To simplify your life shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the Kingdom of God.
Sometimes when, when you’ve been around a while in church like I have and I know that many of you have, but some of you have not and you hear that word, you know that that that verse and it’s singing that the grave has no claim on me. We, we just take that for granted that if you have become a Christ follower, you, your body may go into a grave, but your soul is going to be with Christ Jesus, eternal life. And I think sometimes we just need to celebrate that, that there is no death for you that belonged to Christ. There is no death. He overcame death and every now and then we just need to kind of get out of the song and get into the reality that that’s a fact. Amen. We just need to really do it. We just need to really go, Hey, before we start, I want you to get your notes out.
You can get your program and turn it over cause there’s a few things I’m going to just really an beg of you to write down today. Some of what may be, most of what I’m going to share today is not new information. A lot of times there is no new information. What I’m praying for is that just gives you new revelation on the information cause I think we all know this but before I get into it, I want to just say again, I mentioned this last week that from here till the end of the year we’re kind of asking you to give a little above and beyond your normal as pastor Archie just mentioned ties. We’re asking you to kind of give a little bit more. Every year we’ve kind of made this say if I can use this word around here tradition, cause I don’t necessarily like that word tradition.
There’s some traditions that are good. There’s some traditions you just need to, you know, leave back with grandma. But this tradition is good around here every year at the end of the year, if you’ve been here long enough, you know, we kind of give special towards some things that are above and beyond, not just normal everyday consistent giving is good. And if, you know, if you have children, you have to consistently give and consistently discipline and consistently go forward with those principles for your child to grow, right? You can’t just wait on, you know, grandpa like me to come in and give the child all they want and that would just be spoiling them. You have to give consistently. First of all, thank you for your consistent generosity here at the point. Thank you for that. And I just want to give that to you from the bottom of my heart.
But from now to the end of the year, we kind of need to make some things even out because life happens. How many of you know you’re diligent with your budget, but even as diligent as you are with your budget, sometimes life happens. Are you with me? And you’ve got to kind of even some things out. And that’s what this opportunity to give above and beyond. So we can go into the new year above and go beyond in the black, not in the red. And that a great way to start the new year. So that’s what we’re doing. You can start that right away. You can go online and give, it’ll just say above and beyond. You can give it here, you can give it to one of the people in the back at the welcome. You can, but you have to the end of the year, just market above and beyond and we’ll keep reminding you about that.
Not hounding you but reminding you that it’s a part of who we are as we give. How many of you know that life can get really busy? Raise your hand, really busy. Those of you not raising your hand, you’re not either listening to me or you’re lying or you just don’t like to raise your hand. One of the two. Cause life can get real busy and it gets very complicated. Right? Life gets, I mean, you’re kind of trying to figure out how to do this. And if you have children more than one, especially whether you raise them or they’re already raised like I have adult children and five grandchildren. And I can see life gets real complicated around that dynamic at times. And the more and more that becomes available to us in our lives because of technology and because of a fluence, we have to be careful to keep things really simple.
So today in the almost, we got one more week next week where we’re going to finish this season that we’re doing on disciplines and today we’re going to connect all the other 10 today’s number 11 we’re going to connect all the other 10 and draw it down into this word that pastor art’s used earlier. And you’re gonna hear it today into focus. How do we keep these things back here that we’ve talked about for 10 weeks and continue on in their eyes? How do we keep it in focus when life gets really complicated? And if you’re like me, if life isn’t complicated, I have the ability to step in and make it complicated as a, is that you or is that just only me? I can make life very complicated for the people around me. Now, how many of you, I tried to look for one and we could not find one.
