A Word for this Week - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of December 3-9, 2018: “A Season of Death, A Season of Life”

… Jeremiah 33:14-16.

Tis’ the season to be jolly—so people say at this time of year. But nature, at this time, tells a different story. In the darkness of the short days and in the barrenness of the tree branches, it would appear that right now is “a season of death”. But after the long wait through the winter months, spring at last arrives. Then, it is truly a “season of life” as the trees bud and their leaves return.

A season of death, a season of life: This was the two-fold message of the Prophet Jeremiah. Called as a youth be God’s prophet, Jeremiah would foretell of judgment and destruction against Jerusalem and the land of Judah for its decades, even centuries, of rebellion against God. While the people would reject his dread proclamations as “fake news”, Jerusalem would indeed be destroyed and the people would be brought off into exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 52).

But even as Jeremiah foretold of this season of death, He also foretold of a coming season of life through “a righteous branch” who would be a descendant of King David (Jeremiah 33:14-16). The people would realize this after seventy years of exile in Babylon as they would return to their homeland under the leadership of Zerubbabel—a descendant of David. But an even greater descendant of David was yet to come who would execute judgment (against sin) and righteousness (for all who would believe in Him). This truly Righteous Branch would enter into the world in the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 1:31-32).

To all who believe in this promised Christ, their season of death in sin has ended as now they walk in a true season of life as His fruitful branches (John 15:5). But even as such branches, we will continually be pruned so that we would bear even more fruit (John 15:2). This pruning process will mean going through a recurring “season of death”—similar to that within nature—as we are called to die to sin and to our selves as we “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).

But as it is in nature, a season of life always follows as this pruning process “yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11). This season, when it comes, is more than jolly—tis’ the season to be joyful in the “Lord, Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).

PASTOR JIM UPDATE

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