Michael Youssef - The Indescribable Christmas Gift
Every Christmas, many people spend money they don't have thinking that this will make the loved ones speechless. I read just a couple of weeks ago, in fact, that 28% of the populations in America are still paying the debt that they incurred last Christmas. I couldn't believe my eyes. And I believe just about most of us mean well in wanting to give that perfect gift, yet there are those in their anticipation of others to be a bit dazzled by their gifts can be very painfully disappointed. No matter how superlative the gift, no matter how exquisite the gift, no matter how expensive the gift, no matter how unique the gift, it is not, no matter what it is, indescribable. All human gifts are describable. All human gifts are explainable.
All human gifts are priced. Why? Because for a gift to be indescribable, for a gift to be in explicable, for a gift to be unfathomable, it has to be more than just human. It has to have the God factor in. It has to be divine. It has to be supernatural, and that is why when the Bible trying to describe God's first Christmas gift use the word indescribable. When God gave his first Christmas gift to humanity, Paul said it is an indescribable gift. In fact, in eight words he summarizes the whole Christmas celebration is all about. In 2 Corinthians 9:15 he said, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift". Can you say that with me? "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift". Eight words. This is the Christmas gift of all Christmas gifts. This is the Christmas gift that is worthy of the name, and this indescribable gift of Christmas can be yours today. It will make you richer than the richest person in the world. It can make you happier and healthier than any earthly potentate. It will make you safer and more secure than all of the military powers of the world. It will make you more joyful and contented than owning the whole world, and this indescribable gift is not a play on words. It is not hyperbole.
This indescribable gift is not an exaggeration. No. Why? Because the Bible tells us something patently true about this gift when it says God's Christmas gift, Jesus, is indescribable. It is the truth, the absolute truth. Simply it is indescribable. Why is God's Christmas gift to us indescribable? I want to give you three things very quickly so you can remember them. First of all, because it's supernatural. Anything natural can be explained, but when it is supernatural, that it is beyond our ability to comprehend it. So it was supernatural. Secondly, it was filled with grace. It is pure gift. You cannot earn it. You cannot work for it. It's a gift. And thirdly, the impact, the results, the produce. The things that it produces in people's lives makes it indescribable. God's indescribable gift is supernatural because it was unique. To be able to describe God's first Christmas gift, you need to be able to explain the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three persons, one God.
How can you explain that? The gift has a unique nature, which means that there is no gift anywhere in the world that looks like it or even close to it in its power, and in strength, and its effect, and its result, and its impact. Its nature is indescribable because who can fathom the Creator God becomes man, or the sinless who have never, ever, not for a second ever sinned? The pure God carries the sin of everyone who believes in him. Your sin and my sin on his sinless body. How can you explain the immortal God dies? How can you explain that he and he alone and no one else can rescue us from eternal damnation into heaven? And that is why he and he alone saves from our sins, and that is why he and he alone is Emmanuel; God with us. He is self-existent and there's no beginning and no end. He is beyond human discovery. He is a self-sufficient God. He needs no one and he depends on no one. He is an infinite, eternal, unchangeable God. How can a fallen nature describe the nature of this indestructible gift? It's impossible because it's supernatural. It's not in the natural.
For centuries, Jesus... the person of Jesus boggled the minds of so many people. Jesus for centuries frustrated the great geniuses, and that is why in the end they are either going to fully accept him and receive him as God appearing in a man's form or reject him altogether. You cannot be indifferent toward Jesus. You cannot be indifferent. You can try. See, the nature of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ is beyond comprehension and, therefore, beyond our power to describe him. It is supernatural. But not only is it supernatural, but also the Bible said this Christmas present, the Christmas gift that God gave humanity is indescribable because of the grace by which it's given. Even the most noble and generous among us, when we give gifts, we also are recipients of gifts from others. We give gifts to people who has claims on us, right? We give gifts to relatives, family members, colleagues, friends. We give gifts to people who are either have helped us in some way or have given us something.
