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For Everything There is a Season

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Mark Yule
Pastor of Discipleship

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” - Ecclesiastes 3:1. 

I became familiar with these words from Ecclesiastes  in 1965 – although not directly through scripture nor through the identified author known as “The Preacher” (who most scholars believe is Solomon).  No – I heard these words by way of The Byrds song “Turn! Turn! Turn.”   Although Solomon received none of the royalty money for his lyrical contributions, the message of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 remains eternally true – everything has a season.  Busy seasons and seasons of rest.  Seasons of planting and seasons of reaping.

It is wise to not only recognize these seasonal fluctuations and patterns but to maximize them as well.  Even the Creator of all life, Jesus, realized the need to incorporate a brief season of rest into his schedule.  Often Jesus would break away from the crowd, His disciples and His public ministry for some needed alone time to pray and to enjoy communion with His Father.  So, for the workaholics out there here’s a needed reminder:  taking a rest is not a sin. It is beneficial.

Use a scheduled time of rest (a sabbath season) to do just what Jesus did.  Pull away and spend time with God to pray; to seek His refreshment and revitalization; to listen to His Spirit lead in the paths ahead; to dedicate yourself anew to what God has in store for the next season.

In light of our summer season, our Discipleship Devotional writing team will be taking a break this summer until we kick into our next church season, beginning in mid-August.  We hope you have enjoyed these brief devotionals to get a mid-week mini dose of inspiration as we try to become better followers of Jesus.

So, until August – enjoy and maximize this season!

Prayer: Our Father, thank You for Your perfect creation and for pointing out the benefits of the different seasons of our lives.  God, I would pray that you would use our season of summer to draw close to you and to gain all that we need - physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Provide rest for our souls and creative thoughts for how You want to direct us in our next season of life.  Help us to maximize each day and to make each season count for your glory.

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An Important Reminder

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Melanie West
Small Group Leader

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. -John 14:26

At the age of thirteen I asked Jesus to come into my heart. He did and He lovingly let me know through His Holy Spirit. His presence was felt to me. How did I know? There have been situations where the Holy Spirit worked through me in such a way that I know, as I know, as I know that the Holy Spirit was working in and through my life.

One such event was early on. I had a long-term childhood boyfriend who professed to be agnostic. Dating was off and on since I did not want to seriously consider a lifelong relationship with a non-Christian. I was reading my Bible regularly and felt convicted to break off the relationship, but also to witness to this young adult. I prayed for the opportunity and that the Holy Spirit would allow me to be a vessel. 2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

The opportunity did present itself. I prayed and prayed prior to getting together. While sharing my testimony the Holy Spirit spoke through me quoting scripture. The experience was surreal. The questions the young man asked were answered with scriptures chapter and verse. They were direct quotes. I was stunned and amazed with a feeling of just looking on. You see, I’ve never been able to memorize verses, never. This is just not my gifting. Unfortunately, the long-term friend did not see a need for a relationship with Jesus. We agreed amicably to go our own ways.

Running upstairs to my room, I opened my Bible and quickly recalled some of the chapters and verses that had been quoted. They were word for word what was written in the Scriptures. I sat in amazement. My prayer was one of gratefulness. I knew through this experience that the Holy Spirit had spoken through me. Those were His words, not mine. I was simply the empty vessel.

Have I always had such incredible experiences? No. But, I’ve had some. I don’t expect anyone to comprehend what took place. You see, the event was an experience and I’ve been told that you can’t explain an experience. You must experience an experience. It was just that, an extraordinary experience. I can only encourage others to ask the Holy Spirit to respond in their lives. But, for me, that night grew my faith exponentially.

The irony: this young man’s sister is the one who testified to me and helped me to receive Jesus into my heart. She is the one who impressed upon me the need for the Holy Spirit to be directing my life. She also presented Christ to my sister who is now a missionary for 27 years in Guatemala. Her son is a missionary in Africa. My girlfriend’s sister and parents were also agnostic, but accepted Christ into their lives late in life prior to their passing. My girlfriend and I still pray for her brother and his wife to find the Truth. But look at the discipleship, the spreading of the word that has taken place by simple obedience and reliance on the Holy Spirit.

Today, I’m married to a wonderful Christian man who believes Joshua 24:15b: But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Of four sisters,  are all Christian. Most of our family is also Christian. My life is full, and I am grateful. Each day I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me; to work in my life and to help me glorify the Father. Sometimes I must wait and be patient. God goes before me in ways I do not know. But what I do know, as I know, as I know is that the Holy Spirit is real.

Prayer: Lord God, please guide me daily with your Holy Spirit. Help me to rely on You. Build my faith through the scriptures. Teach me and remind me of everything you have said. Through my experiences convict me to know, as I know, as I know that you are there and working through me.

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