Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
222 East Epler, Indianapolis IN 46227
December 8th, 2013
A Gift For Jesus?
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
At this time of year we are almost consumed with both the giving and the receiving of gifts. But sometimes, more for some and less for others, our minds are drawn to the fact that Jesus, the Son of God, actually came into this world to bring us a gift.
We remember he was born in a manger. We remember the shepherds and the wise men. We remember that the wise men brought gifts to Jesus. Then we think, well maybe I should give a gift to Jesus.
Like me you might have problems buying gifts for people. Face it, some people are hard to buy for because they have everything they need or want. We are so blessed that when we see something we normally just buy it. There is no need to wait for a special occasion like Christmas.
Which brings to mind another question, what kind of gift could we possibly give the Son of God. After all he was there when everything was made. In fact there was nothing made that he did not have a part in. By virtue of the fact that he is the creator and everything around us is his creation, if we try to give him anything we are trying to give him something that is already his. Can that truly be a gift?
Then we think well maybe I will give him me. Do we place such a high value on ourselves that we think we would be a worthy gift for the Son of God? Not if we view ourselves in the light of scripture.
Or, knowing that the Earth and all we see is His creation, do we think we are somehow disconnected from the creation? Are we not also the work of his hand? Do not we not already belong to him? If we belong to him and we offer ourselves to him are we not just giving him what is already his?
Yet we are told that the wise men gave him gifts. The gifts they gave were not things they had created. They too were things which Jesus had made in the beginning. Still the Bible refers to them as gifts.
To understand how the Bible uses the word gift in Matthew let us examine other places in the New Testament where the word gift is used.
In Matthew 5:23-24 Jesus is speaking of the gift we bring to the altar. In Matthew 8:4 Jesus says to give the gift Moses commanded. Matthew 23:18-19 speak of the gift that is on the altar.
Looking at how Jesus uses the word which is translated gift it becomes obvious he is not talking about a present. He is talking about an offering made to God.
Consider what the wise men were doing. Is it not more reasonable to say they brought an offering to Jesus? Were they not bringing that which they were already obligated to give?
As we approach Christmas we need to have the heart of these men. There is nothing we can give to Jesus that we do not already owe him but let us make sure we give it to him. Let none of us rob God of the obedience that it is our duty to give him.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Elbert “Tee” Gann, one of our former members as well as a former choir director passed away this week. Services were Saturday at Hall-Baker in Plainfied.
Mary Doss, sister to Inez Jones, also passed away this week. Services were held in Franklin, Kentucky.
The ordination for Brother Andrew Horton which was scheduled for yesterday was postponed. No new date has been set yet.
December 11th at 6:30-We will be having play practice. There will be no Bible Study.
December 13th at 6:30-Christmas at the Zoo. The Sunday School will be purchasing tickets for the children. Adults will need to purchase their own ticket.
December 14th at 8:30-Dress Rehearsal for the Christmas program.
December 15th at 6:00-The Christmas Program. Dinner will follow.
December 24th at 8:30-Breakfast with Bethel at Bob Evans. Attendance may be very light because this is Christmas Eve.