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Tag Archives: Matthew

  • Too Polite

    Posted on February 6, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. Matthew 5:37, The Message

    When we are too polite we can be guilty of deception. In the process of trying not to hurt someone’s feelings, we can communicate a false trust or conceal a hidden agenda. Certainly we are to avoid harshness and use kind words. However, if our conversation remains shallow and sentimental it only disrespects the need to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15). It's patronizing to be too polite. Politeness that masks fear is merely a poor player at courtesy.

    So, how can we be truly honest with our words? One wise approach is to ask questions, so our language is not accusatory, but helpful in discovery of what needs to be done. For example, a wife may feel alone in her role as a mom and wife. A encouraging question could be, What can your husband do to support you? Or, a husband may feel insecure in his position as the spiritual leader. Perhaps ask, How can your wife make you feel affirmed as the spiritual leader at home?

    "These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other" (Zechariah 8:16).

    Furthermore, trust is foundational to effective, forthright speech. Trust assumes the best and is not fearful of rejection. A feeling of goodwill between two parties gives everyone permission to speak freely. Trust builds over time as two people really know and understand each other. They accept one another, forgive one another’s weaknesses, and celebrate one another’s strengths. Mostly, trust in the Holy Spirit to heal hearts, apply truth, and create a spirit of loving dialogue.

    Lastly, let your words flow over your lips, but only after you have prayed to the Lord. Prayer is a buffer that keeps the flesh from making a fool of itself. Speech sanctified by the Spirit is kind, but clear. It keeps the conversation cordial, but corrective, if necessary. Our talk with God prepares us to talk with people. It engages our hearts with an emotional and spiritual connection. In a spirit of politeness we can still be to the point and trust the Lord for redemptive outcomes.

    "Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law'" (1 Samuel 18:22).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the faith to speak forthrightly in a spirit of comfort and love.

    Related Readings: Psalm 119:103; Proverbs 22:11; Ezekiel 33:31; 1 Corinthians 13:1

    Post/Tweet today: Prayer is a buffer that keeps the flesh from making a fool of itself. #toopolite

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Put Into Practice

    Posted on January 26, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24

    The purpose of learning truth is so that it can be used. Unused truth expires and becomes stale. When you hear truth and put it into practice, you are wise. When you hear truth and ignore its application, you are foolish. Foolish is the man who acknowledges truth outwardly but never applies it inwardly. His foundation for faithfulness is fragile, so when the winds of adversity swirl and blow, his character collapses under the crushing power.

    Someone may show up for the Bible study or attend a soul-stirring retreat and hear truth but never change for the better. How can this be? This happens when people do not follow through with what they know to be right and true. There is a disconnect between their head and their heart. The discipline to stop bad habits and start new ones is rationalized away with convincing excuses. We deceive ourselves by saying, “I don’t have enough time,” “I am not spiritual enough,” “I will get around to this one day,” or “God will understand if I wait.”

    John described self-deception’s affect on truth: “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8b). Truth and deception can never coexist. So, jettison deception and apply truth now. If you wait, you will wander from its application. Right now is the wisest time to receive His gift of grace and to engraft it into your life. You are responsible for the truth you have received. Therefore, steward it wisely. Use it before you lose it, and become a practitioner of truth.

    Lastly, apply truth in doses that can be ingested into your character. Do not be overwhelmed by multiple things in your life that need to change. Choose one thing, such as loving your spouse with abandon and sensitivity. Paul said in Ephesians 5:25 that the husband should “give himself up” for his wife. Without saying a word, serve in secret so your spouse can experience your unselfish care and concern. Get into their world by loving them at their point of interest. It may relate to entertainment, cooking, or yard work.  Whatever it may be, serve them in ways that tell them you care.

