Today’s sermon was really, really good. Our pastor is doing a series called “The Fight” – about time management in our busy schedules of today. Today’s sermon audio isn’t on the website yet, but when it is available you can listen to it here. For now, I’ll try to summarize the message from my notes.
He talked about simplicity not being measured by the quantity of possessions and responsibilities, but rather by the narrowness of one’s focus. Our pastor defined simplicity as the product of seeking the right things, so as to be freed from dangerous things, so as to enjoy the best things. Now let me break that down for you:
* Seeking the RIGHT things (God’s kingdom and His righteousness)
Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
– Simplicity is the by-product of seeking the RIGHT things
– It’s not about “get rid of all your things”
– Putting our lives and possessions in the proper focus
* So as to be freed from dangerous things (personal possessions)
Matthew 19:21-26: “Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me… I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
– We need to learn to let GO so we can let LOOSE
– Our possessions can own US if we’re not careful – Jesus needs to be our owner, not our things
– God never forbids having possessions, but He does caution us against them
– “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20)
* So as to enjoy the best things (peace and contentment)
Luke 12:15: “…Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
– If God is our focus, everything else will call into place
– Greed keeps us from being satisfied
– Sometimes you have to say “enough is enough” (instead of always striving for bigger and better)
– Ask yourselves: Is my focus too much on what I have?
7 Recommendations for Simplicity
- Buy things for their usefulness, never for their status.
- Don’t buy anything when you feel you have to have it but don’t necessarily need it.
- Don’t buy anything in the face of an emotional appeal.
- Don’t buy anything that produces or leads to an addiction in you.
- Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
- Resist buying anything that will distract you from your primary goals or objectives in life.
- Develop the habit of giving things away.
I thought this message was thought-provoking and challenging. Number 5 of the above list is especially applicable to me! Our pastor encouraged us to pray that God would give us a desire to seek Him and simplify our lives.
What did you learn at church today? Leave a link to your own “Sunday Ponderings” blog post, or you can just mention your thoughts in the comments. Read more about this weekly carnival and get the code for the “Sunday Ponderings” graphic here.