Spiritual Growth Agendas
I Got A Lousy Christmas Gift
Christmas Gift Giving Parents
Sometimes, people give terrible things to us, but God always gives perfect gifts. That’s the way it’s always been…and that’s the way it’s always gonna be.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Christmas Challenge
James “Jimmy” Kimmel is the host of the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!
on ABC and is no stranger to a practical joke…played out thousands of times…in front of video cameras. He’s the TV show host that “challenges” parents to tell their kids they’ve eaten all their Halloween candy
the morning after, and film their reaction.
But fair warning, Kimmel can be as vulgar as he is funny. (More on that in a moment….)
In this video clip, Kimmel backs up his Halloween magic with some Christmas pranking. He has challenged his audience to wrap up terrible gifts – really, really stupid ones – and give them to their kids a few weeks before Christmas. Of course, parents are supposed to film their kids’ reactions, then upload the videos to YouTube.
Kimmel’s production team would take it from there.
Now, about that warning. This clip is HILARIOUS (and kinda sad, too, because of all the greed). But, the last kid on the video makes a raunchy statement that you’ll need to avoid airing. You’ve got two options: you can simply end the video BEFORE he says it (at the 4:40 mark), or quickly edit the clip yourself.
We usually say something like “use your judgment” or “proceed with discretion” or something like that. But on this one, we’re just gonna tell you NOT to ignore our warning.
YouTube Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4a9CKgLprQ&feature=player_embedded
OK, when you watch that clip, you probably react a lot like me: man those kids were a bunch of whiners! But, we’re all older than them, and they still think that Christmas is without a doubt the most magical day of the year. So, we’ve got to understand what a game changer it would be to pull a rotten banana or a half-eaten sandwich from a gift bag. That said, this clip makes me think about the gifts we give one another. And I can’t think about those gifts without reflecting on the gifts God gives. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about what God gives to us, at Christmas, and every other day of our lives.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our name and the worst gift we ever received for Christmas.
- ASK A FEW: Of your current family members and friends, who do you think is most likely to give you a bum gift? Why?
- ASK A FEW: What did you think of the kids’ reactions in the video?
- ASK A FEW: What would you think of the parents if they REALLY did give those kinds of gifts?
- ASK A FEW: What kind of gifts do you think God gives?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think God would ever intentionally give a person a rotten gift? Would He do so, accidentally?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think our reaction to God’s gifts should be?
Read the following passage:
ASK SOMEONE: Does God tempt us, or send temptation our way, or in any way try to make us sin? (Leaders – No! Let’s just go ahead and get that one out of the way.)
ASK A FEW: Where does this passage say good gifts come from?
ASK A FEW: Why do you think James calls God the “Father of Lights”? (Leaders – There are a couple of thoughts here, but the best one is that, unlike the stars which move and change, God is unchangeable in what He gives to us. He gives us His best, always.)
ASK A FEW: Before James makes his statement in verse 17, he says, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers,” in verse 16. Do you think a lot of people are deceived about the gifts God gives? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: What is the best gift you’ve ever received for Christmas or your birthday, etc.?
ASK A FEW: How did you respond to those gifts?
ASK A FEW: What are some “gifts” God gets blamed for, that He’s not responsible for?
ASK A FEW: What are the Top 3 gifts God has given you, and how do you show Him your appreciation?
ASK A FEW: When an obstacle is thrown in your path – like a half-eaten sandwich – how do you usually feel toward God? Do you blame Him? Do you seek Him? Do you resent Him? Do you…?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: How must your attitude change about the gifts God has given you?
James 1:12-17 (NIV)
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
So, tonight, we took a look at a funny little clip about the crazy Christmas gifts a few kids got because Jimmy Kimmel likes playing jokes on kids. I gotta say, it was funny. But their level of gratitude was way off. You may have noticed like I did, there were PLENTY of other gifts under the tree for all those kids. Their parents were just playing a joke on them for a moment.
However, you and I occasionally get really crummy things dropped in our laps from time to time, and we have to come to grips with how to deal with them. A significant other – whom we were sure God gave to us – broke his/her promise…and our heart. What do we think of God in that moment? A parent or sibling gets desperately sick. What happens to our faith in God then?
What we need to know is that God only gives good gifts. Unlike the stars in the sky that move and change and shift, God is perfect, always has been, and always will be. In other words, we can count on Him for perfection. He is consistent in the way He deals with us.
That’s because we are His children. God desires to give the best to us because we are His beloved children. One of the ways God proves His love for us is by sending us Jesus, the Gift that we celebrate during Christmas. But we don’t have to look very far to see many other gifts God gives us throughout the remainder of the year: family, friends, health, salvation, hope, compassion, grace, mercy, and so on.
Granted, there will be times when life is difficult (just like those kids were in the clip). But what we need to know is that those evil, crummy, tempting things were NOT put into our lives by God. We should also NEVER respond to God like those kids did to their parents….
So, here’s what I want you to leave with tonight. God is good, all the time. He only gives good gifts to His kids. If you are one of His children, you’ve already begun to receive His very best…with tons more to come during the rest of your life. If you have not become one of His children, you’ve never received God’s best gift, His Son Jesus.
If you need to talk about that some more, hang around after we pray. You don’t want to miss out on this gift!
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
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