    At work, you have the opportunity to put the radical teaching of Jesus into practice by treating others as you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12 NASB). Think of a colleague who let the team down and is in need of forgiveness. If you were in their shoes, you would appreciate this gift of mercy. You can put into practice the Golden Rule because you are golden now that God has graced your life. God has filled you with His grace so you can live a gracious life. Focus on building the foundation of your life and your character one brick of truth at a time. This architecture designed by the Almighty will endure. Leave a lasting legacy to your children by putting into practice what you know to be truth. The teachings of Jesus are truth. Therefore, believe and apply. Put His principles into practice, and persevere.
    Post/Tweet today: Put into practice the Golden Rule because you are golden now that God has graced your life. #putintopractice

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Financial Management Plan

    Posted on January 15, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. Matthew 25:16

    Money manages people or people manage money. It is a productive servant, but a dreadful master. Thus, a financial plan is necessary to organize assets around a system to spend, give and save. Simple processes offer checks and balances to keep the check book balanced, avoid debt, pay taxes, stay accountable to not over spend, be generous, and prepare not presume on the future. Our Heavenly Father entrusts us with His material blessings to be wise managers.

    Perhaps you start by recording all your expenditures over a month. Watch closely how much it takes you to live, save receipts from everything: coffee, gasoline, books, magazines, food, eating out, medical, house and car repair. Store the amount of the receipts on a budgeting app or spreadsheet. This discipline to details gives you a realistic understanding of what it costs to live. You may discover the need to designate more funds to areas that are subtle spending costs.

    Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer. Proverbs 30:24-25

    Like the tiny ant we are extremely wise to define our needs and prepare a financial plan to facilitate good outcomes. For example, God expects and blesses generosity. Giving marks mature followers of Jesus. So, we start by giving 10% of our income before taxes to the Lord’s work. We also save 5% in a short term contingency account and 5% for long term savings. Now we are positioned to spend responsibly after investing in what’s most important. Wisdom plans well. Learn from my friend Greg Stipe on the good example of C.S Lewis’ life: http://bit.ly/1hUFvN4

    Above all, be prayerful and nimble in your approach to financial planning. Make sure the plan serves your priorities, if it doesn’t, modify the plan to meet your needs. Every season is different, so be aware of how you must adjust. For example, you may have to choose between private education now for your child or a college fund for later. Don’t put unrealistic pressure on your family to do both if it erases your financial margin or dips into debt. A financial plan is freedom.

    The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me by Your Spirit to plan and manage well Your material blessings.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 15:22, 25:28; Luke 12:16-21, 14:28-30; 1 Timothy 6:6-10

    Post/Tweet today: Money manages people or people manage money. It is a productive servant, but a dreadful master. #financialplan

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew, Finances

  • Christ’s Calling

    Posted on January 11, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “‘Come follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:19–20).

    Disciples of Jesus are called by the Lord to minister in their homes and in the marketplace. However, Christ does call some of His followers to vocational ministry. It is a calling that many times comes to ordinary men and women who accomplish extraordinary results. Whom does He call? Christ’s call comes to those who have a hungry heart for God.

    Like Paul, you might have been suddenly smitten by a revelation of Jesus as Lord, or perhaps you were like David, who gradually went from feeding sheep what was perishable to feeding God’s people the imperishable. Wherever Christ calls, His first command is to love God and people. A calling without love is like a car without gasoline. It may be attractive on the outside, but it is not going anywhere. Thus, love large where the Lord has called you.

    Furthermore, He has called you to endure hardship. “You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary” (Revelation 2:3). Christians are not immune to conflict; in fact, your faith invites difficulty at times. So do not seek to shelter your life from adversity, but rather position yourself in obedience to Christ’s calling. It is out of your regular routine of serving Him that you will see what He has in store next.

    Make sure you minister first to your spouse and children. Do not be like the cobbler who has no shoes for his family. Your creditability for Christ is seeing your faith lived out with those who know you the best. What does it profit a man if he saves the whole world and loses his family? A calling to family first frees you to evangelize and disciple with God’s favor. His calling aligns with His commands; so service for Him is seamless.

    Above all, the Lord is looking for those already engaged in His Word, growing in their character, and active in sharing their faith. His calling comes to Christians who desire the Holy Spirit to conform them into the image of Christ. Your humble imitation of Jesus comes out of your intimate walk with Him. He calls those whom He can trust. So do not look for your calling. Look for Christ, and He will reveal His calling to you.

    “I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission” (Isaiah 48:15).

    Prayer: What is Christ’s calling for my life? Am I steadfast in loving the Lord and people?

    Related Readings: Acts 9:10; 1 Corinthians 7:17; Hebrews 5:4; Revelation 7:14

    Post/Tweet today: Do not look for your calling. Look for Christ, and He will reveal His calling to you. #Christscalling

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Well Pleased

    Posted on January 4, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17).

