Dr. Stanley reminds us that Jesus was the greatest giver of all, and we celebrate his birth by being givers as well. As you think about the gifts you would like to give this year, consider what you can give to the Lord. Whatever you give Him, He will reward you in awesome ways. For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to https://intouch.org/tv

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male announcer: “In Touch,” the
teaching ministry of Dr. Charles

Stanley, reaching the world
with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Next on “In Touch,”
“Christmas: A Time for Giving.”

Dr. Charles Stanley:
Christmas is the happiest time

of the year.

Not only is it the happiest time
of the year but it’s specially

the happiest time of the year
for all of us who are believers

who know that Jesus Christ
is our personal Savior.

Now that doesn’t mean there’s
not a happy time of the year

for people who are
unbelievers because I think

for the most part it is.

There are those situations and
circumstances where people have

lost their loved ones,
maybe at Christmastime,

or maybe they don’t have much
family left or any family left.

And so Christmastime can
oftentimes be a time of sadness

and sorrow and regret.

But for the most part it’s
the happiest time of the year.

And there’s a reason for that.

And when you think
about how we celebrate,

we who are believers we go
to church for example,

we sing carols.

We likewise shop
and we purchase,

and we wrap our gifts
and decorate our trees.

And we have parties,
and we fellowship,

and we feast and we
have a great time.

You say, “What about
the rest of the world?”

They do the same thing only they
leave God out of it most of the

time, think very little of Him,
and probably don’t go to church,

at least for the most part.

But the issue is what is it that
makes Christmas the happiest

time of the year?

There are other times
of the year that are,

that are probably weather-wise
may be much, much better.

But why is it Christmas?
And I’ll tell you why.

Because Christmas is a time that
more people are giving than

any other time of the year.

Now we talk about
commercializing Christmas,

and we talk about that we oughta
make it more sacred and so forth

and we absolutely should.

And for many people, they don’t
understand what Christmas

is all about.

It never dawns on them
what the real meaning is,

but it’s the celebration
of that moment,

that momentous time in life,
that critical time in life.

That time in life when God came
into the world through His Son,

Jesus Christ, in order to redeem
lost mankind through His cross.

That’s what it’s all about.

And so, when we think about
Christmas and we think about

all the commercialism, we say,
“Well people should stop

doing all this.”

Well, the truth is that buying
gifts and giving them to people

we love, people we
are grateful for,

people we appreciate,
there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now there are some people who
overdo it and about January

and February when they get
their credit card statement,

they wish they hadn’t
been so generous maybe.

But the truth is, there’s
more to give than some,

simply physical
things or material things.

But this is a time to give.

It’s a very special time
to give.

It’s what Christmas
means to all of us.

Jesus Christ who
gave not only His best,

but who gave His very life.

And what I wanna talk about in
this message is simply that and

that is “Christmas:
A Time for Giving.”

I want you to turn if you
will to Luke chapter two.

And I want us to
read this account.

We’ve read it a thousand
times, a thousand times.

Never gets old because it’s the
heart of what all of us who are

believers really
and truly believe.

That Jesus Christ was indeed God
who came in human flesh to walk

among us, show us the
truth, reveal the truth,

teach us the truth and then to
die on a cross and make that

truth a living reality in
every one of our lives.

So, beginning in the second
chapter and verse one: “Now in

those days a decree went
out from Caesar Augustus,

that a census be taken of
all the inhabited earth.

This was the first census
taken while Quirinius

was governor of Syria.

And everyone was on his
way to register for the census,

each to his own city.

Joseph also went up
from Galilee,

from the city of
Nazareth to Judea,

to the city of David,
which is called Bethlehem,

because he was of the
house and the family of David;

in order to register,
along with Mary,

who was engaged to him,
and was with child.

While they were there,
the days were completed

for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to
her first-born son;

and she wrapped Him in cloths,
and laid Him in a manger,

because there was no
room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were
some shepherds staying out

in the fields and keeping watch
over their flock by night.

