Summary: To show that in order to be close to the Lord, we often must simplify our lives.


-This morning we’re going to get back to our district emphasis of discipleship

-We are seeking to draw closer to the Lord this conference year and learn more of what it means to be his follower and his child

-We’ve looked at the disciplines of rest, silence, solitude and patience

-This morning’s discipline is perhaps especially necessary for us to consider during the season we are in

-We are in the Christmas season

-This means multitudes of shopping

-And shoppers

-ILL: Black Friday

-This means myriads of activities


-Get togethers

-It amazes me sometimes that we have allowed the baby born on a silent night to bring such hustle and bustle to our lives

-Yet, this morning, I am here to remind us all, you and me alike, that this is not how God would have us lead our lives

-God never intended for our lives to become so complicated

-In fact, His call to us today is a call to a return to simplicity

-Matthew 19:16-22

-Christ’s call to this young man was a call to the simple life

-This wasn’t the fist call he had made of men to enter the simple life

-The disciples

-And Christ Himself was the perfect example of a simple life

-He had no home

-He lived day to day

-He took no possessions with Him

-But here, with the young man mentioned in Matthew’s gospel, He calls a good man, who has obeyed all of the Ten commandments, to sell all of his possessions and give them to the poor

-It was the way for him to have eternal life

-This kind of goes against our way of thinking

-Belief in Christ as the only way to salvation

-Yet, it was this man’s possessions that was keeping Him from fully believing in Christ

-He could not be closed to the Lord with all of the possessions he had in his life

-The same is true with us

-When our lives are complex and not simple, we cannot be as close to the Lord as we need to be and as He wants us to be

-Complexity can come in many forms, so let’s take a good, close look this morning at what the simple life is all about

I. The Simple Life Is The Life Less Cluttered

A. With activity

-Young parents

-Work, home, kids school and activities

-I’ve looked at some church calendars. . .

1. Activity alone does not bring success

-It where the activity is directed

2. Activity alone does not bring contentment

B. With stuff

-John Wesley’s attitude is worthy of pondering. When he learned that his house had been destroyed by fire, he exclaimed, "The Lord’s house burned. One less responsibility for me!"

-You see, we like our possessions




-But one thing I’m becoming aware of recently is the effect that often our needed and life-improving stuff has on us

1. Sometimes they can have an addictive-like hold on us

-ILL: Shopaholics

2. Sometimes they can demand more of our time than they save

-ILL: A New Computer

-ILL: Car Repairs

-This begs the question about control

-Who (or what) is in control?

-Me or my stuff?

3. Usually they can be done without

-Can you remember the days before cell phones?

-Can you remember the days before microwaves?

-Can you remember the days before Ipods, portable CD players, the Walkman or transistor radios

-We did alright in those days, didn’t we?

-Can you remember the days before 4 wheel drives were ordinary?

-Can you remember the days before keyless entry?

-Can you remember the days before every home had two cars or more?

-We did alright in those days, didn’t we?

-In most cases, we could live without the things we have and say with Mr. Wesley, “One less responsibility for me!"

II. The Simple Life Is The Life Less Expensive

-ILL: Shirtless Contentment

A story is told of a king who was suffering from a malady and was advised by his astrologer that he would be cured if the shirt of a contented man were brought to him to wear. People went out to all parts of the kingdom after such a person, and after a long search they found a man who was really happy...but he did not possess a shirt.

A. It focuses on needs rather than wants

-Can we truly differentiate between the two?

B. It contents itself with its present situation

-ILL: Catalog Dreaming Or Window Shopping

III. The Simple Life Is The Life More Generous

-You see, a less expensive life will leave us more to be generous with

-And the simple life doesn’t just hoard the resources God has blessed it with

-The simple life is generous

A. To those in need

-This was the direct call to the young man in our passage today

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