Volume. XXXI, No. 49
Sunday, 04 June 2017


Spiritual Disciplines - Part 3


What are the different Spiritual Disciplines? We will be looking at eight Spiritual Disciplines: Abstinence, Simplicity, Stillness, Meditation, Prayer, Reticence, Stability and Worship. Simplicity Discipline of Simplicity is a discipline that tames our desire for worldly possessions. We simplify our lives by letting go of things that we do not need or that someone else needs more than us. It involves attitudes of frugality, generosity and modesty. It is sometimes referred to as voluntary poverty. i) Why would we want to practice it? Simplicity helps us to overcome attitudes of avarice, envy, pride, vanity and pretense. It teaches us to give and share rather than hoard. It helps us to rejoice in what God has entrusted to others rather than to covet it. It strips away the material things that we use for display of wealth, status or beauty in the hope of convincing others that we are more important or more valuable than them. The New Testament has some examples of simplicity. Luke 21:1-4, the poor widow giving her 2 mites offering. A brother in Christ from Singapore once told me that his principle of giving or offering to God is that it must cost us, be it time and energy or in monetary terms, it should cost us to give to God. What we offer to God should not be a token, it should not be something that we wouldnt miss and neither should it be something that we no longer needed. How can we give sacrificially if our giving did not cost us anything at all? How can it be called sacrificial giving if we give and did not even miss what we had given? How many of us would give like that poor widow, giving to the point of poverty, being totally dependent on God for the provision of our next meal? Some would say that it is bad stewardship of the resources that we have been given by God but, I put it to you that this is more about the total trust in Jehovah-Jireh to provide. Luke 10:1-11, when Jesus sent out the seventy-two, he gave them specific instructions on what to do but he forbade them to bring money or extra clothes. He didnt even tell them where to go. He told them to go your way and do this do that, this is an exercise in simplicity. The lesson that He was imparting to the disciples is that when they are about, doing Gods work, God will provide the means and resources for them to do so. How I admire mission pioneers, leaving their comfort zones and going to places where they have no idea what to expect, they trust in the Holy Spirits guidance to bring them where they needed to be and God to provide for them. The simple and complete trust in God to provide for their needs, nothing more nothing less. Jesus taught the rich young man in Matt 19:16-26, Mar 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27 to sell all his possessions, distribute to the poor and come follow me. That very essence of trusting not in wealth but in God personifies the discipline of simplicity. How many of us can confidently say that we have totally trusted in Gods providence and not our own abilities, our possessions or our plans for our daily living? We thank God that we do not have to experience the uncertainty of not knowing where our next meal is coming from. If that situation were to come about, how would our head knowledge of Gods goodness and providence translate to our actions? This discipline can help us to lose that dependency on material things and put our trust where it should be, in God. ii) What does it look like in practice? Simplicity takes many forms, we are not all called to give away everything. For many of us, this practice could mean resisting the impulse to acquire and hoard, to be possessed by possessions. We could also consider minimizing our spending, giving away what we dont really need to those who need them more. We could choose to invest generously according to Gods priorities rather spending lavishly on ourselves. iii) What are some indicators that we might need this discipline? Rarely giving to church or charities, or minimal giving. Preoccupied with finances. Accumulated debts that could have been avoided. Concern with the impression that we make towards others with our clothes, jewelries, cars, houses, electronic gadgets, etc. Envy what others have or covet after things we see on commercials and advertisements. We have possessions that we really do not need and their maintenance takes up time, energy and other resources. Discontented with what we already have. iv) How can we start? Examine our spending and shopping habits. Each time we want to buy something, especially big-ticket items, ask yourself if we really needed it and then postpone the purchase for a while and see if we can get by without it. Take an honest look at our giving to church and charities. Is there a way to increase it? Take stock of the stuff in our life (in the closet, storeroom, garage, or attic). What can we give away to those who needed it more than we do? Live within our means, do we really need those credit cards? Can we cut them up? Make the best of what we already have. Wear it, use it or fix it. Pray for wisdom to be able to differentiate between our needs and wants. To be continued Deacon Kevin Low

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

 Welcome to our pulpit: Rev Edward Paauwe.  Please note: Live sermon translations in Mandarin & Korean at CLG can be accessed on FM 87.7 & 88.3 MHz respectively.  Budget 2017/18: All fellowship groups, please submit your budget proposals to Dn Raphael Ng by 15 June.  Those who have completed their Basic Bible Knowledge course & would like to be Baptised, Re-affirmed or to Transfer Membership, please see Elder Michael D Lee.  Cambodia Missions to be organised for Jan 2018. If interested, please inform Elder Michael D Lee by 31 Aug.  Kitchen Duty helpers - This week: Team C. Next week: Team A. Praise & Thanksgiving  Journey mercies: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki; Bro Warren & Sis Amanda Khoo & family (Adl); Dn Mark & Sis Helen Heah; Sisters Tabitha Tan & family (Spore); Jillian (Melb/Adl) & Ashley Chia (Syd/Adl); & others arriving safely at their destinations. Prayer Items  Healing: Rev George van Buuren; Bro Yick Ho Lams father (cancer & salvation); Sisters Peng Moi Gan (Sis Peng Ha Yeos sister), & Christabelle Selvanayagam.  Gods comfort in their grief: Bro Warren & Sis Amanda Khoo & family.  Journey mercies: All who are travelling.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063