So, we have a reason for giving gifts. Even when we give to the poor and the needy who can do nothing back to us, we are doing it because they are fellow human beings. But God is not a member of the human race. In fact, the human race by nature rebels against God. The human race by nature generally is at enmity with God. Romans 5:8 says that while we still at enmity with God, Christ died for us. In fact, God's greatest gift, which is the Christ of Christmas, given not to his friends, but to his enemies. Think about that. God's grace is given to people who are undeserving and unworthy of that gift. People like me.
Now, here's something you need to know about, the one thing that all Christian believers have in common. Don't miss this. All the Christian believers have in common is simply this. They know that they are unworthy of the gift. That's the one thing we all have in common as Christian believers, whether you are in the Middle East, or you are in Africa, whether you are in Europe, or whether you are in Australia. Regardless of where you are, the one thing we all have in common is that, when we come to Jesus we realized that we are undeserving and unworthy of the gift of Jesus.
Why else do you think it's called grace? You can't earn it. In 20,000 lifetimes you cannot earn it. On that first Christmas when God gave us his indescribable gift, it was not because we were good and needed to be rewarded for our goodness. No. Christ Jesus came to earth from heaven not so that we might build magnificent buildings. No. He did not come so that the earthly church can have power to rule and lord it over people. No. Jesus Christ did not come from heaven so that we might build big denominations. No. He did not come so that we may establish all sorts of social welfare programs and entitlement programs. No. He did not come to build the big bureaucracies in Rome and in London and New York and in all the big cities. No, and a million nos. The Bible said Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He did not come to save good people. He did not come to save wonderful people. He did not come to save great people. He came to save sinners. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Say that with me. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And listen, as long as you see yourself as not a sinner, you will not have taken the first step to receive the first gift of Christmas. And that's exactly what the angels were saying to the shepherd's on the first Christmas; to save sinners, to save sinners, to save people who have come to the end of themselves, to save people who realize that they cannot, cannot, cannot save themselves, to save people who do not see themselves to be good enough for God, to save people who recognize that when they're all alone and their soul is naked before them, and nobody's around, they know deep down that they've blown it. That's who he came to save. To save people who recognize, no matter how good they might try to be, they keep on messing up. My beloved friend, if this describes you, congratulations. You are now qualified to receive God's indescribable gift of Christmas.
And that's why the Bible said, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift". For his mind-blowing gift, for this incredible gift, for this unexplainable gift. Not only that it was supernatural, not only that it was given by grace and not as a reward, not for good people, but it is for all who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It is indescribable. Thirdly, because the result it produces. It produces incredible results. It would take me hours, literally take me hours to tell you not only about the transforming power that came into my life the moment Jesus came into my life, but the lives of millions of people, many of whom are watching around the world right now. First of all, how can you measure the forgiveness of all of our sins past, present and future that God literally wipes the slate clean when you come to him? How can you explain that? How can you explain the results of this indescribable Christmas gift? The result that it produces in the life of many people, including some terrorists.
And don't ever forget the Apostle Paul was a terrorist. He was killing Christians until Jesus appeared to him and he turned around, and we are seeing that happening today. This very day, we seeing it every day. A member, not just a member of the Isis terrorist group, a leader in the Isis terrorist group heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. It transformed his life. Now he's preaching the gospel to his old buddies who were terrorists with him. That's the transformation that happens. But I'm sure some of you sitting here or even watching, you would say, "But I'm not that bad. I'm not like that. I never killed anybody". I've never killed anybody either. I've never stolen any, I don't do any of the big things, but it doesn't matter. As far as God is concerned, if you missed the mark by 2 inches or you miss it by 2 miles, you missed the mark and that is who is invited. Whether you missed the mark by wide margin or you missed it by a small margin, it doesn't matter. You've missed the mark, and only Jesus can take you the full way and give you his indescribable gift.
Beloved, as far as God is concerned, sin is sin. I know and I remember those days. Even though I've never committed the big sins, before Christ came into my life, every time I went against God's moral standards, my conscience would burn within me and burn within me and I had to calm the conscious. I have to calm my conscious by telling myself, "I'm going to do better. I'm going to improve. I'm going to strive to do more. I will work harder on doing good and being good". None of that eased the burning of my conscious until I received God's indescribable gift. In fact, things really got worse until I came to the end of myself and received this indescribable gift. Only then did he give me the strength and the power when I knew that my sins are forgiven and that he wiped away my sins and the guilt that goes with it.
