Why People Don’t Enjoy Christmas

How People Miss and Misunderstand Real Gifts

Romans 2

Dec 16, 2012 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Luke 2:8-11)


A.     I wasn’t sure what to call this message

B.     I look around at Cork, and at the world’s ideas about Christmas, and I notice that people really don’t enjoy Christmas


1.      They may enjoy drinking, clubbing, the buzz of last minute gift buying

2.      Some may even enjoy the extra family time and the cooking

3.      But so, so few actually enjoy Christmas – Christ’s birth!


C.     Everyone enjoyed it the FIRST Time!


1.      The angel of the Lord in Luke 2 announces the BIRTH of the Son of God and says

2.      GLORY to GOD! – PRAISE GOD

3.      Woohoo! AMEN!

4.      GOOD NEWS

5.      GREAT JOY!



D.     Why isn’t that true today?

E.      I was reading my Bible through, and a Scripture verse in Romans chapter 2 just jumped out at me (Rom 2:4) “not knowing the goodness of God…”

F.      It hit me. That’s why people can’t actually enjoy the celebration of Christ’s birth…


1.      Because they don’t KNOW the Gift that He is

2.      They don’t know the value of that gift

3.      They don’t have the habit of thanking God for anything they already have

4.      They spend most of their time ignoring the Giver of all perfect gifts

5.      They are unhappy with just knowing and walking with God

6.      They never use what God gives them

7.      And they never humble themselves enough to actually accept the gifts that were given because of that first Christmas morning!


II.    Message


A.     People are Simply Unaware of God’s Gifts (Romans 2:1-6)


1.      Not that they don’t know – that would be one thing


a.       But that they ignore God’s gifts – overlook them – pass on by, not thinking that Jesus Christ is the best thing to eve happen to this planet!

b.      They see a baby in a crib / a nativity scene – and pass by

c.       They hear some of the sweetest Christmas carols – and glare like they are walking on nails

d.      This generation is the most angry and judgmental and critical generation ever!


2.      Notice the “critical” judgmental spirit that Paul was pointing out to these new Jewish believers in Jesus Christ


a.       A critical, judgmental attitude is a signal that they are guilty of what they are finding fault with in other people

b.      When you spend your time criticizing other people, it is probably because you do not want to face your own failures

c.       The Bible teaches us to humble ourselves


3.      Yet, God will judge – HE will catch you, and expose you (Gal 6:7) – no one will escape!

4.      Until that day, God is being VERY gracious to us, NOT instantly judging and condemning us!

5.      But rather instead


a.       Is good towards us

b.      Forbearing

c.       Longsuffering

d.      NOT wanting us to perish (2Peter 3:9)


6.      How dare any of us DESPISE, look down upon, or reject God’s niceness (goodness) towards us!


a.       Do you realise why most people despise God’s kindness towards them?

b.      Because they are IGNORANT, NOT KNOWING that God is giving them a chance, an open door, an opportunity, to repent, and get right with God

c.       If you only knew just how short the opportunity to get right may be in your life!


7.      AND, if you only knew what is ahead - what you are storing up… WRATH and the righteous judgment of God on your wicked, sinful way of living!


a.       Oh, don’t be ignorant of God’s gifts

b.      We live in a generation that knows NOTHING of God, or His word – a famine of the word of God, the laws of God, the grace of God, and the expectations of an all holy God!


8.      If only people knew just how GOOD God is being to this last generation!


a.       It’s like children waking up on Christmas morning, and walking right past the family room, and heading for the TV, or the internet, NOT KNOWING that there is a PILE of gifts FROM GOD waiting to be opened and enjoyed by everyone!

b.      Are YOU closing your eyes to the goodness of GOD in your life?

c.       Please realise that God is being good to you so that you CAN get right with Him!


B.     People are Uncertain of the Value of Gifts (Luke 9:25)


1.      YOUR soul is worth more than this entire planet! (Luke 9:25) For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?


a.       Priceless

b.      And yet the rush is to throw it away into the cesspool of sin


2.      The value of the “riches” of this world are uncertain (1Ti 6:17) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy


a.       Constantly changing, fluctuating

b.      Constantly disappearing


3.      What do YOU esteem? Value? Prize?

4.      Are you going to join the multitudes that don’t even realise the value of the gifts that God offers to everyone, and just ignore them or toss them aside? (Heb 11:24-26)


a.       You pick up a gift and it says “PURITY”


1)      Yet Teens throw away their virginity, their testimony, their sanity for the pleasures of sin for a season – for just a few years of “wildness”

2)      Grown men and women throw away their homes, and their future for an adulterous affair


b.      You pick up a gift, and open it, and it says, FORGIVEN


1)      What is that worth?

