Summary: Part two of this series focuses on the different seasons and our responses to them.
Knowing Your Seasons and Its Fruit Part 2
In part one of this series that I delivered last week, I used as an illustration 3 bananas to demonstrate three different seasons that a person could be in while growing in their relationship with God. The first banana was still green and was in need of more time to ripen. This banana represented a Christian who has accepted Christ and started on their Christian walk. However, because they are so new, they have not gone through all of their seasons that God will walk them through during their time of preparation. The second banana was fully ripe and ready to eat. It represented a Christian who understood what God was directing them to do and they had taken the time to get prepared to do it. These Christians understand that seasons will come and it is their responsibility to respond to the seasons not the other way around. The third banana was over-ripe, brown and mushy. When I offered you the opportunity to handle it, no one wanted to touch it. I shared with you how this banana came to be in the condition that it was in. When it was purchased 4 days earlier, it was still green. I took the banana on a Friday morning and placed it in the refrigerator. On Saturday morning, I took the banana out of the refrigerator and placed in on the seat of my van and left it there in the heat all day. The two extreme temperatures had the desired effect on the banana and it aged quickly. This banana represented a Christian who had gone through their season and experienced some tough times. Although God was still with them, they never made it out of one season. Even though they tried, they just could not break free of their situation and stopped growing spiritually. My final question to you last week was “Which banana represents you as a Christian?”
This morning we will continue with the series by examining some of the different seasons we experience. Next week I will conclude the series by focusing on the seeds that are sown and fruit that come up during these seasons. So let’s return to where we were last week, Ecclesiastes 3:1-11.
As we read last week, Solomon starts by saying “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Eccles. 3:1) After making this statement he begins with examples. We will start with verse two. As we go through these verses, we will examine the natural and the spiritual aspects of each.
“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted.” (vs. 2) We celebrate when a child is born and we mourn the loss of someone when they die. Birth and death are the beginning and the ending of seasons. Spiritually we go through times of births and times of death. There are areas in our individual lives where we birth something and there are areas where we must let something die. When God told me to start this Church, the organizational of this ministry was a birthing moment even though I had been pregnant with this dream since the mid 1980s. This ministry developed within me for almost twenty years before it was birthed. The fact that most of you were members of another Church before you came here, you have experienced death. Whenever you make that type of a transition you experience the death of one thing for the life or birth of another. The same happens with your individual ministries. Maybe you have never worked in a ministry and you are now feeling the desire. That desire is the beginning of a birthing moment. If you have spent time in an area of ministry and it is time for you to move on, then you experiencing a death moment – but other birthing moments will continue to come forth. Birth and death are part of a continuous circle in our spiritual growth.
Solomon also mentions the time for planting and the time for harvesting what was planted in this verse. All of us are familiar with farmers. We know about planting seeds and that once planted the seeds will grow into something. This is what Solomon was referencing in this verse. There is one point that I want you to consider. In order for the seed to bring forth fruit, the seed itself must die. Do you understand this? The seed can only produce fruit if it dies. This is why the Bible speaks of us dying to self so that we can be reborn, live and produce fruit. In our individual ministries, there is a time for us to sow seeds and there is a time for us to harvest the fruit from those seeds that were sown. I believe this building that we purchased, even with all of the work that is required for us to enter it, is part of our fruit from the seeds we have sown for eight years and this is just the beginning. Let us continue on – look down at verse four.