Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Piper-Simplicity is Possible and Good

**Leave it up to Piper to always put things into perspective for you! :)

"This is the normal Christian life – radical freedom from earthly things and earthly security, with a joyful pursuit of God and his righteousness as our treasure."

1 Timothy 6:6-19

"..., verse 8: "If we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content." Christians can be and ought to be content with the simple necessities of life. I'll mention three reasons why simplicity is possible and good. First, because when you have God near you and for you, you don't need extra money or extra things to give you peace and security. Hebrews 13:5, 6 says,
Keep your life free from the love of money. Be content with what you have. For he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you." Hence we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?"
No matter which way the market is moving, God is always better than gold. Therefore, by God's help we can be content with the simple necessities of life.
Second, we can be content with the necessities of life because the deepest, most satisfying delights God gives us through creation are free gifts from nature and loving relationships with people. After your basic needs are met, money begins to diminish your capacity for these pleasures rather than increase them. Buying things contributes absolutely nothing to the heart's capacity for joy. There is a deep difference between the temporary thrill of a new toy and a homecoming hug from a devoted friend. Who do you think has the deepest most satisfying joy in life, the man who pays [big money] for a fortieth floor suite downtown and spends his evening in the half-lit, smoke filled lounge impressing strange women with ten dollar cocktails, or the man who chooses the Motel 6 by a vacant lot of sunflowers and spends his evening watching the sunset and writing a love letter to his wife?
Third, we should be content with the simple necessities of life because we could invest the extra that we make for what really counts. Three billion people today are outside Jesus Christ. Two-thirds of those do not have a viable Christian witness in their culture. If they are to hear—and Christ commands that they hear—cross-cultural missionaries will have to be sent and paid for. All the wealth needed to send this new army of good news ambassadors is in the American church. If we, like Paul, are content with the simple necessities of life, thousands of dollars at Bethlehem and millions of dollars in the Baptist General Conference and hundreds of millions of dollars in the Protestant church would be released to take the gospel to the frontiers. And the revolution of joy and freedom it would cause at home would be the best local witness imaginable. The biblical call is that you can and ought to be content with the simple necessities of life..."
John Piper (whole sermon text here)

**and an interesting article on RETIREMENT, by Piper, here.


Rose Starr said...

Thanks for this post...very encouraging as Desi and I are praying about big changes...simplifying life and the possibility of moving into a less than desirable neighborhood to minister to those who live there. It would be leaving my beautiful Victorian house...which I thought was sorta small to an even smaller, not as nice nor beautiful duplex in a neighborhood surrounded by 2 freeways, a rail road and factories. And I feel this odd tug of wanting to stay here because it's nicer and yet feeling in my heart that God is leading us to something vastly different...and yet it's only the materialistic things that give me cause to want to stay...

Praying that God will lead us and we will continue to hear from Him.

Kari said...

Rose, Glad it encouraged you as it did me. I love Piper!

This area is always a struggle for us, and most people. It's a good reminder of what's really important, and where our focus should be. It is so hard to "downsize," to give it all up when everyone around you is pursuing the very things you feel called to give up! But, God, is faithful and loving, and will bless you as you follow Him, in faith trusting Him.

I know one day, when we see Him face to face, that nothing else will matter-not what clothes we had, or what we owned, or what car we drove, or whether we were able to eat out or go to's all gonna pass away. So, why do I let those things cause me to doubt God and His provisions? I am weak, I am foolish. That's why He chose me! :) I will be praying for you. Let me know what happens. Love ya!