John Gray - The Gift
The greatest gift was given over two millennia ago, and so tonight we are going to celebrate because of Bethlehem, because of Bethlehem we're able to be here tonight, because of Bethlehem, because of what took place, because of the birth of one baby, we get a chance to come in here, and those who are online and those who are watching, all over the world, we get an opportunity to lift up our hands and our Heavenly Father hears us because he sees us and receives us through the lens and filter of the blood of his Son.
And it all started one night, a few thousand years ago. In a little town called Bethlehem. Is anybody ready to celebrate my Lord and Savior? Well you can't celebrate without a couple of things, I just need to make sure I'm in the right atmosphere. We're gonna need some people that don't mind worshiping, we need some people that don't mind praising, then, we're gonna need some people that don't mind singing. And then, just maybe, we're probably gonna need, a few folk to shout.
We've got a phenomenal program for you guys tonight, Steven Curtis Chapman is here. And not long from now, Mandisa will also be here as well. But I feel like we might as well start this moment off with a bang. This young man, was raised by pastors, and when you hear him sing, you know he was in somebody's church for many many hours every Sunday growing up. I wonder if Mary knew, that having this baby was going to change the world? I wonder if she knew, what she was carrying while she was trying to sleep on her side, or try to sleep on her back, while what was in her was kicking, waiting to get out, I wonder, if she knew. I could preach it, but my brother can sing it. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Ceelo Green.
"Mary did you know, that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary did you know, that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know, that your baby boy has come to make you new? And that child that you deliver will soon deliver you. Mary did you know, that your baby boy would give sight to the blind man? Mary did you know, that your baby boy, would calm the storms with his hands? Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? When you kiss your little baby you kiss the face of God. Oh, Mary did you know"?
Mary did you know? Oh, "The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again, the lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb. Mary did you know, that your baby boy was Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy would someday rule the nations? Did you know your baby boy was heavens perfect lamb? And that sleeping child your holding is the great I am"?
But this is one of those, this is one of the quiet, you know, contemplative moments, so I've gotta, I've gotta act right. "Oh come, let us adore him. Oh come, let us adore him. Oh come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord". See, but, I could sing it soft, and there's a moment for that, but when I think about the gift of Jesus, and what our Heavenly Father gave in exchange for us, I don't know that I can keep my volume low. I don't know that I can sing it soft when I think about the passion that was invested in this baby and I get to be a part of the legacy and an heir and a joint heir, I wanna tell everybody.
"Oh come, let us adore him. Oh come, let us adore him. Oh come, let us adore him. Oh come, Christ the Lord". Hallelujah, yeah, yeah, yeah, hallelujah.. Is there anybody grateful for Jesus? Is there anybody grateful for Jesus? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Somebody say, "Yes, yes, yes, yes, Lord". Y'all better stop. Now we done had a nice quiet Christmas. Just don't do it, just stay right in there, stay right in there. High five somebody tell 'em, "I got a gift".
I got a gift. I got a gift. I said I got a gift. It's got my name on it. You can't take it from me. It's just for me. It's my gift, and I needed it, it's mine, I didn't have enough to pay for it, I couldn't earn it, but it was there, when I needed it. Is there anybody grateful for the gift? I'm so glad the gift is not cultural. That the gift is spiritual and eternal. How amazing that a Jewish Jesus saved African-American me. You know, the greatest, most expensive diamonds don't reflect light, they refract light. Which means depending on how you turn it, it shines differently. Depending on who's watching and from what perspective.
I just wanna talk to you for a few minutes from the subject, the gift. The gift. Who doesn't love gifts? Clearly not my wife. My baby loves gifts. I love, she's like, for me? No, you shouldn't have. My family tell you right now, they know my gifts when they're under the tree 'cause I like to wrap my own gifts. And it looks like a grown man wrapped it. I leave half the present out, you can see what it is on the side. You got me an iPad? No, just unwrap it. It says iPad on the box. I put a whole thing of tape on there, leave half of it, I love to wrap gifts. You can tell that I'm not big on the wrapping because the wrapping's gonna get thrown away.