So this tells you where we are in our world. How many of you remember, I know you do, but I’m just asking that you know, just kind of nonsense. How many of you remember what a phone book is? Raise your hand. How many of you still have a phone book at your house? You still have one? If you, if you’re raising your hand, you’re over 50 okay, you’re over 50 or you just haven’t bothered to throw it away yet. We couldn’t find a phone book around here and there are people that are under the age of Assad. I don’t know what it is. 30 35 they’ve never even seen a phone book. Remember the big yellow pages that used to come and you had to go through the yellow pages and try to find what you’re going to call and go the phone. Well, just to kind of have a little fun, I found a clip of something that showing a Muller showing us a millennial. Ellen is trying to give this millennial some instructions to look up this place. I’ll just give it to you cause we shortened the clip there. She’s trying to look up a place to go get a muffler aim. I know what a muffler is. A muffler on your car to get a muffler for the car. And then at once she gets the number, call the number. So just have a little fun. It’s of connected. Watch this,
The Point Church, Church in San Jose, Churches in San Jose, San Jose church, San Jose, churches, churches in evergreen, churches near me.
I guess I don’t know the alphabet either. You’re looking under carpet. What are you trying to do under car watch? Golden muffler. Is that a car? A car park. Look under muffler. Okay. There’s a lot of eight. A eight five zero. Hello.
So having of you still have a rotary phone in your house now you’re not gonna raise your hand. Oh, there’s some of you to do have a rotary phone in your house. We have really complicated things. I’m not sure if there’s anything more simple than a rotary phone. We have really complicated things and now you’re supposed to speak into your phone and know nobody knows anybody’s number anymore. Member used to have no numbers. Now you know you just, I just know Greg call Greg. I know names that I, if somebody asked me your phone number, I have no idea what your phone number is. I have no clue and I show you that because it’s funny, but it’s a great example that there are many people in the kingdom and when I use the word kingdom, it means like eternal life. You’ve given life to Christ, you have salvation, you’ve been born again.
There are many people in this room and about in the kingdom, but not many people today are enjoying kingdom living. We’re kind of living like that, very complicated, have no idea of what we’re doing and have no idea the simplicity that Jesus gives us to enjoy kingdom living. We’ve made things very complicated and I believe that it’s because our approach to this may have been wrong. Our whole approach to kingdom living, our whole approach to life because somewhere down the road, and I know that even in my life as an early child and a young man and then a growing middle age and now I’m getting there to the place, I’m a grandfather, I’m still looking back at things. It’s people taught me that I’m trying to unteach me. Does that make sense? And if the approach was wrong, whether it’s how I save money, how I spend money, how I think about money, all sorts of things.
And that’s just one topic. How I parents, how I don’t parent, how I treat my adult children, all this stuff. I’m looking back and seeing things and I’m like, how do I throw that out? And Jesus came and said these things all the time. He said things like this, you have heard it said, but now I tell you. But people didn’t want to hear that. They didn’t want to change the way they’re thinking. They wanted to keep on making things complicated. And at one time, the religious people of the world in Jesus’ day had created hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of laws for you to get in and enjoy kingdom living, and Jesus said, no, it’s not about all those laws. It’s about loving God, putting him first, but that’s too simplistic for us. We’ve got to create rules to follow. We’ve got boxes to get inside of for us to feel like we’re really pleasing God, so maybe our approach is wrong.
Are you with me? Maybe we need to change the approach, so I want you to look at the screen. If you have a device or whatever and iPad, iPhone, whatever, even a paper Bible go. We’re going to look at a few scriptures, but go to Matthew chapter six because this is Jesus doing the talking and he’s teaching us about money, possessions. Jesus taught a lot about this stuff, but I’m not going there to money and possess so don’t wall me off. I’m not talking about money possessions today. I’m talking about kingdom living. He just happens to put this in the context of that because Jesus knew that money and possessions would complicate our lives big time, big time, even 2000 years later. So he says these words and he concludes this teaching with these words, all this teaching about money, all this teaching about possessions.
He concludes it in verse 31 34 he says this, don’t worry about these things saying, what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? Boy, we talk about that a lot, don’t we? We really do. But he’s saying, can you hear it? Don’t worry about them. There are people who lose sleep over this stuff, and Jesus said, don’t go there. 32 verse 32 these things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly father. This is the one I want you to get. Maybe underline or highlight this particular part of the verse. Your heavenly father already knows your needs. See, you don’t think that he does. That’s why you worry about it. But Jesus is saying he already knows what you need. And then he concludes it in these two verses. He’s saying, seek the kingdom of God above all else. Now we’re going to talk about what that means all morning long.