And an angel of the Lord
suddenly stood before them,

and the glory of the
Lord shone around them;

and they were
terribly frightened.

But the angel said to them,
‘Do not be afraid;

for behold, I bring you good
news of great joy which will be

for all the people; for today in
the city of David there has been

born for you a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign for you:
you will find a baby wrapped

in cloths and lying
in a manger.’

And suddenly there appeared
with the angel a multitude

of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying,

“‘Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among men
with whom He is pleased.’

When the angels had gone away
from them into heaven,

the shepherds began
saying to one another,

‘Let us go straight
to Bethlehem then,

and see this thing that has
happened which the Lord

has made known to us.’

“So they came in a hurry
and found their way to

Mary and Joseph, and the
baby as He lay in the manger.

And when they had seen this,
they made known the statement

which had been told
them about this Child.

And all who heard it wondered at
the things which were told them

by the shepherds.

But Mary treasured
all these things,

pondering them in her heart.

The shepherds went back,
glorifying and praising God

for all that they had
heard and seen,

just as had been told them.”

What a story.

How many times we have read that
story Christmas after Christmas

after Christmas and isn’t it
interesting it never gets old.


Because the
gospel never gets old.

The hope and the cheer and the
joy and the assurance and the

confidence and the forgiveness
and the love and the joy that

the Lord Jesus Christ places
in our heart never gets old.

What I want you to see
in this message is this.

And that is,
“Everything about Christmas

has to do with giving.”

And I want us to begin looking
at the birth of Jesus

and understand how everything
surrounding that birth,

everything a part of that
birth has to do with our giving.

And I want us to
begin for example,

with the Virgin Mary herself.

And I want you to
see what she gave.

She gave more than
most of us realize.

And if you’ll notice the
scripture says in that

thirty-eighth verse of
the first chapter of Luke,

“And Mary said to the angel who
had announced what he was going

to do; and that is she was gonna
be conceived by the Holy Spirit

and give birth to a son and
His name would be called,

or he would be
called the Son of God;

and here’s what she said
after He said nothing will be

impossible with God,
Mary said, ‘Behold,

the bondslave of the Lord; may
it be done to me according

to your word.’

And the angel
departed from her.”

Now what did Mary give?

Mary first of all gave her
body, because the angel said,

“In your womb will be
born the Messiah.

He will be called
the Son of God.

His name is Jesus.”

Well, she said, “As you’ve
spoken may it be done to me

according to Your Word.”

That is she surrendered, she
gave her body to bare in her

womb the Son of God.

But that’s not all she gave,
because I’m certain that while

the angel was saying this, there
ran through her mind probably

in a very serious note,
“What does this mean?”

Because you see, in those days
when a husband or when a couple

were engaged, it was
just like being married.

They were husband and wife.

Only the marriage was not
consummated till the end of that

engagement period.

Now if a woman became
pregnant during that period,

she was called and
guilty of adultery.

She was called before
the elders of the city

and they made some judgment.

And of course, she was shamed
and embarrassed had to bear

the guilt and the
condemnation of her friends,

her family, and especially would
Mary have to deal with this

issue of how Joseph thought.

Because in her mind,
she thought,

“Well, what will he think?

Because they’d been engaged
and her she was,

she was going to be pregnant.

How would she ever explain
that to her husband and say,

“Well, let me tell
you what happened.

This angel came to me and spoke
to me and said I was gonna have

a miraculous birth.”

Who would believe that?

Besides that, if she were to
tell that to some elders of the

city, they’d never believe that.

A miraculous birth,
a virgin birth–

you are guilty of adultery.

And you’ll recall in the eighth
chapter of John when the woman

was caught in the very act of
adultery and she was brought

before Jesus by the
Pharisees and the scribes

and the Sadducees.

Remember what they said?

They said, “Rabbi,
according to the Law of Moses,

this woman who has been caught
in the very act of adultery

is guilty of adultery and
according to the Law of Moses,

she should be stoned to death.”

