December 27 – The Unclaimed Gift

Posted on December 28, 2010

Sunday (December 26, 2010), my sermon was “The Unclaimed Gift”. For those of you who didn’t make it to church (and as a refresher for those who did!), I want to review what I talked about, because I believe it is very important. Of course, you are also encouraged to listen to the message in its entirety by clicking on the link on the website.

Imagine that you bought a gift for a loved one. You really put a lot of time and thought and expense into this gift. You wrapped it carefully, placed it under the Christmas tree, and imagined their reaction of joy upon opening it. You waited expectantly for them to show up on Christmas, but they never came. Maybe you called or sent an email to let them know you had a gift for them, and they said they’d stop by soon… but they never showed up. After a week or so, you took down your tree, and set the gift on the table in the corner, sure they would show up by New Year’s Day, but they didn’t. Finally, springtime rolled around, and you placed the gift on the shelf in the hall closet, where it remains to this day… unclaimed.

God offered the world the greatest gift in history in the person of Jesus Christ, but for many, many people, that gift remains unclaimed. John 1:11 tells us that “He came to what was His own, but His own people did not receive Him.” The news of this gift is broadcast throughout most of the world (and certainly here in America) via radio, TV, books, magazines, churches and Christian organizations, but people choose to close their eyes and plug their ears to it. It is not the fault of the message–the message is worth telling and hearing! People CHOOSE not to hear it.

By not claiming the gift, the power that comes with it also goes unclaimed. Imagine someone who didn’t know about electricity staying at a fully electrically equipped house. Night after night they would reside in the cold and the dark, when, by simply flipping a couple of switches, the heater would fire up and the lights turn on. The power for heat and light was there all along, but they never claimed it! Just so, the current of God is always at full power, but unbelievers don’t access it, because they haven’t claimed the gift. Even we who HAVE claimed the gift often forget that the power is always at full strength and we have only to tap into it.

Further, by failing to claim the gift of God, the personal presence of God goes unclaimed. People are living alone and lonely when they need not be so. Sometimes that it simply because of doubt: they just don’t believe that God cares about them. Sometimes it is because they are distracted by the world. Sometimes it’s simply neglect; they just never bother to think about God. Again, even longtime believers can fall into these traps. We sometimes doubt that God is really a God who loves us and keeps His promises. We get distracted by worldly things, and before we know it, a month has gone by since we’ve attended church, cracked open our Bibles, or bothered to talk to God.

But the ongoing gift of Christmas still waits for us, whether we’ve yet to claim it or have claimed it but neglected it for a while. We can receive a new heart, given freely to us from Jesus; a gift waiting, not under a tree, but hanging on one.

Will you claim God’s gift to you today?

Join Our Email List