Seek the kingdom of God above all else, live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. All those things you worry about, God will actually give them to you, so don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. You agree with that? Yeah. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s true. This passage is informing us that our focus can, can you put it back up there one more time for me guys, this passage is, it’s, it’s informing us in that one area, seek the kingdom of God first. First. First. It’s informing us that our focus is on the stuff that God already knows you need. Not on God.
Are you with me?
Where’s your focus today? How simple is your focus? And if we can simplify our focus, then he will give you everything you need. So maybe that’s where the approach became a little fuzzy for us in life because I think in the approach where it got fuzzy or a little bit blurry is that what is the difference between need and our wants? Because we have a lot of both. But probably if we’re honest, the wants outweigh the needs and that gets a little bit fuzzy. And that may be where the approach got a little bit uncomfortable for us. So let’s, let’s kind of transition here and keep going so we can understand this simplicity thing. Cause it’s really hard to understand. It’s kinda like the girl in the rotary phone. It’s really difficult to get it. So let’s go to the apostle Paul who wrote a lot of the new Testament, what we call the new Testament.
And Paul, was he, what he did, he started, he was an apostle and what that means, he started a lot of churches and then left into some really great leaders. And then when he would leave those churches that he started, Paul would kind of write a letter back to the churches. And that’s where we get some of these letters. Or maybe you’ve heard them call epistles to these churches, and one of the letters was Corinthians and he wrote this letter to the Corinthians as he’s gone on to start or the churches, he wrote a letter back to the church at Corinth and he tells them, Paul is telling them, Hey guys, I have a fear. I have a fear. I have a, maybe he should say I have a concern, but he actually uses the word afraid. He says, I have a concern, a real fear about your folks.
Yes, Paul, the guy who started the church, the leader, the apostle, that they respect more than anybody other than Jesus, and he’s writing them back and said, I have a real fear. I have a real concern about your focus. So let’s look what he says in second Corinthians 11 three again, go over to your device or pop your eyes up on the screen. Paul says in the letter talking to the church of Corinth, he says, but now I’m afraid. There’s the concern, I’m afraid. Just as Eve, thereby new Eve was first lady, Adam Eve in the garden was deceived by the serpent’s clever lies. The serpent was embodied by the devil himself. We’re going to talk too much about that, just the deception of it. Okay, so let me start over. I’m afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s clever lies, your thoughts may be corrupted and you may lose your simple single hearted devotion and pure love for Christ.
The enemy lied to Eve. And so what Paul is saying is the enemy is lying to you. And so almost 2000 years later, this is very relevant to us because the enemy is now still lying to us. Why? Because the Bible, the word of God actually entitles the enemy, the father of lies. Yes, and just as the enemy lied to Eve, he’s lying to you. And what he said to Eve, what he essentially what he told Eve is this, God is trying to restrict and listen. If you grew up sorta like I did, I grew up in the South, not to a fluent, almost poor, not knowing where things were going to come from. If you grew up like that, you really bike this lie big time because you don’t know where everything’s going to happen. And the enemies kind of really pounces that
Upbringing in that thought and that realm that you’re always in. So
He’s trying to tell you that God is restricting you. That’s what he told Eve. In other words, he’s keeping you from something that could make you better. And you’re looking at other people whose lives appear to be better because they have more stuff than you. More a fluence than you. More influence than you. More status than you. And you could have that
Go after that and kind of keep this stuff away and the enemy’s lying.
And that’s what Paul’s saying, just as he tricked Eve, I’m afraid he’s doing it with you. Cause if you know Corinth, it was a very affluent city,
Just like what we live in.