Imagine all the things that
went through Mary’s mind.

She was willing.

She gave her body, but let
me tell you something else

she gave.

She laid her
reputation on the line.

And you see, of course we know
that the angel also spoke

to Joseph, and he understood.

But when the
angel spoke to Mary,

she had to deal
with her reputation.

She had to deal with
what was gonna happen.

What would people say?

What would they think?

How would they respond?

What would, what
would Joseph think?

And yet God had taken
care of all of that.

What I want you to see is
before Jesus was ever born,

giving was a part of that birth.

Then it’s interesting if
you’ll notice what happens,

that the angel of the Lord
appeared to those shepherds out

in the field.

And what did the angel give?

The angel gave the proclamation
of the birth of the Messiah.

And notice as we read a
few moments ago exactly

what happened.

The angel, “Suddenly
stood before them,

and the glory of the
Lord shone around them;

and they were
terribly frightened.

Anybody would have been.

The angel said to them,
“‘Do not be afraid;

for behold, I bring you
good news of great joy.'”

Listen, this wasn’t
just an announcement.

This was good news, great
joy which he said will be

to all the people.

And what was that news he gave?

He said, “Today in the city
of David there will be born

a Savior, who is the
Messiah the Lord.”

There was a great sense
of expectation going

on in those days.

And this angel appeared not to
kings and queens and rulers,

but to a group of
lowly shepherds.

He was born in a lowly place,
announced by an angel

from heaven to lowly shepherds.

He said, “This will be a sign:
you will find that baby wrapped

in cloths, and lying
in a cattle stall and

in a place where
they feed the cattle.”

Well, what I want
you to notice is this.

The angel gave
more than just news,

but he gave, listen,

a sense of comfort, an awesome
sense of awareness that

the prophets concerning
the coming of the Messiah,

all those prophecies were now
being fulfilled in one night,

in one place, announced to
one lowly group of shepherds.

They could have been people
anywhere, everywhere.

Why to shepherds?

Because if you’ll notice, all
through Jesus’s life He was

being identified with those
who were the poor and the lowly,

not with kings and
queens and rulers.

And so what happens?

These shepherds,
once they heard this,

what happens is the scripture
says that all of a sudden there

was this awesome appearance
of this multitude of hosts

of heavenly angels, the hover,
heavenly host of God,

and they were
praising and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace among men

with whom He is pleased.”

When he used the
word peace here,

this is the peace
of reconciliation.

That is when Jesus Christ
comes into a person’s life,

here’s what He does.

He reaches down into your sinful
heart and because of your sin

you’ve been separated from
God, and He reconciles you.

That is, He brings you back
into a right relationship

with Himself.

And what this angel
was saying was this.

The Messiah has been born.

And reconciliation
is now taking place.

And sin that has separated
mankind from God has now been

settled once and for all in
the coming of the Messiah.

And so, the angels sing or make
their boasts of the coming

of the Messiah, glory to God.

Imagine what they
must have said.

We probably just have
a little bit of it here.

And then what happens?

The scripture says then
the shepherds who heard it

had something to give.

They said, “Immediately,
let’s go right now,

let’s go straight to
Bethlehem, let’s find out,

let’s find this child.”

Now I want you to listen
carefully what happens.

Let’s find this child.

And so, they went and of
course the Lord led ’em to

the right place.

The scripture says they came in
a hurry and found their way to

Mary and Joseph and the
baby as he lay in the manger,

just as the angel had said,
“When they had seen this,

they made known the statement
which had been told them

about this Child.

And all who heard it wondered at
the things which were told them

by the shepherds.”

Now listen carefully.

Watch what happens here.

When the shepherds heard the
truth from the angelic hosts

and from the angel of the
Lord, they immediately went

to find out if this is true.

And of course, they were rather
convinced with this whole host

of angels glorifying God.

They went to find
out for themselves.