    Am I well pleasing to the Lord? Do I model a life of submission to my Savior? Do I defer all honor and glory to Him? For my heavenly Father to be well pleased with me is the heartbeat of humility. This means at times I displease others to please my Master Jesus. I will choose to embrace beliefs and behaviors that are otherworldly and can cause conflict.

    A Christian pleasing to Christ first learns that to be raised high means to begin low. Jesus did not begin His ministry baptizing, but rather being baptized. He required of Himself everything expected from everyone else. Humble leaders do this; they follow the agreed upon guidelines, realizing no one is above the rules. It is with a humble heart that a leader discerns the Lord’s ways and then lives them out in front of the faithful and faithless.

    Perhaps goodhearted people seek to place you on a pedestal of admiration and honor. It is at this point of recognition that you keep your spirit low, as your reputation is on the rise. The Lord sustains His blessing for those who defer honor back to Him. It pleases your heavenly Father to see you engage in humble acts, especially as your influence grows. The closer you grow to Christ, the more you see the need for His grace and forgiveness.

    You can only deal with the soul of another if Jesus has dealt with your soul. It pleases Him when you first pronounce yourself needy before heaven, before you point out the needs of another. Humility looks inward at the heart before it outwardly observes the issues of another. The Lord is pleased when you take the lead to repent.

    You go public with your faith after you have been private in prayer. This solemn preparation pleases your heavenly Father. Moreover, have you proclaimed your faith publicly in baptism? It pleases God for you to go public for Him. It is an honor and becomes your sacred accountability. Private intimacy with your heavenly Father leads to a public inauguration of your faith. He is well pleased with you when you publicly pronounce Him the Lord over your life. Humility pleases Him. Why? It listens and obeys.

    “Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow” (Deuteronomy 4:12–13).

    Prayer: Have I earned the right to publicly declare my faith because of my private obedience? Does my Savior smile when He sees how I honor Him with my attitudes and actions?

    Related Readings: Job 37:5; Haggai 1:12; John 5:25; Hebrews 4:7

    Post/Tweet today: You go public with your faith after you have been private in prayer. #wellpleased

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • God With Us

    Posted on December 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” Matthew 1:22-23

    Wow! The Creator came to dwell with His creation. The all knowing One came to teach teachers and students limited by their lack of knowledge and understanding. The ever present One came to comfort hurting people stuck in their suffering. The all powerful One came to serve weak people, empowering them with His Spirit. The Almighty sent His only son Jesus into the world, fully God and fully man. Yes, the Word became flesh!

    God is with us to face down our fears by faith. God is with us in our doubts. God is with us in our hurts applying His healing balm of grace. God is with us in our transitions to grow our trust in Him.  God is with us at work and home. God is with us in our uncertainty.  God is with us when we feel His presence and when we don't feel Him near. God is with us in our successes and in our failures. God is with us and for us for His glory!

    "And surely I [Jesus] am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NIV)

    God is with us in our modern technology and our antiquated activities. The Lord is with us in our big cities and our small towns. Jesus is with us when we feel joy, laughter and loss. Christ is with us to comfort us in our pain and encourage us to persevere for Him. He is with us in the ups and the downs. He is with us and He is in us to work through us!

    Therefore, because Christ is with you, you can be confident of His wisdom and direction. Fools flounder for lack of faith, but you have the Faithful One as the facilitator of your circumstances. Immanuel entered the earth by birth and entered your heart by new birth. Your Savior Jesus has saved you from your sins and your Lord Jesus commands you to follow His ways and experience His life. He gave His life and came to life for your life!

    “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being with us on earth and for being my life.

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 8:57; Isaiah 8:10; Psalm 46:11; Acts 10:41; Ephesians 2:6

    Post/Tweet today: Immanuel entered the earth by birth and entered your heart by new birth. #Christmas

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew, Christmas

  • Abundant Forgiveness

    Posted on December 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Then Peter came to Jesus and ask, ‘Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seventy times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

    Sin’s offense hurts. There is no doubt about it. Sin wounds indiscriminately. It is no respectr of persons. Sin builds walls. It ravishes relationships and it separates. Sin is a sorry excuse for wrong behavior. Just the sound of the word solicits negative emotion. Sin is deceptive, carnal and Christ-less. Sin is unfair, sad and sometimes sadistic.

