Summary: In the conclusion of this series we examine the seasonal "variations" in the weather close to the Equator. Spiritually, we should live close to the Equator with seasonal variations of the same versus total, complete seasonal change.
Four Seasons of Life – Part 4
This morning I will conclude my series “Four Seasons of Life.” While I have covered each of the four seasons, Winter, Fall, Spring and Summer, I want to conclude the series with a statement that I made at the very beginning. To understand that statement, I must remind you of what the Holy Spirit shared with me early on the morning of September 28th as I sat on my porch looking at the changing weather. He told me, “You go through seasons just as the earth does. The further you are away from Christ the colder you are and the colder you become. Remember, love is warm.” Once He told me that, I began thinking about the implications of that statement, especially in light of what Jesus told the disciples when discussing the signs of the last days. Jesus told them, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) In these last days, because of the abundance and spread of sin in the church, the love of many Christians will grow cold. In other words, Christians will shift in their love for Christ, which will be reflected in their love for one another. This shift, New Light, will impact our decisions because moving away from Christ means we’re moving away from what the Bible says, which should be our standard for what we do and what we say. Remember, in order for love to grow cold, it had to have been warm at the beginning.
We experience seasons naturally in the Northern Hemisphere because of the earth’s rotation around the sun. As we tilt towards the sun we have more days of sunlight and the weather is warmer. However, as we tilt away from the sun, our weather shifts and we become colder. The same happens spiritually. As we experience life’s circumstances, we can shift in our faith and hope – shifting closer to Jesus or shifting further away from Him. When we shift towards Him we are walking in faith and doing what He has called us to do. We are not just focusing on our own lives; we are seeking to help others. When we shift away from Him, we turn inward focusing on and depending on ourselves. We do not have the energy to do anything for anyone else because we are so boggled down with our own problems. As we make this shift, we begin to believe that we are all alone and that God has abandoned us. That shifting in our thinking causes us to tilt away from Christ. Now this is what I want you to think about. As I have gone through this series, I hope you have begun to realize that as Christians, when we are truly walking in and believing in Christ, we should seldom, if ever, experience true spiritual seasonal changes. In other words, if we say, for example, that we believe what the Bible says about God providing for us, about God meeting our needs, then cool and cold spiritual temperatures will be a rarity. I would dare say from my perspective, we should never experience seasonal changes like winter, fall, spring and summer. But it is possible to experience seasonal variations and I will explain this as we get into the message. So this morning to close out this series, I want to talk to you about “Equator Living.”
Let me share a few facts about the climate changes near the Equator. Contrary to popular belief, not all of the weather near the Equator is hot and humid – it depends on where you are. Remember, the Equator is an imaginary line around the middle of the Earth. It is halfway between the North and South Poles, and divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Equatorial regions often experience a hot climate with little seasonal variation and as a result, many equatorial cultures recognize two seasons – wet and dry. The wet, or rainy, season often lasts most of the year. The long, warm, rainy season creates tropical rain forests. Some of the most expansive rain forests in the world are in equatorial regions. The Amazon rain forest of South America and the Congo rain forest of Central Africa are two examples. However, not all equatorial regions are hot and humid. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, is only 205 miles from the Equator, but its elevation creates a climate with cool, dry weather and even alpine glaciers. The Andes are another equatorial region lacking the hot, humid climate often associated with the Equator. The mountain range includes a desert with almost no rain, as well as some of the tallest peaks on Earth. The equator itself crosses the land or territorial waters of 14 countries. These places also have a constant twelve hours of day and night throughout the year, while north or south of the Equator day length increasingly varies with the seasons. One final point before I move on, while temperatures at the equator are very high, there is one single point on the equator where you’ll find snow. The highest point on the equator is on the south slopes of Volcán Cayambe in Ecuador. So in theory you could go skiing on the equator.