Many families participate in a tradition of gift-giving at Christmas, but in the hustle and bustle of the season, do we ever stop to consider why? Maybe for you, crossing off the Christmas shopping list has become a chore, and you’re simply going through the motions of the holiday season. But if it’s really the thought that counts, we should probably be more thoughtful about why we wrap those presents under the tree. The purpose of giving to our loved ones, at any time of year, should be love. In fact, because of what Christ did for us, the purpose of everything we do and say should be love. Love should be the language of our lives.
What is love, really? Like most big questions, the answer lies in Jesus. John 3:16 reads, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Our God loved us, so He gave. Jesus left the splendor of heaven to give us His earthly, physical presence. He gave wisdom and encouragement to the people of His day, and now gives them to us through His Word. He gave His life for us. Today, He continues to give us unceasing access to Him in prayer. Because of Jesus, we have eternal life, forgiveness for our sins, and an example of true love.
Jesus’ life shows us that giving is at the heart of loving others. But He gave far more than physical gifts. Jesus gave His presence, encouragement, time, and service, too! In our Advent sermon series, The Language of Christmas, we will explore the list of five ways to show others love popularized by Christian author Gary Chapman: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and giving of gifts. While Chapman wrote the book on the love languages in our modern day, Jesus exhibited them perfectly with His very life. His love was unconditional, and He offered it to His enemies at least as much as He gave it to His friends.
John 13:34-35 reads, A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. The greatest responsibility and opportunity for a Christ-follower is to practice loving God and neighbor like He loved us first. Through our smaller gifts, we can communicate the love our God has for people, and lead them to come to Him for the ultimate gift of salvation.
This Christmas, we all want to experience joy. But remember what JOY stands for: Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last! When we give to others on behalf of Christ Jesus, we are ordering our lives so that joy will enter our hearts. We hope you will join us throughout the Advent season as we study more deeply what love is and how to show it. It’s our prayer that the love of Christ will be the greatest gift in your home this Christmas.Sermon Archive
Part 5: Giving of GiftsPart 5: Giving of Gifts - NOC
Dec 23, 2022
Thank you so much for celebrating with us today. We pray that this Christmas is your best one yet, full of hope and joy and, more than anything else, redemption. We believe that the great God of this universe loves you deeply and dearly. We believe that once you discover His Son, Jesus, and the forgiveness only available through Him, you know what true love is. As you reflect on 2022, take time to celebrate the blessings and acknowledge the challenges. God can use both in your life to shape you in incredible ways. We hope to see you in 2023 at Rolling Hills. We all need each other, and we’re better together. Have a merry, merry Christmas.More Details