Sunday, April 21, 2013

From Acts to Revelation Part 71 – A Time for Everything

From Acts to Revelation
Part 71  – A Time for Everything
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Last week we were talking about Paul's life, and the ups and downs, and I mentioned that this week we were going to chase a rabbit, and talk about God's timing, and seasons in our lives.

I wanted to talk about this subject, simply because many times I see people struggling in their lives because they do not recognize the season they are in, and they try to accomplish things before their time.

God has a time and a season for everything in his creation, and He has told us as much in His word.

Our challenge, is to understand the seasons, thus, understand God's timing for us in our lives, and ask the question, "What is it God expects of me during this time?"

Sometimes He expects us to speak out, and sometimes, shut up. Sometimes He wants us to act, and sometimes sit and do nothing.

You know, when we "do nothing", if God has called us to that, and we are obeying, then we really are doing something!

Obeying God!

Today, we will be looking at a section of Ecclesiastes, just the first eight versus.

Listen as God tells us in His Word, there are seasons in our lives, and these are ordained by HIM!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,

    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,

    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

We are stopping at verse 8, simply because there is so much here in the scriptures, this could be a series in itself.

But the point we are trying to see here, is the fact that;

In today's scripture we will see;
1.      God has laid a path for us to live, from Birth to Death

2.      Seasons in our life is God's timing

3.      If we listen to God's Holy Spirit, we will be guided through life, and recognize the seasons in our lives, thus, living within God's Will for us!

I.       PAUL'S LIFE
a.      Paul received Christ as his Lord and Savior in 36 AD, on a road to Damascus to hunt down Followers of Christ.
i.       This was God's Timing, Paul's Season

ii.    Paul had a choice, as we all do, to accept Jesus Christ as our lord and Savior, kneeling before Him, or turning our back, and trying to run from Him.

iii. You may run your entire life, but there is coming a day, when you will have to stand before Him, how much greater it would be to stand before your King, rather than your Judge to await your sentence.

b.     Paul's life is full of highs and lows
i.       9 years after Paul's conversion, he travels on his FIRST Missionary Trip
a.      God prepared Paul for his ministry for 9 years.

b.     When God calls us to something, He prepares and Equips us!

ii.    Paul then spent 1 year with the Council in Jerusalem

iii. 51-53AD was Paul's SECOND Missionary Trip

iv.   54-58AD Paul's THIRD Missionary Trip

v.      Paul is then ARRESTED in Jerusalem (Where we are NOW in the Book of Acts!)

vi.   Paul is under "House Arrest" for a few years.

c.      Paul tells us of some of the lows or hard seasons in his life in 2 Corinthians 11:21b-33
i.        Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

ii.    Paul recognizes that there are times in his life when things get bad...sometimes really bad, however, he BOASTS of them, rather than complain!
a.      Because he knows that he lives, because God says.

b.     In his boasting, he is actually praising God for preserving him, regardless of the season, or storms in his life.

c.      He does not claim it is easy though. In 2 Corinthians 12 he says that many times he prayed to God for these things to end, however, he realized that God's Grace was enough to get him through whatever came his way.

a.      We are promised Storms
i.       However, Jesus also showed us in Luke 8:24;
ii.    The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

b.     We are promised Seasons
i.       God tells us how we MUST be aware in Jeremiah 8:7;
ii.    Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.

iii. God controls the seasons in our lives, Daniel 2:21;
iv.   He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

v.      Are you in control of your seasons? Job thought he was in control; Job 38:32;
vi.   God asked Job, "Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs?"

c.      We are promised Trials and Tribulations
i.       James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,"

ii.    1 Peter 1:6 "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials."

iii. REMEMBER 2 Peter 2:9 "the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment."

d.     We are promised the Lord is with us, and if we are in Him, all things are possible

a.      We need to be aware that there are seasons in our lives as well
i.       Jeremiah 8:7

b.     God may call us to serve, but everything is in God's timing!
i.       What if Noah built the ark after the rain started?

ii.    What if God parted the sea a day before the Israelites arrived?

iii. What if the hand of God wrote the ten commandments the day after Moses returned from the mountain?

iv.   Timing is CRUCIAL, and God knows this!

v.      How important is timing to God?
a.      All of His feasts have a DATE

b.     Everything Christ did, was ON A SPECIFIC TIME

c.      NOTHING God says or does is OUT OF SEASON

vi.   God's timing is crucial to our obedience being SUCCESSFUL

c.      When we accept God is in control of the seasons, and we recognize the season we may be in, we can then work towards what it is God wants us to accomplish during that time in our life!
1.      God has laid a path for us to live, from Birth to Death

2.      Seasons in our life is God's timing

3.      If we listen to God's Holy Spirit, we will be guided through life, and recognize the seasons in our lives, thus, living within God's Will for us!

Jeremiah 8:7, be aware of your season

Daniel 2:21, God is in control of your season

2 Peter 2:9, the Lord rescues the godly from trials

Remember, Luke 8:24, Jesus commands the storms

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