And once they found out,
once they discovered the child,

once they recognized
this is the Messiah,

this is Christ the Lord.

This is the One
we’ve been looking for,

this is the One
we’ve been expecting.

They went out with
enthusiasm, with excitement,

with a confidence
in their heart.

What did they give?

They gave the first personal
testimony of the Son of God.

They must have done it with
enthusiasm, with excitement.

They must have done it very
convinced in their minds and

hearts, we have
seen the Messiah.

This is the One
we’ve been expecting.

What I want you to
remember is this.

I want you to remember the
response of those who heard the

personal testimony of those
who first saw the Messiah.

And ask yourself the question,

is this the way I’ve often
responded to the truth?

Listen what happens.

“And all who heard it wondered
at the things which were told

them by the shepherds.”


Not listened and
said to themselves,

“Let’s go find out.

Let’s see if that’s the truth.

Let’s find out if
this is the truth.”

They just wondered about
it and went on with life.

And you know what happens?

Many of you have
done the same thing.

You’ve heard the gospel of
Jesus Christ very clearly.

You’ve heard the fact about
your sins have separated

you from God.

And you’ve rationalized what
you’ve heard oftentimes and

said, “Well, I’m not so bad.

And I’m as good as other
people and all the rest.”

But deep down inside you know
you’ve heard the truth of

the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the Way,
the Truth, and the Life.

No one comes to the
Father but by Me.”

You’ve heard it again and
again and again and again.

And you know what you’ve done?

You’ve done exactly like those
who heard the testimony

of the shepherds who saw
the Son of God as a child.

You’ve just wondered about it.

You’ve just sorta thought about
it and you’ve let it pass by,

and you keep on living your life
the way you’ve been living it.

And you keep hearing the gospel,
but instead of applying it to

your heart, instead of
searching it out and asking God,

“Lord, is this a message to me?

Are You trying to
speak to my heart?

Are you saying
something to me personally?

Is there something I need
to deal with in my life?

Is it my sin I need to confess?”

And I need to repent,
and I need to be saved,

and I need to be
what You want me to be.

Or have you just kept
on wondering about it?

Listening, closing your
mind, closing your heart

to the awesome truth of God.

And here’s what happened.

The shepherds, listen,
the scripture says,

“The shepherds went back,
glorifying and praising God

for all that they had
heard and seen,

just as had been told them.”

They were excited about it.

They had seen the
Living God in human flesh.

They didn’t even
realize how much they’d seen,

but they were fully
persuaded this was the Messiah,

the long-expected Messiah.

The others just
wondered about it.

Could that be true of you?

That you’ve just
wondered about it,

wondered about it,
wondered about it.

Christmastime comes
and you see the manger scenes

and you’ve seen ’em before.

You hear the Christmas carols,
you’ve sung ’em before

or heard ’em before.

You hear maybe a sermon
or two about Christmas,

you’ve heard ’em before.

And you just keep on
wondering about them.

What you don’t realize is this.

You don’t realize
what you’ve missed.

You see, the people who heard
the testimony of the shepherds

didn’t take the time to go
find out and see for themselves.

Look what they missed.

They could have
seen the Messiah.

They could have understood
who He was and recognized

this is the Savior of the world.

One of those days when their
children grow up they could say

to them, “You know what?

This man who’s preaching
and teaching is the Messiah.

He’s the Son of God.
I saw Him.

I looked upon Him with
my own eyes when He

was a baby in a manger.

I saw Him as a little child.

And I want you to know, son;
I want you to know, sweetheart,

this man is the Son of God.

Believe what He says.”

They just wondered about it.

Has it ever dawned on you how
many people that you’ve walked

by to whom you could have shared
the simple gospel of Jesus

Christ that gives eternal life?

And because you just wonder
about it and never make

a decision about it, never
ask personally what could it

mean to you.

How many people may have missed
the truth of the gospel because

you just wonder about it instead
of dealing with it personally.

Well, there’s someone else here
that I want you to notice here.

