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The Simple Life

21 January 2010 17 Comments

This month, God has been working on my heart about what true Christian living looks like. What does it look like to actually be Jesus on the streets of a small town in Kenya, or the busy sidewalks of America? I posted earlier this month that God showed me how simple evangelism can be. I am beginning to think that simplicity is the mantle that Jesus is calling me to in all aspects of life. As I was painting a school building last week, I was thinking about the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples. I thought about all of the lessons he taught them and all of the stories he told. One rang true in my mind…

“And the King will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” ~Matthew 25:34-36

As I was walking back to the clinic where we stay, I passed by children who don’t have shoes or pants…little boys no older than 10 begging for their next meal…sick people who cannot afford a doctor…lonely hearts without any hope.

And then it hit me…

Simply, Jesus is all around me!

I think so often we Christians like to think the Bible is more confusing than it actually is. We like to think that what the Bible actually says isn’t what it actually means. We do think so we don’t actually have to do anything about the great need that surrounds us. We use phrases like, “Don’t give a man a fish, teach him to fish” as our mantra. Our great excuse. But Jesus didn’t say, “When I was naked, you taught me how to sew.” Dear friends, there is such a great need all around us. Jesus even told his disciples that the poor we will always have among us. They are God’s heart. The lost, the poor, the sick, the broken – They are God’s heartbeat. They are Jesus.

God is calling us to a simple life. When we see someone hungry – feed them. Visit those in prison. Give clothes to people who don’t have them. How can we ever profess to love Jesus if we are unwilling to get out of our comfortable lives and clothe ourselves with the scent of poverty?

So I set out to begin living life with the eyes of helping Jesus. I never want him to say that I didn’t give him food when he was hungry. Here in Bungoma, the need is great – at times it seems overwhelming, but God is greater! So Martha, Ashley and I set our minds to always stop for the one…to look at everyone with the eyes of Christ…to not be so consumed with schedules that we pass someone by…and to seek God in every situation. We have been trying to live this way for only a week, but we have such incredible Kingdom stories so far!! I cannot wait to share these experiences with you.

May we each strive to live the Simple Life. May we not be so focused on our own plans for the day that we miss what God is leading us to. May we be willing to sacrifice our time, our money, our possessions for Jesus. There is always someone who needs the Jesus in us. May we be available so Kingdom can come on this earth!


  • chris said:

    reading this I thought about a Soren Kierkegaard quote:

    “The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

    Jennifer… I can’t wait to see how your “whole life is ruined” by the words of Jesus Christ. I love you. Keep following him with all you have.

  • Mom said:

    Thank you sweet Jennifer for another blog challenge to be Jesus to the least of these….

    Your stepping out of your comfort zone helps us to step out of ours….to stop being too busy to hear his leading.

    My heart is full of love for you.


  • Christy said:


    As one that has a tendency to over think everything I need to read this.

    Its beautifully simple isn’t it? Jesus and the Word. It means what it says and then we over think it and twist and turn it into what we think it should be.

    I so agree with what your Mom said. Thank You.

    Love you!

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  • Jennifer Mitchell » Blog Archive » Bibles For Bungoma said:

    […] post is another story I want to share with you in my effort to live the Simple Life in […]

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