Remember the song: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”? The simple song of a child. Oh how we used to love to sing that song over and over again. The simplicity of a child.
Jesus beckons us to start over like children. Can I have that level of faith and simplicity? Can I humble myself so I can get a good look at the Kingdom and His new plan?
May I become simple and elemental again. May I have the faith of a child.
At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. Matthew 18:1-5
“Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity. “ ~~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“I take a simple view of living. It is, keep your eyes open and get on with it.” — Sir Laurence Olivier
Jesus summed up what God wants us to do. It was nothing new. God is all about simplicity. God wants us to love Him and love everyone else we know. That’s it. To do that, we need to be able to focus. That requires we live our lives simply.
“Keep your lives simple and honest.” God to Zechariah (8:17)
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.” — E. F. Schumacker
“And yes, there’s a simplicity to writing books because you’re not a member of a team, so you make all the decisions yourself instead of deferring to a committee. “ ~~Bernard Cornwell
“A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.” ~~Eleanor Roosevelt
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~~Henry David Thoreau
Sometimes I am stunned by the simplicity of how God speaks to us. Through Paul He gave it to us pretty straight. He didn’t say, a few things or occasionally or if I feel like it. Nope.
Do everything in love. May I live this daily.
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Oh how we value the articulate and charismatic preachers. The powerful of this world. The smart ones. The bright ones. The good looking ones. That is not God’s way.
There is a simplicity in telling others the good news about Jesus. God’s power and the Holy Spirit is in the simplicity of that message. When we step into His way we won’t struggle with how good we sound. We don’t have to. He will use our simple words to convict and bring others to Him.
You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:1-2
Some people write brilliantly. A guy named John Bogle wrote Enough. He knew what he was talking about. He founded Vanguard Mutual Fund Group. Just the chapter titles alone tell the story.
“Too much cost, not enough value”
“Too much speculation, not enough investment”
“Too much complexity, not enough simplicity” (My favorite)
“Too much counting, not enough trust”
“Too much business conduct, not enough professional conduct”
“Too much salesmanship, not enough stewardship”
“Too much focus on things, not enough focus on commitment”
“Too much Twenty-First-Century values, not enough Eighteenth-Century Values”
“Too much ‘Success,’ not enough character”
I think he nailed it.