Christmas Gifts

Eight Christmas Gifts to GET This Christmas!

James 1:17

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

14 Dec, 2008  AM


I.       Introduction (James 1:17)


A.     Everyone worries about what to give at Christmas. They shop, and plan, and compare, and scan thousands of pages of catalogues and websites, all in search of something unique and beneficial for someone special.


1.      Many end up frustrated, just grabbing whatever they can find: a tie, some slippers, foot powder, and some gloves.

2.      Either that, or people end up spending a fortune on expensive gifts that cost the next six months to pay off!


B.     Gift-giving is really enjoyable. At least it is supposed to be. But in our perfectionist world, where each year’s gifts have to surpass last year’s gift, the hassle and stress of shopping robs almost everyone of the simple joy of giving that people remember most about in their childhood!


1.      Simple things like fresh baked cakes and sweets.

2.      Simple things like Grandma and Grandpa arriving for a week!

3.      Simple things like setting up the Christmas tree and decorating it as a family!

4.      Simple things like Mom and Dad hugging and kissing and laughing in the kitchen!

5.      Simple things like us kids sneaking out of bed late Christmas eve to see what was going on downstairs.

6.      Simple things like having all your brothers and sisters home, and squished into every available mattress.

7.      Simple things like getting one gift, that was fun – like a bicycle, or a scooter, or a telescope, or a puppy.

8.      Simple gifts.


C.     The really good gifts are simple gifts. We kind of miss them with all the hype and pressure of our modern society.

D.     I want to talk to you about “Christmas Gifts” this morning. Not what you should go out and buy, but what you should GET this Christmas.

E.      What is amazing is, that each of the following gifts are priceless, and yet cannot be bought. They are all, completely, and absolutely free! God already paid for them, and offers them to absolutely everyone on this depressing planet of ours!

F.      You see, God loves giving!


1.      The thought of giving is strong in the Scriptures.

2.      The words "give," "giving," "gift" and other such words occur at least 2,100 times!


G.     God only gives GOOD gifts


1.      Good gifts – the best gifts, come from God (James 1:17).

2.      Santa can’t compete with the givingness of God!

3.      He can’t compete with the resources of God.

4.      He can’t compete with the accessibility of God. Santa’s only available one day a year huh?

5.      God was the first Giver, and He has the most joy in giving!


H.     We humans are often wrongly motivated, and limited in our ability to give, so most of the world knows nothing but disappointment at Christmas.

I.        There are actually eight times when the phrase "gift of God" occurs in the Bible.

J.       Let me introduce you to the eight gifts that God mentions in the Bible that can be gotten anytime, anywhere, by absolutely anybody!

K.     As a matter of fact, these are the gifts that YOU NEED even if you get nothing else this Christmas!


II.    Message


A.     The Gift of Enjoyment – whatever God has given to you, God offers to you the gift of JOY to enjoy life (Eccl 3:13; 5:19; 1Timothy 6:17)


1.      "That every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 3:13).

2.      "Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:19).

3.      God gives us all things richly to enjoy. But do you enjoy life? Do you enjoy the things God gives you?


a)      He blesses us sometimes with wealth and riches – amen!

b)      He sometimes blesses us with a house full of kids, and bills, and busy-ness! Amen and amen!


4.      But no matter what you have, God offers us the GIFT of enjoyment that will make even the simplest of life’s seem like the life of a king!

5.      We need the ability to enjoy God’s gifts!


a)      God is the author of joy

b)      And then He offers us the JOY to enjoy those things with!

c)      The angels announced JOY at Christmas (Luke 2:10).

d)      Do you have the gift of JOY this Christmas season? Or are you a complainer? Shame on you!

e)      Do you enjoy life? God meant for you to!

f)       Let no one, therefore, take personal pride in his own abilities or his possessions! They are, in the deepest sense, gifts of God's grace. God gave you what you have. Period!


6.      One of the most missing gifts at Christmas is the gift of enjoyment – strange kind of a gift, but one of the most vital gifts!


a)      The ability to enjoy a house full of children and family

b)      The ability to enjoy a bowl of hot soup

c)      The ability to sit down and enjoy just reading your Bible

d)      The ability to kneel down and praise God, and cast all your care and worry upon Him, knowing that he cares for you!

e)      The ability to enjoy cooking and cleaning for a household of guests and family!


7.      It is there for you! If only you would admit that you don’t have it, and that you desperately want it, instead of just things!

8.      It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life!


B.     The Gift of Christ Himself (John 1:14; 4:10; 10:11)


1.      "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." (John 4:10).

2.      “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

3.      Now we are talking about a GIFT!


a)      There is no greater gift than a PERSON!

b)      You can give money, presents, clothes, cars, computers, games, land, houses, jewellery – but none of it compares to just having someone around!

c)      That’s why GOD the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us – because HE HIMSELF is THE gift of Christmas!


