This is the audio from the December 13, 2020 sermon, “The Gift of LIFE”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: John 10:10, John 1:1-14
When we read the declaration of Jesus that He came to give us life, and life abundantly, many of us tend to subconsciously insert the word good into the description of the life we expect. Yet it is often in the hard times of life that we most easily recognize the gift of life we have in Jesus . . . and it is in those difficult times that we find the people around us are more eager to listen and receive that gift of life for themselves. This message looks at John’s description of Jesus coming into the world, and how believing that message gives life for us to receive and life for us to give.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is up to us to celebrate and share the gift of . . .
- Light: John 1:4-9, Matthew 5:14 — Jesus came as a gift of light to a very dark world. The Bible tells us that it was in the fullness of time, or when the time was just right, God sent Jesus to give light to the world. Even as Jesus came to be the light of the world, He gives us the responsibility of being the reflection of His light to the world. When the world is the darkest, our light shines the brightest. Every one of us can give the gift of light simply by letting the light of Jesus shine through us. We give the gift of life as we accept God’s light and share it with everyone we meet.
- Inclusion: John 1:10-13, Acts 2:38-39 — Jesus came as a gift of inclusion that offers salvation to all who would call upon His name. There is so much good news in that simple statement, beginning with the good news that you are included! Even among those who reject God’s calling, God’s love continues to include all who would change their heart and mind as they turn toward Him. Peter’s instructions on the day of Pentecost for people to repent and be baptized was not only for those present that day, but was a promise of inclusion for all who would come . . . even to those, like us, who were far off. When we receive the gift of inclusion, it is God’s call to us to offer that same gift to others. The boundaries, barriers, and burdens which we use to create division must all melt away as the gift of life leads us to include everyone we meet.
- Flesh: John 1:14, Hebrews 4:15-16 — The gift of Jesus coming as a baby was the simple act of God taking on flesh. When the Word became flesh, it was able to dwell among us and experience all that we experience here on earth — in the same manner in which we experience it, only without sin. This gift of flesh says that we have a God that understands our weaknesses and can intercede on our behalf as one who has walked many a mile in our shoes. It is only fitting that when we have accepted the gift of Jesus coming in the flesh, that we would give that same gift by being physically present in the lives of others.
- Eternity: John 1:1-3, John 11:25-26 — While it is somewhat easy to think of eternity as the “forever” time which is to come, God’s gift of life to us is based on an eternity that includes a “forever” time that has already happened. The timeless nature of God reminds us that the One present at the creation of the world will be present both now and forever more. It is this part of the gift of life that ought to fill us with great hope when we consider the temporary nature of our time here on earth. The gift of eternity ought to shape the way we live in the present as we acknowledge the presence of God before our time, during our time, and after our time here on earth. It is through the sharing of the good news of Jesus that we can point people to the only way which leads to eternal life.
So, as we consider the gift of life which has been offered to us, the question to consider is what are you going to do with that gift? If you’ve not chosen to receive the gift, that is the place to begin. If you have chosen to receive the gift of life, then who are you sharing that great gift with?