A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS “Simplifying Christmas” Austin Tialavea “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinth 11:3 NKJV 1. PREFER PRESENCE OVER PRESENTS!! “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matt 2:2 NKJV “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” Prov 15:17 NKJV 2. TAKE A STAND AND OFFER THE PLEASING GIFT OF WORSHIP!! “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him…” Matt 2:11 NKJV “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21 NLT 3. RATHER THAN GIVING MANY, GIVE MEANING!! “…And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matt 2:11 NKJV “Give him all of it,” Mephibosheth said. “I am content just to have you safely back again, my lord the king!” 2 Sam 19:30 NLT Life Group Questions: 1) In what ways has the “Serpent” deceived and corrupted the simplicity of Christmas?? What can we do to simplify it again?? 2) Has ‘Family Drama’ kept you from being present with family?? How will you go about changing that this year?? 3) Discussion: If I’m able to control myself, is it ok to have a few drinks at the family gathering?? Can I still offer the ‘Pleasing Gift of Worship’?? 4) How has this message changed your view on Christmas?? Which point will you most likely apply to your Christmas Season??