2)      What did it cost the forgiver?


c.       You open up a gift, and it says, ETERNAL LIFE


1)      How much value can you put on being able to live forever in a perfect body, with no more sin, sorrow, sickness, stress, or Satan???


d.      You pick up a present, wrapped in swaddling clothes and it says “JESUS”


1)      Many years ago, that name meant something

2)      Now, it has little value doesn’t it

3)      The name “Christian” means so little if anything at all to most people


e.       You open up a gift, and it says, “The Holy Bible – the word of God in English”


1)      How much effort did it take to get it into English?

2)      How many lives were tortured and lost in just translating it when it was illegal?

3)      How much money did someone invest in getting that Bible into your hand?


f.       You open up another gift, and it says, FAMILY


1)      How much is your wife or husband having to put up with just to STAY with you?

2)      How much is an hour with your children every day worth????


5.      How long will you stay ignorant, uncertain of ther value of the gifts that God so freely offers to you?

6.      Listen to the apostle Paul as he takes inventory of all that he has ever owned (Philp 3:7,8)!

7.      Our world lives in DEBT that is incalculable – yet a Christian has been given such gifts that far outweigh all debts – to a value that is without words (2Cor 9:15) – like the word “Google”


C.     People are Unappreciative of God’s Gifts (2Timothy 3:1,2)


1.      One of the most wicked sins of this modern generation is unthankfulness


a.       The proud inability to stop and thank God for what God or even other people give to you

b.      It is one of the first sins we all committed as children

c.       Just Taking things for granted – just expecting things and gifts


2.      People’s lusts are never satisfied (Isaiah 56:11)


a.       Discontent, unstatisfied with what they have been given

b.      Never content or happy – things have to be perfect before they would ever consider jumping up and down in joy!

c.       Take a look at


1)      Gen 33:8,9,11

2)      Heb 13:5

3)      1Tim 6:8.6

4)      Philp 4:11

5)      Luke 3:14


3.      Open a gift, and then thank the GIVER! THANK Him, daily, hourly

4.      Over and over and over again!


a.       Repetitious prayers are forbidden in the Bible

b.      But repetitious thankful words are not! Thank God over and over and over


1)      For every good and perfect gift (James 1:17) in your life

2)      For every person

3)      For every breath

4)      For every meal

5)      For every paycheck

6)      For every hug that you get

7)      For every opportunity to serve the Lord and people in His place

8)      For every message from the word of God your pastor prepares and preaches

9)      For every Christian in this body of believers

10)  The list should go on and on!


5.      It creates contentment


a.       Some people are afraid of contentment – to them it means boredom!

b.      If you would ever start being THANKFUL for the gifts in your life, you will learn godly contentment – you will actually realise that you “have more than enough!”


6.      And contentment allows for JOY to take root and grow!


D.     People are Unattentive to the Giver (John 6:24-26)


1.      People went looking for Jesus


a.       Jesus had just fed 20,000 people, and then left to cross the sea of Galilee

b.      All those people the next day crossed the water as well looking for Jesus

c.       And when they found Him, notice what they said, “Were did YOU go?”

d.      Jesus revealed that they weren’t looking for HIM, but for more free food – more gifts

e.       Today it is the same! Not looking for GOD, but for what they can GET from God


2.      People don’t enjoy Christmas because the GIVER is missing


a.       It is terrible when a family member is missing or not home at Christmas

b.      Well, more so when the GIVER of all life is not welcome in homes!

c.       Oh this truth gets so close to where people live – so hurtful


3.      As a matter of fact, people don’t even BELIEVE in a Giver


a.       Believe that stuff just randomly appear out of nowhere. Believe everything has the ILLUSION of purpose and plan. That it just LOOKS like there is a God out there

b.      Or, they believe somebody in a red clown suit came down the chimney and dropped off all the good things in their life

c.       Some think things just happen in their life – FATE

d.      They think THEY accumulated all the stuff in their life

e.       People believe in fairy tales

f.       Most reject the truth that everything we have, came from GOD


4.      Are you one of those who could care less about the One who GAVE us everything to enjoy (1Tim 6:17)?

5.      It is so wrong to forget the Giver of a gift


a.       It is SOOOO wrong to grab gifts and then rip them open, and then run off!

b.      And yet that is what we do almost all day every day of our lives!

c.       Young David got so many blessings from God, but David’s main desire was always and only, to have God’s heart! A man who was after God’s heart, not God’s blessings!


