The Gifts That We Should Give Part 2

Matthew 2:1-2, 11

Ephesians 5:15-17

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. . . .

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” 

Ephesians 5:15-17, 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Last week we began a series entitled the gifts that we should give and we talked about giving our treasure because the wise men gave Jesus their gold to signify that he was and is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  

We give our treasure to support the ministry.

We give our treasure to sustain the mission.

We give our treasure because it is sovereignly mandated.  

This week we learned in Bible Study that the wisemen presented Jesus with frankincense.  Frankincense is an ingredient used in the making of the incense that was used in the temple by the high priest and they presented it to Jesus to signify that he was their great high priest.  This is significant for us because the high priest interceded for the people of Israel, just like Jesus intercedes for us.  

The high priest Jesus gives his time in service for us.

The high priest Jesus  gives his time when soliciting the father for us.

The high priest Jesus gives his time as he saved us for the father.  So since Jesus, the high priest gives his time,  we should give our time as well.

David Livingstone is renowned as one of the greatest missionaries of all time. He was among the first to explore Africa, driven by a passionate desire to end the slave trade. Livingstone was convinced that by opening up the continent he could expose slavery for the evil it was. When he died he was beloved in both Africa and England. His heart was buried in Africa and his body returned to England, where he was given a hero’s funeral. The gravestone read “brought by faithful hand over land and sea, David Livingstone: missionary, traveller, philanthropist. For thirty years his life was spent in an unwearied effort to evangelize the native races, to explore the undiscovered secrets and abolish the slave trade.”

Yet it is easy to focus on Livingstone the “saint” without recognizing that he was an ordinary human being facing normal human struggles. Before he found his life’s work Livingstone met with a lot of “dead ends”. He initially entered medical college in response to a call for medical missionaries to China, but by the time his training was complete the Opium Wars had begun and the door to China was closed. He then settled on South Africa, having met a missionary already at work there, Robert Moffat. Moffat had a mission station 600 miles north of Capetown, and had told Livingstone that it glowed in the morning sun with “the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary had been before.” Unfortunately, when Livingstone arrived he discovered Moffat had been exaggerating. Rather than the smoke of a thousand villages Moffat had less than 40 converts, of whom half had returned to their pre-Christian ways, and the surrounding countryside was destitute of people.

Disillusioned with Moffat’s mission station Livingstone then set out to establish his own missionary work. Over the course of ten years he established a strong of mission stations, but had only one convert, who eventually returned to paganism.

This caused Livingstone to rethink his vocation, and it was only after all these setbacks that he finally embarked on his great journeys of exploration.

Not only did Livingstone face many setbacks before finding his vocation, he also suffered many character defects. While he loved the native Africans and got along well with them, he found it almost impossible to get along with his fellow Europeans. He fought with fellow missionaries, fellow explorers, assistants, and even his brother Charles. He held grudges for years, could explode with rage and later in life had a serious falling out and parting of the ways with his original mission organization, the London Missionary Society.

Livingstone’s story reminds us that we move into the future one step at a time, that where we will end up is often unclear, that there may be many detours along the way, but that if we are faithful God will take us and use us.  Livingstone was able to accomplish so much because he was willing to give his time, and we must be willing to give our time as well.  Shall we look at the text.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. . . .

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” 

Now I touched on this earlier when I mentioned that the wise men presented Jesus with frankincense to signify that he is the great high priest.  And as a high priest Jesus gave his time.  It is also important to note that wise men gave their time as well.  They traveled from the far east, following the northern star to find Jesus, worship him, and present him with gifts. 

And we can’t even find our way to church. 

We can’t find our way to the word.  

We can’t find our way to worship.  

We can’t find our way to our knees to pray.

We can’t find our way to praise.  

We can’t find our way to bless somebody else.  

We can’t find our way to lend a helping hand.  

We better check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.  

We must give our time.

Ephesians 5:15-17, 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Paul was really expressing to the church in Ephesus the importance of time.  Not only must we give our time, but we must make sure that we are not wasting our time.  We must seize and make the most of every opportunity.    We must be careful how we live, we must be wise and not unwise.  We must not be foolish and we must understand what the Lord’s will is.  In other words, we must not waste our time or His time.  Instead by knowing the Lord’s will we can properly give our time.  We give our time in three ways.

We give our time in seeking the Lord in the word.

Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.”

Nehemiah 8:3 “And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.”Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

We must give our time to seeking the Lord in the word.  