4.      Do you know why most of this world will end up in a devil’s hell? Not because they are so wicked and evil (which they are), but because they keep ignoring, and overlooking THE gift of God’s Son


a)      Everyone wants eternal life

b)      Everyone wants heaven

c)      Everyone wants to be good

d)      But so few want the package that all of that is wrapped up in (John 1:10-12; 1John 5:11-12)


5.      The “replacement” of Jesus… Modern religion has replaced the very PERSON of Jesus Christ with statues, icons, church buildings, ceremonies, vestments, altars, rituals, traditions, mass, the wafer, Santa, Rudolf, shopping, dinners, debt, hassles, and depression!

6.      Christianity is only about receiving the very person of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God into a sinful heart and being born again!

7.      Do you have Jesus Christ?


a)      I don’t care if you have a PhD, or a Mansion. I don’t care if you have a BMW or a Space Shuttle. I don’t care if you have a PC or a Mac. It doesn’t matter if you live 8 years or 80 years.

b)      Do you have Jesus Christ living, and reigning in your heart (Eph 3:17-19)?

c)      All you have to do is call upon that name above all names (Rom 10:13)


C.     The Gift of Salvation from Hell’s Punishment (Ephesians 2:8,9; Acts 5:30,31)


1.      "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8).

2.      The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:30,31)

3.      When you got Jesus Christ IN you, you got complete and full FORGIVENESS from all your sins!


a)      Can you believe it?

b)      THAT means that you no longer are headed for hell!


4.      Hey! Hell is real! Not a state of mind – it is NOT your life here on earth no matter what you think!

a)      There really is a devil’s hell, and NONE of us are good enough to escape it!

b)      We ALL needed a SAVIOUR (Luke 2:11) “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

c)      Jesus didn’t come to save us from a recession, or a disaster, or loneliness, or a health problem. He came to save us FROM our sins which were sending us to hell (Matthew 1:21)!

d)      Sin is that one problem we all have that no one wants to talk about

e)      People will talk about every other problem these days, except the sin problem

5.      Salvation, What a great gift!


a)      Forgiveness from sins

b)      Peace with God

c)      Snatched from the devil’s grip

d)      Freed from the bondage of sin


6.      I think that is a pretty good gift to have this Christmas! Don’t you?

7.      The question is, DO YOU HAVE THAT GIFT? Or are you still in bondage to some sin that Jesus Christ freed you from?

a)      Sometimes you need to see what you have in light of what you should have:


1)      We should be in hell

2)      We should be under the wrath of Almighty God

3)      We should get the just reward for our sins


b)      But Jesus Christ died on the cross to take our place so we could go free – absolutely, completely and forever free!

c)      That’s why the greatest question to answer is ARE YOU SAVED? Saved from the devil’s hell?

d)      I can’t emphasize this too much!

e)      Someone may ask me, Why are you so glad this Christmas? It’s because I am NOT headed for hell anymore!

f)       And it is not because I am better than anyone – I just got the gift of forgiveness – the gift of Jesus Christ! 28 years ago! Never worn off!


D.     The Gift of Eternal Life in Heaven (Romans 6:23)


1.      That leads to the next thought.

2.      "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

3.      Thousands of explorers in the middle ages travelled the world over looking for the “fountain of youth” – for something that would give people the ability to live forever.

4.      All they found were new diseases, and deadly warfare.

5.      Jesus Christ brought a priceless gift called “eternal life”

a)      He didn’t just save us from a devil’s hell – he saved us TO a place called heaven!

b)      He uses two phrases to help us understand what it means


1)      Eternal – never changes. Once you get it, it never dims, or grows old

2)      Everlasting – it lasts for ever, and ever, and ever – you cannot lose it!


6.      Do you have that kind of life?


a)      This body of flesh will die

b)      You may live to be 60, 70, 90, 100

c)      But you will die


7.      Jesus offers something that HE HIMSELF says will enable anyone who believes, to NEVER die. “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:26) Not many do! But I DO!

8.      By the way, my eternal life began the moment I was born again. I don’t have to wait for heaven to begin to enjoy the gift of eternal life


a)      No more fear of death – just going to be with Jesus

b)      No more fear of the devil – he can’t follow me there

c)      No more depression for days on end because it is only going to get better

d)      No more defeats because God is able to make even my failures work out for good


9.      Hey! Every born again child of God got the gift of eternal life the moment they received Jesus Christ

10.  BUT… Not many Believers enjoy the gift like they should!


E.      The Gift of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,17; Acts 8:18-20)


1.       “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16,17)

2.      And when Simon saw that the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money... But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money!” (Acts 8:18-20).

