Presentation on theme: "GIFT RETURN “…though the world was made through [Jesus], the world did not recognize [Jesus]. He came to that which was his own, but his own did."— Presentation transcript:
“…though the world was made through [Jesus], the world did not recognize [Jesus]. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him…” (John 1:10-11).
The Hebrew people expected a Warrior-King trumpeting force and violence (Psalm 2:1-12; Daniel 7:14); Jesus came as the Prince- Of-Peace, trumpeting patience and non- violence (Luke 2:13-15).
The Hebrew people expected a Prosperity-God, promising health and wealth (1 Chronicles 4:10); Jesus came as a Suffering-Servant, promising surrender and sacrifice (Luke 1:46-55).
The Hebrew people expected a Power-Broker setting up a political Kingdom (Haggai 2:1-9); Jesus came as a Humble-Leader, setting up a spiritual Kingdom (Luke 1:67-79).
Receive a different Savior/Messiah, entering “…through [a] narrow gate [an odd gate, a ‘counter to the norm’ gate]. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter…it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Learn To Think How God Thinks, Counter- Intuitively.
“My soul…rejoices in [a] God… [who] has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. [Who] has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble…” (Luke 2:47; 51-52).
God is asking a similar thing of us this Christmas: I know forgiveness doesn’t make sense; my other way of thinking is counter-intuitive, but try to see its value, nevertheless. For in seeing its value -- you see Jesus.
Receive What We Do Not Deserve.
In fact, Paul notes “…the message of the cross is [considered] foolishness…” (1 Corinthians 1:18) by a lot of us.
Jesus is crazy about you, gifting what you don’t deserve -- gifting grace -- nevertheless.
“God is not an employer looking for employees” John Piper clarifies. [God] is an Eagle looking for people who will take refuge under his wings. [God] is looking for people who will leave…anything [guilt, pride, unworthiness] that may hold them back from a life of love under the wings of Jesus.” – John Piper
De-clutter Your Life, Simplify Your Life, Lifted, Energized By The Lord.
That’s why Paul underscores, that when God sought to reveal himself, he didn’t utilize “…human standards…influential [things]…God chose…foolish things…weak things…lowly things…despised things…” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28).
I mean Paul is so blunt: if you’re going to boast – if you’re going to trumpet anything this Christmas – “…boast in the Lord…” (1 Corinthians 1:31) and the greatest gift ever -- the child-King of Bethlehem.