Take 5 (October 20-24, 2014)

take5Robert Ballard • Pastor of Worship Ministries

A Christian Perspective on Fall

The season of fall in West Virginia is one that is marked by cooler temperatures and brilliant displays of colorful leaves that paint the landscape in postcard fashion. On a recent trip to the mountains, I saw photographers lining the scenic county routes trying to capture the brilliant scenes of autumn that were on display. As a Christian, the season of fall can take on a very different perspective. Let’s take five minutes each day this week and take a Christian perspective on the season of fall.

Monday: Creator God

Psalm 8:3-4

The changing of the leaves reveals to us God’s infinite wisdom, power, beauty, splendor, and creativity. It is difficult to look at a beautiful fall landscape and not praise the One Who created it all. Colossians 3:16 reminds us that, “for by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” The Bible opens with “In the beginning God created….” God is the Creator. He alone spoke the earth into existence. He not only created the tress, the leaves, the sun, moon, and stars, but He created you and me for His purpose. I love what Nehemiah says in Nehemiah 9:6: “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” After seeing all that He has made, we stand back and worship Him.

For Today: Worship God as Creator, giving Him praise for all that He has made.

Tuesday: Seasons Change — God Never Changes

Malachi 6:1

Seasons change. Circumstances change. Health and finances change. The weather can change in a short amount of time. Clothing styles and trends change. Governments can change. There are so many aspects in our lives that can change, but as Christians we can take comfort in knowing that God never changes. Malachi 6:1 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” In an ever-changing world it is a comfort to know that we serve a God who never changes. He is always the same. His love never changes. His wisdom never changes. His power never changes. His mercy and grace never change. His holiness never changes. He is the same ‘yesterday, today, and forever.'”– Hebrews 13:8

For Today: Entrust your ever-changing circumstances into the hands of a never-changing God.

Wednesday: God is Faithful

Lamentations 3:22-24

Fall reminds me of God’s faithfulness. There has never been a year when summer didn’t turn to fall. No matter how hot and parched the summer months can be, the signs of fall begin to show in early October. Not just this October, but every October. Did you know the Bible talks about fall? Joel 2:23 says “Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.” God’s faithfulness is at the heart of who He is. He is constantly all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent, holy, righteous, merciful, and loving because He is faithful. He cannot cease to be faithful because it is His own character. 
So when you get up in the morning and the sun is peeking over the mountaintop, thank God for His faithfulness. When you look outside and find the rain pouring down, thank God for His faithfulness in replenishing the earth with water. Hymn writer Thomas Chisolm said it best when he wrote, “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”

For Today: Thank God for His faithfulness in your life.

Thursday: Seasons of Life Change

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Just as seasons change, so do the seasons of life change. We each have seasons of happiness and seasons of sorrow. Seasons of laughter and seasons of grief. Seasons of waiting and seasons of pressing forward. Seasons of good health, and seasons of bad health. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “there is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Seasons in life change, and each season has their share of storms. Some of these life storms can be severe and violent. Trust God in the midst of the storm. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psalm 56:3). When the rain and wind is so strong that you cannot see, hold to the promise of God that He will never leave you or forsake you. When your boat of life is tossed around on the violent seas, trust in the One who can walk out on the water and speak “peace be still.” Whatever season you are in, rest in the fact the God is with you and He will see you through.

For Today: Ask God to help you trust Him more in whatever season of life you are in.

Friday: Give Thanks

Colossians 3:15-17

Each fall, we pause and think about the harvest and all we have to be thankful for. The farmer always stopped and looked at the plentiful harvest at the end of the summer and gave thanks to God for His provision. We too need to stop and give thanks to God for all He has given us. We are so blessed. Psalm 9:1-2 says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” For the Christian, Thanksgiving should be every day as we thank God for sending His Son, Jesus, to pay the ultimate price so that we can have eternal life. Just as a father wants to hear from his children, so our Heavenly Father longs to hear from His own. Take time today to thank God for His many blessings in your life, and tell those around you of His wonderful works. Give God the thanks that only He deserves as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.

For Today: Count your blessings!