NY Immanuel Members Encouraged to Live with Godly Simplicity
(Photo : Northeast Region - NY Immanuel Community Church)
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with simplicity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace. - II Corinthians 1:12
Preaching from 2 Corinthians 1:12, the Rev. Paul de Vries exhorted Immanuel Church members in New York City to live Christian lives with Godly "simplicity" and "sincerity."
"Simplicity" and "sincerity" are not so desired or cultivated now as in the past, he said in a sermon on June 12. They are sometimes treated as signs of a lack of personal sophistication - even as signs of failure in personal maturity.
"Nevertheless, 'simplicity' and 'sincerity' are valuable character according to the Bible. They are attributes of God and of Godly living on earth. Moreover, in their best forms they do not rely on 'worldly wisdom but on God's grace,'" said Dr. De Vries
He then listed the three types of precious fruit that come as a result of God's gifts of simplicity and sincerity.
In Love, Jesus repeatedly taught that we should love God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind. The deep love of God - God's love for us and our love for God - creates in us a priceless integrity, simplicity, sincerity.
In Joy, Daily we cope with numerous internal and external pressures, conflicts, disappointments, successes, uncertainties. Meaning for our lives is not found in even the most precious experiences or activities, but in a deep, simple, sincere trust in the living God and his amazing grace. That unshakable, sincere, simple trust is the radical source of our joy.
In Peace, Each of us is surrounded by serious strife and conflicts - in our families, work, school, neighborhoods, politics, cities, nations, and more. We can also have dramatic conflicts within ourselves When by God's grace we can bring a deep, radical harmony into our lives- a personal, radical simplicity and sincerity - we will experience profound internal peace.
"Too often we have let 'simplicity' represent simple-mindedness, ignorance, or laziness. But as we can now see, the wonderful grace of God can redeem 'simplicity.' Perhaps it would be useful to make a distinction and to call this 'grace-full simplicity,' or 'Godly simplicity.'"
Rev. Paul de Vries encouraged each member to pursue the Godly simplicity and sincerity in their Christian walk and experience the grace-filled power of God as we devoted ourselves wholeheartedly to Him.