Freely you have received; freely give. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Matthew 10:8-10
Jesus gives His disciples simple instructions with a simple strategy to simply share the gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. He commissioned them to focus first on their own nation. The Lord encouraged an unencumbered life so His followers where free to focus on eternal life. Christ keeps it simple because He knows we are easily distracted and can drift into complex schemes that suck the life out of opportunities to give life. The gospel only needs clarity in communication, as the Spirit’s power uses this earnest simplicity to unleash heaven’s influence.
Status, stuff, society, sin and self all move toward making matters more complex than is necessary in the Kingdom of God. Like an intricate spider web, the complexity of life can trap us in an inertia unable to respond in spontaneous service. By the time we are free to return a call or clear our calendar, the hurting person has moved on to someone who has time. The motto of earnest simplicity is ‘less is more.’ Because God has freely given to us, we are free to freely give to others. Avoid sin’s complexity so you are available to bless others with pure joy.
Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad. Proverbs 29:6
Earnest simplicity does not mean we are all called to live a monastic life, but it does mean we are free from the seduction of stuff. An unencumbered life is not isolated from society, but it is free from culture’s control. A life with margin does not seek status, but it does use success as a platform to care for the unfortunate in Jesus' name. Enjoy your season of simplicity as a window for the sunbeams of the Son’s love to shine through your soul. Simplicity points to your Savior!
Perhaps it's time to resign a role or responsibility that no longer requires your attention so you are available for impromptu interactions with hurting hearts. Sometimes it is the spur-of-the-moment ministry opportunities at your church that mean the most. Be on call for Christ and He will open doors for you to simply share the gospel with lost souls. Moreover, create margin with money, so in the moment you can freely give to those hungry for help. A little bit of immediate encouragement is the fruit of earnest simplicity. Keep it simple, so the Spirit can work in you!
Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God. Hebrews 12:2-3, The Message
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I speak the simple gospel and simply live by faith in Your provision.
Related Readings: Proverbs 15:16-19; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 1:17