The Pathway of Simplicity
Scripture: Luke 18: 18-30
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” 21 He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money[c] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.” 28 Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life
Utilizing the passage above, the video, and today’s sermon, consider the following questions:
- The author states, “Simplicity means not allowing possessions to possess the possessor.” What possessions cause you worry? What possessions cause you to constantly work to upgrade and maintain them? How might you not be possessed by your possessions?
- Both St. Francis and John Wesley chose simplicity after not having time nor money to help the poor. How are you able to take time to help the poor? Have you ever been able to give a significant gift to someone, filled with only grace and no expectation of return? How did it make you feel?
- John Wesley ended life living on 2% of his annual income. What changes in life could you make to simplify your lifestyle and free up substantial amounts of money with which to do go good?
- St. Francis is known for his connection with animals. How are animals a source of joy? Why can they bring such joy (could joy’s twin, grace, be at work)?
- At what point is owning a home a joyful thing? Under what circumstances does it rob a person of joy?
- How do you think people respond to the saints of old and new who chose lives of simplicity? (Perhaps read about how “Methodists” got the name, or the life of St. Francis)? Have you ever known someone who lives a simple life? Does a choice of simplicity typically make one more frustrated with life, or less?
- When have you experienced joy because of simplicity?