Teacher: Todd Brock
1st Session – Sunday, October 8th @ 2:00 or 4:00 pm
2nd Session – Sunday, October 15th @ 2:00 or 4:00 pm
Where: HC Ministry Center, Mtg Rm 1
Coming up on March 13th is Daylight Savings Time. It’s that time each year when you spring forward and lose an hour of sleep. Beware though, if you forget to set your clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. then you will show up for church late. Now in the Fall you fall back and get one more hour of sleep which is much better! But, are we really gaining or losing any time? No, over the 365 day year we are just adjusting our clocks to make the best use of sunlight. I guess this is so in the summer we can stay out later in the evening and mow the grass in our yard.
But, as I am writing this, yesterday was Leap Day. Every 4 years we add a Leap Day, February 29th, to a Leap Year. It is a special day, a magical day, a bonus day if you will. Anything at all is possible on this day! What did you do with your extra day? Did you travel to exotic places, create a work of art, write a novel, compete in a marathon? Or, were you like me and just did your normal routine like any other day? I am pretty sure most of us just continued with our life as a normal day. Again, it is just a day added to keep our calendars on track with the seasons and the movement of our planet around the sun.
It would be great if there were a bonus type program for life. For each 10 years you live, you get 1 bonus month. Or maybe even if we were given a baker’s dozen of time; for every 12 months you get a free month of time. That would be great, but we all know that is not how this life works. In the book of Job, it states “A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set.” (Job 14:5) God has set our time and knows the number, just like he knows the number of hairs on our head. We should never take anything for granted. James 4:13-15, says “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, say ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’”
Now, even though we can’t add a day, an hour, or even a minute for that matter to our time here on this Earth, we can redeem the time. Ephesians 5, verse 16 says “making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Doing God’s will and ministering and witnessing to those God places in our path each day makes the most of our time. We also can know that our time is in our Lord’s hands. The Psalmist of David sings in 31:14-15 “But as for me, I trust in You, Oh Lord, I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
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.
… He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in (our) heart…”
How are you spending the time God has given you?
We have had a lot of excitement around our home lately. Our son, Colson, recently asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior! What an amazing experience we have had as his parents to walk him through that! The other day Colson had to get tubes in his ears. As we were leaving our vehicle to walk into the clinic, Colson very confidently said, “Mommy and daddy, I have double protection because I am a follower of Jesus!” Immediately, peace flooded my being. My son reminded me of a powerful truth in that moment: Jesus makes all the difference! When we have Jesus in our lives, He gives peace, comfort, joy, provision, grace and life! Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
I am so thankful for the abundant life that Jesus gives me, His child. He truly makes all of the difference in my life. Because of Jesus, I can walk through life with peace and assurance because He knows what is best for me. He comforts me in times of trial, He rejoices over me, sings over me and gives me eternal life! When I face a difficult situation, I am going to try my best to face it with the confidence of my six year old! After all, I am a follower of Jesus, I have double protection!!
“I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” Job 3:26
I love Springtime! It seems during Spring, new life pops up all around me! I see it everywhere! Green grass begins poking through the desolate brown ground, flowers bloom, trees regrow their leaves. I hear it everywhere! The birds begin chirping, bugs buzzing, frogs croaking. I love that there is more daylight. It means more time to enjoy playing outside in the warm sunshine! It is truly a glorious season that I am very thankful for! Spring also reminds me of new life through Christ. Just as life springs forth from a previously dead looking tree, Jesus gave me new life! I was lost, but now I am found! I am so thankful that Jesus makes me new. I love the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” This verse is so exciting! It reminds me that I am new – a new person, a new life!
New life in Christ is something that should stir a passion in each of us. I want my excitement for my new life In Christ to overflow out of me and into others. I want to share Jesus and the new life He offers. Do you know someone who needs new life in Christ? Maybe someone you know needs a church home. Invite them to join you at church this Sunday, March 29, for Friend Day. The following Sunday, April 5, we get to celebrate my absolute favorite day of Spring – EASTER! He is risen! These truly are exciting days! Hope to see you Sunday with some “spring” in your step!
A couple years ago when our son, Colson, was around three years old, I was decorating the house for Christmas. I put out our Little People nativity set and carefully arranged all of the animals and people exactly how it was pictured on the box. A few minutes later Colson was playing with the set. He had rearranged all of the perfectly placed figures! My initial thought was “oh great, now I am going to have to redo my display, so once again my nativity set will look just like it was pictured.”
But, as I took another look, I noticed that all of the people and animals were grouped together. They were all facing the manger. Colson looked up at me with his big blue eyes and said, “Mommy, they are all looking at Jesus!” Wow! My heart was convicted. I had gotten so caught up in making sure everything was going to be just perfectly decorated and ready for Christmas that I had taken my eyes off of Jesus. The Lord spoke volumes to me that day through my three year old. I left my nativity scene just has Colson had arranged it. It was a constant reminder to me to keep my eyes on Jesus.
This year, as Christmas quickly approaches, may we all be reminded to keep our eyes, our focus, on Jesus. He is the reason we celebrate! He is the reason we have joy! He is the reason we have peace! He is the reason we have hope! We have been talking about true worship in our series “Glory in the Highest”. On Sunday, we learned about the magi’s response to the birth of Jesus. They put out great effort to get to Him, they came with joy, in humility, with a physical response and to give. That is where I want my heart to be this Christmas and throughout the year. Anybody want to rearrange their nativity scenes???
Sunday at church Pastor Brett spoke on Philippians 2:3a. It is about not being selfish and conceited. Then on Wednesday as I sat in youth, Logan spoke on how we live in a world that makes everything about ourselves. We are constantly focused on ourselves, and we get mad when others are selfish because that means we are not the center of attention. He gave a particular example about how Adam and Eve sinned because they were selfish, and wanted to be able to make things about themselves. This emphasized to me that life is not about me, and what I want from it. God does not want us to be consumed with our own desires, but the desires of others. Pastor spoke on knowing Christ and making Christ known; if we are consumed with ourselves we will not ever be able to share Christ.
At the end of the youth service we were all asked to rate ourselves on a scale of 1-10, how much of our life have we lived out of selfish ambition. I began to think about how many times I have said I can do this on my own, God I don’t need you to do this. I was then brought to Jeremiah 10:23 that states, I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.
During the Unify series God has shown me week after week, that I cannot do life on my own. Week after week Pastor has explained how we need to be like-minded, we need Jesus’ help, and we need to not be selfish. He has reiterated in a different way each week that we need the each other and we need to allow Christ to have control in our lives. My existence is because of God’s grace; therefore I have to give control to him, to take me where he plans. As Walker Moore stated “Jesus +Nothing=Everything.”