Welcome to Studio Sit Downs
…A space created for ideas, vision, and writings that we feel God is pulling from us from our time in His Word. Sit down. Pause. Pray. Write. Shine on.
We welcome contributors. If you have something you feel God stirring, moving, shifting in your heart I encourage you to write it down. You’ll be amazed at just how much He wants to speak into your life…and I believe He will, but it starts by our willingness to let him. Give Him permission. Come prepared. Come expecting. And if you feel led, send over your writing(s), and I will review and possibly share!
list of devos found below:
It’s all here in Luke 7: v36-50
The scene is set. Jesus, unafraid to dine with sinners (although in typical Hypocrite fashion, the Pharisees didn’t think the sinners were themselves) reclines at the table. Knowing his identity, knowing his purposes, knowing the mission, he relaxes all the while knowing what was to come. It says next that a women learned that Jesus would be dining that night at the Pharisee’s house. She could have stayed home. She could have given in to fear. She could have given into shame and guilt and unworthiness. She could have saved and preserved the frail strand of self-image she had left, could’ve saved herself all the embarrassment. But that’s just it. There was nothing left of her.
She was over the shame. She didn’t care any more what others thought. The craving for love, acceptance, healing mercy, and the hope of salvation in her heart was far greater than the voice of condemnation in her head. She knew where to go, and she knew who to see. She looked and begged for all these things elsewhere in her life, but this illegitimate search for love and false hope was over. This night was going to be different, at least she hoped and believed. This hope and faith and belief is what ends up saving her. Such poetic beauty, and shows the heart of Jesus.
I wonder what that walk up looked like as she made each step closer and closer to the house. She of course heard the chatter from outside as she took each step closer to the door. Each step an act of faith. Grabbing the handle, entering in she was now public. If you’ve ever been riddled with fear and shame as I have once been you know everything inside you tells you to retreat, go private, isolate. But the Light and the hope of Freedom and Mercy calls one to step out and grab the handle, and enter in for salvation lies behind the door called Dread.
Heads turn, the chatter stops. And the text says “As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”
This completely Blows. Me. Away. It’s the ultimate sign of being ALL IN. Completely vulnerable. Asking. Hoping. Believing. She could not be more public about her desire for Christ than she is at this moment. She was completely trusting. She had not only poured out all the oil she had (as if to say there is no back up plan, this is it) she had poured out her heart. Jesus saw everything. He could see as she took each step outside drawing near to the house, he felt her grab the handle as if grabbing for his life, he could smell the oil and aroma on his feet and felt each of the tears as all a cry for mercy.
Every other thing or man she had ever hoped in left her empty, broken and shattered. If this Jesus she heard and believed in did not come thru, I resolve to say the weight of being abandoned, humiliated, and most of all without any hope to this degree would have emotionally and spiritually killed her.
But Jesus was and IS who he says He is. And was for her in this dramatic moment. Verse 39 continues in the text “When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is — that she is a sinner.”
Jesus knew this woman. Oh yes. Jesus could have easily recited Psalm 139 on how he knew this woman before she was born, and how he knit her together in her mother’s womb. But rightly instead chooses not to focus on his handiwork and how well he knows who is touching him, but rather on love and forgiveness. “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, (which comes the game changer, the life altering, life breathing, soul awakening words that radically wash over her soul much like the alabaster jar of oil she had washed on his feet) “Your sins are forgiven. …”Your Faith has saved you; go in peace.”
It’s all here. Shame turns to Joy. Fear bows to Boldness. Isolation turns to Public. Abandonment turns to Acceptance. Hope is Affirmed. From Death to Life. Brokenness to Wholeness. And Love and Salvation is found in the selfless, most humbling display of this woman’s FAITH, and the Grace and Mercy of Christ.
In one evening the FAITH that was in her heart and shown by action thru “great love” collides powerfully and beautifully with the Heart of Jesus, and she is changed eternally.
The transformation, The Heart of Jesus, The Picture of Salvation.