    Sin follows a process of desire, conception, birth, maturity and death. James describes its diabolical development. “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15). So sin is not to be taken lightly. Certainly its infliction of pain cannot be ignored for long. It can kill relationships.

    Nonetheless, when you are sinned against you are to forgive. When someone’s sin assaults your attitude, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin berates your work, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin violates your trust, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin steals your joy, you are to forgive them.

    When someone’s sin crushes your dreams, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin steals from you, you are to forgive them. This level of forgiveness is counter-intuitive and counter-cultural, but it is the way of Christ. Forgiveness is God’s game plan. You will lose if you don’t forgive. Unforgiveness is tortuous to the soul. It is unhealthy for the body and emotions. Unforgiveness fills prescriptions and leaves hollow lives in its wake.

    It doesn’t matter who is the most right or the most wrong. Forgiveness cuts through the varying degrees of guilt and erases the entire debt. True forgiveness comes from the heart of the one offended. It is not a flippant acknowledgement, but a sincere removal of anything that is owed. When the offended one forgives, he or she wipes out the expectation for an apology, a pay back or change. It is forgiveness clear and simple. Forgiveness is letting go of the hurt, anger and shame. When you forgive you are free. You are free from the shackles of sin. When you forgive you trust God to judge others in His time. His judgment is just. God can be trusted with the consequences of sin’s offense.

    Lastly, you continue to forgive others because your heavenly Father continues to forgive you. Without Christ’s forgiveness we are all men and women most miserable. Jesus does not deal in forgiveness quotas. The forgiveness of the Cross was swift, full, final and forever. Unlock your relational restraints with the key of forgiveness. Write a letter with tear soaked ink outlining your forgiveness. Call or e-mail someone today and let them know because you are forgiven, you forgive them. Set free others with forgiveness and you will be set free. There is freedom in Christ. Forgive fast—and forgive often.

    “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a).

    Prayer: Whom by God’s grace do I need to forgive? Have I accepted Christ’s forgiveness?

    Related Readings: Genesis 50:17; Psalm 130:4; Luke 17:3; Ephesians 4:32

    Post/Tweet this today: Set others free with forgiveness and you will be set free. There is freedom in Christ. #abundantforgiveness

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Forgiveness, Matthew

  • Silver and Gold

    Posted on December 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

    The Magi came with genuine gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the new born Messiah. However, this was the closest Christ would come to obtaining treasures for Himself. He arrived in the world with no economic mandate or political agenda. His goal was not to bring finances to bear as a solution to poverty or the nation’s war torn conditions. No, Jesus was born to bring the new birth of a prosperous soul, a peaceful mind and a forgiven heart. Gold was not His goal.

    We have to honestly ask ourselves, ‘Is our plan to fix the culture with financial solutions or is the Spirit’s transforming power our remedy?’ What is our role in bringing the life giving gospel of Jesus to those spiritually bankrupt? Jesus lost what was rightfully His, so He could reach the lost. He came to seek and to save the lost so they might be saved from sin, self and Satan. A global movement of God does not depend on money, but on our hearts being moved by God.

    A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1

    History describes a powerful church when it wasn’t prosperous and a powerless church when it was prosperous. Thus, we go back to the beginning of the Christian faith in the modest manager and we embrace the idea of reliance on God, not gold or government. We worship the One whose Kingdom is not of this world, who reigns over the hearts of humans. Yes, your good name is more valuable than great riches. Use your influence so seekers embrace the Christ of Christmas.

    Some think they need more stuff, but what they need is to be loved by their Lord. Your material means may be modest, but your spiritual resources are abundant. Therefore, during the season of your Savior’s birth be bold to invite others to celebrate your birthday party for Jesus. Pray for those who hijack His special day to commercialize Christ. Stay focused on a faith expression of the holiday and don’t get caught up in the influence of money and materialism. Like the early Christians, you may not have silver and gold, but you have God and He has you.

    Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Acts 3:6

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to lean into Your power and not depend on the influence of money to solve spiritual issues.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 3:3-4; Ezekiel 34:16; Luke 19:10; John 8:58; Revelation 9:20

    Post/Tweet this today: A global movement of God does not depend on money, but on our hearts being moved by God. #silverandgold
    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Affection and Acceptance

    Posted on December 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:13-14

    Jesus was tender and tough. He took the time to love little children, but He was also bold to confront greed in the face of businessmen using God for personal gain. However, most of the time Jesus modeled affection toward those who could or could not reciprocate—and acceptance toward those who had experienced rejection. He graciously extended both.

    Do you daily receive the affection and acceptance of Almighty God? Have you begun to comprehend the depth and breadth of His magnificent love? Oh, what a Savior and lover of your soul! A close friend may give you the cold shoulder, but Jesus warmly embraces your cares and concerns. Perhaps a fellow Christian rejected you for your indiscretions, but Jesus accepts you despite your failures and lifts you up to walk faithfully with Him.

    “Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:10-11).

    Acceptance is a magnet for those feeling isolated and misunderstood. It is a remedy for realized or unrealized rejection. Your spouse caught up in their own concerns can communicate insensitivity and lack of intimacy. It’s when you feel this relational distance that you turn to Christ and enjoy His closeness. Only Jesus provides acceptance all the time. His approval gives you confidence to go forward by grace through faith.

    Affection is a tender touch, an empathetic ear, a compassionate conversation and a patient prayer. It looks beyond the ugliness of sin and the harshness of humanity—and engages the heart. Affection is not concerned about getting—but is consumed with giving. An affectionate heart cannot wait to love those dismissed or discounted by others.

    Who in your life needs your affection and acceptance? Does your child feel your support and sensitivity? Do you honor your distant parents with love and respect? What about friends and family who are consumed with their own concerns—do you invite them into your life to experience your family’s joy and the compassion of Christ? Reach out to those whom others have rejected and watch the Lord do a work of redeeming love.

    “Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me” (John 13:20).

    Prayer: How does Christ accept me and show His affection? Whom can I serve in the same way?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 10:15; Acts 15:8; Romans 14:1-3; Philippians 1:8

    Post/Tweet this today: Affection is a tender touch, an empathetic ear, a compassionate conversation and a patient prayer. #affection

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Earnest Simplicity

    Posted on December 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Freely you have received; freely give. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Matthew 10:8-10

    Jesus gives His disciples simple instructions with a simple strategy to simply share the gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. He commissioned them to focus first on their own nation. The Lord encouraged an unencumbered life so His followers where free to focus on eternal life. Christ keeps it simple because He knows we are easily distracted and can drift into complex schemes that suck the life out of opportunities to give life. The gospel only needs clarity in communication, as the Spirit’s power uses this earnest simplicity to unleash heaven’s influence.

    Status, stuff, society, sin and self all move toward making matters more complex than is necessary in the Kingdom of God. Like an intricate spider web, the complexity of life can trap us in an inertia unable to respond in spontaneous service. By the time we are free to return a call or clear our calendar, the hurting person has moved on to someone who has time. The motto of earnest simplicity is ‘less is more.’ Because God has freely given to us, we are free to freely give to others. Avoid sin’s complexity so you are available to bless others with pure joy.

    Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad. Proverbs 29:6

    Earnest simplicity does not mean we are all called to live a monastic life, but it does mean we are free from the seduction of stuff. An unencumbered life is not isolated from society, but it is free from culture’s control. A life with margin does not seek status, but it does use success as a platform to care for the unfortunate in Jesus' name. Enjoy your season of simplicity as a window for the sunbeams of the Son’s love to shine through your soul. Simplicity points to your Savior!

    Perhaps it's time to resign a role or responsibility that no longer requires your attention so you are available for impromptu interactions with hurting hearts. Sometimes it is the spur-of-the-moment ministry opportunities at your church that mean the most. Be on call for Christ and He will open doors for you to simply share the gospel with lost souls. Moreover, create margin with money, so in the moment you can freely give to those hungry for help. A little bit of immediate encouragement is the fruit of earnest simplicity. Keep it simple, so the Spirit can work in you!

    Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God. Hebrews 12:2-3, The Message

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I speak the simple gospel and simply live by faith in Your provision.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 15:16-19; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 1:17

    Post/Tweet this today: The Spirit’s power uses the clearly communicated gospel to unleash heaven’s influence. #earnestsimplicity

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

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