Love The Giver

Preached by Chris Adams, December 10, 2007

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We have this treasure in jars of clay . . .

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God is the greatest giver of all and gave the gift that keeps on giving forever–that of His grace! We have a choice of responding to His gift with gratitude and faithfulness. However, Satan is also into giving gifts and not just at Christmas (see Matthew 4)! Will we settle for the gifts of compromise, this-world comfort and pain-free living or hold out for the indescribable gift that far outweighs any of our light and momentary trials? Not only does God entrust this decision to us, but He also gave us the ministry of reconciliation, as if He were making his appeal through us . . . 2 Cor 5:21 . . . so that we might become GIFTS from God to the whole world . . . but not us but His grace in these old jars of clay.
“Love the Giver”
Preached by Chris Adams on Sunday, December 9, 2007

2 Corinthians 4:6
• God is the greatest gift giver of all.
• God gives us His Son, His grace and His Kingdom.
• Christmas can be a time of struggle spiritually.
• Christmas can be a time when you need to learn how to receive gifts.
• God made His light shine in your heart.
• God has established His relationship with you through His grace.

1. You need to be grateful for the giver.
2 Corinthians 9:12–15
• You cannot out-give God.
Question: Is your service an expression of thanks to God?
• You can offer your service to God as an expression of thanks to God.
• People are moved by your obedience to God.
• Service to God elicits prayers from those who may have never prayed to God before!

2 Corinthians 4:7–15
• God put this light into a jar of clay.
• The jar of clay is a common everyday vessel.
• Each one of these vessels have a purpose.
• Some vessels were kept for hiding valuables.
• The jar of clay is your body.
Question: Have you ever felt weak?
Question: Have you ever felt like there is no way to go on?
Question: Why did God put His gift into this jar of clay that could break?
• You need to surrender.
• You need to realize that it is God’s power, not yours.
Question: What happens if you put your treasure into the light?
Question: How can you offer that service in spite of your busy schedule?
• Sometimes you do not want to feel weak and as a result, you become prideful.
• You need to surrender because you can trust God.
• God has put this insurmountable gift in you.
Question: What is the glory of God?
• More and more people giving thanks to God.
• In this church, to be your best for God, you need to meet the needs in your Bible Talk.
• Recently, William Hicks got baptized.
• Show your gratitude to God by making an impact in Central New York.
• It is amazing what God will do in your life.
• Make this an incredible gift to God.
Question: Are you going to be grateful for the giver?

2. You need to be faithful to the giver.
Question: What do you think is a gift that is worth compromising your gift from God for it?

Matthew 4:8–10
• Satan wants to give you gifts.
Question: What kinds of gifts did Satan want to give Jesus?
• Think about how Jesus was feeling at that time.
Question: What did Jesus say? (He fought off the temptations with God’s words, God’s truth!
Question: What are the gifts that Satan wants to give you?
•He offered Jesus food, worldly protection and worldly influence . . .
Question: Does the devil want to give you worldly success?
• Sometimes that career can totally lead you astray.
• As a result, you give your intimacy, trust and closeness to your career.
Question: How often do you pray “Away from me, Satan”?
• Satan might give you addiction.
• Not wanting to talk about or listening to a spouse’s struggle, say an addiction for example, is selfish.
• God now can use the situation in your life to help teach others.
• Addiction to sin is what Satan wants to give to you as a gift.
• Satan does not want you to be totally honest.
• Satan wants to give you a conflict-free life.
Question: What did pain do for Jesus in the desert?
• Jesus is a great example of being faithful to the giver.
Question: Is it a gift from God or is it a gift from Satan?

2 Corinthians 5:17–21
• What God did was so amazing.
• God’s gift of grace was Jesus.
• God gave you a ministry of reconciliation.
• Get unified with the indescribable gift.
Question: Are you really grateful for the gift or are you just talking about it?
• The meaning of “righteousness” is to be in a right relationship with God and others.
• You are that gift, in which God has wrapped up His grace to the world.