It’s. All. Here.
by Matt Simpson Jan. 14th, 2020
// V I S I O N // 🔕
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen (*** insert my words …has the “VISION” to see…) what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
The Word “Vision” is on my mind a lot this year, and this text was just what I needed today. With so much “future” things and preparations and details swirling around my head, I was grateful to have slowed down enough to receive this command today…that “indeed only one” important/eternal, significant thing we can do today is spend time with Jesus at his feet in peace and prayer. He is worthy. Being caught up in the temporary, overlooking the Glory and the eternal in front can make us more like Martha each day… may we have the “vision” like Mary today to take time, stop and worship the One worthy of our attention. He is Worthy. #maryandmartha
by Matt Simpson Jan. 21st, 2020
Matthew 5: 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
…Is God asking you to light up the world all by yourself? Wow, that would be kind of an overwhelming responsibility, and would cause you to become anxious at the pressure. That’s why he’s not…All He requires of you is to let your light shine among the world around you, and He will take your light and the light of your brothers and sisters in Christ around you, and he will build a bonfire out of that. Now that can start setting the world ablaze. God’s in the business of building bonfires. Let your light shine, and Shine on!
by Matt Simpson Jan. 5th, 2019
Man. This. This is me.
Always willing to be taught, a product of Sunday school/youth group/church academia, always willing to start a bible study or attend a conference…nothing wrong with these but I learned it’s an incomplete process.
Only WHEN I take those beliefs and make them my own…getting real about my personal faith in both the public and private life that I truly come alive.
Do I really believe what I really believe??
Can I be courageous at every bend knowing He will be with me wherever I go? That my sins have been forgiven as far as the east is from the west the moment I cried out to him…all of them? Even the unspeakable ones?
Will I trust that my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches and glory?
When I don’t understand and there’s pain and confusion can I rest in the peace that His ways are higher than my ways?
Can I trust in His perfect timing and His goodness when walking “thru” the valley and not just let it be lip service?
Do I believe that every careless word of mine will be brought under judgement in the end?
There are times that I can easily count when the beliefs in my head did not penetrate my heart and what I said I believed I never had the faith to LIVE it out. As a result and will always be the result, I felt empty, alone, in guilt and without hope because I had more faith in fear than in My God’s promise. Then there are times where I’ve watched mountains move and giants fall by simply believing what I knew to be true but never had the faith to walk boldly in His name and banner ….and this is the life abundant. Fighting the good fight of faith, not our own flesh or feeling.
Taking him at His word and showing Himself to be true and living out the abundant life…and behind the Victor who goes before us and lives in us. Greater is He and greater we can be because of it.
“The sermons of Jesus Christ are meant for your will and your conscience, not for your head. If you dispute these verses from the Sermon on the Mount with your head, you will dull the appeal to your heart.” -My utmost for His highest by Oswald Chambers July 1
by Matt Simpson July 2nd, 2019
The fam and I went to go see the new Lion King and I noticed some very real, spiritual parallels that stood while I was watching:
____Mufasa___ “The King” who rules the land with humility, power, and love for all creature instructs his son in the balance of life and the principle of free will….that everything the light touches is his, except in the darkness.
“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.”
The King cares for his creation and creatures like our great God, not one who Lords over us and “desires that no man should perish.” (2 Peter 3:9) In free will Simba chose to fall into temptation to the lust of his flesh, and like Adam/Eve choosing the Tree of Knowledge with the forbidden fruit, Simba chooses the elephant graveyard when all other land was his.
This consequence led to fear, evil realm, but Mufasa came to rescue him, later giving him Godly discipline, yet showes mercy and a leading in forgiviness after the correction that restores their fellowship. Mufasa would later sacrifice his own life to save his child liken to Christ.
____Simba___ “The Son” later experiences shame, and guilt from the enemy after he believes the lies leading to condemnation. This led to him living a life in fear on the run forgetting his purpose and calling.
::RELEVANCE:: Instead of trusting and believing in his identity as a son of the King, the enemy convinces him to run in fear and never to come back. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and sober minded. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
____Timon and Pumbaa___ Simba later struggles with who he is and decides to team up with friends Timon and Pumba who have it in their heart to party, eat drink and be merry for there is no rhyme or reason to this life. Here today, gone tomorrow. No purpose in life.
