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Summary: 1- We must interpret the times, not the seasons 2- We must beware of the yeast, not the bread 3- We must cling to the rock, not the sand

INTRO.- ILL.- It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was a new Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather was going to be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared. But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?" "It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared. A week later he called the National Weather Service again.

"Is it going to be a very cold winter?" "Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it’s going to be a very cold winter."

The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again.

"Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?" "Absolutely," the man replied. "It’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever."

"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked. The weatherman replied, "Because the Indians are collecting wood like crazy!"

The weather has always been important to people. It’s important to farmers since they make a living based on what the weather does.

The weather also determines mood in some people. There is truly such a thing as SAD or Seasonal affective disorder or winter depression. The typical symptoms of SAD include depression, lack of energy, increased need for sleep, a craving for sweets and weight gain. (Wow! Sounds like most of us!)

I think the weather is important to us “older” people because it gives us something to talk about and perhaps try to guess at. And, of course, if you live in hurricane country or tornado alley keeping watch on the weather is vitally important.

May 15, 1968. Does this date ring a bell? A tornado struck Jonesboro at 10 PM, killing 36. Also, on May 27, 1973, early that morning a series of three tornadoes struck Jonesboro, AR, causing three deaths and extensive property damage.

Is the old adage true or not? “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.”

Red sky at night, sailors delight. When we see a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.

Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning. A red sunrise reflects the dust particles of a system that has just passed from the west. This indicates that a storm system may be moving to the east. If the morning sky is a deep fiery red, it means a high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain is on its way.

The point of what Jesus is saying is not about the weather. Weather may be important to many people but the important thing is what is happening spiritually in our world!

We may not be blind when it comes to the weather, BUT WE MUST NOT BE BLIND WHEN IT COMES TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD!

PROP.- Let’s think about what Jesus said in regard to protecting ourselves spiritually in this world.

1- We must interpret the times, not the seasons

2- We must beware of the yeast, not the bread

3- We must cling to the rock, not the sand

I. WE MUST INTERPRET THE TIMES, NOT THE SEASONS

ILL. - Early in WWII, baseball broadcasters were forbidden to give information about weather conditions over the air, for fear it might be of aid to enemy bombers. On one St. Louis broadcast, Dizzy Dean and his play-by-play partner Johnny O’Hara filled a rain delay with about an hour of aimless talk, never mentioning why there was no action on the field. Finally, Dizzy Dean “ran out of words,” as O’Hara explained it, and said, “If you folks don’t know what’s holdin’ up this game just stick your heads out the window.”

Sticking your head out the window is one sure way to determine the weather. But determining the signs of our time may be a bit harder.

Matt. 16:1-3 “The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ’It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ’Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”

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