“Thanksgiving” is defined as the act of giving; a celebration of divine goodness; grateful and ready to acknowledge that. Although there are several different ways to look at “seasons” (e.g., calendar seasons, seasons of life, etc.). Our grandchildren are in the season of “Summer”, our adult children are in the season of “Spring”, and Seniors are in the season of “Harvest”.
However, this devotion is looking at this church as being in the season of “Harvest”
On the accompanying page, it lists what has already been “sown” in the last 3 years, and we are ready for “Harvest!”
The Bible contains several references to these concepts. Let’s first begin with the “Harvest”.
- Matt. 9:37 – “The harvest is great, but the workers are few”
- John 4:35 – “Look around, the fields are already ripe for harvest”
- Gal. 6:9 – “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up”.
- Hebrews 12:11 – “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it’s painful! But afterward, there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
Thinking that this turmoil in our world would end sooner than later, and then as the weeks carried conflicting but discouraging news that seemed to linger on and on, the light at the end of the tunnel seemed dark if not dim.
Businesses, schools, and churches, struggled to maintain a sense of normalcy – such as could be remembered. This is the Fall season, the time of crisp air, colored leaves, comfort food, warmth in the home. A time of gathering.
Scripture is very clear about this time, either calendar wise or of chronological age. It is time to reap what has been sowed. All of the efforts and creativity this year as shown by small business owners, teachers, pastors, and parents are now ready for harvesting. We may be tired of “the doing of it”, it probably was “painful” but the rewards are promised to be “a peaceful harvest of right living” – (Hebrews 12:11)
And if that is not enough to brighten our spirits, the harvest is followed by a time of Thanksgiving. “Thanksgiving” – a time of celebrating divine goodness, being grateful, and ready to acknowledge that. Scripture is clear on this as well:
- Psalm 95:2 – “Let us come to Him with Thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him”.
- Psalm 100:4 – “Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
- Phil.4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
- Hebrews 12:28 – “Since we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping Him with holy fear and awe.”
- 1 Cor. 15:57 – “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- 2 Cor. 2:14 – “But thank God! He has made us His captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”
- 1 Thess. 5:18 – “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
How absolutely comforting to enter into this season – anticipating the harvest of what we have so diligently and so painfully sowed. We didn’t give up, we overcame the awkwardness, we persevered, and God has promised a peaceful harvest.
Now we give back to God our thanks, our “Thanksgiving”. Scripture reminds us that His kingdom is unshakeable, we have victory over sin and death, we are not to worry, instead pray about everything, we are on a triumphal procession to enter His gates, we have the privilege to show our thankfulness in every circumstance. God’s promises are clear and profound. What the world worries about, we celebrate, because we have God’s word and WE WILL BE THANKFUL THROUGH IT ALL, FOR THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR US WHO BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS. (1 Thess. 5:18)
Ventura Jubilee Fellowship – “What you sow, so shall you reap.” (Gal 6:7)
Since becoming a church, and affiliating with Missionary Church USA, here is what has been sown during those last 3 years:
- Kept the church going (kept the lights on).
- The office stayed running and open
- Celebratory dinners and events
- Renovations to enhance the worship experience
- Updated church office for efficiency and a welcome atmosphere
- Guest speakers (Dr. Morgan, Josh McDowell)
- Added Rev. Jim Merillat to our staff (with Pam)
- Summer 2020 Mission Project Success!
- Operation Christmas Child underway
- Leadership kept meeting
- Financial support maintained
- In personal Bible Study on Tuesdays.
- Sunday services re-formatted:
- Live Stream
- Personal anointing’s
- Personal growth opportunities
- Monitored CDC requirements
- Listened and validated any and all concerns from church members
- Outreach – Website, Jubilee Weekly, Prayer Lists, Misc. Memos, Snail
Mail, phone calls, list of those willing to help others, Pastor Leonard’s daily scriptures, weekly message outlines, etc.
- Adding now the re-start of Bible Studies on Sunday mornings
- Re-starting the Men’s Breakfast on Thursday mornings
- Re-Scheduling outside speakers for the Spring
- And there may be some others that did not get on this list…
The point is: What had been “Sown” is now being HARVESTED – and we are THANKFUL!