The Bible said that God throws our sins into the deepest of the deepest seas. The Bible said that God removes our sins as far from the east to the west. God said, "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud". Not only that, but guilt is replaced by indescribable peace and joy. Even in my darkest days, I always talk about this because I see the Apostle Paul in the Book of Acts constantly sharing his testimony. I want to always share my testimony. I've read many biographies, a book called "Trust and Obey". I have faced so many dark, dark days. But the joy and the peace of the Lord never departed, gave me peace in the midst of trouble, and gave me joy in the midst of sorrow and sadness. My beloved friend, listen to me. This God's gift of Christmas, you cannot earn it. It's a gift. It's a gift. You can receive it from him, and you can receive it from him today. If you have never received it, you can receive it today. All you need to do is, to be willing to humble yourself before God and receive it.
Let me illustrate this. Caesar Augustus one time gave a friend of his a very, a gift of enormous value, very expensive gift. And a man looked at the gift and he said, "I cannot possibly accept this gift. It's too much for me to receive". Caesar Augustus, the Emperor, looked at his friend and said, "Yes, but it's not too much for me to give". You see, it's not too much for God to give. He wants to give it to you. He wants to give it to you wherever you are. God's indescribable gift of Christmas produces indescribable results. Not only releases you from sin and guilt, not only completely justifies you before the bar of justice of heaven, but it gives you full, unqualified adoption paper for God to become your daddy. Before receiving God's indescribable gift of Christmas, we were strangers from God. We were separated from God. We were excluded from heaven without hope.
But after you receive God's indescribable gift of Christmas, you receive the gift of being called son, daughter, not slave, not servant, son, daughter. And then, you will inherit your daddy's estate. How about that? Normally you inherit an estate after the parent die. In this case, you inherit the estate when you die 'cause our heavenly Father never dies. And that is why you should never believe those who say to you that everybody when they die, they go to heaven. It is a lie from the pit of hell, and it misleads people. It's sad. It makes me cry sometimes. That's how sad is when I see people misled and misguided, some people that I love and dear to me.
Heaven is an inheritance only for those who have received God's indescribable gift in this life, and this is why all of those who have received this indescribable gift can chant with the Bible and say, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift". Can you do it? Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift. Well, perhaps there's someone here or somebody watching and would say, "I couldn't really say that. I haven't received that gift yet". That's okay. God spared you one more day so you can hear this message and that you receive that gift that God wants to give you. Why don't you make this Christmas to be the first spiritual birthday, biggest Christmas celebration as a recipient of God's indescribable gift? And you can do that today.
Here are some news that some of you who have not received this indescribable gift may not know. I can tell you this. As I began my 71st year of life, I've had the privilege of circling the globe at least 64 times in the past 42 years on behalf of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've preached in every continent. I have never, not one time ever met somebody says, "I received God's indescribable gift back yonder, but I wish I didn't". Not one. Not one. On the contrary, so many of them who have received this indescribable gift sometimes have regret. And the people I met, they would say, "You know, I wish I had accepted this gift of God earlier in my life. I wish that I have known this good news of the gospel, that I've received this indescribable gift when I was younger. Why did I have to wait so long? Why did I have to waste my life for so long"?
Beloved, listen to me. Please listen to me. It does not matter how old you are. It does not matter how many years you've been wandering away from God. It does not matter. What matters is that today, the Bible said, "Today when you hear his voice, harden not your heart". You can receive it here and now. Will you accept God's greatest Christmas gift today, let him be your Savior and your friend so there'll be no fear of that Day of Judgment, or would you risk it and gamble with your eternity? Take a chance and face him as your judge. It is my utmost desire that not a single person at the sound of my voice would reject God's greatest gift of Christmas.
Before Jesus was ascended into heaven, he told his disciples, "Now you are the light of the world". And so, it's a commission to everyone who knows and loves Jesus to be a light wherever you may be. So, we let these candles out, and you light the world.