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The Path to Spiritual Growth Meditation Prayer Fasting Study Simplicity.

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1 The Path to Spiritual Growth Meditation Prayer Fasting Study Simplicity

2 The purpose of Spiritual Disciplines is the total transformation of the person by replacing old destructive habits of thought with new life-giving habits.

3  Quotes:  “Money is a great servant but a bad master.” Francis Bacon  “Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.” John Ruskin  “It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” Bertrand Russell

4 1 Tim. 6:9-10 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

5  1 Tim. 6:9-10  Money and possessions do not add up to personal satisfaction.  Money and possessions open up a whole new world of possibilities  Keep “things” in balance by constantly critiquing our daily living and choices  Balance demands an objective understanding of our culture’s values  The drive for money and possessions can destroy relationships, resulting in immoral decisions and compromise

6  The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward life- style.  Both the inward and the outward aspects of simplicity are essential.  We deceive ourselves if we believe we can possess the inward reality without it having a profound effect on how we live.

7  Simplicity is freedom  Complexity is bondage  Simplicity brings joy and balance  Complexity brings anxiety and fear

8  Contemporary culture lacks both the inward reality and the outward life-style of simplicity.  We are trapped in a maze of competing attachments.  We have no unity or focus around which our lives are oriented.  Simplicity is the only thing that sufficiently reorients our lives so that possessions can be genuinely enjoyed without destroying us

9  Take away:  Attempting to give specific application to simplicity runs the risk of a path towards legalism  Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status  Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you  Develop a habit of giving things away – De-accumulate!  Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry – time saving devices?

10  Take away:  Learn to enjoy things without owning them – public recreation areas…etc.  Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation – walk whenever you can and marvel at the richness of God’s handiwork  Look with a healthy sense of skepticism at the “buy now, pay later” schemes  Obey Jesus’ instructions about plain, honest speech

11  Take away:  Shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God. It is easy to lose focus in the pursuit of legitimate things. Job Position Status Family Friends Security

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