I’m afraid the enemy’s keeping you and you’re believing that he’s keeping you from something that could make you better and he’s saying to you, if your life, if you want your life, if it’s ever going to be full, if it’s ever going to be complete, you’re going to have to go out and get what you really need because God’s not going to give that to you and you’re going to have to be stingy with it. You can’t give back
To anything. You can’t make your life that simple. If you listen to God, he’s going to keep you from all that you could be. That’s what the enemy’s telling Eve and so then you, he’s saying you can’t listen to all this stuff with God. You have to actually make your own choices and call that right. That’s what he’s saying. This happened in the garden of Eden and a place where they needed nothing. They had everything. We actually make reference back to the garden of Eden at times and church life like that was the place of paradise. If you could think of paradise, the garden of Eden was it, and God essentially looked at them and said, you got access to everything you need, including me. I’m going to walk with you. I’m going to talk with you. I’m going to be with you. I am going to supply every need for you. And if that could happen there, then thousands of years later and then thousands of year later where we are, Paul is saying it could surely happen here. He said, I’m afraid for you that the same way the enemy deceived Eve will also lead you away from simplicity, simplicity, your simple focus and devotion for Christ. And you will focus on more of your checkbook and your bank account and your status and your education
And all these things will be more important to you than your devotion.
So Jesus, that will get in the way. And that’s what Paul’s saying, he’s warning them with this. So
If God’s desire for our lives is to simply focus on him first,
What would be the strategy of the enemy to keep you from that? It hasn’t changed. Not one bit. What would be the likely strategy of the enemy to keep your focus on Jesus? First, it would be this, you can write it down to complicate and compromise your devotion to Christ Jesus to complicate and compromise your devotion to Christ Jesus.
Therefore, what that does, it will make your life
It will make your life. If you go to that, it will make your life. Have you heard this before? Busy. It will make your life complicated and it will eventually lead you to thinking you actually have no purpose
Best, but to go to work and get wealthy. That’s your purpose. That’s what the enemy is trying to do. That’s his strategy to complicate
And compromise your devotion to Jesus so that everything else in your life becomes first
And over your devotion to Christ Jesus. So how do we undo this?
Mark Jesus, in the book of Mark, Mark was one of his followers, not one of the original 12 but one of his followers. But Mark told some stories and Jesus got into there and this story in Mark, I’m just going to use one verse cause you might be familiar with it and I’m just going to give you the background. There’s this parable, Jesus told stories and this parable was about seed and soil. Maybe you’ve heard it before that the seed got into the soil and there was three types of soil. Well I’m just gonna use one of them because it really is apropos to what we’re talking about. So Mark chapter four, verse 19, go to your device or on the screen, Mark four 19 Jesus tells this story and he’s actually kind of, I’m paralleling your life to a seed. That’s what the story is about.
He says, your life is like a seed and your life is like a seed that goes into the ground. And he talks about two types of seed that the first seed kind of goes on the ground and it’s hardened cause your heart’s hard to, he says the second seed goes into the ground and it’s got another attribute to it. But then there’s this type of seed that he says you gotta be really careful of. Now this is not Paul, this is Jesus. And this is why Paul said this later to the Corinthia because of what Jesus is saying here in here. Jesus said in Mark four 19 he said, all too quickly, the message, the message, the simple message, the simple gospel message,
He says, all too quickly, the message is crowded out by the worries of life, the lure of wealth and desire for other things. Now look what the last part says. So therefore no fruit is produced fruitless. Remember, busy without purpose
Because you’re after all these things. Your life is like the seed and you’re in and you’re really, your life is just worried about everything. Your life is just going after more and more and more and more and more. And your life has this desire for things and all these things are crowding out the very simple devotion of Jesus Christ
To put him first, to love God above everything, to put him first. So what Jesus is telling us in this, so this is where I want you to write some things down. If you’ve got your notes, okay, I’ve got the back of that thing. Just simple couple linear points. Jesus is telling us here that the three, there’s only three in that crazy that only three things can complicate our lives. Like this real estate, only. Only one of these three things can complicate your life to keep Jesus from being first. But Jesus is telling us in this verse, this is what he’s saying. He’s saying there’s three major enemies to simple living for Christ. Three major enemies. Here they are. It’s in that verse, worry, greed, and a lack of control or lust where you’re just out of control and you just want everything. Those are the three major enemies.
