Summary: In this sermon you will discover some Biblical secrets to simplifying your life.
Introduction: Several years ago I cut an article from a Parade magazine. The article was entitled “We Want Our Kids To See Another Side of Life.” The article was about a couple named Steve & Robin Clouse. The Clouses said they were tired, “of being caught in traffic, sending their oldest daughter, Britta, (who was 8 at the time) to a crowded classroom and of telling her she couldn’t play here or ride her bike there.” They lived in an apartment in Michigan. So, they packed their things and moved to the rolling hills of central Nebraska. They moved to a simpler lifestyle. Doesn’t that sound like an appealing idea?
All of us can relate to that dream. The dream of a simpler life is appealing. Life can be so complicated. I read somewhere that at the beginning of the century the average American wanted 72 things and considered 18 of them important. Fifty years later he had 496 wants and considered 96 necessary for happiness. Life seems to get more complicated.
The complications of life cause many problems.
•Health problems- such as head aches; ulcers; blood pressure
•Family problems- such as divorce; poor quality time
•Emotional problems- such as burn out; depression;
•Spiritual problems- such as apathy; distance; meaninglessness
In Matthew 6 Jesus shared some principles for simplifying life. He said "look at the birds." Mt. 6:26 The birds are our illustration. As we look at the context we find some principles for simplifying life.
1. Establish your priorities. (See verse 33)
A. Your priorities reflect what is important in your life...
- where you spend your time!
- where you spend your money!
- where you give your energy!
B. Your priorities determine what you get out of life. For instance, worry will only shorten your life. It will not enrich it. An addiction to work will only take away from family life.
2. Clean up your heart. Jesus said "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
A. The heart is the center of life. We sometimes use the phrase "I love you with all of my heart." That phrase refers to the vital position held by our hearts.
B. The heart is critical to health.
Example: The Bible tells us "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." Prov. 4:23
C. The heart must be cleansed of garbage such as worry, anger, lust and pride. Such emotions contribute to an unhealthy heart.
Example: Campers and recreational vehicles have a built in waste tank that must be dumped from time. This keeps the garbage eliminated. Even so, we should dump the garbage of anger, lust, worry, pride and bitterness. Such emotions will only clog the heart.
3. Relax in faith. God intended that faith contribute to a simpler life.
A. Satan complicates faith.
Example: In Genesis 3 Satan complicated Eve’s life by casting doubts on God’s command.
B. Faith was intended to be simple. Jesus used a child as an example of faith. (See Mt. 18:2-3)
C. Faith requires trust.
-We avoid worry by simply trusting God to provide.
-We accept Jesus by simply trusting Him to save.
-We avoid anger by simply trusting God to handle our problems.