At Bremerton Nazarene we are getting ready for the "Big Give." In Today's sermon, Pastor Sherwin focused on the Magi and how they brought gifts for the Gift. "We give because Christ first gave." The Magi were expectantly looking for this Gift to arrive. And when the Gift was given, He was received by them. They journeyed roughly 1,000 miles (google says that is a 48 day walk) one way to get a glimpse of this Long Expected Jesus.
Today, I had a newcomer at our church ask me the question, "Why is Jesus a gift?" "What did he bring?" "What could a baby do?" These are the questions that every associate and lead pastor long to hear. Questions that are searching for real answers. Questions you can tell are already made in faith because if doubt was there they would not even ask but they come expecting an answer from us and when they ask those questions the Holy Spirit is working!
Why is Jesus a Gift?
The creator of the world breathed life into the creation that would sin against Him. Even knowing that humans would choose idolatry over worship and obedience of the true King... He breathed life into them. But that wasn't the only gift given. You see, He breathed life and then knowing He would have to empty Himself to be born and die for this creation. Jesus is the gift of life. Through His death and resurrection He defeats sin and death. To do that, He had to be born a baby and live a fully human life while still remaining fully God. God Incarnate.
What did He Bring?
Jesus Christ brought Himself. In doing so, He lived a life where He could understand every single temptation. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that, "He was tempted in every way." He understands every single temptation there is and we can lean on Him to get us through those temptations and if we fail, His love is sufficient. Through those temptations, He did NOT sin. He lived the sinless life. The 2nd Adam chose obedience over sin where the 1st Adam failed. No longer does sin bind us to death but now love pulls us to obedience of life.
What could a Baby do?
As I type this, my almost two-year-old son is trying to climb onto the table. And when I tell him, "No, Henry" he smiles at me and then leans over and gives me kisses. Joy. A baby brings Joy... and Hope. (Though, I am sure that Mary didn't have to tell her first born to get off the table as much as I have said while typing this...) Jesus would have to learn how to talk and walk. His starting point would be like our starting points. None of us started as an adult and in that same manner the one who would intercede for us would do the same. For what can a baby not do? Because eventually, babies grow up... (every mother is now either praising this fact or if she is sleeping through the night may be getting teary eyed because that his a happy/sad reality). This baby born King of the Jews would not remain a baby for He would grow to be the greatest teacher, love, and Savior of all.
For The BIG Give, Bremerton Nazarene, I have this to share with you. Many of you have accepted Jesus Christ. You lived expectantly awaiting and are awaiting His Second Coming. There is a lot of work in our local community that we need to do. So for our Christmas Offering we are asking you to give, give a gift to the Gift. Be the Magi of today. The gold given paid for Jesus ministry and the other gifts prepared Him for His burial. I've often wondered what Mary and Joesph did with the gifts that Jesus received for it was not their's... that which Mary knew it belong to the Christ. And I have no doubt that they were used to propel His ministry. So, if you have accepted Jesus Christ.... Give expectantly of His ministry to continue.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ, a gift that you can give the Gift is the gift of yourself. As I have read the Scriptures, I see this too in the Magi. They had the knowledge of Him, that the King of the Jews was coming... they had knowledge of the Scriptures but when the time came they brought themselves to Him. They had to bring themselves to Him to be able to give the Gift gifts. Jesus Christ does not want your money before He wants your heart. For the whole reason why He came was LOVE. And the greatest gift we can give back is LOVE. He isn't asking for things or money.... He came seeking a relationship and through that relationship, He will pour blessings. But as the Magi, they gave the best they had to offer themselves and their gifts.
This Christmas, let's offer Jesus our best. If you want to accept Him as your Lord and Savior the Bremerton Nazarene staff would love to pray with you and aid you in anyway you need as you journey to Him this Christmas. You can comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office. If you want to give a financial gift that allows His ministry to continue in our local community, you can give online HERE and memo The BIG Give or bring your Christmas Offering with your next week as we celebrate The BIG Give on December 17th. In whatever stage you are of being a Magi, starting the journey to Him or giving the gifts to Him... LET'S GIVE BIG, Bremerton Nazarene!
Oh, Come Let us Adore Him.
Because Christ Lives,