6.      He (God, just as we all) just expect some attention


a.       To be attentive is to look someone in the eye and make sure they know you thank THEM for what they got you for Christmas!

b.      Are you attentive towards God? Or is He just a religious icon?

c.       People may have been religious in the past, and were very attentive to statues and church buildings, and priests and the Tabernacle, and the holy water, etc

d.      But, oh that everyone knew that they did not minister to the heart and expectations of God!


7.      Some praise - It is the GIVER of gifts that expects us to thank and praise Him

8.      Some time


a.       Expects us to spend time with Him

b.      My Dad loves letters from his grandchildren – just having them make time to tell him about their lives!


9.      Some intimacy


a.       The modern Christian is NOT interested in getting to know God, or doctrine, or the Bible that HE might be pleased with our lives

b.      But rather, they are only interested in “experiencing” God and GETTING stuff from God every week at church, just like the Late-Late Show “for everyone in the audience”


10.  Do NOT allow God to be missing from your home, your thoughts this Christmas or any time of the year


E.     People are Unfruitful in the use of God’s Gifts (Luke 19:20-23)


1.      Christians HIDE what God gives them


a.       Their talents and God given abilities

b.      Their tithes

c.       Their free time – they hide so they don’t have to go soul-winning, or come to church on Sunday evening and Wednesday


2.      People just consume them upon their own lusts (James 4:3) – remember that we have all been labelled, CONSUMERS! We are not people anymmore – we are CUSTOMERS!

3.      God gives us gifts to be used and developed and enjoyed for His glory – not our own

4.      A gift given at Christmas should not be put away and never used or enjoyed (Prov 17:8)


a.       It should prosper you – help you advance and prosper

b.      Gifts are given to benefit the person who gets them!


5.      Have you hidden God’s gifts to you?

6.      Or are you passionately using and enjoying them?


F.      People are Unmoveable to receiving God’s Gifts


1.      Too proud to make a move towards God as he moves towards THEM (James 4:8)


a.       Remember, He came to OUR world

b.      He speaks in OUR languages

c.       He made the distance

d.      And so many won’t walk 10 steps!


2.      God offers, open handed, everything of value to this whole world


a.       His Son

b.      His forgiveness

c.       Eternal life

d.      The perfect and eternal word of God

e.       A changed life


3.      And people won’t humble themselves to receive them

4.      Won’t come forward and pray with a pastor and humble themselves and get born again

5.      They won’t go to someone they are mad at and humble themselves and say I am wrong and I am sorry

6.      They won’t accept the gift of sleep at night because they are too proud

7.      They won’t accept Jesus Christ because they think He is too embarrassing!

8.      Are you THAT stubborn? THAT stupid?

9.      God has gone as far as possible. The final step is totally up to YOU. Will you now receive God’s great gifts this Christmas (John 1:10-12)?


III. Conclusion - Application


A.     Are you even AWARE of what God has offered everyone?

B.     Do you realise just how priceless even just ONE of God’s gifts are?

C.     Have you ever even THANKED God for His gifts?

D.     Are you ignoring the God who GIVES this Christmas?


1.      Focusing on Santa

2.      Focusing on your past and failures

3.      Focusing on anything other than what GOD is trying to put into your life right now


E.     Can you honestly say you “have enough”?

F.      Are you using God’s gifts for HIS benefit or do you just toss them aside, ignoring the power and the value of what God has invested in each of us?

G.    Are you so stubborn and proud and stuck-up that you won’t make a move and receive the gifts


1.      Of forgiveness of all sin

2.      Of eternal life

3.      Of a sound mind

4.      Of the will of God for your life

5.      Of the people that God has placed in your life – will you not humble yourself TODAY and go to them and get things right?


H.    God’s gifts can be


1.      Ignored

2.      Wrongly valued

3.      Unappreciated

4.      Sought after more than seeking God

5.      Unused

6.      Left alone


I.       What will you do with them after this message?