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Simple Christmas (2 of 3)
Series: Ripple Effect
Pastor Kerry Shook
This sermon includes the sermon outline and the full sermon transcript. Below you will see a preview of the outline and a portion of the full sermon.
• Simple is the most powerful
• Simple is the most profound
• John 3:16 (NIV)
1. LOVE BEYOND
"For God so loved the world...."
• 1 John 3:16-18 (NIV)
2. SPEND LESS
"... that He gave His one and only Son..."
• Isaiah 55:2 (NIV)
3. GIVE MORE
"For God so loved the world that He gave..."
• 2 Cor. 8:1-4 (NIV)
We are in the middle of what I am calling "the ripple effect challenge", and that is, I am challenging all of us for everyday leading up to Christmas during the advent season to get our focus off ourselves and onto others. To do acts of kindness and to give of ourselves to others so it causes a ripple effect in this community that reaches around the world, and we've said the ripple effect always starts small. Scripture says, "don't despise small things". What you do here on this earth, every little action, even the smallest, echoes into eternity. So it always starts small so God can get the credit, but the ripple effect also stays simple, because simple is the most powerful. Simple causes the greatest ripple, and nothing could be as simple and yet as powerful as Christmas. The creator of the cosmos chose to enter this world as a tiny baby born to an unwed teenage girl, and there the God of the universe lay helpless on a simple bed of straw, but it seems we have overcomplicated Christmas. We live in a very complex world, and we lead very cluttered and busy lives, and it seems we have overcomplicated Christmas. When it has become more about parties and presents and parking spots, and when you see people trample store clerks in order to get flat-screen televisions, you know we have cluttered and overcomplicated Christmas - the most simple and powerful event in all of history.
Simple is powerful, and simple is also profound. Simple stands out. People are crying out for simple today. Simple is powerful and simple is profound. In fact, when Jesus entered this world he entered a society that had a complicated religious system. The religious leaders of the day had looked through the old Testament and gleaned 613 laws that they had complied together that the people were to follow. Well, the people could not even remember them, must less follow them. The religious leaders were not following them, and one day a religious leader asked Christ, "What is the greater of all the 613 commandments", and Jesus took the complex and made it simple, and he said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength". That is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it, "Love your neighbor as yourself", and he said "this sums up all the law and all the prophets.". How profound.