The “Giver” Who Keeps on Giving”
By Samuel E. Ward
The text version of this sermon is available at
God delights in giving the perfect gift.
The Bible tells us in James 1:17 -18 . . .
James 1:17-18 (NIV2011) 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. 18 He chose to give us birth
through the word of truth, that we might
be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Jesus characterizes God’s “gifting” in
Matthew 7:9-12 (NIV2011) 9 “Which of you,
if your son asks for bread, will give him a
stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give
him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you
are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in
heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
12 So in everything, do to others what you
would have them do to you, for this sums up
the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew’s story includes the visit of
certain wise men who followed a star.
Matthew 2:9-11 (NIV2011) 9 After they had
heard the king, they went on their way, and
the star they had seen when it rose went
ahead of them until it stopped over the
place where the child was. 10 When they
saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On
coming to the house, they saw the child
with his mother Mary, and they bowed down
and worshiped him. Then they opened their
treasures and presented him with gifts of
gold, frankincense and myrrh.
How the wise men came to connect
this star in the sky as a heralding of the
coming of a king is not known, though
some scholars have suggested they drew
upon a prophecy made by Balaam in
Numbers 24:15-19 about 1400 years
before the birth of Jesus…
Numbers 24:15-19 (NIV2011) 15 Then he
spoke his message: “The prophecy of
Balaam son of Beor, the prophecy of one
whose eye sees clearly, 16 the prophecy
of one who hears the words of God, who
has knowledge from the Most High, who
sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls
prostrate, and whose eyes are opened: 17
“I see him, but not now; I behold him,
but not near. A star will come out of
Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He
will crush the foreheads of Moab, the
skulls of all the people of Sheth.
18 Edom will be conquered; Seir, his
enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will
grow strong. 19 A ruler will come out of
Jacob and destroy the survivors of the
The wise men, called “Magi” in the
NIV text, came bringing gifts to the One
Who is God’s Greatest Gift to the world,
the Lord Jesus Christ—the Hope of the
World. As we meditate upon this
precious thought, let us do so by
considering . . .
I. The Magi's Perfect Gifts
II. God’s Perfect Gifts,
III. God’s Indescribable Gift
I. The Magi's Perfect Gifts
Matthew 2:10-11 (NIV2011) 10 When
[the Magi] they saw the star, they were
overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house,
they saw the child with his mother Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped
him. Then they opened their treasures
and presented him with gifts of gold,
frankincense and myrrh.
What made these gifts of gold and
incense and myrrh perfect? I believe that
there were two reasons why the Magi’s gifts
were the perfect gifts:
A. Their Gifts Were Symbolic.
John Stott writes, “Gold is the gift fit for a
King. Frankincense was in constant use by
the priests in the temple. Myrrh was used to
embalm the dead. In those three gifts we
see who he is, what he came to do, and
what it would cost him.”
B. Their Gifts Were Helpful.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says
this about the Magi’s gifts to Jesus: “The
gifts were simply expensive and not
uncommon presents and may have helped
finance the trip to Egypt.
Remember, that soon after Jesus was
born, Joseph was warned in a dream to take
Mary and Jesus to Egypt to protect the child
from King Herod. Traveling was expensive
and these gifts served as support for their
trip and stay in Egypt.
II. God’s Perfect Gifts
Since we know that God delights in
giving the perfect gifts, let’s take a look
at some of God’s perfect gifts that he has
A. The Abundance of Spiritual Gifts
1. God has gifted each person with at
least one spiritual gift,
1 Corinthians 12:4-7.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NIV2011)
4 There are different kinds of gifts,
but the same Spirit distributes them.
5 There are different kinds of service,
but the same Lord. 6 There are
different kinds of working, but in all of
them and in everyone it is the same
God at work. 7 Now to each one the
manifestation of the Spirit is given for
the common good.
2. The proper use of these spiritual
gifts from God is that we might
serve others and offer God’s grace
to them through the help we give
them, 1 Peter 4:10.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV2011) Each of you
should use whatever gift you have
received to serve others, as faithful
stewards of God’s grace in its various
B. The Gift of the Holy Spirit.
After Jesus had been raised from the
dead, he had this to say to the apostles in …
Acts 1:4-5 (NIV2011) 4 On one occasion,
while he was eating with them, he gave
them this command: “Do not leave
Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father
promised, which you have heard me speak
about. 5 For John baptized with water, but
in a few days you will be baptized with the
As believers, by the Holy Spirit,
1. We have God’s counsel and truth,
John 14:25-26 (NIV2011) 25 “All this I
have spoken while still with you. 26
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my
name, will teach you all things and will
remind you of everything I have said
2. We have the power to be witnesses
of Jesus Christ to the world,
Acts 1:7-8 (NIV2011) 7 He said to them:
“It is not for you to know the times or
dates the Father has set by his own
authority. 8 But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and
you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth.”
3. We develop Christ-like character,
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV2011) 22 But
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, forbearance, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness
and self-control. Against such things
there is no law.
4. We have the guarantee of eternal
life, Ephesians 1:13b-14.
Ephesians 1:13b-14 (NIV2011) 13b When
you believed, you were marked in him
with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our
inheritance until the redemption of those
who are God’s possession—to the praise of
B. The Gift of Salvation.
1. It is an undeserved gift,
Romans 6:22-23 (NIV2011) 22 But
now that you have been set free from
sin and have become slaves of God,
the benefit you reap leads to holiness,
and the result is eternal life. 23 For
the wages of sin is death, but the gift
of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus
2. It is an unearned gift,
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV2011) 8 For it is
by grace you have been saved, through
faith—and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God— 9 not by works,
so that no one can boast.
III. God’s Perfect and
Thanks be to God for his
2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV2011)
In God’s gift to us of Jesus, we find
many principles to guide our own gift
1. We should be cheerful givers,
2 Corinthians 9:7.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV2011) Each of you
should give what you have decided in
your heart to give, not reluctantly or
under compulsion, for God loves a
2. We should be generous givers,
2 Corinthians 9:8-9.
2 Corinthians 9:8-9 (NIV2011) 8 And God
is able to bless you abundantly, so that in
all things at all times, having all that you
need, you will abound in every good
work. 9 As it is written: “They have
freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
3. We should expect God to respond to
our giving spirit by giving us more to
give, 2 Corinthians 9:10-11a.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11a (NIV2011) 10 Now
he who supplies seed to the sower and
bread for food will also supply and
increase your store of seed and will
enlarge the harvest of your
righteousness. 11a You will be enriched
in every way so that you can be generous
on every occasion.
4. We should rejoice in the thanksgiving and
praise that will be returned to God when
we give in His Name,
2 Corinthians 9:12-13.
2 Corinthians 9:12-13 (NIV2011) 12 This
service that you perform is not only
supplying the needs of the Lord’s people
but is also overflowing in many expressions
of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service
by which you have proved
yourselves, others will praise God for the
obedience that accompanies your
confession of the gospel of Christ, and for
your generosity in sharing with them and
Though we may not be able to express
in words the wonder of God’s gift to us in
Jesus Christ, we can surely be grateful
that . . .
A. He willfully gave us His Son to supply
our greatest need—redemption from
B. He gave the most precious part of
Himself when He gave us only
C. He gave us the Greatest Gift in the
Universe, His Son, so that we can give
Him to others, likewise, through
sharing the gospel.
D. He gave us our Greatest Blessing so
that others might bless the God Who
gave Him to us with their own
thanksgiving and praise for God’s
What completes the perfect gift?
Have you accepted God’s gift of
Jesus? Have you accepted God’s
gift of salvation?
They are yours through
Christ…just for the asking!