Day 16: It’s Simple
Tuesday, February 22. 2022
Simplifying is trendy. Just search “minimalism” in your web browser and see how many millions of hits come up. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot. The concept behind the minimalism movement is that people in the global west have become so overwhelmed by their amount of stuff and space they feel compelled to change the way they live so that what they own will not own them.
While this is largely noble, it is hardly new. Jesus advocated for and personally modeled this way of living in first-century Israel when the average person had a fraction of the wealth and possessions the average American has today. Wealth and possessions are not inherently wrong. Still, in a culture with so much abundance, it is something to be aware of if our aim is to follow the life and lifestyle of Jesus.
Jesus had plenty to say about money and possessions. And it wasn’t that they were bad; a group of wealthy women funded his ministry (Luke 8:3). But the accumulation of wealth and possessions absolutely makes it more difficult to follow Jesus’ example of simplicity. It’s not a question of what we have; it’s whether or not it has us. It’s about where our ultimate treasure lies.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
Living like Jesus requires having an entirely different set of values than the world around us has. It requires breaking free from things like individualism, achievement, and the pursuit of wealth and possessions. It means remaining content with the lives we have amid a pervasive social media culture and the advertising onslaught. Both are designed to move us away from simplicity to desire what we don’t have. It takes awareness and effort to ensure our treasure is in heaven instead of earth.
We must ask ourselves, “Are my eyes fixed on what is temporary or eternal? How should living like Jesus change what I value and prioritize?” Paul teaches that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). We must endeavor to think about what we gain rather than what we lose by putting our treasures in heaven over earth.
Pray that God would break the chains of discontentment, materialism, greed, and hurry in your life. Ask Him to replace them with the contentment only found in Jesus. Continue to make Him your main satisfaction. Spend time silencing and slowing down the desires in your heart that aren’t of God and ask Him to help you remove them from your life.
Prayer: “God, I want my treasure to be in heaven instead of earth. That’s because You are the greatest treasure. It’s not what I can accumulate; it’s what I can give You to use in and through me. As I focus on prayer and fasting, I pray you will break the chains of discontentment, materialism, greed, and hurry in my life. I want to follow Your example, Jesus. Help me live with godliness and contentment. Remove anything that keeps me from simply following You. Amen.”
By Dave Mann
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