Series: Party for Jesus Week 2 (Potluck) 12.11.05

So we’ve all been invited to this PARTY FOR JESUS, we all know who we are going to invite, what things have to be decided, not to worry because God will help us and we know we have to stay focused on the task at hand. But alas this thing is a POT LUCK; therefore, people need to bring stuff. Should we have them bring food like pie, cake, salad, or maybe baba ganoush? No in fact we want them to bring gifts. In fact the one rule for this party is that you have to bring gifts and not just any gift but your gifts. So to help you decide which gifts are the best to bring I’ve created 3 rules to gift giving for Christ.

Rule 1: It’s not what you give that is important

Luke 21:1-4 – He glanced up and saw the rich putting their offerings into the treasury, and also a poor widow putting in two copper coins. At that he said: ‘I assure you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. They make contributions out of their surplus, but she from her want has given what she could not afford – every penny she had to live on.”

When I say “It’s not what you give that’s important” I want you all to think more about the actual giving, the intentions behind the gift. I want you to think about how much of yourself comes with this gift. Because, you could give someone a diamond ring that you bought at Tiffany’s or you could make someone a chair by hand. In my opinion the chair would be worth more because you put time and effort into creating this gift. You put more than just your money into the gift, you put love. So it’s not important what you give as long as you give it with love. So when you bring something to this Party for Christ I want you to think really hard about what it is you want to give to him. What gift to God would be something that has all your heart, your soul and your mind behind it?

Rule 2: In giving we receive

Matthew 2:2&11 – Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage…They opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

We used this quote from St. Francis of Assisi a couple of weeks ago when we discussed tithing and charity. Well, this phrase reigns true during the Christmas season. Now a lot of people around this season believe that because we give a gift we should receive and then others believe that we should just give because it’s the right thing to do. Both these thoughts are partially right. When we give we receive but we shouldn’t just give to receive. But we shouldn’t give just because we are suppose to, we should give because we want to. Giving with your heart is part of God’s will and just like all of God’s work there needs to be a desire to fulfill it. When you give with your heart and your soul you receive blessings in return. When we do God’s work we receive a reward in the kingdom of heaven.

Rule 3: Bring your whole self especially an open heart

Matthew 9:2 “There the people at once brought to him a paralyzed man lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, ‘Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.’”

Rule 3 talks about bringing your whole self to God. Bring your unique true self that God created. Let God see your gifts be put to good use and I promise you, that you will be rewarded. Now why should we bring our whole self to God? Well, when we put our gifts to good use, when we give ourselves to God and tell him we are ready for him to take control of our lives then we are opening our hearts up. When our hearts open up God will fill them with his love and that love is the kingdom of heaven. By giving the gifts God has given you back to him then we are showing God our desire to be in his kingdom of heaven. This is where the true Party for Jesus occurs.

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