It’s fall again and a time when we expect the see brilliant colors in God’s nature.
Alice and I have always loved making fall excursions Just to see the colors as the foliage turns. This year has not been so good for that as we have now made four trips out in search of color and there isn’t a whole lot this year. We made a short trip Thursday and many of the trees are already naked or are in the process of becoming so. The colors of fall are not nearly so good as is normal for our area. We understand that much of that is due to the hot, dry summer we had.
As we’ve gone on our trips, we realize that all things are under God’s control. Everything was created by and for God as we read in Col. 1:16, ”By Him were all things created that are in heaven and in the earth visible and invisible, whether thrones, dominions, principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him.” God is the Master of the universe and He is in control! It is He Who determines how and when the seasons change. In considering seasonal changes, I thought about how the “seasons” of our lives change. Let’s examine that thought a little further.
All of us enjoy tiny babies. After all, their arrival has been anticipated for most of a year! When we hold a baby in our arms, we realize that there can be nothing sweeter or purer for those tiny ones are untouched by sin. When a little baby smiles, it’s like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day. We can’t help but respond to the innocence and sweetness that we see. But those little ones tum into toddlers and the trouble begins! They must learn that “you can’t touch that; don’t go there; don’t say that, etc. etc.” The fences start closing in on them as they learn the “do’s and don’ts” and they realize that their little hands or other places may be smacked when they disobey.
Then comes the time when the little ones start learning about the demands that society places on them. First, they are familiar with family and friends and then with those they don’t even know and they must begin to mature as they age physically. Perhaps the teenage years are the most difficult of the maturing process. Finally, a person reaches maturity and is full grown.
In the same way, Christians must grow and mature! Paul spoke of this in Romans 6:4. ”We are buried with Him by baptism into death that, like as Christ was raised up from the dead…even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Peter also spoke of this infancy in 1 Peter 2:2. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby.” These men of God cause us to realize that, when one first obeys the gospel, he/she is like a baby. Their sins have been washed away and they stand pure and innocent before God.
Then comes the phase of knowing what one can/can’t do and be pleasing to God. Again, Peter helps us by saying that we are to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord” (2 Peter 3:18). In order to continue to mature as a Christian, one must study, know and do the things that bring God’s favor. The promise is “Let us not be weary in well doing for, in due season, we shall reap if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9). As the faithful continue to mature, God is with them. Those who are maturing in His service must determine who they are trying to please. Listen as Paul says “Do I seek to please men? If I yet please men, I would not be the servant of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:10). To complete the Christian’s maturing process, Paul said that one must “grow up into Him in all things” (Eph. 4:15): Just as our physical and mental selves will never cease to learn and grow, God’s faithful followers will never stop learning and growing throughout the seasons of their lives!
Central Avenue Church of Christ