John Barnett Discover the Book Daily Devotional
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Discover the Book - Nov. 20, 2007

  • 2007 Nov 20

Three Keys to a Godward Home

Part 2 continued from November 19th


Simplicity: The Pathway of Detaching from a Worldly Lifestyle

Jesus shared some revolutionizing words about this lifestyle of simplicity in Matthew 6:31-33


Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


Tonight, if we are really honest, aren't most of our frustrations, fears, and troubles tied to things like cars, houses, bills, and so on? Let me draw from an old school of thought that has studied this concept. Listen to some ancient wisdom often unheard in our times. If what[1][3] we have we receive as a gift, and if what we have is to be cared for by God, and if what we have is available to others, then we will possess freedom from anxiety. Freedom from anxiety is characterized by three inner attitudes. This is the inward reality of simplicity.


  1. To receive what we have as a gift from God is the first inner attitude of simplicity. We work but we know that it is not our work that gives us what we have. We live by grace even when it comes to “daily bread.”

·        We are dependent upon God for the simplest elements of life: air, water, sun.

·        What we have is not the result of our labor, but of the gracious care of God.

·        When we are tempted to think that what we own is the result of our personal efforts, it takes on a little drought or a small accident to show us once again how utterly dependent we are for everything.


  1. To know that it is God’s business, and not ours, to care for what we have is the second inner attitude of simplicity. God is able to protect what we possess. We can trust him. Does that mean that we should never take the keys out of the car or lock the door? Of course not. But we know that the lock on the door is not what protects the house. It is only common sense to take normal precautions, but if we believe that precaution itself protects us and our goods, we will be riddled with anxiety. There simply is no such thing as “burglar proof” precautions. Obviously, these matters are not restricted to possessions but include such things as our reputation and our employment. Simplicity means the freedom to trust God for these (and all) things.


  1. To have our goods available to others marks the third inner attitude of simplicity. If our goods are not available to other believers when it is clearly right and good, then they are stolen goods. The reason we find such an idea so difficult is our fear of the future. We cling to our possessions rather than sharing them because we are anxious about tomorrow. But if we truly believe that God is who Jesus says he is, then we do not need to be afraid. When we come to see God as the almighty Creator and our loving Father, we can share because we know that he will care for us. If someone is in need, we are free to help them. Again, ordinary common sense will define the parameters of our sharing and save us from foolishness. When we are seeking first the kingdom of God, these three attitudes will characterize our lives. Taken together they define what Jesus means by “do not be anxious.” They comprise the inner reality of Christian simplicity. And we can be certain that when we live this way the “all these things” that are necessary to carry on human life adequately will be ours as well.


How Do We Cultivate the Discipline of Simplicity?


Now, what are the ways we cultivate this discipline of Simplicity? Here are the essentials that simplicity experts have gathered:


·        First, buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.

·        Second, reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.

·        Third, develop a habit of giving things away. De-accumulate! Masses of things that are not needed and they always complicate life. They must be sorted and stored and dusted and re-sorted and re-stored ad nauseam. Most of us could get rid of half our possessions without any serious sacrifice. We would do well to follow the counsel of Thoreau: “Simplify, simplify.”

·        Fourth, refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry. Timesaving devices almost never save time.

·        Fifth, learn to enjoy things without owning them. Owning things is an obsession in our culture. If we own it, we feel it will give us more pleasure. The idea is an illusion. Many things in life can be enjoyed without possessing or controlling them. Share things. Enjoy the beach without feeling you have to buy a piece of it. Enjoy public parks and libraries.

·        Sixth, develop a deeper appreciation for the creation. Get close to the earth. Walk whenever you can. Listen to the birds. Enjoy the texture of grass and leaves. Smell the flowers. Marvel in the rich colors everywhere. Simplicity means to discover once again that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Ps. 24:1).

·        Seventh, look with a healthy skepticism at all “buy now, pay later” schemes. They are a trap and only deepen your bondage.

·        Eighth, shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God.


Solitude: The Pathway to Resting Through a Sabbath Cycle Feasts of the Lord



Historical Aspect

Messianic Fulfillment

Spiritual Application(Halacha)

Passover (Pesach)

Israel’s deliverance out of Egyptian bondage

Death of Yeshua on the tree

Repent(teshuvah) and trust by faith (emunahin the shed blood of Yeshua.

Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah)

The going out of Egypt

Buriel of Yeshua

Sanctificationn and separation from evil represented by water immersion (mikvah).

First Fruits (Bikkurim)

Crossing the Red Sea

Resurrection of Yeshua

Walking (halacha) in newness of life.

Pentecost (Shavuot)

Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai

Pouring out of the Holy Spirit(Ruach HaKodesh) on Shavuot

Immersion in the Holy Spirit(Ruach HaKodesh) and growing in faith(emunah) in The Lord (making spiritual aliyah).

Rosh HaShanah (Yom Teruah)

Blowing the shofar; Jewish New Year

The resurrection of the dead/rapture(Natzal) of believers

Hear(shema) the calling (shofar) of The Lord for our lives.

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Priest entered the Holy of Holies Cleansing of people’s sins

The day of the Messiah’s second coming

Yielding ourselves to The Lord so we may live (face to face) in His presence.

Tabernacles (Sukkot)

Entering the Promised Land Great rejoicing

The Messianic era /Millennium (Athid Lavo)

A daily rest (shabat) in the Messiah and hving the rest (menuchah) of His Kingdom in our hearts.



This sermon will continue tomorrow November 21st when we look at “The Festivals of the Messiah.”


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