Navigating the Seasons of the Soul – Summer: The Season of Abundance

On Sunday, we continued our series “Catching Foxes” with our Kfirst community. Our focus has been on what the Word of God says about our emotions. This past Sunday, we looked at the seasons that our emotions can go through.  And we’re taking days this week to specifically focus on each one of the seasons. (Click here for Sunday’s notes.)

Check out previous “season” posts:

Summer: THE SEASON OF Abundance

Is there any day better than the last day of school? I remember counting down till that final day where I turned in my books, cleaned out my locker, and practically ran home ready to start the summer.

Michiganders love summer like no other people on the planet. I’m talking Sherman’s ice cream, South Haven, backpacking, naps in a hammock. We’ve been cooped up all winter (and part of spring) and we are ready to explode into activities. There seems to be a bit less pressure and more opportunities to enjoy and explore.

“Summer” is  the season of abundance and it’s no surprise that the primary emotion of summer is joy.

But I’ve noticed something about this season: It’s the only one we can miss. I’ve heard people say, “Summer got away from me” or “I can’t believe summer is almost over.” Then it’s Labor Day and we are realizing that we missed out on maximizing the season we had been given. It seems we treat no other season like we do this one. So there is a caution about “Summer.” For if we do not embrace it, we can miss out, not the initial experience but the work that God has meant to do in it.

There are two ingredients to the summer season of our emotions:

Celebration
Celebration is an intentional focus on the goodness of God. If you read your bible (specifically the Old Testament) you’ll see a thread of celebration. Rather than thinking that God just stands there in a sober, melancholy demeanor and tolerates our celebration, recognize that He initiates or commands the party. Take some time to study the festivals of the Old Testament. You’ll discover that the celebrations were designed and initiated by God.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22

There is a time to mourn, but there is also a time to dance. There’s a time to weep but there’s a time to laugh. Celebration is God’s plan for filling us with the healing presence of joy while helping us to not take ourselves too seriously. Engage in activities you love with people you love. Engage in those things that help fill your soul with joy.  I believe that those of us who know Jesus should be known as the most alive, free, fun, and joyful people on the planet

Gratitude
We have the propensity to be prideful. And can get in seasons of abundance and assume some (if not all) of the credit instead of running to the One who is the source of every good gift and give him thanks. A general sense of thankfulness helps elevate our lives above pride and to see our lives as recipients of God’s magnificent grace. 

Not only should we be filled with a general gratitude, but we should be filled with specific gratitude. I go back to a simple hymn I grew up on that says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Where a general sense of gratitude can set the atmosphere of your life, specific is strategic as it targets areas of pride and fear so that God is recognized in EVERY area as our provider. Look for specific things to recognize and give thanks for.

  • I want to give thanks I woke up this morning (If I’m still breathing, God’s not done with me).
  • Thank you I can get out of bed and start a new day.
  • Thank you for the people’s faces I get to see today (name them).
  • Thank you for the little things I find pleasure in (name them.
  • Thank you for opportunities I’m given every day (name them).
  • Thank you for leadership (name them)

It’s hard to be a jerk if you are thankful.

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.Psalm 65:11

If you are in the season of abundance (Summer), make sure you explore and enjoy what God has brought you into. Don’t miss anything. God wants to use this season to deposit into you and, through you, into others.

 

If you are in this season, remember our final lessons from Sunday.

  1. You were meant to process your season, not be possessed by it. 
  2. Don’t get so consumed with the next season you missed the work of your present season.
  3. Unnecessary pain results from remaining in a season long after it changed.
  4. Your season is not your story; it is a chapter in His beautiful story for your life.

Love you all. See you Sunday as we continue our series “Catching Foxes.” 

2 Minute Devo Series: Book of Matthew Day 13

Error
This video doesn’t exist
Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos.  This month we’re going through the Book of Matthew.  Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Matthew 12

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them,“Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you,something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

A Man with a Withered Hand

He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

God’s Chosen Servant

15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
    my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
    and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
    nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21     and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

22 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them,“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either inthis age or in the age to come.

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil?For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 forby your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The Sign of Jonah

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Return of an Unclean Spirit

43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.[a] 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”