Devotional by Ashley Rose

Recently I’ve been learning a lot about Simplifying…
It all started a few weeks ago when my sister called me asking for advice. She was going through a tough situation with a friend and wanted to know what to say.

In Matthew 5:37 it says “…let your yes be yes, and let your no be no…”. I explained that she didn’t need to beat around the bush, she needed to confront the problem head-on with love (Eph 4:15). Speak simply, speak truthfully.

We speak ‘simply’ by choosing which words come out of our mouth. When we limit how many words come out of our mouth, we will choose the best ones. We will speak with confidence.

What do the following verses say about simplifying our speech?

Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are like a honeycomb; sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
    When was the last time you felt refreshed after talking to someone? What did you talk about? When was the last time you gave someone a genuine compliment?

Proverbs 15:23 – A person finds joy in giving an apt reply– and how good is a timely word!
Think of a time when you encouraged someone and it brightened their day. Now think of the times it’s happened to you.

Hebrews 3:13 – But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
 What does this verse say will happen if we don’t encourage each other?

Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Have you ever held your tongue instead of yelling back? Have you ever given a soft reply instead of erupting? What was the outcome?

James 1:19 – My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Ahh. The secret to speaking simply.

Besides our speech, there are other things that we need to simplify.

Hebrews 12:1-2: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

‘Lay aside’ pictures sin as a weight to be discarded. It limits the athletes movements to run the race. Let us run!

“…I want to throw off what hinders and the sin of clutter in my life.  By that I mean inside and out.  I want my mind uncluttered of worldly things so that I can focus on heavenly things.  I want my home uncluttered so I can sit down and forget about it when I am studying, praying, and focusing on the Word.  When someone asks how is it going, I want to respond something like “great”, but I find now, that not only I, but most everyone I ask that question responds with “busy”.”
(quoted section taken from this article)

When Jesus called His disciples, He simply said: “Follow Me“.
And guess what? They did. They laid it all aside.

In Luke 9:1-6, Jesus again instructs His disciples and gives them simple instructions:

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.
And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. “Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city.
“And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

^ What do those verses tell you about how the disciples lived?
They TRUSTED that Jesus would take care of them. And He did. He does.

Matthew 6:25-27 – Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

What if I actually let God provide?
Is Christ enough for me?

From the amazing article ‘Jesus Christ the Minimalist’ by Charles Spect:
“Minimalism = eliminating all non-essential forms, features, or concepts.
Christian Minimalism could be defined as “a removal or decluttering of ones lifestyle in order to focus on that which is most essential – God Himself”.
Sounds like basic Christianity. Christianity is denying the self – the removal of focus upon oneself in order to worship the One who alone deserves it. True biblical Christianity, then, is Minimalism at it’s very core.”

Describe this verse in your own words:
Psalm 132:3-5
– Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house, or go up to the comfort of my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord.

Have you found a place for the Lord in your life?
We need to figure out what we want to be in the center of our life. The other things will fall into place around it.

“If things in your life aren’t adding up, then start subtracting.”

What’s not working?

Live simply ♥
Ashley Rose

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