No Greater Love
Rev. David Cawston
Acts. 20:35; John 3:16
Introduction: Christmas has a mysterious magic and magnetism to it!
For years I have wondered what it was that annually draws people into the Yuletide season.
Even though we get turned off in mid-October when we see all these fake trees being set up at departments stores and in spite of the dreaded commercialism and crowds and "Jingle Bells" played three thousand times in the mall. . .somehow we cannot resist the spirit of the season once we find ourselves enveloped it the sights and smells unique to Christmas. Why?
As beautiful as the colorful lights and decorations may be, they are not the reason.
As magnificent as the music and nostalgic memories may the, they aren't either. Neither is it the cakes and candy or the trip to Grandma's house or the parties with friends.
I think Christmas touches an area that borders on Great love that lies deep within us.
It provides us an opportunity each year to deliberately get out of ourselves and do something tangible for someone else with no thought of or interest in being "paid back".
It gives us a chance to counteract the selfish streak we all have in ourselves. In simplest terms, Christmas (like no other annual celebration) prompts us to demonstrate true love and grace.
Acts 20:35 Remember the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"(NIV)
Put this to test in this week on Christmas! Here's how!
Force yourself to watch the giver rather than the one opening the gift.
Some of the best photographs taken are of those taken of the giver while another family member is opening the gift given by them.
There is more than excitement; there is sheer delight written all over the face of the giver as he or she is totally absorbed in the charming joy of giving.
At that moment we are caught up in the full-on ecstasy of grace.
When you stop and think about it is isn't receiving gifts around the tree that makes Christmas much fun; it is giving them.
It is watching the other person's look of surprise or sensing that special urge of gratitude, which suddenly and without a word make us feel close.
There is no greater love expressed and experienced than when we are giving! Giving is the real full expression of great love.
16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.(NKJ)
Then why do we have then such negative attitudes towards giving in general?
If I were to mention that I would be speaking on giving there would be moans and groans in the congregation!
If giving is so good then why the complaining. I think it is because: 1. It seems terribly obligatory!
It seems so manipulative!
It seems so self serving!
But to experience this great love we need to understand a few things.
1. How and why we give is of far greater significance to God than ...
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