Slow down and simplify

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Savor the time”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)
 
Our thought for today: “Slow down and simplify”
 
In 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 the Apostle Paul offers us yet another example of the theme we were thinking about yesterday, appreciating and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. In this passage he gives us an image of an entire life that is simple and quiet, focused on simply living a good life that honors the Lord and making a positive impact on those around us. There was nothing flashy or overly ambitious pictured here. Just an honest simple life.
 
I’ve already told you a bit about the story of pastor and author John Mark Comer, as described in his book, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry”. John was the lead pastor of a multi-site mega church. On a typical Sunday he would preach and teach five to six times in a single day. The rest of the week was crammed full of meetings, obligations, and responsibilities. He said he felt more like a high-strung stressed-out corporate CEO than a shepherd of God’s people. Finally, he decided he needed to do exactly what Paul was describing in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 – he needed to simplify and slow way down. So, he gave up his high-profile position, became the pastor of a much smaller church, and he simplified the rest of his life as well. He said he restructured his entire life around a few basic and simple goals that involved God, family, and serving other people – and the quality of his life went up exponentially!
 
John’s story reminds me of a similar book written many years ago by another high-profile pastor about his own life. The pastor was Chuck Swindoll and the book was called “Intimacy with the Almighty”. Chuck’s story was similar to John’s, and so was his solution. In the book Chuck quoted Ecclesiastes 7:29 which in the TEV reads, “God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.” That described Chuck’s life, and it also describes many of ours. Most of us are not a high-profile pastor of a multi-site mega church, but our lives are still too busy in their own ways. We have indeed made ourselves very complicated.
 
There’s a lot to be gained in life from slowing down and simplifying. Seldom if ever does life improve as it gets busier and more complicated.
 
I encourage all of us to slow down and simplify. Let’s give ourselves space in life to truly savor it.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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