One Miraculous Moment

Steve Viars December 16, 2006

- To help us be prepared for our Christmas Musical,  I’d like to ask you a couple of questions and then direct our thoughts to a few passages of Scripture to frame what our choir, orchestra and drama team has prepared for us this morning...
- First of all, what makes a good Christmas present?...many of us have probably been revisiting that question the last few weeks and you may have concluded...buying gifts is not your strongest suit...
- you may be like the man in the For Better For Worse cartoon last Sunday...[show on power point]...
- he’s wandering through the mall trying to find something for his wife...he looks at the clothes racks and the purses and that’s all a blur...
- then he looks at some more personal items and even the sales clerk gives him the look...
- he walks through the mall dejected and finally sits down and has a cup of coffee...
- then he overhears two ladies at the next tables say...
- Know what I’d like for Christmas, Darlene?—A tool kit!!!  Everyone gives me bath stuff of clothing, but a good tool kit is something every woman can use!...
- so in the next frame he’s running through the mall with the solution he’s been seeking...
- and in the final frame the waitress is saying to the two ladies he’d overheard...I dunno why, but the guy who just ran outa here paid for your lunch!...
- many of us are just “gift-buying challenged...”
- by the way, I should probably say---that was just for illustration, OK...
- guys, let’s not have everyone go out and buy their wives tools...but PV said...I don’t need to start the new year out with those kind of e-mails...but you get the point...

- on the other hand, do you have anybody in your life that just excels in buying gifts?...they are just good at it?...what sets them apart?...
1. Maybe they just start early...the person who is looking for Christmas gifts in January and gives it all sorts of thought and preparation...
2. Or maybe they just have a knack for getting you what you really need...their presents are useful...
3. Or maybe it’s something you would have never gotten yourself...either because you couldn’t, or you wouldn’t...but they did...
4. Or a present that you would have never expected...you’re totally surprised by what they got or how you received it...
5. Then there’s those gifts that last a long time...maybe several years later you’re still enjoying and using the gift that person gave you...
- for a variety of reasons, some people are just good at buying gifts...

- Do you know Who’s best...for all the reasons I just mentioned and more?...
- the God of heaven and earth...
- He loves giving gifts...
- now you might say, are you sure?...absolutely...that is a very easy case to make biblically...
- James even went so far as to say...
James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
- the God of the Bible loves to give gifts...
- this morning we’re here to celebrate the greatest demonstration of this truth...
- Paul said it this way to his friends at Corinth... 2 Corinthians 9:15 - Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
- sending His own Son not just to be born, but to die for the sins of man was the greatest gift that could ever be given...and everything we said before about the perfect gift giver comes in focus at the manger, in the shadow of the cross...

1. How long had God planned this gift?... 1 Peter 1:18-20 - For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
- I like the way the Message, which is a newer paraphrase of Scripture, translates that verse - 1 Peter 1:20 (The Message) - And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you.
- God has been planning to offer this gift to you before the foundation of the world...

2. So the forethought issue is covered – what about whether He is providing a gift we really need?...
- for some that’s a hang up...because in Independent America we like to think that we can be self made men, or self made women...we don’t need anything from anybody...and when it comes to God---we can earn our way to Him...”I’ll do it my way...”
- but Scripture teaches... Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- we can’t work our way to God...we need someone who is willing to pay for our sin as a gift...
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
- I hope you receive some great gifts this Christmas---perhaps even some things you really need...but what you need the most was provided in the manger...in the shadow of the cross...

3. What about it being unexpected?...what you’re about to see and hear in our drama musical reminds us of that point over and over...what God’s Word reveals about the Christmas story is surprising at every turn...
- I think that’s one of the many reasons to believe that it is really of God...what human being would have ever designed the story to unfold this way?...
- Paul was right --- it is indescribable...

4. and what about it lasting a long time?...
- in His adult ministry, Jesus made an interesting statement about that, referring to people who had accepted the free gift of salvation and had become His followers...
- John 10:27-29 - My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.


- that really only leaves one question, doesn’t it?...have you accepted the gift?
- as our choir and orchestra and drama team minister to us...please be thinking about this...do you agree with Paul?...is Jesus Christ an indescribable gift?...
1. If you have never trusted Him as your Savior and Lord, would be willing to accept the gift today?...
2. If you have, let the musical remind you of what a wonderful gift we’ve been given.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video