Today’s message summary of December 8, 2019 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Christmas means gift giving and the excitement that goes with it; however, are we excited about the right thing?
How are you when you receive a gift? Are you thankful for it? Do you complain about it?
What is your response? Do you appreciate a gift that you receive?
We have so much today that we have forgotten how to appreciate what is given as gifts. They can be discarded, thrown away, or even put to the side, all because the person isn’t grateful for the sacrifice made for it.
Scripture informs us no to neglect the great gift of the salvation.
1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
…how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Salvation is meant to be used and lived out…not put on the shelf.
The gift of salvation is given that you might rejoice in it and live in appreciation of it.
The gift of salvation is not an old fable or myth. It is not to be neglected or belittled. It is a reflection of God’s love for you and His people that seek after Him.
A lot of Christians, unfortunately, have chosen not to use their gift.
People can (and do) make excuses as to why they don’t like a gift.
Paul is going to draw a comparison as to what it is about giving, and what it is to receive a gift (2 Corinthians 9).
The saints in Jerusalem had needs, and the church in Macedonia moved their hearts to give to people who probably knew very little about the people there except that they were believers as they were.
2 Corinthians 9:3
But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
Are you ready to give? Are you ready to give of yourself? Is it a joy for you to give?
Remember: Jesus was prepared and ready to go to the cross for each one of you. He was willing to give of Himself even before the foundation of this world.
2 Corinthians 9:5
So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.
If you question being ready to give, note that God will enable you to do what is necessary to give with confidence and generosity.
We can be overconfident about other people, but we can always be confident in Jesus Christ.
Jesus was promised to us, and in the fullness of time, He was given to us.
How you sow is how you will reap.
2 Corinthians 9:6
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
You know fully well where you provision comes from. God gives you everything that you able to use and enjoy, and in your work for Him, you can bless others.
Your giving is a heart issue.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
God gave according to his heart in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. What a precious gift!
God’s grace provides all that you need in Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
God also increases the seed, His provision, for a harvest of righteousness. He creates wealth in order for you to be generous to others.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
God blesses us in order that we can be a blessing to others within the kingdom of God.
What you do is not just supplying God’s people.
2 Corinthians 9:12
For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
You prove, in your actions of obedience and confession, that you are living the Christian life.
(You’re not a fake person who says you’re following Christ but not living in this manner.)
2 Corinthians 9:13
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others…
The grace of God performs this through you to others. This grace is indeed a gift.
2 Corinthians 9:14
...while they long for you and pray for you, because the surpassing grace of God upon you.
In the comparison of gift-giving and receiving, take the time to assess and evaluate what has been given to you. Be grateful for what God has given to you. What you give to others is out of obedience to Him, but be thankful for Jesus Christ, who provides for you.
2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Your giving is made possible because of the gift of Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Genuine love flows from the heart, and God gave the greatest gift from the heart of all time!
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Our salvation is complete in Jesus Christ. Note what he did for us.
Hebrews 2:9-10, 14-18
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Jesus humbled Himself.
In order for you to be of service for Him, you must also humble yourself. Humble yourself in that God has given you the gift of salvation, and that He has given you the ability to give to others.
Don’t forget the gift of Jesus or take it for granted.
Use Him, appreciate Him, and love Him. He wants to be used by you for He is your ever-present Helper.