This holiday season, this Christmas moment, I don't want you to get caught up in surface stuff. The things that we throw away. This is a moment for you and I to focus on the things that matter, the things that last, like your family. Your children. Your close friends. And it's also about reflecting on the things that God has already given you. If there is nothing under a tree with your name on it, you and I still have so much to be thankful for, during this Christmas.
Many of you right now just put your hands together which means you have a reasonable portion of health and strength. That's enough to thank God for. If you had to rush here from work, you need to thank God for that job. If you weren't trying to figure out what you were going to eat tonight, you have another reason to thank God. If your children got home safe from school, there's another reason to thank God right there. Some are saying, "Well I don't have anybody to go home to". You need to thank God for that too.
Y'all like Lord, just wrap a man under there, put a man under the tree, Jesus. Wrap him up Jesus, let him have all of his teeth and good credit Jesus. Have him under there when I wake up Jesus. I know that the holidays are not always the best for some people because the enemy always wants to whisper in your ear what you've lost, or what you didn't get. But he is a liar. Oh yes he is. This Christmas I want you to focus on the gift that will keep on giving. Oh yes.
In Luke chapter two starting at the eighth verse, I'm reading from the new King James version, and to all of our TBN family all over the world, God bless you and merry Christmas. I wanna thank our musical artists tonight, Ceelo, Mandisa, Steven Curtis Chapman, can we thank God for them? For our pastors, pastor Joel and Victoria Osteen, thank God for them. And for Max Lucado, and his awesome gift of writing, and teaching, and pastoring and leading.
In Luke chapter two, starting at the eighth verse it says, now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night, and behold an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were greatly afraid, they were scared. 'Cause you don't just see angels chilling in the field. It's scary. It's not like when we see the cartoon, what meaneth this? It's like, it's a monster! Help me Jesus.
Well they wouldn't know to say, "help me Jesus", 'cause he wasn't even, okay, he wasn't born yet. The angel said to them, "do not be afraid for behold, I got good news". Anybody could use some good news? I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people, for there is born to you this day. Somebody say, "This day". Before I finish the scripture, let me encourage you that even though this was written on a day, the words are eternal so that day can also become this day, the moment you unwrap the gift that the Father has given us in the form of his Son, that day becomes this day.
Somebody say "This day". This day is born to you a Savior, in the city of David, David the king, the forgotten one, number eight, the eighth son of no one. The one sitting out in fields singing songs that he never knew people would still be singing thousands of years later in the city of David, of the lineage of David, of the tribe of Judah. Bethlehem, Nazareth, out of nowhere came a baby right there. David's great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandson.
The, you know, David, with the five smooth stones and the slingshot, David, the worshiper, David the one who thought, maybe they forgot about me, but God anointed him and said, you are gonna be leader of my people. In the city of David, in the city of the one folk overlooked, is a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. I gotta gift, shepherds, there's a gift for y'all. Y'all need to go check it out. And just in case you're trying to figure out if the gift fits, I need you to know, one size fits all.
I feel like preaching. For too long, the commercialization of Christmas has caused us to dilute the sacred nature of this moment. For too long all of the things and all of the trappings surrounding the holiday cause us too lose sight of the event because it's actually not about capitalism or commercialism it's actually about crucifixion. That a baby had to be born in order to become a man that would die. But first the hope found in a baby.
How many parents do we have in this room? Keep your hands up for a second. Lord, bless you to keep, if your kids are still in your house, may the Lord bless you to keep raising them to know the Lord, now if they grown, may the Lord help you to get them out of your house. Isn't there something about that baby when it first is born? To hear the sound of your child crying, coming into the earth?
And I don't know, I was there when my wife had our two. I was there, I didn't know what was happening, I didn't know what I was actually seeing. I don't know how I stayed awake. I thought I was about to die and faint. And she's bringing a legacy into the earth. And as they bring my son forth, he begins to cry, and they put the baby on my wife's chest, and he stops crying, and he looks at her, and it is just his amazing sacred moment, where a mother and child had a forever bond.
And as the father I wish that I could experience it, actually I don't. Thank God for women, thank you Jesus, thank you father for women, who push. And not just in the natural, in the spirit. For every woman that's pushed a vision and pushed a dream so somebody else could get to the next dimension. Thank God for every woman that has carried the burden so that a legacy could be birthed. Thank God for every woman that has nurtured a calling.