God's Son, born in a cattle stall.
--God's love identifying with all kinds of people.
A love reaching back to patriarchs and prophets of old.
--Awaiting the "fullness of time" for Messiah to come.
--Yes, dear one, that night, Love came down to earth.
Hear me, before we were ever conceived, took our first breath, or fed from our Mother's breast, God loves us!
--He keeps on loving us, more than any other can.
--He wants us to receive .. and share .. His love.
You see, God wants the best for His own as we for ours.
--The Risen Savior "Ever lives to pray for us."
--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."
--Allows every breath we take! Protects in storms.
--All the joy and good things, God gives to us.
Many gifts given, received, but none better, more needful, more perfect than Jesus to be our Savior.
Why do so many not believe Him? Slow to receive Him?
II. GOD'S PERFECT GIFT IS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.
--Not everything is available to everybody.
--Over the world there is poverty, hunger, illness.
--There are good things not all seem to partake.
--But eternal life in Jesus is available to everyone.
Would that suffering, hunger, poverty could be obliterated over the world - but only God can do that!
--One day it will be, for those who love the Lord.
--Until then, let's all do our part to relieve it.
I recall several families having rough times.
--When reached for the Lord, in Church, in prayer and Bible reading, they began to prosper! Do better!
--Being a Christian doesn't solve it all. No. No.
--I'm saying what the Bible says, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). For those who are saved.
--Like salvation is available to all. His grace also.
III. ANY GIFT COSTS - GOD'S GIFT COST JESUS HIS ALL.
--Parents know there is a price for every gift - cost in money, time and effort. We all pay, some way.
--God's Gift is Perfect, for what it cost - His life.
--Imagine, salvation "without money and price" (Is 55).
--Jesus paid the price, "Himself the sacrifice."
We measure a gift by love. By its benefit to us.
--In every measure, God's Gift, is at the top.
The Holy Family, not rich in this world's goods, away from home, with a new baby, had needs.
--The Gospel of Matthew tells of wise men from a far country bringing gifts, "gold, frankincens±eand myrrh," to Jesus. See how God provides.
--Costly, caring, needed gifts to flee for safety into Egypt, for King Herod sought Jesus' life!
--0 yes, God cares for His own. He will care for you.
--Indeed, God's Gift to us carries a costly price.
--But Jesus was willing to pay it for each of us!
The Christian life deserves our following the Savior.
Wise ones still bring the Lord gifts, in worship.
--But God always gives us the best gifts, far better!
--Abundant life and joy, here .. and hereafter.
IV. GOD'S PERFECT GIFT WORKS .. AND LASTS.
--In shopping for, or receiving gifts, we never know if it will work .. and last .. and meet a need.
--The perfect gift of God - Jesus - meets our needs.
--His forgiveness and salvation works! Never fails.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden.
--It cost them paradise. Took them to a hard world.
--A world of "toil, sweat and tears," like ours.
--But then God began His rescue mission, promised a Savior/Messiah, that Jesus fulfilled, as no other.
So quickly life can change from blessing to heartache.
--In 1963 all was going well - our Michigan church was in a new building on 20 acres, growing greatly.
--It, and I, were honored by our denomination.
--The annual convention came to Detroit; I was Co-Chair along with Dr. Warner Cole in a Communion Service to over 6000 delegates in Cobo Hall meetings.
--But the last of the 5-day sessions, I was called out.
--My dear Mother had died in a car accident, my brother Charles asked me to come at once; Dad injured.
--That's when one needs God's Gift .. that works.
--To help us pick up the pieces, and give us peace.
--Peace and comfort amid grief, tears and confusion.
V. ONE FINAL THOUGHT, RECEIVE EACH GIFT, IN LOVE.
--Whatever it is, whoever from, every gift should always be accepted, acknowledged, and appreciated.
--As given from the heart. In love. God's gift is.
Jesus, Who loves you most, as though in Person, is inviting us all to receive His perfect gift of life.
--Not just for the here and now, but for hereafter!
--I'm asked sometime, "How do we receive Jesus?" Easy.
--Believe in Him. Repent of sin. Receive as a gift.
--Invite Him to come in your life. Forgive. Save.
--To guide you. Help you grow "in His grace ..."
--It is a spiritual gift. Of infinite value.
--He offers to everyone. Will you receive His gift?
I'm glad I took His gift long ago. Best gift ever!
--May I offer Him to you, my friend, to be a Savior?
--No longer delay. Make sure today. Rejoice in Him.
--He's God's Perfect Gift.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 901