Day 19: Simplicity

“Jesus is in the soul healing business.”

Be Quiet.  Sit still and silent for 4 minutes.  Let your mind be aware that God is present with you. When you get distracted, don’t fight with yourself.  Simply turn your thoughts again to Him.  Imagine the delight your Father feels because you showed-up to be with Him!  Breath slowly and relax.   

Scripture.  Luke 12:13-21 NLT  – “Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”  Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”  Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.  He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.  And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’   “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’  “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” 

Meditation.   I did an online search of Anthony DeAngelo’s quote, “The most important things in life aren’t things.”  As I scrolled through the first few pages of results, there was no shortage of advertisements for books, artwork, sticky notes, bracelets, and other things selling the quote. The irony wasn’t lost on me… Buy another thing to announce that things aren’t important.   

Our culture is increasingly materialistic.  Most of us live with a nagging sense we never have enough – money in the bank, time in the day, companions we can trust.  We get torn in different directions and annoyed by constant distractions.  Ambient anxiety is with us wherever we go.  There’s a way to be free from the bombardment of propaganda that tells us, “more is better.”  Jesus is in the soul healing business.  He is the Way; when we follow Him, we learn a more simplified, centered way of life.  I, for one, have a long way to go in this. 

Consider this quote from Richard Foster, author of The Celebration of Discipline: 

Simplicity is the inward reality of single-hearted focus upon God and his kingdom, which results in an outward lifestyle of modesty, openness, and unpretentiousness and which disciplines our hunger for status, glamour, and luxury.”   

Question to Ponder.  Whatever you center your life on will define the kind of person you become, for better or worse.  Around which of these values might you be centering your life?  None of these are bad, but only Jesus is the worthy and true Center.     

  • Beauty  
  • Efficiency  
  • Adventure  
  • Learning  
  • Self  
  • Possessions 
  • Fitness  
  • Work  
  • Family  

Connect with God.  Prayer:  Dear Father, I confess that my heart has been deceived and divided.  I turn to You for help.  Please bring inner healing and wholeness to me through Jesus.  Fill me with the Holy Spirit.  I need wisdom and strength to simplify my life, get centered around Jesus and seek His kingdom above and beyond anything else.  Teach me to not only pray this, but also demonstrate it in my time, money, and energy.  In Christ’s name I pray – Amen.    

Connect with Others.  Simplicity is learned with the support of community.  Talk about it with your small group, prayer partner, or family.