So what I’m asking you in this simple message is to say, where do you go there? Where do you fit there? Where is it? And it’s going to get a little deeper.
So maybe you can’t figure it out yet, but it’s going to get late because there’s lies associated with each of these. There’s a lie associated with worry and here’s the lie associated with worry. You ready? It’s here’s a lie that my purpose is to succeed. That’s a lie because you don’t even know what the definition of success is to God.
You only know what the definition of success is to the world that you will become better, bigger, richer, famous, wealthier, fitter, all the earth.
And so that’s the lie. Your lie is that your purpose is really to succeed. So in order to get that purpose, what happens is that we are more anxious than ever in our culture today and we are overworked more than ever today so that you can succeed and climb the ladder and get more,
Get more, and get more and climbed the ladder and get this. Are you with me? That’s a lie.
We have to come and down and we have to find out. We have to understand what the success means to Jesus
And I’m going to show you that just a few moments
And the second lie associated with that first is my purposes to succeed. The second lie that’s associated with greed is money is the answer. Money is the answer. That’s a lie. And so what happens is that we will do anything to get it and then feel like a failure if we don’t have it. Especially if we grew up down here, very not with money. We will do anything to get it. And most anything it to keep it
When we start hearing. That’s why folks, when people say things like, all the church wants is my money, that’s not truth. You’re hearing it from a filter, from a lie that says it’s yours anyway and it doesn’t
Belonged to you in the first place. It’s a lie. And what we’ll do is anything to get it, anything to keep it and anything to get more of it. So this, the third line associated with the lust thing is simple. More is better. And boy have we bitten this thing off, especially in Silicon Valley where the average house is just a million dollars or more. More is better, more is better, more is better. And it’s bigger is better. We, we, we can’t have small things. We can’t have a lot of things. And I, I mean I remember when when my wife and I moved from South Carolina to California, we decided to simplify and really just sell everything. We had it, it was mind blowing everything that we sold to come down to just no, we didn’t own anything but the car we drove out here with and a few pieces of furniture that we decided to keep knowing that we were going to live with our children
And it was just, it took me like a week, listen, it took me a week just to clean out my garage and I don’t even live in my garage. And I was finding things. I’m like, where did this come from? I must’ve borrowed it. And you know, the, the, the law of borrowing something, you keep it long enough, it becomes yours. I don’t even remember buying this. I don’t remember where, I don’t know who to take it back to. It was just crazy. But it was also convicting. Like I am really into this lie that the more I have, the more I think I’m worth something. And that’s just screwed up compared to what God is trying to say to you. That’s a lie of the enemy. So what do these lies actually produce? You still writing? Cause these lies produce something in us. You still with me? These lies produce three things. Here’s the first thing. These lies produce the first lie. It produces a loss of joy.
Depression gets in there
A lack of true godly purpose because you think you have to succeed to the world. And when you’re not succeeding and you walk in and your company says we have to let you go, you just have blown everything to that lie and joy is gone and you don’t think you’re worth anything and you don’t think you can get another job because you’re aging out. And I’ve been to those
So there is no more joy to you. And now depression is going way up and anxiety is going to weigh up and there’s no more joy. And that’s why the scripture says, Hey guys, you got to ask God to restore the joy of your salvation, not the joy of your wealth. What was it like when you first realized that Jesus was in charge of your life and you’re going to go and live with Jesus for the rest of your life, and he was the most important thing. You know, that’s the joy that needs to be restored. Not the joy that walks out and said, I just got the best job ever within two months. That job can go
Way, but we put a lot of joy in that stuff. Don’t wait. That’s why it’s so easy to lose.
