Discerning the Season
Matthew 16:15-19 “I will build my church . . . the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”
· Revelation of who Jesus is – The Saviour – The Anointed One sent into the world.
· There is a crisis in this world – sin. God’s answer = send his Son to seek and to save.
· Jesus lived for a cause, a mission – He expressed what God is like.
· He entered the crisis in this world to express what God is like.
· ‘I will build my Church” => The Church belongs to Jesus
=> He is building it to fulfil his purpose.
=> His purpose of the church is - express what God is like
- advance God’s Kingdom
I.e. Christ sends his people into crisis in the world to express what God is like.
· The nature/DNA of Christ is Mission – living to advance the cause of Christ.
2. God Works in Seasons:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose”
· There are Natural Seasons – Spring – Summer- Autumn – Winter
· There are Spiritual Seasons – Times when God is working in different ways.
· If the Church is unaware of the season it can be in can be in conflict of what God is doing.
· It can try to preserve the past rather than respond to god and purpose for the future.
(i) The Hippie Movement in the 60’s
· Some responded and reached out – some put up signs “no hippies”.
· New Zealand – famous in Church history – church “voted” out what God was doing.
(ii) Absalom’s Followers
· 2 Samuel 15:10-11 - follow in their sympathy.
· Didn’t recognise what God was doing – followed the wrong leader.
(iii) Saul’s Followers
· 2 Samuel 3:1 There was a war between the house of Saul and the house of David.
· People didn’t recognise the season and fought against it.
· Luke 19:41 “he beheld the city and wept over it – knew not the time of your visitation”.
· People didn’t realise history being fulfilled – Rejected Jesus.
(v) New Testament Church
· Acts 8:1 At time there was a great persecution against the Church.
· The Church was in an old mindset failed to fulfil Acts 1:8
· The Church enjoyed the blessing of what God was doing – ignored mission.
· Acts 9:31 - Acts 19:10
· Acts 13:22-36 David – a man after God’s heart – saved his generation.
· David discerned the season and responded to God.
(vii) Men of Issacher
· 1 Chronicles 12:32 - Lord understanding of the times.
· The man of Issachar discerned the season and recognised what God was doing.
· They positioned themselves to work with God – partner in His Mission.
3. Your Attitude Determines your Response:
(1) Don’t be rebellious - resist what God is doing
(2) Open mouth, eat - Hunger to receive and respond
(3) Go – speak - required to act, mission
· Season call us to live by faith – enable us to please God.
· Seasons build on top of one another – embrace one, this one will then form the foundation for the next.
· Kinds of seasons: *Global * Church *Local Community *Personal
4. Discerning The Seasons:
1) Genesis 11:7-8 Tower of Babel – people scattered
2) Matthew 28:19-20 New Testament Church
- Common language – Greek
- Technology – Roman words/waterways
3) 21st Century – Globalisation
- Internet – Global Markets – Air Travel – Media
- Radio took 37 years to get into 50 million homes
- Internet took 4 years to get into 50 million homes
- Growth – Opposition and persecution – openness – 3rd World Church Growth.
- Change in Missions from old paradigm – “men sent to another country”
Now – partnership/short term missions/ all believers involved.
(1) Position self to hear and receive from God.
(2) Yield: be willing to let go old things (Pruning – dead/old and growing)
(3) Recognise what God is doing – discover His heart.
(4) Initiate change – risk taking – be original not imitation.
- We are called to initiate change not react/follow it.