Zoe Christian Fellowship
Seasons of Change- Part 1
Archived – June 14, 2020

Seasons of Change- Part 1

June 14, 2020

  • Preachers all over America and the world are wrestling each week with how they will preach each Sunday, as both a global pandemic and outcry over racial injustice frame our reality.
  • Do we with our standard bible teaching themes or do we adjust our messages to respond to the socio-political context that is in constant flux?
  • The answer is obviously both.
  • As renown pastor and Christian thought leader Jack Hayford once told me personally, a pastor’s job is to “lead and .”
  • In this two-part sermon series, you will hear me doing both.
  • I am re-preaching and re-framing a sermon I shared last year titled “Seasons of change.”
  • At this day and hour, this title has new meaning.
  • As we shared in our last series, everything in life—that is, everything —changes.
  • The focus of the last series was that in response to change, we cling to what is unchangeable, which is Jesus.

  • This series looks at the other side of that coin: yes, we cling to Jesus.
  • While we draw to Jesus, we must ask Him for the power to make changes to our own lives.
  • We should not change just for the sake of it, but in response to the needs of the .
  • helps us understand this as he has one of his classic talks with the religious elite, who were always his sharpest critics:
    • Luke 12:54-56
  • Solomon expounds more on the reality of changing seasons:
    • Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
  • As Ecclesiastes reminds us, change is a , yet we live as if changes will never happen.
  • It reminds me of a common saying, which says, there are three kinds of people:
  1. People who things happen
  2. People who things happen
  3. People who what happened
  • People who wonder what happened are clueless about the things that had been changing .
  • People who watch things happen are not able to seize the moment because they are not ready to make changes.
  • People who make things happen are in two categories:
  1. They were once people who simply watched or wondered and the magnitude of external change them to action.
  2. They were preparing for change all along. External changes were either a result of what they had been doing or new changes in the world offered them an to do what they had been planning already.

  • You want to be that last kind of person, the person who was preparing all along.
  • Though a crisis is upon us, there is still time to .
  • In fact, the urgency of the moment means that we have to both act on those things that need immediate attention and prepare for those things that continue to produce important change over time.
  • We have to both respond to the and prepare for the .
  • It’s the balance between the and the .
  • The urgent and the important can often be at odds with each other, but they don’t have to if we respond to change .
  • That means that when there’s a call to change, we must give consideration to all the ways we are in the world.
  • For Christians, this means we approach changes with our , souls and bodies. (I Thessalonians 5:23).
  • God wants all three parts of us to be change .
  • Change in this context will always be richer, fuller and more than any other kind of change.
  • What this means is that three things need to remain at the forefront of our consciousness: pray, , do.

 

Pray

  • One of the criticisms of the church in moments like we’re in now is that all we do is call a prayer meeting and take no other action.
  • Touché. We’ve certainly been guilty of this.
  • We‘ve often done what the apostle James has asked us not to do: in his letter to the church he lets us know that faith without is dead. (James 2:14)
  • However, James is not asking us to choose prayer and action. He’s really asking us to do both.
  • The reality is that most Christians don’t pray enough. I know, I’m a pastor.
  • Getting Christians to a prayer meeting can be like pulling teeth. People spend more time on their phones than in prayer.
  • But as Jesus taught His disciples, we are to pray (Luke 18:1)

 

Think

  • John Maxwell wrote a book worth reading titled Thinking for a Change.
  • It’s all about how our thought processes affect our .
  • And just like people can be dismissive of prayer, people can be dismissive of thought.
  • However, at the end of the day, quality changes that last will always be preceded by thinking.
  • Some things are urgent and must be addressed immediately, but things must be thought about.
  • “We cannot our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” (Albert Einstein)
  • Here’s what Scripture tells us in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 5:22-24)
  • Here’s what he tells us in Romans (Romans 12:2)
  • Here’s more from Ephesians (Ephesians 5:15-17)

 

Do

  • We should also not get caught up in the paralysis of analysis. If we overthink, we’ll never take .
  • Solomon advises us to take action while there’s to do it (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
  • James tells us that religion requires us to take compassionate action (James 1:27)

 

 

 

Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2020

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