And the second lie that happens here that produces as a result of all this is that we just have no more energy. We have no desire, no desire, no energy to even seek God. And that’s why I’m constantly, we’re trying as leaders to get you to read your Bible, read your Bible, study your Bible. Ghost isn’t devotions. Get you versioned down. Get it there because there’s no more desire. There’s no more energy and you’re giving God leftovers. We don’t even want to get up early in the morning to do. What Jesus did is we heard last week about solitude. We don’t, ah, I need my rest. You need your rest because there’s no more energy and God’s getting leftovers from you. And I hear people say, well, I’ll just spend my time with God on my commute to work. And that’s okay. I’m not trying to guilt you with that, but that’s kind of a phone call to God. When is it that you’re going to simply focus on only Jesus, not the road, not people, not traffic, not this, but
Just Jesus. He gets leftovers from us way too often
Because we have no energy. We’re just going, going, going, doing, doing, doing. And then when you have children, you think you have to put that into them. Go, go, go. Because you could. This is where success comes from. The more you are, the more you do, the greater college you go to, the more we, that’s where success really comes from. And then they just remember what I said earlier, that the approach,
And we don’t know how to stop the cycle. And so the last thing this produces right here in two 19 Paul was prophetically writing this, not just 2000 years later, but now 2000 years later
It says, now what happens
As a result of wanting more and more is better and bigger and all that lust. This is now you have no opportunity to love others anymore.
You don’t even like people, you don’t even like them. No lasting relationships at all.
And, and the very thing that Jesus came to do, we as leaders at church, are you with me? I’m, I’m, I’m really trying to kind of interrupt your thinking here with this. I want you to be disturbed a little bit with this.
We’re constantly telling you and asking you and begging you, it’s small group community. Get into a small group. Why? Because that’s lasting relationships. The only thing you’re going to take to heaven and eternity with you are relationships. You’re not taking any of that stuff that you work 14 hours a day to acquire.
John Ortberg said it like this. It’s all gonna go back in the box. Do you ever played monopoly? You ever win? It all went back in the box. You didn’t really win. Cause now there’s another game
And all the stuff that you work so hard for that you’ve avoided people. And I know people, I have really good friends that have gone through marriages, not a marriage, but marriages to try to get and try to gain and try to be successful and they don’t even like people and they say things like this and these are Christ followers. I will never trust anybody again. It all happens from this.
It’s this. That’s what this produces. When you think all that more is better. My wife, have you ever heard of the five love languages? Have anybody ever heard of that? The fi, my wife, her love language is touch.
That’s so far away from my scale that it’s not even on the scale.
I don’t mind. Love language is not touch. I didn’t grow up in that kind of a family where touch was a big deal.
So my wife and a lot of other people over 41 years of marriage have had to teach me how to touch because that’s her love language. My love language is actually
Gift giving gifts. You give me a gift, I really love you for that. I’m not trying to manipulate you, I’m just telling you that’s my gift. My wife knows it. But here’s what happens. We sometimes try to give our gift.
So I would go out and buy my wife a lot of gifts. It would just make her mad. Seriously. I’d go out and buy my wife gifts here, babe. This a great dress. It looks good on you. Hey betas, good jewelry. This is the latest and greatest thing. And I was going broke to try to make my wife happy because of this lie that I thought was on her, but it was really on me and the enemy was full in me that the more I could give her, the happier we were going to be and it was actually making us miserable because I wasn’t simply focusing on
Her mum making sense? And that’s what I’m asking you to do today.
Stop letting the leadership beg you into what God has already asked
You did do to become more like him. Jesus didn’t have to come to earth and spend three years with 12 knuckleheads, but he did it to show us that that’s what real success looks like. That’s what it looks like. That’s how you take over the world with the love of Christ in community. I’m begging you to get into a small group. I’m begging you to get into community and don’t make other things more important than that thing that Jesus said. Here’s what it all boils down to. Love God and love other people, but we’ve got to this place of loving stuff, loving me, and then I’ll put these God and other people in there and this the lie, and Paul said, that’s what I’m afraid of. Jesus said in Matthew 16 he said this, if you were to gain all the wealth, look at this. If you were to gain all the wealth and the power of this world, that sounds good to try, but if you were to gain all of that with everything that it can offer you at the cost of your own life, what good would it be? Because friends, that’s what it’s costing you your own life.
