December Newsletter

Dear Friends,

The columns for 2017 have been focusing on how to grow deeper in your faith, using spiritual disciplines to do so.  Each of the suggestions that I have made involve disciplines that we need to grow in our faith.

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The disciplines that I have written about so far are:  study of the Word of God; worship attendance; scripture study with others (Sunday School and Bible Study), evangelism (inviting others to Church and Sunday School), confession, fasting, meditation, solitude, thanksgiving, and prayer.This month we will look at the discipline of simplicity.  There is no greater example of simplicity than our Lord Himself.  Jesus, when He walked this earth, demonstrated that things are secondary to God and God’s purposes.  Jesus showed that His life was one of simply serving God and God’s will. Often we think of simplicity of only involving our possessions.  That is a big part of it, but as Richard Foster pointed out in his book, Celebration of Discipline, that I am getting my ideas from, he stated, “The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward life style.”  In fact, no Biblical discipline can be implemented without results in how you live.Simplicity on a very simple level is that things are always in perspective.  Materialism is a huge problem in our world today.  We are told that we need to accumulate more and more in order to be comfortable and secure. When we carry this attitude, we are tied to things in a deep emotional way.  They become our trust and thus our god.  The Apostle Paul stated in I Timothy 6:9, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge humans into ruin and destruction.” The discipline of simplicity views the material things of this world as not a means to an end but tools that allow us to serve God.  When we look to God to supply our needs, then we are able to see that all we have has been given to us by God.  This frees us to be generous and less concerned with our resources. As we seek to make our life simpler in terms of things, then we show others that we are truly grounded in grace, that we live in love, and are growing for God.

In Christ’s Love,  Pastor Mark