In other words, we must spend time studying the word.  

We must spend time meditating on the word.  

We must spend time thinking about the word.  

We must spend time learning the word.  

We must spend time applying the word to our lives.  

We must spend time reading the word.

We must spend time comprehending the word.

We must spend time understanding the word.

We cannot just get buy on what we hear at church and bible study.  This is something that we need to know for ourselves.  And this takes time, and I truly believe that this is time worth spending.  Its is an investment that will have a return.  Because the stock of God’s word is on a continual rise because the more time you spend with God in his word the higher and higher and higher and higher he will take you.  

We must give our time seeking the Lord in the word.

We give our time in service to the world.  I think one one the main reasons that we give our time in seeking the Lord in the word is so that we will know how to give our time in service to the world.  Now we all know the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  We all know that it is better to give than receive.  

We all know that we are to care of the widowed, orphaned, and the least of us.   

We know this from seeking the Lord in the word.  Now it is time to take what we have learned and put it into action.  It is our job, and our responsibility as the body of Christ to serve the world, and look out for those less fortunate than us.  

To help those that our struggling. 

To help those that our in need.  

To give food to the hungry.  

To clothe to the clothe-less.  

To give shelter to the homeless.  

We must give our time in service to the world.  

Now everybody cannot do everything, but everybody can do something.  We have to be like the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”  

The Samaritan man gave his time to serve a Jew knowing good and well that Samaritans do not associate with Jews.  And Jesus tells us to go and do likewise.  We must give our time in service to the world.

We give our time in sending up praise to the Lord. We give our time in seeking the Lord in the word.  We give our time in service to the world.  And we give our time in sending up praise to the Lord.  Now don’t get quiet on me now.  I know how disappointed most of you were when the Ohio State/Michigan game was canceled.  Ya’ll were eagerly waiting and anticipating cheering on the Buckeyes as the crushed the wolverines one again.  You could not wait to chant O-H-I-O!  You could not wait to praise your team!  We need to have that same energy when it comes to giving our time in sending up praise to the Lord.  

We should not dragging when it’s time for church.  

We should not be hesitant when it’s time to worship.  

We should not procrastinate when it’s time to praise.  

We should not be wishing we were somewhere else when we’re in worship.  

The Bible says in I Chronicles 16:23-31, 23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. 24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 28 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”  We give our time in sending up praise to the Lord because he is worthy of our praise.  Can I get a witness this morning that the Lord is worthy of our praise?

We give our time in seeking the Lord in the word.

We give our time in service to the world.

We give our time in sending up praise to the Lord.

These are all the things that the old testament high priest did while giving their time.  These are all the things that Jesus did in the new testament and is still doing in giving his time.  And we should do the same.  Times is the one thing in life that we cannot get more of, and once its gone you can’t get any more.

You can get more food, but you can’t get more time.

You can get more things.

You can get more clothes.

You can get more land.

You can get more money.

You can get more friends.

You can get another jobs.

You can get more stuff.

You can get another car.

You can have more kids.

You can get another spouse.

You can get another dog.

You can catch more fish.

You can get more opportunities, but you can’t get more time.

So don’t waste your time thinking about the past.

Don’t waste your time wondering if you’re good enough.

Don’t waste your time watching TV.

Don’t waste your time on that man or woman that does not appreciate you.

Don’t waste your time not walking in your calling.

Don’t waste your time not being all that God called you to be.
Don’t waste your time not doing what God called you to do.

Don’t waste your time not receiving all that God has for you.

Instead give your time like the high priest.

Give your time like Jesus.

Make time for Jesus and I guarantee he will make time for you.  

Make time for God and he’ll make time to bless you.

He’ll make time to heal you.

He’ll make time to deliver you.

He’ll make time to rescue you.

He’ll make time to make a way out of no way.

He’ll make time to make the impossible possible.

He’ll make time to lift you up.

He’ll make time to take you and make something beautiful out of your life.

He’ll make time to pick you up, turn you around, and place your feet on solid ground.

He’ll make time to look beyond your faults and see your needs.

He’ll make time to be the light in your dark world.

He’ll make time to meet you at your point of need.

He will make time for you.

Does anybody in the room want to make time for Jesus?

Does anybody in the room want to give your time to the Lord?

We give our time in seeking the Lord in the word.

We give our time in service to the world.

We give our time in sending up praise to the Lord.    


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.