What would, what could be more valuable than your own soul? Have you asked that question lately? What’s more valuable than my soul that’s going to live eternally? So how do we overcome this deception? How do we reenter the focus that God is asking us to enter? Jesus said, seek first put me above everything. How do we do it? How do we place God’s kingdom first? How do we do this above everything else that’s complicated. No, it’s not. It’s simple. You made it complicated. So what should our approach be? Let’s remind ourselves, let me put this verse back up there again. Let’s remind ourselves of this warning. I’m afraid. I’m afraid. Just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s clever lies that your thoughts, your thoughts would be corrupted and you may lose your simple single hearted devotion and pure love for Christ. So if this is the warning that we might lose that thing that Eve lost, and what Eve lost was everything, the closeness to God, the purity of God, the voice of God. I mean everything was lost because of Eve biting off the lie. Then every decision that you and I make, please hear this. Every decision that you and I make must be scrutinized through this passage. Everything will this, whatever decision I’m making, will this hinder or adversely
Affect my simple single,
The function and pure love for Christ. Jesus will vis do it, whatever it is, and I’m trying to make a decision on,
In other words, could this be a deceptive whatever it is, me going here, taking this job, moving into this education, moving to the next level, whatever it is. Could this be a deceptive scheme of the enemy? Although it looks good, remember the fruit look really good to eat.
Remember that it looked really good.
Although it looks good, although it feels good. Am I asking,
Is this going to take my eyes off of Jesus? Is this going to take my eyes off of Jesus cause I’m just asking you today. Be simple. These are simple questions.
Everything has to walk through this verse. Is this gonna Rob me of time and energy that I’ve committed to serving Jesus? If I do this, am I going to have to say to people that I’ve actually committed to, I can’t do that anymore and serve Jesus with you or I’m not even going to be able to engage in the first place because I’m always just too tired. Those are the kinds of questions. Will this slowly erode my desire to follow Jesus and for some of us, our desire to follow Jesus has slowly eroded and you’ve gotta be begged and pushed. Please read, please follow. Please study. Listen to these disciplines. That’s why we do these types of series like this because these disciplines essentially guarantee you the presence of God, but here we are imploring you go there, connect to them, study them, get in group this kindness. Just go after them. Will this whatever, this is, this decision. Will this get me to trust someone or something
Thing other than Jesus? Simple question. When’s the last time you asked that question? Here’s one very simple will this whatever. This is complicate my life. Will this take me away from the gathering that the word of God actually says, be careful not to forsake the gathering of other believers. Will this take me from that consistently? Will this injure in any way? My confidence in Jesus being my Lord? Did you hear that one? I don’t think I put those questions on the screen, but I can put them online sometime this week or get them on social media. Cause these are some questions we have to ask with heating to this warning that Paul gave us. I’m afraid.
I’m afraid that is the enemy. Leard Yves away. He’s alluring you away
With these lies, with these lies. So
Before I close and give you what simplicity is, I want to give you what simplicity is not. This is why I’ve asking you to write some
So I want you to hear, I want you to feel some freedom, not just being yelled at and screamed at and just kind of challenged to the core wanting to feel some freedom. Cause here’s a couple of things. Simplicity is not, simplicity is not a refusal of responsibility.
