“What Have You Done With Your Gift?”
- Recently, one of our members at SBBC has suffered a tragedy in the loss of their out building and damage of their home to a fire.
- I shared with them a verse that God gave me and now wish to share that same verse with you. It is “key” (vitally important) in the time of testing and trial… Job 23:10 (KJV) …But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
- I had prepared a message for today finishing our study of “The Angels of Christmas.” I felt compelled by the Spirit of God to prepare a spiritual food that is on the plate before you now.
I. Christmas As We Know It
A) What it is all about
- I will not bore you with what you already know being that “Christmas” for Christians is about the greatest gift given (Jesus Christ), giving gifts, receiving gifts, love and the baby Jesus, caroling to the shut-ins and the dinners at church and with family.
- This morning I want us to think about what we do with the gifts given to us. And more importantly the gifts that God has given us.
- Have you ever received a gift that you didn’t know what to do with? Or, receive a gift that you didn’t like and just smile as you finish opening it?
- How many of us give a gift expecting a return gift? How many of us give a large gift to show others… “See what I did?” Shame on us.
- Many of us are too involved with the reception of a gift or giving a gift that we fail to see the importance of “What we do with the gift given us.”
- I remember as a child wanting a new bicycle. My brother Tracy and I were riding garage sale bikes and desired the new 10 speed “Flying O” at the neighborhood Otasco store. My father’s replay after our begging for 10 speeds was this…“Why should I get you boys a new one when you can’t even take care of the ones you have? If you do a better job at putting them up at night so they don’t get stolen and we’ll see about new bikes.”
- Guess what? My brother and I took our paper route money and bought new tires, spray paint, headlights and horns for our old bikes and made them look like new ones. Dad said… “See there, now you don’t need new ones, those look great!” Well needless to say, our parents had seen what we had done and bought us new 10 speeds for Christmas. We also took very good care of them as a lesson learned.
- Do you know that God made us in His image, in His likeness, and we are carbon copies of God in everything we do and feel.
- When God sees our efforts He will reward us accordingly based on our heart’s condition.
II. Christmas As We Should See It
A) Enjoy the fruit of our labor
- Let us look into our text this morning of Ecclesiastes 5:18…Behold that which I have seen:
- This is King Solomon (The wisest King like…ever) writing here “…that which I have seen.” In other words. The things that he has learned from observing others, or the things that he has personally experienced.
- Now as we continue in 18b…it is good and comely (It is good and attractive) for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life,
- God said that it is a good thing for us to enjoy eating and drinking, it is good to enjoy working hard to get what you want or need.
- But more importantly note the later part of the verse 18c…which God giveth him: for it is his portion.”
- God wants us to enjoy it with the realization that GOD GAVE IT TO YOU.
- “…for it is his portion.” Means…God’s portion. Everything we have belongs to God because God gave us the strength, knowledge, and wherewithal to earn it, and purchase whatever we get.
B) The gift of God is
- Look at verse 19) Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.
- In order for us to enjoy our riches and wealth, power to eat, and to be happy in our work, we must first realize that God gave us the wealth, God gave us food, God gave us our jobs and talent to succeed in our works.
- “This is the gift of God.” John Mac Arthur writes… To understand this is to enjoy the satisfaction of His good gifts.
C) God keeps us busy
- Look now at 5: 20) For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.
- When a person recognizes the goodness of God, he rejoices in it and does not dwell or meditate on the trouble with money, the troubles of riches, or the troubles of labor.
- When we are young and get hurt on the job it is easy to bounce back up and get right back at it. When you get older it isn’t so easy to do that anymore. Sometimes you get hurt and stay hurt for a long time.
- God is telling us in Solomon’s writing… keep busy and your mind will not dwell on your troubles.
- I hate asking certain people “How are you doing today?” Because on certain people it always the same… “Oh I am in pain everyday and wish I could get some relief.” Pathetic they are. God said get busy doing something rather than sit around licking your wounds and feeling sorry for yourself.
III. Understanding the Gift of God
A) Not know the gift
- John 4:9…Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
- Jesus gave this the object lesson to the woman at the well to help her to see her need for the spiritual water of life that only Jesus can give.
- This is “a gift” of eternal life simply for the asking.
- Here we can see that woman had no idea about a free gift.
- Do you realize how many people out in the world today do not know as this woman what the gift is that Jesus has to offer us?
B) The gifts God gives cannot be bought with money
- Acts 8:18…And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19) Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
- There is a sin in this statement that few people catch. He desired to have something that someone else had…”thou shalt not what? Covet.”
- Verse 20) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
- Peter told him that his money would die with him. In other words it is of no value.
- Simon had a problem receiving this gift of the Holy Spirit. What was it?
- Look down in Acts 8: 21…Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
- So how does this man Simon have a chance of receiving this gift? Look at verse 22) Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
- The problem still lives today in the hearts of many people and many are Christians… MONEY. God sees our heart.
- When you wish to buy a gift for someone and you are as broke as church mice, the first question is “How much does it cost?”
- This gift from God is what? The Holy Spirit
- Romans 5:15…But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
- This is self explanatory isn’t it? What gift of god is this to us? Grace. Where would we be if it were not for the “grace of God?”
- 1 Corinthians 7:7…For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
- The gifts here that Paul is talking about as he teaches the church at Corinth is the “Spiritual gifts.”
IV. What Do We Do With These Gifts God Give Us
A) Use them
- 1 Peter 4:10… “As every man hath received the gift,” In other words those of you who have already received the gift of God (His Son Jesus Christ) and are still receiving gifts of grace, and spiritual talents, and happiness in your work and so on.
- Listen now…here’s what Peter tells us to do with the gifts…10b…even so minister the same one to another,
- The word “minister” here means what? To help or give aid to or assist your brethren in Christ with the same gifts.
- Note the rest of verse 10c…as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
- God wants us to be “good stewards” with the gifts He gives us.
- What is a “steward?” A person put in charge of a household, an estate, servants, objects, money, etc. A person who acts as a supervisor over what was given them.
- You see God gave us these gifts and has put us in charge of these gifts and the usage of them.
- So the final question is… “What have you done with your gifts God has given you?”