::RELEVANCE:: Do not be misled: “bad company corrupts good character.“ 1 Cor. 15:33
Now while these fun-hearted friends are likable and take care of Simba, but they have a false-believe system that influences Simba’s life and slowly he starts to become like them, talk like them them, even eat slop like them just like the Prodigal Son did, instead of living in his true identity, as a royal and beloved son of the King with a calling and purpose to live out in his life. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
____Rafiki____ Simba wrestles with this past and in a state of confusion and Rafiki, the wise counsel of Mufasa and charismatic monkey helps prompt Simba to remember who he is. Rafiki: “Correction I know your father… he’s alive and I’ll show him to you. Come on! Look down here.
Simba: “That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection.”
Rafiki: “No. Look harder. You see? He lives in you.”
::RELEVANCE:: Ok, stay with me on this one 😄
I beleive in the themes being expressed that Rafiki could parallel as the Holy Spirit to bring Simba under conviction and speak truth to his heart and conscious and shine a light in Simba’s darkness in order to see not the physical (what’s all around him) but the spiritual (the matters of the heart. Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18.
While the Holy Spirit is working on him Simba tells Rafiki that he feels alone and in shame and without hope and he knows his Father is dead. Rafiki gets Simba to realize that no, in truth his Father is ALIVE for he lives in him. Rom. 8:11 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Later Simba has this revelation in the skies with His father by the guiding of the Holy Sprit and Rafiki:
Mufasa: “Simba, you have forgotten me.
Simba: No, how could I?
Mufasa: You have forgotten who you are, and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself Simba, you are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.
Mufasa: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true King.” 🙌 🙌 So good.
____Scar___ The bitter, deceptive, jealous and bloodthirsty younger brother who lives in hate after Simba is born removing any chance for domination and power. He plots to kill Simba and later murders Mufasa who was trying to save his son.
::RELEVANCE:: Simba neglects Mufasa’s instruction and later engages with the evil one, the prince of this world after falling into sin thru disobedience. “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.” Proverbs 4:13-17
Scar is the deceiver, the adversary, the acccuser of the brethren and is the one who looks for the chance to cast shame upon shame at Simba leaving him in a state of fear tormented by his past. The hyenas parade as the evil force carrying out the False power and Spirit of Scar who tries to reign as the unlawful King of the land. Famine and a world of darkness and captivity of the other lions ensue.
Eph. 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
____Nala___ Simba’s childhood friend and source of encouragement. Even though she followed Simba into the elephant graveyard much like Eve’s role, she was there to encourage him and offer kindness for how brave he was in trying to do so. She’s also the one who helps him face his past, not alone, but together with him.
Nala: “Simba, you have to take your place as king. We need you. Come home.”
We need friends in our life who stay by our side and remind us of who we are and friends who we have fun with. Life can get too serious and we should have friends around us that we’ve built relationships with that we can cut up, enjoy the land with, hold us accountable, and knows our true self. This friendship turns into marriage and the two are great complements to each other of love and respect and bearing each other’s burden thru Napa’s strength when Simba was weak.
____The Battle___ Simba comes back to the throne and defeats Scar. Scar is given over to the hyenas for destruction. Order and power is restored.
While this is a fallen world, and pain, and death , and injustice, and tears are all part of it because so, in the end God will restore all things as he already is restoring lives thru the blood of Christ. There will be a final battle. There will be a day of judgement. There will be a day of wrath. And Christ will once again Reign victoriously making a final end to all evil as he returns in glory to to gather His children. Until then we are commanded to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matt. 24:42
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”” Revelations 21:1-8
I thought this was a great story of knowing you identity (Who you are and Whose you are) walking in your gifts and calling, forgiveness, redemption, and holy justice.
This one for sure helped me see/hear things more in the light of God’s word and divine story.
Oh And Zazzoo??: Well, he just an annoying bird.
::RELEVANCE:: Sometimes you have people that annoy you and you just have to put up with in love. ❤️ Whether it be family, friends, co-workers, etc. ..learn to respond in the Fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
by Matt Simpson July 24th, 2019
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