Comparisons

Emotionalism isn’t the same as responding emotionally.

Heresy isn’t the same as differing opinions.

Depressing isn’t the same as convicting.

Sobriety does not equal success.

Happiness does not equal worldliness.

Encouragement is necessary. Redemption is required. Hope is helpful not harmful.

Good shepherds don’t beat down, but build up.

The calling is tough, but there are guidelines that should be remembered. We are the people you have been given by God. Hand-picked for each other to nurture and ground in the Faith. We are to strive, both of us, to strengthen each other.

Pray for the people of God. Pray for unity. Pray for our Pastors.

Simplicity

I believe that the Bible advocates a simple lifestyle.

Ok, maybe to put it more succinctly, I feel like the Bible would back up the idea of a “grass-roots” existence, I mean it just seems so right. But—

Christianity is not based on feelings or emotions, but on the truth of God’s Word. We are human. We are fallible. Our heart is deceitful above all things. (Jeremiah 17:9) But God is omniscient and sovereign, all-knowing and all-powerful. His Word is the very essence of Truth. (John 17:17)

This post will be my exploration of the topic through Scriptures and meditations to see what I discover along the way. You’ll be there for the journey and the conclusion of it; we shall see if my feelings, my gut, my intuition, if you will, proves acceptable in the Light of the Ancient Paths.

Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.'”

Jeremiah 6:16

So the first passage that came to mind was this, 1 Thessalonians 4:10 and following:

“But we urge you, brothers and sisters, that you excel [in brotherly love] more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you, 12 so that you will behave properly toward outsiders [exhibiting good character, personal integrity, and moral courage worthy of the respect of the outside world], and be dependent on no one and in need of nothing [be self-supporting].”

We are to live quietly. Peacefully. Hard-working, but not only that, working with our hands to support ourselves. And we should do all this while having a familial love for our brothers and sisters in Christ and exhibiting moral courage and uprightness to the world.

That’s quite an order, but one that draws me as well. We all know the feeling after a long, hard day’s work; that moment when you collapse into bed early, sinking into your mattress to rest your weary bones. Not because you’ve been “straining” yourself at the computer all day, but because you were outside, in the sunshine and the fresh air and you were working. Hard. The sweat dripped down off your nose into the flowers you were planting. Or maybe you were stretching for a moment’s relief after mowing the lawn. Or whatever. Whatever the case, you spent your day in physical labor. And it. Felt. Good. That’s the kind of life I’m talking about going back to. Yes, it’s tough, painful even, but it’s worth it. And I think, the more natural and beneficial way. Better for your emotions, better for your physical health (try lifting fifty pound feed sacks two and three times a day…and all that squatting and stretching and pulling whilst weeding…now tell me your extra flab is sticking around. No? I didn’t think so.)

The New Testament church is one of my favorite examples for living an abundant life, but I think I shall leave this topic to pick up again another day. Perhaps tomorrow? (See Acts 4 if you can’t wait for my thoughts on this one)

“Finally, brothers, rejoice! Aim for full restoration, comfort and encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you wherever you go.”  

2 Corinthians 13:11