Not only did these shepherds
have something to give,

but someone else had
something to give.

Over in the East, probably
somewhere around Persia

these wise men came.

Now they probably
weren’t there that night.

Could have been, could have been
the next day or the next week

or whatever.

But they came.

These were men who
were scientists,

who were very intellectual
who were philosophers.

They received the message
that a king was born and that

the light that they saw,
this strange light,

this glowing star, whatever
kind of light it may have been,

would lead them to the very
place this child was to be born.

So, they took a journey.

Don’t know how long it was,
how long before,

but certainly it’s true that
God also arranged just like

He arranged the giving of the
decree by Caesar Augustus,

He arranged one of His heavenly
bodies to begin to move

and to move all the
way to Jerusalem.

When they received that light,
understood the message somehow,

they came to Jerusalem,
they began to ask,

“Well, where is the one
who’s born King of the Jews?”

Well of course, they said,

“Well, He’s to be
born in Bethlehem.”

And so, they found Him.

And when they found Him,
what did they do?

They fell upon their knees and
the Bible says they gave gold,

frankincense, and myrrh.

How many there were,
we don’t really know.

They gave three gifts,
there could have been three,

they could have been many more.

But they gave gifts
fitted for a king.

So that if you’ll notice,
everything surrounding the birth

of Jesus Christ has something
to do with somebody

giving something.

And then there is the other
One who gave and that is

God the Father.

And God the
Father had given many,

many gifts before this.

He’d given to us this planet
Earth upon which He gave such

a tremendous
abundance of things.

He gave those bodies in the
Heavenlies–the sun the moon,

the stars–to light our way.

He gave us seasons
for fruitfulness and

change and beauty.

Then He also gave us the
revelation of Himself,

that is, in nature, in the
creation God says in Romans

chapter one that God has
revealed Himself in creation.

Revealed His power,
revealed His creative power,

revealed many things
through His creation.

And He says, “Therefore no
one, no one is excusable for not

believing that there is a God,
not believing in God,

when creation itself is such
a beautiful testimony of such

order, completeness and
perfection in every aspect.”

He is the source of it.

And when you think
about all that He’s given,

He’s given the
revelation of Himself.

But He’s also given the
most precious thing

He could possibly give.

And that is His
only begotten Son,

the Lord Jesus Christ.

And with Him He has given us
the forgiveness of our sins.

He’s given us the possibility
and the privilege of being

a child of God, a person
in the family of God.

He’s given us the promise,
the presence of His Holy Spirit

living within us which means
that every single believer has

within himself and herself the
Living God living within us.

He’s given us the
promise of our provision,

our protection, His presence
and some bit of prosperity

in all of our lives.

He hasn’t left out anything.

But the thing that He’s given us
above all else which no one else

could possibly give us is
the gift of eternal life.

And all of that comes through
His Son, Jesus Christ.

He’s given us many things.
He’s given us life itself.

He’s given us a mind
that’s creative,

that can discover and
create and develop.

But most of all He
gave us His Son, Jesus Christ.

Now think about
this for a moment.

If everything around
His birth was giving,

and everything related
to His life was giving,

and all of us are
followers of Jesus,

what should be characteristic
of your life and mine?

Should we not be characterized
by people who are givers?

Our Heavenly Father who saved
us has given us eternal life.

Jesus gave His body to
bear our sin-debt in full.

Everywhere you
turn God the Father,

God the Son, God the
Holy Spirit is giving.

Who energizes us
to share the gospel?

The Holy Spirit.

Who enables you day by
day to live your life?

The Holy Spirit.

God the Father, God the Son, God
the Holy Spirit always giving.

Is it too much to ask of us
that you and I would walk

as He walked?

And that is as givers.

And here’s the
ultimate last question.

Are you willing to give
Him what He asks for?

Not something that can
be wrapped up in a box,

no ribbons, no tags,
something on the inside

of you that He wants.

Would you give Jesus what He’s
asking for of your life today?