Are you with me? You still have to go to work. Oh, I don’t have to work anymore, man. Pastor said, I gotta be, I can live a simple life because work is tiring me out. No, maybe you need to just find a new work. I don’t know. But it doesn’t, it doesn’t delete you from responsibility. That’s not what simplicity does
And it’s not some, some legalistics standard that becomes an artificial act of righteousness. What do I mean by that? It doesn’t mean you separate yourself,
Become a monk and think that you’re right and nobody else is. Remember community, Jesus came, walked with 12 and lastly, simplicity is not a guarantee against busy seasons or trying times of life because every now and then, as I said at the very beginning of this talk, sometimes life just gets tough and simplicity and that singular focus on Jesus doesn’t guarantee you that life is not going to get tough. It just gives you the perspective when it does. And that’s what we want. Because here’s the three things. Practicing simplicity will mean are you ready? Because these are kind of in your, you know, grill a little bit. So we really want you to hear this. Practicing simplicity in our life will mean that the reason for my life can be simply expressed with these words. I live for Jesus. Period. When somebody asks, Hey, what’s your purpose to live for Jesus? And whatever he asked me to do, it’s just simple. We’ve made it complicated. Secondly, this is a big one. We talk a lot about priorities that the priorities in my life can simply be protected if it competes with or detracts from. My ability to give God my best or first I say no
And you know, I’m just going to say to you, I am a fitness freak. I love running, I love competing, I love going out there. I love sports and there was a time in my life, I may have shared this with you before that I was running races and I was involved with them and I’m just, I’m not trying to pour my convictions on you. I’m just telling you my story. You’ve got to figure out what this means for you. But running and racing and all this stuff was becoming way more of a priority to me. And I was training a whole lot more than I was devoting my life to Christ Jesus. And I simply had to come to this place. It’s enough. I’m done. And since that moment, I personally had not run
A race, saved me a lot of money,
Had had any role, any more race registrations. I’m not telling you that’s what you do. I’m just saying that’s what happened to me. I don’t know what it is for you, but at some point you’ve got to protect your priorities and you’ve got to protect your priorities with that statement. If it competes with or distracts from my ability to give God my best, or first I simply have to say no.
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And then thirdly, my goal in life can be simply understood to glorify God and expand his kingdom, simple his kingdom. So I want to give you one last first today, which is the promise of simplicity. This is the promise of simplicity. And when we read this verse, I’m going to ask the team to close this day with this powerful song about the name of Jesus. And I’m going to ask you to simply put away everything else that’s distracting you, everything, all the stuff, and hopefully that this message is talk has kind of just interrupted some things in there. But for right now, just put it away. And that’s hard to do. Sometimes you have to train yourself to do that. That’s why what we’re doing is called in this season we’re in is called disciplines. Simplicity is a discipline, friends.
And it’s no different than going out there and trying to run a marathon. That’s how I relate to things cause I am a runner. You don’t just go run a marathon. You discipline yourself to get in shape and stages. So stage one is today that you take this moment
And you put your phones away and you put your stuff away. You think nothing else. But how do I protect my priority of God first and everything about him? Here’s the promise. Jesus said these words, Matthew 1128 are you tired? Are you tired? You can answer that question. Are you tired? Yeah, I’m worn out. Sometimes I’m so tired. Like right now, I start getting emotional because I’m so tired. I am flat. Not even just physically, emotionally worn out. Are you burned out even on religion? That’s a powerful question. Come to me. Get away with me and help you recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest, not a real vacation, a real rest. Walk with me. Work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I love that line. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely, lightly if you’ll allow me. I’m just going to add one word at the end of that simply.
So would you just kind of close your eyes across this place? As I said, just let’s just put it away for now. Let’s go after it. Maybe today you need to, this is a church word, but you need to repent. That means to turn away from the way you are. Ari currently doing things cause the way you’re currently doing things is burning you out, messing you up, destroying relationships. It’s just a big lie. And maybe today you just need to repent. And that means simply saying, Jesus, I give you my life and I want to turn away from that life. Turn away from that life. Maybe that’s you and I don’t know what that means for you. I’m just going to create some space for that to happen to you. And as a song comes at you, whether you want to stand and sing it, Neil, and sing it, come down front and kneel and sing it. Just let this song say to you, what a beautiful, powerful name Jesus is. T because it’s him, we’re encouraged to put first hour Jesus, help us to do help us. [inaudible].