3.      There is a lot of confusion about this gift

4.      But it is very simple


a)      The Holy Spirit is HOW Jesus exists in a believer – not physically like He did when He was living on this earth 2,000 years ago

b)      The Holy Spirit is how a believer thrives in this world – by the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit


5.      First of all, there is a new voice in your heart, guiding, directing, convicting, comforting


a)      Romans 8:16

b)      1Kings 19:12 “a still, small voice”


6.      Secondly, there is a great power than can enable you, get you through every trial and heartache!

7.      Hey! What a great gift to get!


a)      No longer alone, and lost in life

b)      But guided by God’s Holy Spirit through each day… IF WE WOULD ONLY STOP AND LISTEN AND OBEY!


8.      You got the gift of the Holy Spirit the moment you believed, but you easily ignore Him, “quench” Him. DON’T!


a)      This Christmas, take time to listen as you read God’s word – the HOLY SPIRIT wrote every word by the way!

b)      Treasure that gift!

c)      The world is filled with unholy and ungodly spirits!

d)      Seek to be filled with ONLY God’s Spirit (Eph 5:18)!


F.      The Gift of Individual Personal Abilities (1Corinthians 7:7)


1.      "But every man hath his proper gift of God one after this manner, and another after that" (1 Corinthians 7:7).

2.      You are designed by God Almighty, with purpose and ability

a)      Maybe not like anyone else…

b)      But you have God-given gifts that make you who you are

3.      They are more than just talents – they are ways to bless other people. Talents are what you use to make a living. Gifts are what you use to serve the Lord Jesus!

4.      The Gifts of Personal Abilities includes:


a)      Telling the wonderful works of God – preaching

b)      Being the most awesome server in a group

c)      Faithfully teaching and training children and especially adults how to live – not in a school room, or behind a podium, but on a coach, or at a bedside, or at the kitchen-table!

d)      Encouraging people – always lifting their spirits, and giving people hope and cheer

e)      Giving, and meeting people’s needs – anonymously

f)       Managing problems and situations so that other people can relax

g)      Just being kind, when people should be getting a good kick!


5.      HEY! I just listed for you the special abilities that are GIVEN to Christians by the Holy Spirit in Romans 12

6.      Quit wishing you had more talent, and start developing the GIFT that God gave you when you got saved, and start using it this Christmas!


G.     The Gift of Christian Confidence (2Timothy 1:6,7; Matthew 11:28; John 14:27)


1.      The moment a person gets born again, they got some more gifts – they are all related to THE gift of Jesus Christ, but they are related to HOW we live now – not fearfully, or timidly, but full of confidence.


a)      "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:6,7).

b)      “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

c)      “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)


2.      What most Christians need is THIS gift


a)      The ability to be at rest in troubles

b)      The ability to praise God when all seems lost

c)      The ability to give when there is nothing more to give

d)      The ability to love the unlovely

e)      The ability to press on when the flesh is weak


3.      Hey! This is a pretty important gift!

4.      How often do you ask God for the gift of…


a)      Rest?

b)      Peace – not just peace with God, but the peace OF God (Philp 4:7)?

c)      A sound mind?

d)      Power and strength beyond what you naturally have

e)      Love – real, strong, vibrant, consistent love?


5.      They are available for the asking!


H.     The Gift of Rewards for a Life of Service (Rev 22:12)


1.      The last mention of “giving” in the Bible has to do with the rewards which Christ will give His faithful servants at his return.

2.      "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).

3.      There are awards for living by faith, for suffering as a believer, for doing things God’s way – The world makes you pay, but God pays you back – 100 times the cost!

4.      These rewards, awards, are presented to us at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor 5:6-11)


a)      He will make up for whatever you lost following Him

b)      He will restore then what the locusts have eaten

c)      He will wipe away every tear

d)      He will lift up the heads of all His children to look finally at His loving face

e)      He will walk with you and dwell with you, forever


5.      They are summed up in FIVE priceless crowns, along with the streets of gold, and the mansions, and the throne of God, and the river of life!

6.      God certainly is the great Giver, from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation!

7.      Instead of worrying what YOU have to give this Christmas, make sure you GET some gifts… the gifts that GOD offers!


III. Conclusion


A.     Hey, most of the gifts we were given as children have either rusted, or broken, or been lost – but not so with the gifts of God!

B.     Since all of the gifts of God are good and perfect, it is no surprise that they are eternal.

C.     The Apostle Paul says "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29). Every one of these gifts of God will be ours to treasure throughout eternity.

D.     Therefore, as we share once again the joy of giving gifts to those we love, let us be sure to remember the Father of lights is the greatest Giver of all!


1.      "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

2.      "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift" (II Corinthians 9:15).


E.      You see, God loves giving!

F.      God only gives GOOD gifts


1.      The Gift of Enjoyment

2.      The Gift of Christ Himself

3.      The Gift of Salvation from Hell’s Punishment

4.      The Gift of Eternal Life in Heaven

5.      The Gift of the Holy Spirit

6.      The Gift of Individual Personal Abilities

7.      The Gift of Christian Confidence

8.      The Gift of Rewards for a Life of Service