Saturday, October 1, 2011

Seasonal Savvy

     Some sermons take a good 15 minute word and cram it into 45 minutes (ahem).  Still others take a tremendous 3- hour Bible study and deliver it within the confines of a single Sunday service.  Conversely, this Sunday's message, from Pastor Jones, is reminiscent of the cry of John the Baptist to "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!"  The message "repent" is straightforward, but plumbs the depths of who we are.  It takes patience to deliver such a potent message in the detail it requires. John the Baptist spent his entire life delivering it.

    This one of those sermons.  It has taken us as a Church body 5 months of spiritual preparation just to be ready to hear this message.  We would do well to really get this one, in the season we were given it.

><> db


Key Scriptures:     

1 Chronicles 12:32 -    of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command;

Daniel 2:19-23 -  9 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.20 Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. 21 And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. 22 He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. 23 "I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, And have now made known to me what we asked of You, For You have made known to us the king's demand."

John 5:30 -  I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

    Each of us is impacted by our seasonal awareness, and our ability/discipline to act upon that knowledge.  For example, whereas the background on this page may or may not remind you that Fall is nearly upon us, you may not have the time, resources, or discipline to begin preparing for it's arrival.  Does everyone have an adequate wardrobe to meet this colder season?  Has the lawn been aerated, the gutters cleaned, vehicles prepared (tires, oil changed?), and have we begun to prepare ourselves financially for the 1-2-3 punch of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years?

   So What?
  The point:  We learned first to walk with Him, and then to authentically hear, listen, and obey His voice.  Last week we heard that to become the individual or church He calls us to be, we have to be absolutely broken, in loving obedience and submissive relationship (John 14:21) to Christ.  This week, we are being told, in essence, how absolutely essential it is that we listen up, right now, because He is ready to share His plan for this Church.  Being ready is the point, purpose, and plain old "how to" of the scriptures utilized by the Holy Spirit this week.  We are being told we will need to be Seasonally Savvy  if we are going to know both what to expect and what to do.

   Sow What?
    The way we walk this out, our degree of abandon to His Will in this season, is going to be telling.  The "Sow What?"  crew wrestled with these scriptures, and with what applying them would look like in our lives.  The responses were those of a group ready to lovingly and sacrificially follow Him anywhere.

     Our  discussion/exploration led to the following B.L.U.F. statements:

1. We are not to be ignorant of the world and enemy activities; we are to live in perspective of how impotent they are against God and His truth.
2. We must seek to be invested and 'on mission' at all times; working whether well or wounded, our comfort zones a distant memory.

3. Walk out His missions, not our gifting.

4.  Unless our agenda is gone, and we are broken and listening - WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

5.  We need to daily answer for ourselves, our families, and our Church the question: "What on earth are we doing, for Heaven's sake?"

6.  Only God knows what we need to know. We need to remain submitted always; all hours, all matters, all decisions.  Starts to look suspiciously like praying without ceasing and daily time in God's Word.

7.  It is more important to have a compass than a clock.  Nothing is properly called progress that does not serve God's Will, no matter how outwardly fruitful or productive.
    During class a "Sow What?" member confessed that she needs to really go back and place first person pronouns in every B.L.U.F. statement - to apply these truths with a "Me", "my", or an"I".  Getting to be a City on a Hill means we all need to labor under that self-same conviction.  Lord, help us.

><> D & N 

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